How To Contain? Alternatives To Boxing Ends
If the answer was as easy as "tackle better" that'd be great, but it's not.
--Actually, it is. If your players are tackling, I doubt it'd matter what contain, coverage, design or scheme you run. They all work. But not being able to tackle won't allow any of them to work.
"So even when our corners and OLB's do get in good position a tackle isn't always made." Those are your words. I get that you think I'm being an ass, but I'm trying to provide information based on your statements.
The thoughts of using the OLB and corner as the outside protector is worth looking into ad thinking about more. Problem I see with that is things like reverse and those big cutbacks all the way across the field we often see at the youth level.
--Since we're 11-Man, we can have essentially three outside players to defend Sweep (OLB, CB, S). We're using a 3-4 with a Nose Tackle, and two DT's in the C-Gaps. Two ILBs cover the B-Gaps. (Sometimes ILBs and DTs swap their gap coverage.) Our DEs are 1-yard outside of the offensive EMLOS. This allows us to use an OLB, CB and S on either side. DE is the disruptor, with the OLB and CB there for clean up. S is there for emergency. Ball-carriers running Sweep have to get through three levels of our defense; Level 1 (DE), Level 2 (OLB & CB), Level 3 (S).
Do you really tell your backside OLB not to persue any play away from him? Seems he's in a much better position to make a tackle on a power or sweep away from him than the backside End.
--They (DE, OLB, CB) pursue, but ONLY from the backside through the backfield. This prevents ANY reverse, double reverse, broken play or reverse-field cutbacks.
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