I’ve been writing a Spread Offense book over the last several months, The Wildcat Multi Spread Offense; A Youth Football Running Spread Playbook. During my research I keep thinking about how to attack the outside and Spread the Defenses, since the Sweep and Sweep Option Pass are the main plays in the original TCU Spread playbook by Coach Dutch Meyer.
I started drawing up Defenses and looked over my defense the 62 Multi 8 Youth Football Defense and started analyzing where youth football coaches hide their weakest talent and put their stud defensive players. I then started asking other youth football coaches and the chart below is what I developed to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of a typical youth football defense. And yes, this is somewhat biased to a more recreational youth football league vs Select league. But, I do find running left is very successful with most pee wee football Offenses; Select or Rec.
Yes, I understand better and more experienced little league youth football coaches will adjust to your offense via their scouting report, but you will be surprised how many teams will not adjust via scouting report or during the actual game. Don’t say NO before you try it. I win a ton of games running left and attacking weaker areas.
So what I found is that pee wee defenses are usually manned by mostly stud defensive players at the inside linebacker positions and defensive ends / OLBs. On the chart above you can see these players in Red. One of the linebackers might be just average and or definitely weaker than the other ILB, so I have one in Yellow. These linebacker type player positions are usually the best tacklers on the team. You must find a way to block these studs or run away from them and or use misdirection to catch them over pursuing which they will do at younger ages. These guys usually want to hit on each play so misdirection works on them more than average.
I personally like my DTs to be studs since many teams love to run off-tackle plays so these big tackles are usually pretty good players. I personally like to find big basketball players for DTs. I have one Red and one Yellow in the chart above. Many youth football coaching books suggest putting weaker players in the A Gaps. So you will see many teams put their Minimum Play Players / MPPs in the A Gaps, especially early in the game to get their plays out of the way. I also do this a lot but try to always have one good player there too. For this example I have two weak players there that are Green which I find most teams will do in the first and third quarters.
The defensive backs can be a bit tricky. Many times the 2 cornerbacks will be weak since you have Stud OLBs/DEs playing contain. The CBs are just out there for a backup contain man hoping to scare the RB to the inside. I really do not block most youth football cornerbacks and tell my running backs you must beat the CBs. Every now and then you will find a stud CB and that can be a tougher game. Many teams will also hide a MPP or weaker player at Safety so there is little threat there. Most younger teams do not pass so sometimes this player turns into a Rover / Monster Defender but many times still below average talent. So in the chart above I made 2 DBs Green and one Yellow.
So many times on a youth football defense, especially in rec, you will get 4 studs and 3 or 4 average players and 3 or 4 weak players if not more. Many times coaches will stack the right side of the offense and or the wide side of the field with their top players. You can use this to your advantage. Many times we find the left side is weaker or possibly the short boundary side depending on the team’s defensive philosophy.
Here is a video I published on Youtube that goes over more in depth info for common youth football defenses like the 62 Wide Tackle, 5-3, 70 Diamond and Gap 8 Defense.
I hope this Defensive player position analysis will help your Offense get more first downs, score more TDs and ultimately more wins. Let me know what you see regarding youth football Defenses. I would love to hear your feedback. Please use comment field below.
Remember, Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!