Tag Archives: Defense

Defense – Blitz and Stunt Blitzkrieg

Another youth football coach and I were emailing each other recently about the Spin offense and he asked me about what defense I use for my Pee Wee football team.  I told him that we run a 6-2 Wide Defense as our base defense, and we have 20 different blitzes, stunts and adjustments packages.  The coach could not believe we have so many blitzes and stunts. 

My 6th grade little league football team has been together for three years, and we have developed and learned these blitz packages over that time.  In the 6-2 Wide package, the DG have A gaps, DTs have C gaps, DE contain and LBs are responsible for the B gaps.  In the 6-2 tight, the gap responsibilities flip for the LBs and DTs. 

Here’s a quick list of our Blitzkrieg out of these two 6-2 schemes.

  Name Defense Blitz / Stunt Responsibilities
1 Base 6-2 Wide DTs C gap, LBs B gap
2 Rabbit 6-2 Tight DTs B gap, LBs C gap
3 Air 5-2 Pass DG sub for SS, DG to NG
4 Cobra (R/L) 6-2 Wide LB blitz C, DT to B, DG to B
5 Bomber (R/L) 6-2 Wide LB blitz B gap
6 Maniac 6-2 Wide WLB blitz A gap, DG to B
7 Maniac Twins 6-2 Wide Both LBs to A Gaps, DGs to B
8 Tango 6-2 Tight Both LBs Blitz each Sweep Lane, DEs to C/D
9 Double Whopper 6-2 Tight Both LBs Blitz D (strong or weak side call)
10 Crazy 6-2 Wide CB blitz from outside in sweep lanes
11 Crazy Too 6-2 Wide Both CBs Blitz from outside in sweep lanes
12 Snake 6-2 Wide Safety Blitz A Gap
13 Raider 6-2 Wide All out gap blitz except Safety
14 Stack 6-2 Wide LBs stack behind DTs, tap DT butt for blitz hole
15 Jewel Protect 6-2 Tight LBs blitz C Gaps
16 Slant 6-2 D-line slants to call
17 Rover 6-2 WLB blitz gap call
18 Mike 6-2 MLB blitz gap call
19 OK 6-2 Tight DE, CB, WLB blitz D / sweep lane
20 Double Cross 6-2 Tight LBs and DEs flip responsibilities
21 Gap 4 6-2 Wide LB to D, DE to C, DT to B, DG to A
22 Dog Cross 6-2 Wide WLB – A, DG – B, DT – D, DE – C, CB – Contain

We run man coverage and if it is an obvious pass formation and play, the blitz will be called off if the CB or Safety are involved in the blitz call. 

This may seem like a lot.  But I looked over my offense last year and we had 30 plays.  Why should defense be any different?  The kids were able to pick up the defense pretty easy.  But I did learn, that I could not call a double blitz like Crazy Left and Cobra Right.  They were unable to process a double blitz.  I also tried to combine blitzes into one call and they hit overload.  In the blitzes above there is one main blitzer, either the LBs, DEs or DBs.  I am hoping the DT and DG just stuff the line and let my playmakers make the plays.  So, even though this seems like a lot.  I am really hoping the playmaker I move makes the tackle. 

Also, this has worked for us because my players learned that if you do your responsibility in a Blitz you make a huge tackle.  They started telling me what blitzes to run at the end of the season.  And you know, they were right most of the time. 

Also, we do not run all 20 in a game.  Base on our scouting, we will practice and review 5 or so packages.  We also did not install all 20 at once.  We ran 10 of these over the last two years and added more this year.  We installed one or two new blitzes each week based on the scouted offense. 

One of the best memories of this defensive season was when I overheard a coach that we just beat telling a group of other coaches scouting another game that we play sand lot defense.  He said our players were all over the place.  He could not tell what defense we were running.  We had a top 3 defense in our league.   I love it. 

I have written before about expectations.  If you set high expectations or goals you can always move back.  I set high expectations this year and learned the back off point on defense but we still learned more than I really anticipated. 

Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!

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Even Front Defensive Schemes for Youth Football

I finally finished my Defensive playbook for my 5th grade pee wee football team.  After reading and watching Dave Cisar’s Winning Football Series and Coach Reed’s Winning Youth Football book, I focused on the 6-2 Wide, 4-4 Stack and Gap 8 defensive schemes for my 2008 little league tackle team.  I am not going to go into a lot of assignment detail today but here are diagrams of the base defensive formations.

6-2 Wide Defense – Diagram

6-2 wide

 4-4 Stack Defense – Diagram

4-4 base defense

Gap 8 Defense Diagram

Gap 8 Defense

You can see how easy the transition to each even front defense will be for our youth football players.  I plan on using the 6-2 Wide as our main defensive formation.  We will move to the 4-4 on long yardage situations and the GAP 8 or GAM on short yardage situations and or when we are inside the 10 yard line. 

Over the next several weeks, I will outline the assignments for each defense.  If you have any history with these defenses leave me a comment.  Just click on the comments button below this post.  Thanks!

Good luck this season and remember, Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!

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Is Form Tackling Overrated?

I attended a Denver football clinic last year and the speaker, an ex college coach, brought up a very interesting point for youth football coaches.  How many times do you see a perfect form tackle in a high school, college or pro football games?  He proposed not very often, and you know what, I must agree.  I played football for 10 years from 8 years old to 18, and I think I made 10 perfect form tackles.  As an outside Linebacker, I was usually on the run, pushing through blockers and clinging to the runner to pull him down.  How many perfect form tackles have you seen or made?

I must agree that form tackling is overrated.  I think it is great to teach the form tackling technique to protect against neck injuries and how to drive your legs through the player, but most tackles are made spontaneously grabbing any part of the ball carrier to bring him down.  You don’t see a lot of NFL or NCAA players breaking down into a perfect form tackling stance before making the initial hit.  Everything is moving too quick.

So really, tackling is about bringing the ball carrier to the ground for youth football players and all defensive football players.

Good luck this season.  Play for fun and Winning is funner.

 

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Youth Football Tackling Drills

Here a are two youth football tackling drills we use with our pee wee football players to learn tackling fundamentals. 

  1. Tackling Fit & Form Drill
  2. Hug and Hold Drill

On the first day of practice we teach proper tackling with the Fit & Form Drill.  This drill is part of our dynamic warm-ups.  Our two warm-up lines face each other and one line is the a stationary ball carrier and the other line is the tackler.  The tackler performs a proper form tackle on the stationary ball carrier; Bent knees shoulder width apart, bulled neck back (we tell the players their head should be up looking at the player’s numbers not at his feet or his head and never spear with top of helmet), slide helmet to one side of ball carrier with shoulder pads still in numbers while wrapping arms like a bear hug  around thighs, legs or buttocks while driving through the player.   The tackler picks up the ball carrier but does not take him to ground in this warm-up drill.  Each player does this twice; helmet left then right. 

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