Running 5-4 at the Youth level?


Homepage Forums Defense – Fronts & Stunts Running 5-4 at the Youth level?

This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Jeremiah Howard Jeremiah Howard 9 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #2016608
    Profile photo of Coach Kwik
    Coach Kwik
    Participant

    I am trying to tear myself away from the 5-4 which dominated my league last year. I feel like as the kids get older they pass more and it worries me in this defense. Should I stick with the 5-4, go with the 4-4, 5-2, 5-3? I want to find ways to adjust to passes and maybe morph into a 4-4 or 5-3 with some deep help?


    #2346337
    Profile photo of Sweet Lou
    Sweet Lou
    Participant

    You probably need a safety more on the youth level than on any other level, not because of the passing game, but in case a player misses his gap assignment, and the flood gates open up on an inside trap.

    It’s not safe to play without a safety. I would run a 5-4 as a short yardage defense. Use a double eagle look upfront…1 3 technique on each side of the football, and a head up NG. Send both of ILBs through “A” gap. Have NG hold up the center, and have to 3 techniques grab some jersey and pull the guards outside, so they can open up a hole for the ILBs to blitz through.

    We ran this on the HS Varsity level a few years ago against a full house backfield team. The team we played was a heck of a lot more talented than us, but that one blitz killed them.


    #2354450
    Profile photo of Jeremiah Howard
    Jeremiah Howard
    Participant

    No, he doesn’t. At that level the its a safety net for the coach, not the players. A fall back for coaches who don’t have the stones to play without a net. You wanna stop the run? Play a 5-4 or a 6-3. You should just invert the corners if you’re worried about the pass. If a team at that age is going to beat you throwing 15 yard out routes, then they’d probably whoop you no matter what your defense is


    #2361572
    Profile photo of Hangman
    Hangman
    Keymaster

    I agree with this completely. Kwik, you can run man, cover 2,3,4 anything you can teach the kids. Roll your ILB up for a cover 3 look. Or in man, if they overload one side, coach that outside backer to come across to that side and your Inside guys shift over a bit.

    I like the cover 2 invert because it allows the safeties (your olb’s) to cover the flats/slants pretty aggressively and have help over the top. What’s the age group?


    #2361573
    Profile photo of Coach Kwik
    Coach Kwik
    Participant

    This is just a brief description and I know I will get eaten alive, but briefly without going into detail…

    DE’s-Shade outside shoulder of TE or last man on O Line, aim for outside hip of nearest RB or person with the ball, they must attack while containing. On pass calls, they jam TE into T while pursuing QB.

    DT-Line up shaded slightly to the inside eye of T, slanted into the B gap. They aim for the G’s nearest hip and get behind the LOS, flow to ball. We do have a call for DT to rush the C gaps.

    NG- He is an animal, so he mostly bull rushes but we do have calls for him to shoot either A gap.

    CB’s play 2-3 yards off ball if no one is on them, 5 yards if there is a WR. They are our last source of containment and always line up inside shoulder of WR. Both of my CB’s have wheels and we have both a zone and man coverage.

    OLBs-They are our true studs, they cover the C gap to sidelines on runs. We expect them to make most of the tackles. On passing downs, we have a zone and a man to man call on the 2nd WR, if none, TE.

    ILB’s-They are responsible for their A gaps first, then B, C and sidelines. These are our attacking LB’s, they run down hill at all times while attacking the ball. On pass plays, they drop back into a short zone while watching any RB’s in the backfield or if the QB takes off.

    When we drop into a zone, we have 6 guys covering the field…

    Last year we drilled both man to man and mostly zone, but since most teams ran the ball 98.9% of the time, my kids got fooled a few times on pass plays, thankfully, more times then not, the throw wasn’t perfect or the receiver dropped the ball in the open field… I still have nightmares to this day. These are the things I’m trying to to avoid this year. My thought was to stay with this D and on passing downs, drop into a 4-4 with a FS as our NG can easily become a ILB and one of our ILB is one of the fastest kids on the team can become a FS. Just a thought.


    #2361574
    Profile photo of Coach Kwik
    Coach Kwik
    Participant


    #2414307
    Profile photo of Jeremiah Howard
    Jeremiah Howard
    Participant

    Here is the 5-4 we ran most of the time

    Slant your interior linemen as you would with the 50 slant/angle defense. Play your DEs any number of ways – boxing (not recommended) to crashing. Just base your end play on the opponent you’re facing. Teach your LBs to read, react and run really fast, and tell safeties to bury their feet in cement and slow play everything. The only thing that beats that defense is perfectly executed out passes between 10-15 yards.


    #2414308
    Profile photo of Jeremiah Howard
    Jeremiah Howard
    Participant

    Here is the 5-4 we ran most of the time


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