6-2 Defense – Coaching Youth Football

My 4th grade pee wee football team ran variations of the 6-2 defense last season.   To be honest, we should have stuck to our 7 Man Front Eagle Defense variation.  But, my new defensive coordinator wanted to try the 6-2, and he had not heard of the Eagle 7, so we gave the 6-2 defense a shot.  In most situations it works, but for teams that figured out our “C” gap was weak, we had to rely on our offense to score points.  A double lead block run to the C gap with a guard trap on the D-End will kill you in a 6-2.  We had a very tough time defending this play in our 6-2.  Our two losses last season, both by 8 points or less, were from two teams that attacked our “C” gap.  Below is our 6-2 Base Defense.

6-2 Defense – Base

6-2 Defense

To address our C gap weakness, we would move into a 6-2 Wide defensive formation, which moved the two linebackers into the C gaps.  See below.

6-2 Wide Defense

6-2 Wide Defense

I probably should have moved the D-tackles wider also to stunt the C Gap.  But, I moved back into our Eagle 7 Defense, which plugged the strong C Gap hole with a big D-Tackle.

There are many types of blitzes you can run out of the 6-2 Defense with Linebackers and Defensive backs.  I ran mainly LB /Lineman stack cross blitzes to the gaps or a Corner blitz to one side. I would also occasionally Blitz the safety up the middle.

I am not going to run the 6-2 defense in 2008.  I am sticking with my Eagle 7 variations and testing out the Gap Air Mirror Defense for short yardage situations.

Coach Wade at his website has some great info on the 6-2.  You may want to visit his website.

Good Luck this season.

Update 2016

Check out my new defense the 62 Multi 8 Youth Football Defense in this free youth football coaching video.

Or the the blog post https://coachparker.org/2016/05/18/62-multi-8-youth-football-defense/

Play for Fun and Winning is Funner,
Coach Parker
Keller, TX



Filed under Defense

15 responses to “6-2 Defense – Coaching Youth Football

  1. Coach Bubba Savage

    It is funny how the skill level is even more advanced @ the 9-10 tear old level. I’m talking about it is not about just stopping the run anymore. These guys are passing as much as running. I found myself having go to the 5-2 with a strong safety. 2 corners and a FS I found once an athletic team gets beyond the 6-2 aligment a juke here and a juke there it is a quick 6 for the for your opponenet. Once you get your team to recognize the strong side it just goes to show you those first 2 weeks of shirts shorts and helments are a crucial time for conditioning and learning. What do you guys thinkK
    Coach Bubba Savage Nederland TX

  2. dave

    The secret to a succesful 6-2 Defense, in my opinion, is to do what most coaches refuse to do…put your BEST two players at DE. If you don’t do this, and you do what most coaches actually do, which is put their best players at LB, you will get murdered off tackle. I realize that it may not seem to make sense, but it is true. I have run this before, as a twist to my normal Defense. I put the two best stud players on the team at both DEs. They would come upfield, fast and fearless, keeping outside shoulder free, and smother the offense. The blocking back had to be Superman to stop these guys. It was impossible to kick them out for the off tackle. Do not confuse this with crashing the ends. Go upfield fast, depth of the ball….then SMOTHER them. I saw a video of the 1950 Tennessee Volunteers, and I could not get over how their Ends got upfield and smothered every play from outside in. It was done in a 6-2 Defense. I tried it, and dominated the last three games of that season, allowing NO first downs. You have to throw caution to the wind and put the BEST two players at DE… When I coach against a 6-2, done the normal way…ie, best two at LB, with not so great DEs, I will generally have them under mercy rule by the third quarter.

    • Anonymous

      I have been coaching 9-12 year olds for 11 seasons, absolutley agree 100%. You have got to maintain outside containment or else your toast. I ran a 5-2 split defense with my kids. Biggest lineman head up center. DE’s Are my fastest best athletes on the field. Safety is usually my second best athlete. the rest just need to know how to hit and lock up.

  3. A very hard defence to run against. The only downfall is that if they do break through they usually get big yards. Therefore, it has to be a pressure defence, lots of blitz and stunts, to pressure the offence into making mistakes, can’t sit back with this type of defence.

  4. alex

    I also run the 6-2 & it’s great. If you have athletic de’s who can play multiple positions you’ll be alright(lb’s & db’s). Depending on the offensive alignment it will determine your de’s position’s. Run support (lb) or pass coverage (db).needless to say my de’s get a lot of rep’s at practice. I always play zone so your de’s have to be very smart & athletic.

  5. Anonymous

    We ran this defense last year with some success but as some have said I think you have to put your best athletes at the DE position because outside containment is most important and most team run outside. I coach in a 7-8 year old league and was thinking about lining up my DT heads up with the OT. I found that last year when we put them in the B gap and the OT would just dive into the gap at the snap.
    Now that did clog up the B gap but most team run outside and the DT were pretty good athletes, so that took them out of the play. What I want to do this year is line them heads up and either call B gap or C gap and have the LB take the other gap responsibilty that will make the OT at least have to play honest. If you see a flaw in this plan would you please respond thank you.

  6. birdsta1

    I want to run this defense but with a twist, I want to line my DTs headsup with the OTs. I would call C gap or B gap which tells the DT which gap to go to. I will line the LBs right behind them and they would have resposibility of the other gap. When we ran this last year the DTs lined up in the B gap so at the snap the OTs just dived into the gap causing a logjam. This would be ok but on the 7-8 year old level most of the plays were outside and our DTs were athletic so it would take them out of the play. I think this would keep the OTs honest and you could always blitz LBs off this and posibly have the DT and the LB come free if the OTs are confused. If anyone sees a weakness to this please respond. Thanks

    • I run this sometimes as a stunt call – “Stack” You can also run the 6-2 wide tackle which puts the DT on inside of TE and they stunt through C and LBs have B gaps.

      • Hey, coach we had scrimmage this week and the defense performed well. I want to install that “stack” stunt would you let me know how it worked for you when you used it. I would imagine the it confused the heck out of the oline.

      • love the stack, we have it as a blitz call

      • birdsta1

        Hey coach, would you let me know how that “stack” stunt worked for you. I’d imagine you confused the heck out of the oline.

      • We used a typical 4-4 stack or by moving the two inside backers to stack over the A gappers, tackles or DE. Yes this works great to confuse the oline.

  7. Shamar Bryant

    Hello this is my second year as an defensive coordinator. And I’ve been looking on different websites trying to figure out the right type of defense to run this year for my team. My boys are ages 10-12 I was considering the 5-3 defense. But I see that the 6-2 defense is the most common defense now. But I also see that you were talking about the Eagle 7 defense. I’ve never heard of that defense and maybe you can email me explaining more about it. Thanks.

    • So I run the 70 Eagle like a 7-4 or a 9-2. Bascially you have two strong safty LBs in the middle and two CBs wide and almost on the line.


  8. Ron

    I prefer to coach the offensive side of the ball and have been coaching youth football since 1992. As far as defensive schemes, you have to keep them simple because it is youth football. Most leagues have a MMP rule so you have to figure out where to play these kids. I would pick a scheme with 8 players in “the box”. However, in todays football, and youth coaches watching TV, going on the internet, imitating HS, etc…, your scheme has to be able to adjust to a spread, pistol, and or option offense. I like the 4-4 split defense. But i have some major issues when i coach it to youth players. First, MMP. I put them a DT’s with them head up on the guards. We try to teach them how to run stunts with the inside LB’s. To me, this is the best position to put them in because they are not playing in space. I also try not to put 2 MMP in at the same time. If team has a TE, them our SAM LB will play him on the inside shade, bump him with his outside arm and take away the C GAP or the off tackle play. If a team has 2 TE’s, the our SARA LB will do the same on the weak side of the offense. If they have no TE”s, then these OLB’s will play 3 yds off the line of scrimmage out side of the DE’s. They are my best players. Then my CB’s. Then my inside LB”s. Our theory is we don’t want you running wide. We want to stop the sweep, reverse, bootleg, etc… We know must youth teams can’t run inside competently.And their coaches usually don’t have the patience to attack a defense interior. The next play we want to stop is your off tackle play. That is why we put these players in this technique when we see a TE. If the players get injured we put our CB’s in the OLB position and would move our starting FS to the strong corner and the back up to the weak. Our inside LB’s are good players but they are not my “best” players. And our DE’s are on “air” when they have a TE to their side. So they don’t have to be the best player. They just have do be disciplined. If they don’t have a TE to their side, then they have the “best” players outside of them just in case some runner breaks contain. My point is injuries will hurt any defense. But the 4-4 split, based off of JOE ROMANS book adjust better to any offense we see. Finally, we teach cover 3 and man. If you can beat us passing, then I take my hat off to you because most youth teams don’t pass really well. This is the defense that i was trying to show our rookie DC last season. I am glad our HC said that this is what we are going to run this season. I almost forgot, the wedge play will hurt this defense. I think the wedge play will hurt almost all youth defenses for that matter. It is a good thing that we run it and our opponents do not.

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