6-2 Defense for Youth Football

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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

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  1. I just started coaching my sons 6 and 7 year old team and I am noticing that every team runs a 6-2 defense. What is the best way to attack that D. Every team lines their nose guards in both a gaps. While the the tackles play outside shoulder of the offensive tackles in the c gaps. Both ends have outside contain. Every team is protecting against sweeps but I think the 3 and 4 whole will be open. I am going to try to double one nose tackle with the center and guard and put my best lineman on the other nose tackle. My tackle and TE will double the tackle on the side I am running to and kick him out leaving the 3 and 4 whole open. My fullback will have to hit the linebacker and my running back is fast and elusive. I need feedback. Tell me where you see a weakness in this offense against a 6-2. Thanks

    1. I run this defense and the power is probably the most effective play against it. The defense has to adjust to it more than other plays. We played a team this past week that beat us 18-6. They ran powers all day and when i would shut the power down the RB’s would just bounce it outside and turn the corner. Plus our offense lost three fumbles that didn’t help the matter but they ran a dbl wing they would leave the ends alone. The wing playside would hook the LB and the fullback would go to the corner TE and OT dbl teamed my DT play side. So when i started crashing my ends and having me corner come up they would just do a little head fake and bounce it outside. Which we did miss alot of tackles. Also i would watch the ends on the team your playing if their undisplined the reverse works well too.

      1. Coach B,

        Let me know how you’ve adjusted to the pwer being run againt the 6-2. I’ve experienced a similar thing in that the RBs run inside the DE and just bounce the play outside. I’m looking for an adjustment to stop the power.

      2. Consider having your defensive ends read the tight end. In college we would read the foot of the tightend….if he steps out then we keep outside leverage…if the tight end blocks down then have your DE crash down right off the butt of the tight end and take on the powerback disturbing the play. The linebacker will have to be smart enough to understand he no longer has the B gap, but must scrape to replace the DE…simple gap replacement.

      3. I know this is a little late but what we did. We moved are DT to the inside shoulder of the TE as stated above and had him just shoot the gap in which we put more skilled players at this position. also we would keep our corners outside even if there was not a wr split out there. So when they tried to run the power the DT would be there then they would try and bounce outside past our DE then the Corner would come up to force him out of bounds. The corner would not commit in until the RB turned inside. I had to coach them up on this all week every week always reminding
        them and it paid off. Also i added two blitzes which the linebacker would come thru C and DT would crash to B and the DE would sprint as fast as he could to the hip of the deepest back to mess up the play.

      4. I have run the WT6 for 4 years. The adjustments I made to stop the power and the blast inside the DE depended on the formation. If there were no split ends, I would blitz the CBs throught the C gap, This required the DT to crash through he B gap and the LB stayed wider than normal to cover the TE and flat. Putting the LBs wider and the CBs coming hard usually gave me my best players at the problem point of attack. IF the CB had a SE to cover, I used a twist stunt where the DT crashed B and th LB blitzed C. The LB often was unblocked by the TE who followed the DT into the middle of the line and my LB and DE were in position to fight off lead blocks and make the play.

      5. On paper or on the white board the 6-2 appears to be weak against off tackle powers. You MUST have adjustments to counter what an offense THINKS they can do. It is a chess game. All things being equal, sitting there in a base 6-2 will allow teams to run off tackle. If you have superior talent you can probably get away with sitting in base. As a coach it is your job to have an adjustment(s) to a team trying to run the ball down your throat.

  2. I am using a 6-2, but not a wide tackle formatoin, i will try this at our next game, can someone show me some of your stunts.

  3. Can I get some sort of base formation with the WT6 with 8 v 8? Pop Warner Flag states you must have 5 men lined up on the LOS. That could be 3 linemen, 2 WR, 2TE, 5 linemen etc, etc.

    In my experience, not many QB’s cant throw at this age, and I have only had 1 throw against us in 4 games thus far. I would say my QB is the best in the entire assoc. with his arm, but we dont have any hands for him, so we have been sticking with running plays in a modified single wing.

    I was thinking to have just 2 Tackles lined up in the A gaps, 2 DE’s on the outside shoulder of the WR’s/TE’s.

    2 LB’s lined up in the B gaps to cover those holes and 2 CB’s to actually contain and box in the sweep at the deepest point of the backfield with a back.

    Any suggestions from anyone who has used 8v8?

  4. what is the best way to cover the play action when running 6-2. the team we are playing in the playoffs runs a i formaion with spit out wr…they attempt to flood the strong side of the field with the TE and FB.

  5. The 6-2 Defence is a solid youth football defence,very hard to run against. I do like the idea as well of starting the DT’s in a two point stance and at the snap hitting the gaps. Great pressure defence!

  6. Ron,
    I’m not doubting that YOUR inside Veer works for your team. I’m sure you have a very thorough QB that is talented at making quick reads…….however, your leaving the DE free to blow up the play, if your QB read is not quick enough or his pitch off the mark or rushed……..Now at 12/13 yrs old, average players are just beginning to have a high football IQ for reading…….so, with that said, I do believe that 6-2 is still most effective for youth up to about 12 yrs old, in my opinion.

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