Mid Season Defensive Change Up
Posted 04 May 2011 - 08:40 PM
Just looking for feed back here. In a 5 on 5, 7-8 year old league....I just changed up from a 3-2 to a 4-1. I haven't seen too much talk about the 4-1 on the site. There isn't much passing in games (maybe 3 per side at most). With the strong propensity to running I found the 4-1 to work pretty well. We've only used it once but it seems to hid my less talented players well. I put them in the middle two slots and have my quickest, most aggressive player 7 yards back to blitz or just play a "monster" type.
The 3-2 seemed to bite us in the back side from time to time and even on good plays we still let up yards. If I can get them to stay home and play in their area I think the 4-1 should work. 3 weeks to go in the season till playoffs and hoping for the best. Thanks for any advise.
Posted 10 May 2011 - 07:13 PM
Posted 12 May 2011 - 02:42 PM
The middle short will be a weakness, but I would give up a 3-4 yard gain all day as opposed to a 15-20 yard gain down the side. If you keep them in their zones and they dont bite on the misdirection plays, you will get many turnovers.
They cant hit slants, cant hit the outside on passes, they might hit a center curl, but I would let them have it. Any rush to the left or right will have them running at 2 defenders either side. This is the best, most basic defense to play. Proper spacing and staying in the zone and you will have a good defense.
Be careful on the rush as you will leave a huge hole in the middle behind the rusher for a pass.
EDIT: When I say 2-3, I mean 2 up front and 3 deep. Others have it the other way around.
Posted 15 May 2011 - 09:25 PM
I'd like to know how it goes. We played against a very athletic team who played something similar to a 4-1 zone. They did have a rusher. From an offensive viewpoint, our head coach (offense) would call deep seam routes and a lot of post plays. It tore up their defense since they were not able to cover the multiple routes with one safety. We have a smart athletic QB who able to make the rusher miss the first attempt letting the play develop. While looking upfield, he was able to figure out the safety's assignment.
Long story, short; you will have to give up some big plays if your rusher can't disrupt the QB.
When the defense switched to a 3-2 (3 Linebacker playing 3-4 from LoS, and 2 secondary), we couldn't get any successful deep play to convert.
I had our 10-11yo try a 1-3-1 (some call it 1-1-3; IE, 1 Lineman, 3 LB, 1 Sfty) it was very effective against the run plays. In our league, there are so many end-arounds and reverses that our kids get confused, so it is easy to tell them to 'stay-at-home' and let the play come to them and turn it back inside where the speedy lineman and middle linebacker can pull flags. We gave up the 4-5 yard gains, but prevented the really long runs. We did get burned for one long pass and TD, though. But we expected that.
I hope you had a good week. I'll subscribe to follow the progress and see if we should implement the 4-1.
Posted 16 May 2011 - 12:00 PM
Posted 22 May 2011 - 10:07 PM
The defense is one I would recommend against a pass heavy team but keep them on their toes by switching to a 3-2 or the "monster D". Good luck Alfred. Let us know if you try it out.
Posted 22 May 2011 - 10:11 PM
How did the 1-4 hold up against the run? How far back were the 4 players from scrimmage? Where did you put your better defenders (hands and feet) versus the slower players?
Sorry for the flood of questions but if I try this out I want to learn from what you implemented.
Posted 23 May 2011 - 01:16 PM
Edit: Sometimes you'll see good teams running the 4 across in a goal line or extra point situation. That makes more sense because there is a limited amount of space to make a play. But in the open field 4 across is a weak defense in my opinion.
Posted 24 May 2011 - 11:54 AM
Alfred - the 1-4 worked ok against the run but I put my fastest player on the nose and he just went side to side while the other 4 (7 yards back) would react. I generally keep my slower players on the inside. I would preach for my faster players on the outside that no one gets outside you and to always push the runner to the inside and use your help. Good luck and let me know how it works for you.