Where do you line your DT's up in the 5-3? Head-up, gap, shade, etc?
We're pretty similar to Zach in that we're more of a 5-1 since we play almost all Cover1/0.
Our base is a bear front 9-3-0-3-9 because we like to protect the MLB but we can move to Tight 9-2-0-2-9, Wide 9-4-0-4-9, or shift Strong/Weak 9-2-2-4-9 depending on what we're seeing.
Also, it depends on what type of players we have. The last two years we've had bigger kids at DT so we like to put them in 3's and force double teams. With smaller quicker guys at DT, we like to alternate between Wide and Tight to get them head up and let them slant. Either way you have to make the offense use all five linemen to account for your three.
This year we started out in a 9-5-0-5-9.
We plugged the D gap with aggressive D-linemen, had our ends/OLB contain in a wide 9, and on the inside we had a big MMP type kid slant one way while one of our ILBr's blitzed the other gap. I liked how aggressive this was into the backfield, and the kids loved getting after it. This covered every gap except the B gaps, but we had a couple of pretty good ILBr's, and the one who wasn;t blitzing handled that.
The sword is more important than the shield.