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jvcoach
(@jvcoach)
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August 17, 2017 8:41 am  

Running a 4-4 this year and DC wants DEs in and shooting C gap and DT in and shooting B gap.  This obviously leaves a good bubble to run right up the gut which he wants to encourage.  I feel like we are going to get burned with this scheme.  Anyone run this front and have it work?


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PSLCOACHROB
(@pslcoachrob)
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August 17, 2017 8:46 am  

There are a bunch of 4-4 defenses. Can you clarify what type you are running?


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jvcoach
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August 17, 2017 8:52 am  

I wish I could... I guess 2 ILBs have A gap responsibility with a S over top. OLBs help on edge contain when 0-1WRs. OBI moves out for twins and then S for trips.  Man coverage all the way.


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blockandtackle
(@coacharnold)
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August 17, 2017 8:58 am  

Running a 4-4 this year and DC wants DEs in and shooting C gap and DT in and shooting B gap.  This obviously leaves a good bubble to run right up the gut which he wants to encourage.  I feel like we are going to get burned with this scheme.  Anyone run this front and have it work?

Sounds like the old Split 4.  I played in that defense my senior year of HS.  It was good to us.

I wouldn't want them just shooting upfield, but if they play it disciplined it's a fine front.

The plays this front struggles against are Inside Zone, Midline, and Wedge.  It died out in the 90s as a base defense in most places because of those 3 plays.  Pete Carroll uses a version of it as his go-to nickel front in obvious passing situations.

Trap looks like a bigger issue than it is because the 3 tech can get on the puller's hip pocket and let that take him to the football.

A rule that helps with it is to tell your ILBs "pull away, run through A" meaning that if a puller goes across the C to the other side, the backside LB will run right off the C's butt through playside A gap and tackle the ball carrier, creating a kind of 46 Bear on the move.

It's a good defense for smaller, quicker teams or teams who struggle to stop the sweep (since you have the DE and OLB outside the T to get there).  It's also pretty easy to line up and teach.

Against off tackle runs, sweeps, and passes its solid and it makes a great blitzing platform, but if you're just shooting gaps it won't be as effective.  This front worked for decades because very few OCs used to have the patience to just keep running A gap for 3 and 4 yards all night long.  It's a good "bend but don't break" defense that can also be aggressive when you want it to be.

To get the most out of it, you need to have a FS who can get downhill and make plays on the run like a LB.  You also should stunt one or both DTs into A gap sometimes and bring one or both LBs a lot.


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jvcoach
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August 17, 2017 2:59 pm  

CA - Thanks for the feedback!  That makes me feel better about what we are doing.

Years ago when I was an A.C. and my first couple as a header the people in charge of defense would always cobble something together.  A little if this...a little of that... No real Rhyme or Reason. A lot of stand here and play football. Course this would usually lead to kids getting hollered at for being out of position on a play yet they had no rules to determine what they were supposed to be doing anyways.  I ran the Killer Bee the last few years and really liked it. When a kid missed on a play I could usually ask what happened and they could refer to their rules and self diagnose. 

This season I am an AC with a new org and it feels like we are back to stand here and play football.  Little by little I am sorting out how the pieces fit together.  I am in charge of the D-line and just want to make sure what we are doing is going to give my unit and the team a shot at success.


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blockandtackle
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August 17, 2017 4:23 pm  

CA - Thanks for the feedback!  That makes me feel better about what we are doing.

Years ago when I was an A.C. and my first couple as a header the people in charge of defense would always cobble something together.  A little if this...a little of that... No real Rhyme or Reason. A lot of stand here and play football. Course this would usually lead to kids getting hollered at for being out of position on a play yet they had no rules to determine what they were supposed to be doing anyways.  I ran the Killer Bee the last few years and really liked it. When a kid missed on a play I could usually ask what happened and they could refer to their rules and self diagnose. 

This season I am an AC with a new org and it feels like we are back to stand here and play football.  Little by little I am sorting out how the pieces fit together.  I am in charge of the D-line and just want to make sure what we are doing is going to give my unit and the team a shot at success.

I've been with bad teams where things were done like your old one and that's terrible.  I've also coached under guys where I thought "what in the world are we doing?  This isn't right!" and only later could I look back on it and think "you know, that guy was actually really smart..."  Just be humble and give them the benefit of the doubt.

As for the split 4, the old school one was standup DEs on the edge and both DTs in 3 techs on the outside eye of the G.  If there was a TE, the OLB would come up into a 7 and play C gap.  I think it was Ara Parseghian's defense of choice back in the day.  A lot of other great defenses evolved from it--the "Junkyard Dog" of Vince Dooley and Erk Russell in the early 80s was basically a Split 4 on the weak side and a Wide Tackle 6 on the strong side.

The one I played on in the late 90s had been tweaked a little.  The DTs were in 3 techs in the base defense while the DEs stayed in C gap--standing 5 tech against an open side and a 7 tech against a TE (inside eye of the TE and down in a 3 pt. stance).  That kept it simpler since the OLBs didn't have to learn to do as many things and the DEs were usually better suited to play C gap.  We had some calls in there to move either or both DTs into A gap if we needed to.

Good luck to you!


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53
 53
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August 18, 2017 10:42 am  

It's a great defense.

You're basically building an umbrella. Your best players go at  OLB, S, and CB's. Then find two kids at DE that can clog up off tackle.

You DT's and inside backers can X, or in and out calls to switch their gaps. At the youth level these four are where you can hide some kids.


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blockandtackle
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August 18, 2017 10:54 am  

It's a great defense.

You're basically building an umbrella. Your best players go at  OLB, S, and CB's. Then find two kids at DE that can clog up off tackle.

You DT's and inside backers can X, or in and out calls to switch their gaps. At the youth level these four are where you can hide some kids.

For us, it was good to have a real stud guy at ILB, too.  Our WILB was a kind of skinny Junior who'd never played football before, but made about 170 tackles and was conference DPOY and 1st team All State the season I played in it, since he was fast and usually untouched by blockers.  He was a heck of an athlete and eventually got offers from some D1 schools the next year.

Our OLBs were ok, but not great.  They weren't our best athletes by any stretch.  You at least want a kid who can be disciplined and keep his outside arm free on run force.  He doesn't have to be a great athlete unless he's going to be out covering slot receivers in man coverage a lot.  We were a Cov. 3 team at the HS level, so this worked for us.


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53
 53
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August 18, 2017 11:04 am  

I agree at the high school level, that I wouldn't want to hide a kid at inside backer. But in the youth game if he'll fill a gap and you have a good safety, you're still in good shape.

If you can get a kid that can really play in there, you're going to be really damn good.

Loop out of this look on third and long is almost like stealing. DT's in A gap. DE's go in at B gap, and ILB's hitting C gap.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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September 5, 2017 4:54 am  

Running a 4-4 this year and DC wants DEs in and shooting C gap and DT in and shooting B gap.  This obviously leaves a good bubble to run right up the gut which he wants to encourage.  I feel like we are going to get burned with this scheme.  Anyone run this front and have it work?

That would be me.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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defensewins
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October 7, 2017 12:46 pm  

We run this front on passing downs mainly.  If there are two LB's inside of the OT's, I don't see an issue with it...as long as the ILB's can play off of each other well.  If there is only one LB inside of the OT's, the Center can cover up the ILB and it can be rough sledding.


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