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Defensive Formations 3-4 vs. 4-3

#1 User is offline   blk_orion Icon

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 01:43 PM

I remember when we were talking about defensive scheme last here when mangini was first hired and we were alil upset about moving from 4-3 to 3-4 because we were losing a DE and the didn't have the personel to run it.
I used to coach a HS def. line and was thinking about coaching HS down here in fla. Running the 3-4 def. is complicated for the kids(I'm not comparing them to the pros, just saying). I think the 3-4 defense is far more dynamic then the 4-3. A good 3-4 team can play about several styles(read, slant, pinch, reduction,gap) with the same personel. The only disadvantage is finding that strong side drop LB or end who can play run and pass. From my experience most high school teams run a 4-4 or 4-3 because its easier to teach. I love to run the 4-3 or 4-4 box/mirror because each and every1 has some1 on the offensive side to be responsible for. Now to run the 4-4, you have to have speedy LB and athleticism DE etc...but it's doesn't mean that we have to match up or catch up with the other teams' offense. I've always thought that you should stop the run first and then react. Because if you try to match up or keep up, you won't have a chance to get control of the game. You have to eliminate the offense from doing what you can control and take it from there.

And whatever happened to the 5-2? Why aren't any team putting together a good core group to run the 4-4? Should the 4-4 even be taught in HS?
I didn't learn the 4-4 til I started playing semi-pro. Some say you gotta have good personel to run it but if the team's is athletic enough to run it then I say run it.
What are your thoughts?
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#2 User is offline   VILMAmazing51 Icon

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 02:28 PM

We ran the 4-4 in high school and it worked very well. It gave us lots of flexibility with blitz poackages because we could bring any combinationg of 4 linebackers while rushing the front 4 and still have 3 back. It was relatively easy to learn but I had to learn OLB and ILB and bounced back and forth based on situations so it became tougher. Another nice thing we did was have a 5-2 package against heavy running teams which also worked well. I would recommend the 4-4 for high school as I had a great experience with it.

FYI, we used a "bounce to the outside" strategy, the DE's would get inside leverage and bounce the play to the OLB's which in turn would either make the tackle or bounce to the CB"s.....so your corners better be able to hit!

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#3 User is offline   blk_orion Icon

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 04:16 PM

QUOTE (VILMAmazing51 @ Jan 30 2007, 03:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We ran the 4-4 in high school and it worked very well. It gave us lots of flexibility with blitz poackages because we could bring any combinationg of 4 linebackers while rushing the front 4 and still have 3 back. It was relatively easy to learn but I had to learn OLB and ILB and bounced back and forth based on situations so it became tougher. Another nice thing we did was have a 5-2 package against heavy running teams which also worked well. I would recommend the 4-4 for high school as I had a great experience with it.

FYI, we used a "bounce to the outside" strategy, the DE's would get inside leverage and bounce the play to the OLB's which in turn would either make the tackle or bounce to the CB"s.....so your corners better be able to hit!

I've always tell the wrs' and corners to join the track team, anyways the way I'm approaching it is to go back to basic and just focus on our def instead of worrying about other teams' offense. With the cover 2, We will utilize the team to have the opposing offense to worry about our def. Meaning that we WILL MASTER the formation and take away their running game and leave them with nothing to do but pass. The corners will be ready for the picks. I trust them this season coming up.
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#4 User is offline   ganggreen_ewok Icon

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 07:43 PM

QUOTE (VILMAmazing51 @ Jan 30 2007, 02:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We ran the 4-4 in high school and it worked very well. It gave us lots of flexibility with blitz poackages because we could bring any combinationg of 4 linebackers while rushing the front 4 and still have 3 back. It was relatively easy to learn but I had to learn OLB and ILB and bounced back and forth based on situations so it became tougher. Another nice thing we did was have a 5-2 package against heavy running teams which also worked well. I would recommend the 4-4 for high school as I had a great experience with it.

FYI, we used a "bounce to the outside" strategy, the DE's would get inside leverage and bounce the play to the OLB's which in turn would either make the tackle or bounce to the CB"s.....so your corners better be able to hit!


We were 4-3 mainly because we didn't have a fast enough safety (me lol) to roam and back up the two corners who were pretty fast, one all-state kid in Dungy, and another track kid in Carey, but weren't very good corners. I should have played corner I had decent speed and beetr cover skills but our coach was an idiot. Thats the only reason why the probably didn't teach us 4-4

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#5 User is offline   Jetsfan0099 Icon

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 08:34 PM

My team runs a 4-3, but I know of alot of teams that run the 3-4, we call it the 5-2 though. But its basically the 3-4, since their would be 3 linemen down in the stance and 2 Ends standing up. We use the 4-4 and 5-2 to stop the run, if we have trouble doing it, but we usually try to stay with the 4-3, we havent had trouble stopping the run for the last 2 years. We had a dominate defense this year that kept us in games.
Good luck on coaching! I am thinking about coaching one day, if I dont make it through college football and stuff. My first goal is to play as much football as I can. But if I cant, then I want to stay around the game, I love it so much, cant imagin life without it.

I think that the 4-4 and 4-3 are better for highschool though. The 3-4 must be harder to run, I personally playing DE, like being in the stance more then standing up at OLB. Its just easier to come off the line, alot of my teammates agree with me, we played alot of different 3-4 teams, and when I played scout defense since I dont have a offensive postion really, I would play the OLB, or DE to get better.

Though I like the 3-4 more in the NFL, just because you arent relying as much on your front 4 to put the pressure, instead you have LBs coming at the QB, and with 4 plus the secondary you dont know whos coming and whos dropping back, so you have to react quick, because you know someone is coming. And with the NFL, you got people moving so fast, that its hard.
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#6 User is offline   R3dTornado Icon

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 09:09 PM

We ran a 4-4, a 5-3, and a 3-5. Our 4-4 was pretty good, hated practicing against it, but I don't know if it was the scheme or the players we had for it, 3 all-state DT's and one all-state DE
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#7 User is offline   blk_orion Icon

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 03:36 PM

Thanks for your inputs guys. Wanted to hear your thoughts on it.
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