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5 On 5 Defense Playbook

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#1 Texas_D_Coach



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Posted 20 October 2008 - 09:29 AM

Here is a document with the defense's I've used this fall so far. They are all based on the Zone concept (as opposed to man to man). This really helps when you have younger kids (our team is 8-9 yr olds), and kids who may not be as as athletic or fast as other teams.

We mostly use the 2-1-2 and the 2-3 defenses, but on pass happy teams we have also used the 5 back zone with 1 or 2 blitzers. Only used the 3-2 a couple of times this season to try it out.

Our defense has been pretty good this year. We have given up a few points, but always in the first half. We have played 4 of our 6 games and so far no one has scored on us in the second half.

I truly believe that defense is about knowing your assignments, staying at home until the proper time, and making good adjustments to what the offense is doing.


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#2 Still Learning

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 09:51 PM

Thank you! This will be helpful as I am a first year coach for a 5-on-5 12 14 yr old team and our first game is Sunday.


#3 locogomez



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Posted 22 May 2009 - 07:05 PM


#4 Gilbert Bears

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 09:18 AM

I have a question. How do you teach the kids to stay at home? Do you have any drills? I love zone D but on both my 7-8 and 12-14 teams the kids always seem to leave their zone.

#5 rushbuster70



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Posted 09 July 2011 - 05:57 PM

its all repetition.they have to do it over & over again.it takes a lot of practice and a lot of commitment as a coach to not get frustrated and just keep coaching those kids up.

#6 CoachLu



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Posted 14 September 2011 - 07:49 PM

its all repetition.they have to do it over & over again.it takes a lot of practice and a lot of commitment as a coach to not get frustrated and just keep coaching those kids up.

I am excited about the info i found here. I am a first year coach for 5 on 5. I haven't played football, but my son is interested so i am an assistant coach. We got hammered in the second half of our first game, but i have figured out how we need to fix our issues and will be using the defensive and offensive plays found here.

#7 Thunder



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Posted 19 September 2011 - 08:43 PM

To get the kids to stay home on defense you have to be very repetitive and persistent until they understand what your talking about. Young kids are wild loose cannons. They love to run and don't like patience and structure by nature. One really good way to help them all "get it" is by giving them as much 1:1 instruction as possible. To make that happen you need all the coaches on your team also to equally understand what it means to stay @ home. Then have your offense run itself (they will think it's fun)! Just set your D up in a standard formation like the 3:2 or whatever you prefer. The whole point is based on a zone coverage and what section of the field they are responsible for. All the coaches will need to commit their focus on helping 1 maybe two at the most - defensive players each play as the play is happening. Once the play starts - the coaches on the strong side direct their Player to close in and break try to break down the defender long enough for help to assist the flag pull. Make sure your edge defenders Do Not let the play get around them to the sidelines. They need to turn everything back into the middle where they can complete a flag pull with assistance because if the runner gets outside to the sideline it can be a footrace to the endzone. As the strong side handles the primary action - the other coaches need to make sure the weak side players are not just watching flatfooted or flying in towards the ball wrecklessly. They need to make sure they are closing in on the ball under control- while covering any open routes for a cutback or trick play. The weak side player needs to know if anything swings back to their side of the field it is 100% their responsibility to equally cover that side. I tend to simplify things by splitting the field in half and the edge defenders start using caution when chasing a play and he approaches the center field. You can then change D schemes while still coaching 1:1. After only 1 day of this technique at least half the players will get it! Then ONLY the players who don't get it will need the 1:1 support and eventually you will have "team" defense. : ).

#8 Steve72502



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Posted 24 October 2013 - 12:36 PM

I'm a big fan of the 1-1-3 defense!!!




#9 Coach Rob

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 11:54 AM

Strengths would be the ability to contain longer runs and passes.  Weakness would be the passes out in the flats.    I could see a team taking their center on a long route up the middle, another off to the left on a long route and running twins to the right side.  One going deep, one on a shorter route in the flats.  


#10 adoble



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Posted 28 October 2013 - 02:34 PM

I coach a 10-13 year old i9 league (5v5). Here is my setup:
  • 9 kids on team all 11-12 years old
  • 8 are fast, 1 has a foot issue and is challenged in running and cutting
  • 3 of them are crazy fast
  • I have a short team, the other teams have taller kids
  • We've been very successful
I use a 2-1-2 zone, 2 corners up front, a linebacker in the middle and 2 safeties. At the linebacker position I put one of the 3 crazy fast kids and based on what he and I see (I'm on field) I either have him drop back into coverage or edge right up to the line for run defense, I also play the corners up on the line to guard against the run or misdirection, although at this older age the kids don't get fooled much by it, the days of the triple reverse are gone!
I've found at this age man is tough even with short fast kids, the zone works much better, you just have to teach the kids to stay in their zone and watch the QB's eyes which they cannot do in man. Some of the taller teams play man on us and they cannot stay with our receivers. I put my challenged kid at one of the corner positions and make sure he turns the runner into the middle of the field and that is working real well, he is part of the defense and he knows it which is great.
The biggest part of our defensive success is the communication between the players, they are constantly chattering and telling each other whats going on, they are getting smart enough to see offensive formations (like shifting over when they see a trips formation) and they know who the good kids are on the other teams.
If I saw your defense and I have, I'd just throw shovel passes or short passes into the flats as Coach Rob said, when the middle of the field is open like that its dangerous - if an offensive player gets into the open many times he has one man to beat. After a few of those plays the kids will cheat up to stop the short plays and then the deep pass gets unleashed. I am much more in favor of a balanced defense, its a good mix of short and long coverage. You may bend but you probably won't break.
Good luck, FF is my favorite sport to coach, I hope my boys play on for a few more years and I hope i9 expands the league to older ages.

#11 bferron



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Posted 21 August 2015 - 10:40 AM

I am a big believer in blitzing... but hate to leave middle open... so I normally play a modified 1-3-1 really it is a 4-1. 4 line up at blitz line. 90% of the time i blitz one of the two in middle. corners have short flat responsibility, safety has deep. Second in middle plays short middle zone. IN trips, I would blitz the offside corner who would move towards middle - unless there is motion back their direction.


What do others play that blitz all the time? I would like to play 2 deep safeties, but havent been able to design and teach one without leaving gaping hole in middle.


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As a coach who has coached in regionals and nationals, every great team i have come across has a blitz defense.