6-2 Defense for Youth Football

After being focused on offense the last two seasons and reading Football Principals and Play by David Nelson, I assigned myself the Defensive Coordinator role this season, so I would focus my efforts on Defense for my tackle pee wee football team.  Coach Nelson is right, if your opponent doesn’t score, you can’t lose.  And as many youth football coaches have learned, defense is easier to teach than offense.  My goal is to go undefeated this season, by implementing a sound defensive strategy.  We had a top 6 defense last year in our league based on total points allowed, but I want to be number one this season.

This off season I have read several books on defense, Coaching Youth Football by Reed, Football Principals and Play, Winning Youth Footballby Cisar, The Complete Guide to Installing the 44 Split Defenseby Roman and countless articles in American Football Monthly and youth football websites.  After much research, I am going to use the 6-2 Wide tackle defense as my base youth defensive formation.  I ran this last year as a variation to my base 6-2, but after reading and watching Coach Cisar’s book and video, I think the 6-2 wide tackle should be my base and move to a 6-2 Tight formation in short yardage situations.   The 6-2 is also easy to move into 4-4 and Gap 8 Defensive formations for pass and Goal line situations.

In my new 6-2 base defense, the defensive tackles will align in the C Gap just inside the Tight Ends shoulder pads.  This will give the D-tackle a great attack angle to beat the O-tackle into the C Gap.  I want the D-tackle to blow past the offensive tackle and be behind the O-tackle before the play develops.  I am thinking about using skill players as d-tackles upright in a two point stance to take advantage of their quickness.  Most youth offensive lineman will stand straight up before moving forward to block, so we should be by them as they are standing straight up to block air.  Since most youth offenses run Gap On Down or Angle blocking schemes this might give us advantage to bull rush the gap, because the O-tackle should be worrying about the B Gap.  We should be past the Tight end before he can get an angle block on us to the inside and thus free up our D-End for contain.  Yes, this will put a lot of pressure on my two linebackers in the B gap, but I have two very strong LBs.  Plus I am hoping the D-tackles can make B gap tackles if they are able to blow into the C Gap and scrape down for B Gap runs.   Here’s what it will look like.

6-2 Base Defense – Wide Tackle

Wide Tackle 62

So what do you think?  Let me know.  Have a great season!

Update 6/7/16

Check out my new video on the 62 Defense that I run.

For all my videos check out http://www.youtube.com/c/StephenParker



Filed under Defense

76 responses to “6-2 Defense for Youth Football

  1. j

    we are 5-1 and will be playing a team who beat us once already. they are bigger and faster than we are. they run outside, outside and outside and once in a blue moon in between the tackles. most of it is shotgun motion trips right or left and/or twins right or left hand it off or keep it. what kinda d should we run. we ran a 4-4 last time and every now and then a 3 3 5. played a triangle off the ends and the ends shot out/ it worked but we had some injuries and had to change.

    • Chris

      go 5-3 with a corner in the flats on one side and a linebacker in the flats on the other; 2 safeties over the top . the safety and corner are your force outside-in guys.

  2. Don

    I too use the wide tackle 6 and use my two guards to bear crawl the a gap until the ref told me that was illegal that they had to make contact above the knees first and then could bearcrawl. Has anyone run into this? We play under NYS HS rules.

    • We are in Texas and have not seen this yet. Maybe in the NY rules. I thought this might be coming on defense soon.

      Coach Parker

    • PeteNM

      As I read the rules, in the free blocking zone virtually anything goes. We teach our OL to crab block/cut block bigger opponents and the refs say that it is legal as long as both the OL and DL start out between the tackles. This should apply to nose guards as well. We did have a LB called for an illegal block below the waist when he went low on a lead blocker and caused a pile in the hole.

  3. Anonymous

    We play our inside down tackles (NGs) head up on the OGs. They crash the A gaps. Our Tackles are head up on the OTs and crash the B gaps. The Ends are strictly contain. The LBs read flow and fill C gaps if needed. We usually use our best LB to spy the premier back. We play Man Press on the outsides with our Corners and Safety is over the top and reads QB shoulders. When facing the spread, we play Cover 3 with Ends in the flats and LBs dropping and reading. We then use a weak side call to (x) or twist rush the QB. We do this by having the Inside Tackle cross the face of the guard and attack the B gap. The Tackle then comes off the butt of the Inside Tackle and attacks the A gap. This usually causes confusion on the Offensive Line. Our weaker of the LBs will blitz strong side B gap just to add pressure. Hope this helps you guys.

    Coach S

  4. indio007

    We played the 6-2 spread. A little different than the diagram. DT in the B gaps . Linebackers over the C gaps.Corners are good open field 1v1 tacklers, Safety 10 yards off the ball. We go into double containment with one or both LB or Cb’s depending on formation and spot of the ball.
    DE and LB discipline is the key. If he has a bad game so will the defense.

    Gave up 3 offensive TD’s. Went 6 games without giving up a first down.

    The weakness is to figure out which side has the weaker players and run right at the DE/LB combo and brute force them and wear them down with a fast pace. You just keep hitting them from different angles using TE /Double Tight End/ Power I alternating between off-tackle and off-end (not a sweep)

    It makes for a long drive and a ball control type game but it’s better than losing.

    You can pass your way out with an exceptional QB and inside slants but that isn’t realistic for most teams.

  5. 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

    • coach w

      We run our Defense just like that, gap assignments for the g,t’s and lb’s.
      Line your line head up or in a gap, give them a gap assignment and blitz opposite gap , say have g’s both lineup on and shoot “a” gap and have tackles go outside shoulder of tackle for c gap and blitz your two lb’s in b gap, ends must contain and yourguards have to explode thru the center taking 3 players to block 2. You can also reverse that blitz shooting your line all outside and lb’s inside a gap, again ends must contain and corners stay home as well. We even bring safety down in mike position and position our mlb now over center and either crash the center or loop him in a gap to either side by using gap assignments on this, works great.

  6. alex

    First year head coach, looking around for a sound d what do you think about gap-8? Or the 63?14-16yr olds With little Football knowledge .all the d’s i read about sound good in on paper, but so those communism.-

  7. Mario

    Our league dosen’t allow you to line up over the center or rush the “A”gap to protect the center. What kind of alignment do you suggest?

  8. Regan

    This Defense sounds great and something I would like to implement at the 5th grade level this year. Could you send me the link on the book and/or video for this Defense? I’m deciding whether 6-2 or gap8 is the best choice and I would really like to read the book and watch the video to see how to implement this. I like how this would stop the sweep and allow for a number of stunts with your LBs, FS, and Guards.

    Did you find that your FS was really just an extra LB playing up at LB depth. I don’t see many teams pass and if they do it is quick passes no more than 10 yards to TE.

    • Just search Google for 6-2 defense, there is a ton of information on the 6-2. I use Gap 8 for Goal line. As far as the safety, unless its a clear passing team they either play as a MLB or I will put in a noseguard and move the A gappers to B gaps, basically in a 70 defense; 2 corners and two SS / LBs.

  9. Coach D

    The 6 – 2 Wide is a great defense. I changed it around a little. I coach 7 and 8 year olds. My two guards bear crawl the a A gap. Their first priority is to beat the center/guard and stop the QB. These are my weakest players. The tackles line up in the C gap. His responsiblity is to push the OT into the B gap causing a 9 kid pile up right in the middle. These are my strongest players. My DE and CB keep containment. These are my best tacklers. My LB clean up any and everything that happens to get through the middle or to the outside. These are my smartest and fastest athletes. My S is a rover position. He lines up to either side of the LB depending on the heavy formation. There is not much passing at this age. But our CB can cover if needed.

  10. Coach Marchal Junior B' level (11-12 year olds)

    Hey Coach,
    Your idea for DT’s to be in c gap with your best athletic linemen is sound. We play ours down in the c gap and attack the outside shoulder of OT trying to close the b gap with the OT. Obviously this takes a very strong player. If your DT’s win this battle there is no offense that will beat you.The hardest offense to stop is I formation power off tackle. The only team that had any success against us would dbl down on our DT with TE, kick our end out with F, and use wing to get LB. We countered this by crashing the end hard to meet FB just behind c gap. CB (OLB for us because we really are in 6-4-1) becomes contain for the bounce. we cheated safety to strongside for a second level outside contain. Note! LB’s are free when they run this. Bottom line you’ll have know real worries against run if DT’s win their battle. I learned this defense from a national high school hall of fame coach Jack Perry. He put our best players at DT with great success.

  11. Coach Bryan

    Guards in gap between center and og, DTS man up over ot, des shade out and in space on weak side, lbs, behind DEs, safety up to 5 yds behind lbs and in middle, CBS on wides and hold contain. Works very well in u10. The NGs take outside shoulder of center and rush up to QB.

  12. Brent ploetz

    I was thinking the very same thing you have here but instead using a monster back to shadow the offenses best player. I would like your thoughts. I like the idea of blowing up the play before it starts while containing the outside.

    • Ron

      I have not responded to this board in a while. And youth football in central NJ has changed a lot. First of all i am the oc of a jr peewee team and we are now running the single wing. We won our division going 5-3. But the 3 losses came from teams that ran a zone read pistol offense. And we played a gam. I told the head coach and dc that it is unsound to run a man scheme against a competent option team. He now believes me as we lost the game in the first round of the playoffs. What i am getting at is whether it a 6-2 , 5-3, gam,4-4,etc… if u only teach a man scheme against a zone read option, you might be in a little trouble. The team who beat us could throw really well for a jr peewee team and to add insult to injury ran a no huddle offense. They would run trips to one side and the run the zone read away from the trips. The dc wants to run dave cisar’s wt 6. However, in my humble opinion, i think that we will have to teach at least a cover 3 zone.

      • I run a 5-2 Monster against spread formations. With my 5th grade and above teams we run a multiple defense shifting from 6-2 WT to a 3-3 stack, Gap 8, 6-2 tight, and a the 5-2 Monster depending on formation and game situations. Because just one defensive scheme never works. I still prefer man coverage with a safety over the top or maybe 2 if really good passing team. Your pass rush is the best coverage though. Get after the qb.

  13. How to score on a 11 in the box defense

  14. Ryan

    We destroyed this defense running double wing power traps, with wide splits this year. It has vexxed me for two seasons and I finally found the kryptonite for it. By running wide splits the C gap DTs widen with your line creating more space for your FB to kick him out. The DE is playing contain so you can leave him alone or use your playside WB to control him. You TE and OT are free to attack the LBs. Scored 35 pts on a team that beat us in the regular season 13-7.

    • Barry Birdwell

      The way I would adjust to this is to have defensive tackle crash the “B” gap and have the defensive end crash the “C” gap with the cornerback now I having outside containment.

  15. Ron

    I agree with you steve. As a youth coach we want to have a simple defensive scheme, however as you get into the playoffs and the competition gets harder, you might want another scheme. And i know, this is easier said than done when it comes jr peewees. Youth coaches seem to watch a lot of TV and want to run what they see on saturday. I still can’t believe that youth football is now running spread offenses and some are doing well with it. The key question is can they run this every year. I hope not. At least not when our team is on defense!

  16. Milk

    Tips for a guy just starting out? My son is starting his first season and I’m going to be coaching. All first season players, tips would be appreciated.

  17. Coach Ron

    Hi great video of your version of the wt6. We run the wt6 as well. We only use 3 fronts and 3 coverages. Cover zero cover 2 and cover 3. We have 5 stunts.

  18. Coach C

    Use this Defense for 3 year its the real deal !

  19. CoachD

    Used a similar set. Used 4 down linemen. DTs lined head up over the guards as I had them either attacking man up or to either gap. Primarily attacking A gap to clog middle. My DEs lined up outside of OTs primarily in a 9 tech crashing down. My two OLBs were usually the most athletic and football smart kids on the team that can split out and cover a slot. Able to run stunts with the DEs and OLBs that the kids really enjoyed doing.

    If the offense shows an unbalanced line we shift the line to that side and run a slant towards that side with our backside OLB and CB playing contain incase of a reverse, bootleg or counter. At one point and time our defense scored more than our offense did and teams had VERY little success running outside or inside on our line.

  20. Bill Riley

    I love the defense and was wondering if you could send me a printable copy of all the 6-2 formations so I can use them in my play book for my Junior Migget team in Greene county pop Warner NY.

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