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. How many solid athletes does this defense require? I think at 6-8 years old it’s easier to hide your weaker players in the 53 without giving up the outside.

  2. 6-2 wide tackle worked in junior high level for 30 plus years. Coach Jack Perry (now in national high school hall of fame0 ran this. Some replies indicated hiding weak player at DT. Coach Perry stressed that the DT’s have to win their battle (crash the outside shoulder of OT). Great advise above to read the TE first movement. We countered the power play with this very thing in a championship game as a half time adjustment.

  3. I have been using this defense for years on my pee wee team. I tend to put my 2nd and 3rd best tacklers at cornerbacks to stop sweeps. Then I use my stud player at FS and bring him 1 step behind the linebackers and tell just find the ball and hit it. It is basically a rover position for me. The guards are only there to clog the middle so I can put my weaker players there. Just make sure they don’t stand up and fire in low and they will clog the middle all day. I don’t send my tackles through the c gap. I have the stand the offensive tackle up and fall into the b gap or c gap depending on which hole the ball goes through.

    1. I have never been fortunate enough to have DTs that I could trust with 2-gap responsibilities. If I line them up head up they almost always get so involved hand fighting with the OT that they lose track of the ball. I have had much better success having my DT try to penetrate a single gap. Perhaps it is that my kids are almost always smaller than those from the surrounding communities.

      1. From the first day of practice we do drills to be able to cover 2 gaps. It is my number 1 drill. By half time most teams give up running up the middle then I can put the guards in B and the tackles can now attack the C gaps.

      2. If I cant find 2 good tackles then I will train the 1 that I trust and make him the wide side DT and have my other one be the short side DT. I will also have a short side DE and wide side DE. This keeps my 2 best lineman on the wide side because most youth coaches tend to run to the wide side of the field

  4. This is my first year coaching and i am going to run a 6-2 defense. How do i work with my ends and my corners on staying put?

    1. we run two contain pod drills side by side a ton in practice and watch backside contain of the DE and CB. If bakside DE and CB chase then we have them run or do 10/20/25 up and downs. Its reps over and over and a little punishment motivation of they chase play side. Same thing with the play side DE crashing. He must stay in the sweep lane and not crash.

      here’s the link to contain pod..

      Coach Parker

  5. I really have a good team this. I just need to work with jkids on playing there gap and getting a little more aggressive. We are from El Paso. TX and we are taking the gold this year. N.E Miners Rule EPT

  6. I have to admit the 6-2 is a great defense for youth football. I actually dont bother having a safety most of the time. I just use the S as a middle linebacker playing 1 step behind the Outside LBs. I crash my ends or having then read when I think a team my be good a screen plays but that is rare.

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