Youth Pressure Vs Unbalanced Formations
By FirstDown PlayBook on Oct 14, 2019

 
Getting lined up to unbalanced and heavy formations can be difficult for defenses at any level. Mix in the fact that you are coaching a youth football defense and the job just got harder.

One of our FirstDown PlayBook youth coaches asked us last week about how may defenses we would recommend running against an unbalanced offense. Our Answer? Not many.

We suggested that he get a base defense that is solid to overload side and maybe include one pressure that he could use back to the short side.

We have included the coaching points and player assignments below as well as a short video detailing how we would install this defense.  Obviously there are other defensive adjustments that could also serve this purpose but here is a starting point if you are facing unbalanced formations each week with your youth football defense.

 

5-3 UNDER WHAM VS UNBALANCED SINGLE WING FORMATION

SCHEME: 5 DOWN LINEMEN – 3 LINEBACKERS – 3 DEFENSIVE BACKS.

THERE WILL BE A SHADED NOSE, A 5 TECHNIQUE AND A 9 TECHNIQUE TO THE STRONG SIDE.

ON THE SNAP OF THE BALL THE WILL LB WILL BLITZ IN THE WEAK C GAP.

PLAY MAN COVERAGE ON THE 5 ELIGIBLE RECEIVERS COUNTING OUTSIDE IN.

CORNERS COVER #1 FREE SAFETY COVERS THE BLITZING LB’S MAN REMAINING LB’S COVER #2 & #3

THE INSIDE LB OR FREE SAFETY WILL MAKE A STRENGTH CALL THAT TELLS THE DEFENSE WHERE TO LINE UP.

THE STRENGTH CALL CAN BE MADE TO:

-A FORMATION OR BACKFIELD SET

-THE FIELD OR BOUNDARY

-AN INDIVIDUAL PLAYER

VS THIS UNBALANCED OR HEAVY FORMATION THE LB’S SHOULD CHECK “HEAVY”.

THE DEFENSE WILL BE NOW SET ONE OFFENSIVE MAN OVER TO THE HEAVY SIDE.

THE HEAVY SIDE GUARD WILL NOW BE TREATED AS IF HE IS THE CENTER.

ALL ASSIGNMENTS ARE REFERENCED AS IF THE GUARD WERE TREATED AS THE CENTER.

NOSE GUARD:

1 TECHNIQUE.(SHADE STRONG). KEY THE BALL AND THE CENTER.

RUN TO YOU: DEFEND THE A GAP WITH OUTSIDE ARM & LEG FREE.

RUN AWAY: SQUEEZE THE CENTER DOWN THE L.O.S. AND PURSUE THE FOOTBALL.

PASS: RUSH THE QB IN THE STRONG A GAP.

 

STRONG TACKLE:

5 TECHNIQUE. KEY THE BALL AND TACKLE.

RUN TO YOU: DEFEND THE C GAP WITH OUTSIDE ARM & LEG FREE.

RUN AWAY: SQUEEZE THE OFFENSIVE TACKLE DOWN THE L.O.S. AND PURSUE THE FOOTBALL.

PASS: RUSH THE QB IN THE C GAP.

 

WEAK TACKLE:

3 TECHNIQUE. KEY THE BALL AND GUARD.

ON THE SNAP OF THE BALL RIP ACROSS THE GUARD’S FACE TO THE WEAK A GAP.

RUN TO YOU: DEFEND THE A GAP WITH OUTSIDE ARM & LEG FREE.

RUN AWAY: SQUEEZE THE CENTER DOWN THE L.O.S. AND PURSUE THE FOOTBALL.

PASS: RUSH THE QB IN THE A GAP.

 

STRONG END:

CREASE TECHNIQUE. TILT INSIDE TO THE CREASE. KEY THE BALL AND TE.

RUN TO YOU: DEFEND THE D GAP BY ATTACKING THE TE/WING CREASE. STAY IN THE CREASE OR MAKE THE TACKLE.

RUN AWAY: RE-DIRECT DOWN THE L.O.S. LOOKING FOR CUTBACK. THEN PURSUE THE FOOTBALL.

VS PASS: CONTAIN PASS RUSH.

 

WEAK END:

EDGE TECHNIQUE. ALIGN ON THE L.O.S. OUTSIDE OF THE OFFENSIVE TACKLE. KEY THE TACKLE & NEAREST BACK.

RUN TO YOU. CONTAIN ANY RUN WITH OUTSIDE ARM & LEG FREE. SQUEEZE THE C GAP BY DEFEATING THE BLOCK.

RUN AWAY: RE-DIRECT DOWN THE L.O.S. LOOKING FOR CUTBACK. THEN PURSUE THE FOOTBALL.

VS PASS: CONTAIN PASS RUSH.

 

SAM LB:

STACK THE DEFENSIVE TACKLE AT 5 YARDS DEPTH. KEY: GUARD & NEAR RB.

RUN PLAY TO YOU: B GAP OUTSIDE IN TO SCRAPE.

PLAY AWAY: SLOW SCRAPE TO FAR A GAP. THINK CUTBACK.

PASS: COVER #2 ELIGIBLE (TIGHT END) MAN TO MAN.

 

MIKE LB: STACK THE CENTER AT 5 YARDS DEPTH. KEY THE RB.

RUN PLAY STRONG: B GAP TO SCRAPE INSIDE OUT.

RUN PLAY WEAK: A GAP TO SCRAPE INSIDE OUT.

PASS: COVER THE #3 ELIGIBLE (RB) MAN TO MAN. IF THE RB BLOCKS RUSH THE QB IN THE WEAK A GAP.

 

WILL LB:

STACK THE C GAP AT 1-5 YARDS DEPTH. KEY THE BALL.

ON THE SNAP OF THE BALL PRESSURE DIRECTLY OVER THE OFFENSIVE TACKLE’S HEELS.

RUN PLAY TO YOU: B GAP TO THE BALL.

PLAY AWAY: REDIRECT AND PURSUE THE BALL DOWN THE LOS.

PASS: RUSH THE QB IN THE B GAP.

 

STRONG CORNERBACK:

ALIGN 2X2 YARDS OUTSIDE OF THE WINGBACK.

RUN PLAY TO YOU: CONTAIN THE PLAY WITH OUTSIDE ARM & LEG FREE.

PLAY AWAY: CHECK FOR REVERSE & THEN TAKE A PROPER PURSUIT ANGLE TO THE FOOTBALL.

PASS: COVER #1 ELIGIBLE (WINGBACK) MAN TO MAN.

 

WEAK CORNERBACK:

ALIGN 2X2 YARDS OUTSIDE OF THE ELIGIBLE TACKLE

RUN PLAY TO YOU: CONTAIN THE PLAY WITH OUTSIDE ARM & LEG FREE.

PLAY AWAY: CHECK FOR REVERSE & THEN TAKE A PROPER PURSUIT ANGLE TO THE FOOTBALL.

PASS: COVER #1 ELIGIBLE (TACKLE) MAN TO MAN.

 

FREE SAFETY:

ALIGN 8-10 YARDS DEPTH IN THE TACKLE/TIGHT END AREA.

RUN: FIND THE BALL CARRIER AND GO MAKE A TACKLE INSIDE OUT.

PASS: MAN COVERAGE ON 1ST RB WEAK OR 2ND RB STRONG.

 

FirstDown PlayBook is the only Digital Football PlayBook that gives you access to over thirty five thousand football plays, schemes and technique help all designed by coaches and players with NFL experience. FirstDown Playbook is also the official PlayBook resource of USA Football and Football Canada..