Author Topic: What is the best D to merge into from a 4-4 vs. the Spread or 3rd and long?  (Read 844 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Shamrocks

  • Gold
  • Posts: 2567
  • Total likes: 55
  • Coaching: 12 & Under
  • Defense: Undecided
  • Offense: Undecided
  • Title: Head Coach
Looking for some input in regards to changing out of the 4-4 against spread formations or on obvious passing downs?

Offline mahonz

  • Administrator
  • Kryptonite
  • Posts: 23949
  • Total likes: 2316
  • No Wimps
  • Coaching: 7 & Under
  • Defense: DC 46
  • Offense: Single Wing
  • Title: Head Coach
Looking for some input in regards to changing out of the 4-4 against spread formations or on obvious passing downs?

Whats wrong the 44 vs the spread?
Collect moments, not wins.

Offline somecoach

  • Copper
  • Posts: 112
  • Total likes: 22
  • Coaching: High School
  • Defense: Other
  • Offense: Spread Formation
  • Title: Coordinator
imo unless they have Peyton Manning or Tom Brady at Q; you should be fine in a 4-4 Cover 3.

You could move the free saftey back to the sticks if needed.

Offline ZACH

  • Diamond
  • Posts: 10202
  • Total likes: 804
  • freedom of choice, not consequence - N. Saban
  • Coaching: 12 & Under
  • Defense: 10-1
  • Offense: One Back
  • Title: Head Coach
10-1...if you got balls

Dime if you have no balls

Nickel if youre questioning if you do or do not have balls

"When a coach said hes going back to fundamentals it usually follows...I just got my butt kicked" - random

"Some athletes have division dreams and jv work ethic" - random

Offline StormCoach

  • Copper
  • Posts: 432
  • Total likes: 80
  • Coaching: 12 & Under
  • Defense: Other
  • Offense: Other
  • Title: Head Coach
Couldn’t you morph it into a 4-2-5?
“I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious." ”
― Vince Lombardi

Offline rozelle25

  • Copper
  • Posts: 240
  • Total likes: 12
  • Coaching: 9 & Under
  • Defense: DC 46
  • Offense: DC Wing T
  • Title: Head Coach
Last year my OLB's would likely have been CB's on bigger teams. I played press man cover 1 and played my DE's wide. Jet sweep is kind of the "it" play around here and this look shut it down. I'd figure out the primary WR and shade my FS over top. I never blitzed.

Offline blockandtackle

  • Bronze
  • Posts: 636
  • Total likes: 336
  • Coaching: High School
  • Defense: Other
  • Offense: Other
  • Title: Assistant
Looking for some input in regards to changing out of the 4-4 against spread formations or on obvious passing downs?

A 4-2-5 is really easy to get into.  Just roll your OLB back on the boundary as a S, cheat the FS to the field, and maybe slide your B gap LB into a 40 or 50 tech.  The front techniques stay the same.  It helps if you set your strength and personnel to the field.  When you're between the goalposts, check Cov. 3.

What a lot of 4-4 coaches don't realize is your 4-4 OLBs need to be athletic "overhang" types.  They're the same type of kid that a 4-2-5 or 3-3 stack would play at the outside safety spots, anyway.  If you have a big slow kid there who can't widen out and play the flat or wall off #2 in space, you're doing it wrong.

My last team was a HS program who ran a 4-4 and evolved it into a 4-2-5.  It really wasn't that hard.  Basically we just took the 4-4 and played Quarters out of it, which just meant we ran our Robber coverage to both sides and used the short side to our advantage.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 03:14:02 PM by blockandtackle »

Offline Dusty Ol Fart

  • Platinum
  • Posts: 7272
  • Total likes: 730
  • Coaching: 12 & Under
  • Defense: 6-3
  • Offense: Pistol
  • Title: Retired
A 4-2-5 is really easy to get into.  Just roll your OLB back on the boundary as a S, cheat the FS to the field, and maybe slide your B gap LB into a 40 or 50 tech.  The front techniques stay the same.  It helps if you set your strength and personnel to the field.  When you're between the goalposts, check Cov. 3.

What a lot of 4-4 coaches don't realize is your 4-4 OLBs need to be athletic "overhang" types.  They're the same type of kid that a 4-2-5 or 3-3 stack would play at the outside safety spots, anyway.  If you have a big slow kid there who can't widen out and play the flat or wall off #2 in space, you're doing it wrong.

My last team was a HS program who ran a 4-4 and evolved it into a 4-2-5.  It really wasn't that hard.  Basically we just took the 4-4 and played Quarters out of it, which just meant we ran our Robber coverage to both sides and used the short side to our advantage.

I agree with your assessment 100% on point.  The issue at the Youth Level with regards to changing to match the Spread is, do you really need to?  I submit that a vast majority of Youth Spread teams only Spread to thin the Defense out across the field, to Run the rock.  The few who do actually throw the ball consistently are quick hitters, Bubbles, Slants, Hitches.  In either case I can cover with the 4-4 without having to change much if anything.  As you point out, the key is choosing the right athletes to play OSLB.   imho its hard enough to get kids to play one defense effectively and consistently.  Changing the Defense just because it's 3rd and long can be a real PIA (Confusing) with more downside than up.   Your defense put them in 3rd and long, let them play!  Use the sticks as way points and maybe bring some additional heat from an unexpected source.  If the team is that expert at passing you will soon find out!

 ;)
Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  :)

Offline DumCoach

  • Administrator
  • Platinum
  • Posts: 9702
  • Total likes: 581
  • "What me worry? I'm not far enough behind yet!"
  • Coaching: 10 & Under
  • Defense: DC 46
  • Offense: DC Wing T
Looking for some input in regards to changing out of the 4-4 against spread formations or on obvious passing downs?

I'm going to assume you've been getting beat on 3rd and long by Spread teams that throw the ball.  The math for why you have a problem is real simple.  You can cover 3 deep  but they can send four.  They will send their SE's deep down the sidelines in order to isolate your safety on both slots.  The two slots will run some sort of "out" pattern.  The QB reads your safety and throws in the opposite direction he moves (He may pump fake to suck the safety one way or the other.).  Whatever happens you can bet whoever the safety covers is not the slot their QB throws to or they need a new QB. 

This is Spread 101 for attacking any Cover 3.  In fact, if it wasn't for Cover 3, Spread probably never would have been invented.   

The University of Washington has been using Cover 3 to defend Spread.  I don't know how their system works but apparently it does.  You might be able to track down their system as they have been doing it long enough to become public domain.

My Killer Bee defense successfully defends Spread using Cover 4 (Which can shift to "Cover 5" as a "Prevent" defense if you want to force the other team to try and run to win with two minutes left.).  Killer Bee is based on the famous Dallas "Doomsday" defense of Tom Landry, the longest winning defense in NFL history.  It pretty much eats up Spread teams for breakfast (With equal success against most DW and SW teams as well.).

But, a lot of times, it's not your "D" you selected giving up the big play in third and long.  If that were true, Spread teams would run their "third and long" plays every down and eat you up.  They don't do that.  Why not? 

Because it doesn't work.  Bad throws eventually produce INT's or dropped passes and the coverage is waiting.

Instead, you may be the victim of child/player psychology.  This occurs when you are just hammering the other team's running plays.  This encourages your defense to play the next play the same as the last play.  After all, it worked last play (2nd down) and the play before (1st down).  So why not do it again?

This creates what I call "the feeding frenzy" where you have 11 players on defense competing with each other for who makes the tackle on the next run.  The sharks are homing in on the runner.  They are thinking RUN.  It does not matter that it's 3rd and 15.  On 3rd and 15 they want to do what they did the play before.  After all, it worked so well that it's what put them in 3rd and 15.  So they're still thinking RUN.

I'll give you an example.  The odds of getting a first down on 4th and 6 are like something 60%.  How is that possible?  Player psychology.  What they did the first three downs worked so why not do it again on 4th down?  The players will play it as if it is 4th and 1 and not 4th and 6.  The same thing could be happening with your team.  They could be playing 3rd and 15 the same as "1st and 10". 

While my defense will solve your problem you might not need it.  Just check your film.  Look at those 3rd and long passing situations you got beat on.  Watch your defenders' FEET.  Did 11 guys make their first step FORWARD?  Because, if so, you just found your problem.  It won't matter what defense you're in if this happens.  You have sharks in a feeding frenzy.

And then you watch the ball goes over their heads...

 




"Football is for the kids - But let's win anyway."

Offline GP

  • Silver
  • Posts: 1669
  • Total likes: 261
  • Coaching: 14 & Under
  • Defense: Undecided
  • Offense: Multiple
  • Title: Head Coach
First of all there are many different flavors of 4-4 just as there are many different flavors of Spread so OP is way too generic to illicit an optimal response (didn't mention your base coverage  ??? or what your opponents are doing that's causing trouble).

If you watch Bama, while they are a Base 3-4 team, they will often morph to a 4-2-5 against Spread Offenses. We are a base 4-4 Over Cov 3 team but against 10 personnel we will also look like a 4-2-5 with our OLBs widening to the slots. Like Bama, we cover receivers (not grass) which helps solve the 4 verts problem if we're in C3.

If you're a Cov 3 team, you def want some type of Quarter / Quarter / Half Cov call you can use against 3x1 Formations.

On 3rd or 4th & Medium, I tend to favor Man Coverage. Either Man 1 or Man 2 (we drop a LB to create the 2 shell).  In Long situations, my go to is Cover 4 (again drop LB to SS). Sometimes we disguise as Man 2 and bail the corners.

I like having multiple answers to keep the OC / QB off balance but key is you have to be able to execute. The way most youth teams coach coverage it's a total waste to even switch them up.

We have certain Front calls we favor in these situations. Also a great time to bring pressure.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 06:33:30 PM by GP »
"Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated." - Lou Holtz

Offline ZACH

  • Diamond
  • Posts: 10202
  • Total likes: 804
  • freedom of choice, not consequence - N. Saban
  • Coaching: 12 & Under
  • Defense: 10-1
  • Offense: One Back
  • Title: Head Coach
If you man across you can play a 5 man game with a free player or 6 man game. With 5 players on islands.

But some people dont like pressures, islands, or sacks... so i understand
"When a coach said hes going back to fundamentals it usually follows...I just got my butt kicked" - random

"Some athletes have division dreams and jv work ethic" - random

Offline dollar

  • Copper
  • Posts: 84
  • Total likes: 20
  • Coaching: 12 & Under
  • Defense: 6-3
  • Offense: Multiple
  • Title: Head Coach
We are a Gregory 6-3 Defense but last year we had to play the three time defending Super Bowl Champs who had a ton of talent/skill positions.

They ran gun with 2 x 2 and trips packages.  Liked to throw slants, deep verticals and smoke screens.

Also like to get outside with sweeps.

What we did was run a Press 40. 

Four down lineman, four press cover playing Man(2 CB and 2 OLB), one Mike and two Safety over the top playing Zone.

We worked a ton on the press coverage in practice, especially working to hold up receivers at the line of scrimmage and/or getting them off their routes and messing up timing.  We started this two weeks before our game with them and made the an EDD.

On trips we pressed the trips with zone behind and help from safety as well.

Youth teams rarely see press coverage and that was the case when we played them.

It threw them off and helped us stay on the field with a better team.

Also found that the press helped us on their outside sweeps as we already had two good defenders at the line of scrimmage which helped take away space from their fast RBs.

They did get over the top on a trips package for a 40 Yard score and gashed us up the middle for another score but we had the ball with a chance to win at the end only to lose 12-6.

 

Offline SunDevilDad41

  • Copper
  • Posts: 9
  • Total likes: 2
  • Coaching: 14 & Under
  • Defense: Undecided
  • Offense: Undecided
  • Title: Other
I know this is late but are you using a Split 44 or Regular 4 down lineman version of the 44 defense? Whatever version you use make sure you have the RB covered and watch for any flat or swing passes to the RB.

If they are in 10 Personnel (1 back 0 TE) have Corners play press man on #1 receivers and OLB's or Rovers play press man on #2 receivers and bring the heat!!!

If they are in 11 personnel (1 back 1 TE) Same thing

Keep FS at 12 - 15 yards and let him read QB eyes and make plays. He must be a stud athlete (Next level caliber)!!! No "daddy coach" players

Turn their o line and WR's into liabilities!!! Make the OC regret why he considered the Spread Offense.

Offline Dusty Ol Fart

  • Platinum
  • Posts: 7272
  • Total likes: 730
  • Coaching: 12 & Under
  • Defense: 6-3
  • Offense: Pistol
  • Title: Retired
If and I emphasize IF, you have chosen your OSLB 's wisely in the 4-4, you're already a slight adjustment away from a 4-2-5.   

Just sayin.
Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  :)

Offline defensewins

  • Bronze
  • Posts: 896
  • Total likes: 34
  • Coaching: College
  • Defense: Other
  • Offense: Other
  • Title: Coordinator
Agree with the above re: 44 is 425.  In the most basic sense, change the OLB players to DB's and keep your 44 stuff the same...boom 4-2-5. 

We are a base 3-4/5-2 team that has a predominant Nickel package.  Our nickel is a 4-2-5.  We take the NG out to put in the Nickel DB.  We do it this way for a variety of reasons, most of which is to be sexy with pressures in our nickel package (which at the youth level isn't a prerequisite).  I only mention this to say that there are a LOT of ways to get to things you need.