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Defensive tackle's main job 9 and 10 year olds

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Thenab90
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I'm doing DLine this season for first time with 9 and 10 year olds. I've noticed they like just shooting gaps but what is proper way to teach DT's. Am I telling them to use their hands or ram in there with shoulder which they usually do but don't get penetration. Please help!


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parone
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Hmm.  That's your call right?  Some coaches want their D line to engage conflict with the O line-thus keeping them off your linebackers.  That is pretty normal.    However, if you are looking for penetration from your linemen, perhaps you want them to simply shoot the gap.

Your DC should be telling you exactly what he wants from your position group, and then you should have specific drills to teach them at least one technique(we always had at least two) to accomplish that. 

You can't be a good coach unless you know exactly what it is you want your boys to do.  I'm not lecturing you, but I made a lot of progress when I came to that realization.

Dream Big.  Work Hard. Stay Humble.


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ZACH
 ZACH
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General sence beyond Perones pointers

- occupy half a man and a gap
- after you make it a yard or even a foot behind los find the ball
- if you get doubled you did a good job, create pile if the double is too much.

Generally you want lbs making tackles and def line to eat up blocks and create lanes to fill by the secondary in your run fits

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


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CD Rams Coach M
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Out DTs target the outside shoulder of the guard /3rd man from the end of the line. We ask them to engage that player, and drive him back. We're trying to keep the guards from pulling or targeting the LBs. If their man does pull before we get to him, we ask them to follow the puller to the ball carrier.

In theory, it's great...when they remember what we've asked them to do.


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patriotsfatboy1
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It depends on what their job is.  Our entire DL is tasked with making sure that they aggressively attack their gap.  That gap may change depending on the call and we may be running stunts to change which gap they are tasked with attacking. 

We have them work very hard on utilizing Rip, swim (for bigger guys), and push/pull techniques to accomplish that.  Shooting a gap can be very effective, so long as that works with the rest of the defense to ensure that they bring down the ball carrier.  I will periodically move them over their gap to give a different look to blockers but, for the most part, we are looking to line up over an OL and we are going to work him so that we will make sure that we are getting pressure in the gap that we are responsible for. 


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Thenab90
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Good stuff guys! I've been just telling boys to bull rush since they are really strong but I want to teach them rip move. What's a simple way to teach that? Thanks


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Dusty Ol Fart
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Ok.

Here's just an Old Farts Opinion of the Defensive Tackle position.

THE BETTER THEY ARE AT PENETRATING THE BETTER YOUR LINEBACKERS WILL BE! 

So in a One Gap Scheme if my DT is "Shooting The Gap" and forcing the play to change SO BE IT!  I will say that any decent OC will adapt to help his Linemen (Double Team) to stop them from getting in their backfield.  I dont care how good you think your offense is, it aint sh*t if the DT is on your QB as he turns to hand off or dropping the RB for a 1 yard loss! 

Honestly, I dont want my DT playing Peek A Boo with a mediocre O-Linemen trying to read the play.  I want him to make that kids day a Living Hell!  Beat him off the ball every single time OWN HIS GAP FIRST, make it useless to the offense, then find the ball.  Why do I say this?  Because I have had very few true 2 Gap (Peek A Boo Capable) D-Linemen at the Youth Level.  Even most of those who play an Odd Front have a 1 Gap Scheme for that very reason.

Yet, regardless, if you have one truly gifted Kid at DT, he can change a game even or odd front! 

JMHO

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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parone
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penetration does kill a lot of offense.  the thing you have to be aware of though, is if a DT penetrates and misses the ball carrier(happens more than you might think), the OG is able to get his hat on the mlb, then what you have is a blocked MLB and a tailback following a fullback on a dive or iso-and that's a real problem.  that's why a lot of us want the DL to drive the OG backward-to prevent that exact situation.

last year we played a lot of our MPP guys on the DL regardless of size.  so we used bearcrawl and shinsplinting to neurtralize the bigger linemen and create piles.  gap responsability was absolute.

but you say you've got big strong DLs.  in that case, you may be able to dominate man to man and control the line that way.

again, you need to know what is expected of your position group in your defensive scheme.

Dream Big.  Work Hard. Stay Humble.


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PSLCOACHROB
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While I don't disagree in theory about a guard climbing to the backer if the dt shoots by them, how many guards actually do that? Most will turn and chase or freeze with a dumb look on their face like they are lost. Even if the dt misses the tackle once he penetrates the play is disrupted and the back has to take extra steps or pauses giving the defense more time to track his but down. I would also hope that the dt would make the tackle more often then he misses it. If he doesn't that is on the coach.


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parone
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good points coach rob.  another worry for penetrating DT is the trap of course.  coming across unblocked likely mean something bad is coming from the side ???

also, counter could hurt if you are countering away from unblocked penetrator. 

but i am just playing devils advocate.  we have often preached penetration, but INTO a prescribed gap, where the defender knew that they absolutely had to honor gap responsability first, but penetration was just fine.  I'm just offering some of the pitfalls you can run into.

Dream Big.  Work Hard. Stay Humble.


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HCScott
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good points coach rob.  another worry for penetrating DT is the trap of course.  coming across unblocked likely mean something bad is coming from the side ???

also, counter could hurt if you are countering away from unblocked penetrator. 

but i am just playing devils advocate.  we have often preached penetration, but INTO a prescribed gap, where the defender knew that they absolutely had to honor gap responsability first, but penetration was just fine.  I'm just offering some of the pitfalls you can run into.

Penetration is the killer in youth football IMO. Great defense starts with penetration into the backfield. Great, consistent offense starts by eliminating penetration into the backfield.

Now after getting your DT's into the backfield, tackle, tackle, tackle.
I coach them to, penetrate, sit in the gap, find the ball and go get in on the tackle.

We'll also play it two ways depending on our opposition.
Generally, in base we like to play what we call Texas style where our DT's line up C gap but angled at the OT's earhole and have him attack that earhole with his helmet and attack the OT's outside shoulder simultaneously, we want him to crash the OT into the B gap while playing off the shoulder into C gap penetration. Works well since neither the OT or TE gets a good angle to block our DT. Of course there are coaches here that might take advantage of that style and we might have to play straight up and we would obviously mix up our defensive calls to change up gap and tech responsibilities against these very experienced coaches. Otherwise most of the youth coaches have no idea what to do even if they did have time to prepare for this example. 

"The quarterback must go down and he must go down hard"


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JrTitan
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I'm doing DLine this season for first time with 9 and 10 year olds. I've noticed they like just shooting gaps but what is proper way to teach DT's. Am I telling them to use their hands or ram in there with shoulder which they usually do but don't get penetration. Please help!

What is their alignment?  What defensive scheme are you playing?

"They call it coaching but it is teaching...You do not just tell them...you show them the reasons""You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it's important."“…you have no bad habits to break...We either coach it or are allowing allowing it to happen.”


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patriotsfatboy1
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While I don't disagree in theory about a guard climbing to the backer if the dt shoots by them, how many guards actually do that? Most will turn and chase or freeze with a dumb look on their face like they are lost. Even if the dt misses the tackle once he penetrates the play is disrupted and the back has to take extra steps or pauses giving the defense more time to track his but down. I would also hope that the dt would make the tackle more often then he misses it. If he doesn't that is on the coach.

This. ^^

We have our DT's penetrating through their assigned gap.  We want them to disrupt while maintaining gap coverage.  That gap may change from play to play due to stunts and calls that we have, but we all of our DL to be aggressive and putting pressure.  It is the same reason that our DE's don't just box and contain.  We want them compressing the line of scrimmage to minimize the areas that the backs can run to.  If I have DE's compressing and DT's penetrating, there is not a whole lot of room to work with for a back or linemen. 


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somecoach
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1st, we tell them it is 1st and 14.
If you get into the backfield only go 1 yard into the backfield. If they go any further they will probably miss the running back

Next I would teach them to strike the target in their gap.
i.e. A 3 tech who has the B gap is going to strike the guard

The kids have 2 (and a half) rules

IF the target goes away, bend down at 1 yard and look for the ball.

If the target strikes you, get your hip in the gap and look for the ball.

(here's the half rule) If you are being double teamed "Sit on the bar stool" of the second guys knee, and create a pile.

That's how I teach the guys.


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Dusty Ol Fart
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My Definition of Penetration by the Defensive Line.
One yard behind the OL!  3 Feet in my Gap, Head up, looking for the ball. Persue the ball from behind the LOS! IMHO their main goal is to render the Gap (Hole) useless to the offense.  That's how you effect the play!  If you are able to do that across the LOS, Stunts, Twists, Slants, it very much effects the offense! 

I will add that Blitzing us useless as well if there is no rhyme or reason to how its done.  Sending the Kitchen Sink does little if everyone is looking for the QB and not the ball.  I see more linebackers running past the ball carrier than I see D-Linemen doing so! 

Huge difference between To Effect and For Effect!    I am not adverse to sending the onside Cover Man on a Blitz TO EFFECT the Timing and make them get rid of it before they want to.  Too many send everyone hoping FOR the desired effect! 

Whats the problem if my DT gets one yard into the backfield and the Play Bounces?  If the DT's are making tackles their doing their job!  If the DT's dont make any tackles and, not one play goes through their assigned Gap, they are also doing their job! 

Spill AND Kill or Kill OR Spill!  Both are a good thing. if everyone does their jobs! 😉 

 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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