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4-2-5 for Dummies

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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 99

I suppose some folks may use different personnel at OLB vs Overhang Safeties, but I'll wager that most of us are putting our best 11 out there.

Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 847

I think the difference is in the personel but i could be way off....

Spread, overshift, and heavy (i think its called) are all just variations in alignment. Soool BMJ 425 "spread" is a variation in alignment.

It can be.

I posted above a long time ago to describe how a 4-2-5 works, but the basic, bare bones summary of it (to me) is this:

Most youth 4-2-5s are just 4-4s that want to seem fancy.  They may say "we have DBs there instead of OLBs" but that's just semantics.  They're exactly the same kids a knowledgeable coach would want playing OLB in a 4-4.  If all you're doing is playing man and/or Cov. 3, you're a 4-4.  End of discussion.

At the HS level and above, a 4-2-5 is still basically a 4-4, but lined up to look more like a 4-3 and with some more sophisticated coverages (like Quarters) to match up against more sophisticated passing attacks and spread offenses.  Most college 4-3s include 4-2-5 principals now.  They just call the 4-2-5 "SS" or "Nickel" or "Star" or whatever "Sam LB."

Some teams align to the formation and train a triangle of safeties to roll and do different things, but if you tie it in with Field and Boundary that becomes unnecessary.  The base coverage is usually Quarters or some variation, like 2 Read.  They can get into Cov. 3 and look like a 4-4 when there are 2 backs by walking up the WS.

On top of that, you have the TCU-influenced teams who do Split Field coverages, which doesn't have to be as complex as it sounds since the S are just checking based off what they see on their side.  There's a ton of verbiage there, but it's really not as fancy as it sounds when you hear them spit out one of those long calls.

A simple way to call it is to call it is to be in a 2 high coverage on a hash (let the S to each side check into the best look out of about 3 or 4 vs. what they see), Robber or Cov. 3 in the MOF or against 2 Backs, and Cov. 3 vs. anything else (Trips into the boundary, etc.)  At the HS level, you need to have at least 2-3 Trips checks, which is where I think the 4-2-5 ideas really shine vs. the old school 4-4.

Either way, when you can't recruit studs, the key to being successful in any defense is getting your best 11 mean kids on the field and coaching them up.  If you get caught up in "personnel" types you're going to wind up falling into the trap of basing your player evaluation off what a kid looks like instead of what he can actually do.  Usually in youth, MS, and HS ball if you had a 12th player who was worth being on the field with the starters, he'd already be out there somewhere, so personnel packages are usually wastes of time IMO.

Dusty Ol Fart
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 7701

As Coach points out, I seriously doubt that Youth Coaches have "Personnel Packages".  Most are lucky if they can Platoon a few kids.  I do tend to use more kids than most would.  Short Roster makes putting kids in for a play or series a necessity so they all can grab a breather. 

The thing that seems to get lost in translation is the fact that, especially in youth ball, sometimes your Freddy's and Joe's just dont match up well with their Jimmy's and John's.  Defecation Occurs as they say. 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂

Platinum Moderator
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 3873

Most youth 4-2-5s are just 4-4s that want to seem fancy.  End of discussion.

This is awesome

Sometimes youth coaches want the title of what their defense is not necessarily if it works.

I don't really deal with alignments per se, just what am I trying to stop.
My Defense is called a 6-3 but its really a 6-2-3

Some people want to call exotic defenses and crud like that but in the end its just align your players to achieve what you want it to stop. Who cares what its called.

I only use the 6-3 when someone asks me what defense I use. Then they look up the 6-3 and try to attack it and it doesn't work as designed from where they were looking.

I have an 11 defense no wait ... the 11 Flex defense
All 11 getting their butts to the ball and killing the ball

2 Things my offense will always have is a Wing and a Wedge

coachgye liked
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 9519

I run the 10-1 so i only have 1 athlete in the whole damn defense hahaha

Super mpp defense lmao

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.

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