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Shifting from a 4-3 to a 3-4 Defense

Ryan Wolf 330-518-3302 ryanwolf14@gmail.com

Advantages of 4-3
Strong against the run Get bigger players involved Can play more base defenses Do not need to blitz to get a good pass rush 2 safeties

Advantages of 3-4
Get more speed on the field Good against the pass Can play lots of blitzing games 2 safeties

Why both????
Most high school coaches face a variety of different offenses throughout the year. Playing both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes gives coaches a better opportunity to matchup scheme wise without creating new defenses week in and week out.

How does it work?


Hardest position is the defensive line Simplify terminology so defenses are consistent in both 4-3 and 3-4 alignments Keep linebackers and safeties balanced Minimize package substitutions

General DL Rules
Nose
Quicker DL preferably a wrestler who is good at running down the line but strong enough to split double teams Lines up to the strength

End
Biggest lineman, must be able to hold B-C gap on off tackle play Lines up to the strength

General DL rules (cont.)


Tackle
Big player but must be quick enough to move inside but also play the edge from a 3 technique Lines up away from the strength

Leo
Kid that can play with his hand on the ground or in space. Ideal basketball type kid Lines up away from strength

Defensive Line
Utilize a number of different fronts
4-3 fronts
Tite Over

3-4 fronts
Okie Ghost

Tite (strength to TE)


Nose
Shade (1 technique)

End
5 technique

Tackle
3 technique

Leo
5 technique (Head up on TE)

Tite (cont.)

TE
L T

Over (strength away from TE)


Nose
Shade (1 Tech) away from TE

End
5 Technique away from TE

Tackle
3 Technique to TE

Leo
5 technique if no TE/6 Technique if TE

Over (cont.)

TE
E N T L

Okie (strength called to TE)


Nose
0 technique on center

End
4 technique

Tackle
4 technique

Leo
Plays 4x2 off tackle or splits difference between end man on LOS and slot receiver

Okie (cont.)

TE
T
L

Ghost
Nose
0 technique

End
4i technique

Tackle
4i technique

Leo
Ghost 9 technique (If slot split the difference)

Ghost (cont.)

TE
L T N E

Movement
Our base defense is an angling defense I want to move my D-Line on every play if possible. Only a few times a game do we not angle and that is usually as a changeup. We are able to move consistently whether we are in a 3-4 or a 4-3 by using consistent terms.

Movement Techniques/Terms
Instead of teaching our players to move to gaps we teach them movement techniques that utilize code words. This way we can line up in a number of different fronts but still keep it simple for the D-Line. No matter where they line up they know their job based on the defense that is called---not the front.

The Terms
We use 4 terms on the defensive line when moving.
Jump Stab Big Stick Shoot

Jump
Jump means angle to the next gap opposite the call (Ringo/Larry) No matter where you are lined up (shade or head up) you angle to the next gap crossing the face of the O-Lineman

Jump (examples)
Larry Call
Tite

TE
L T

N
Over

TE
E N T L

Jump (examples)
Larry Call
Okie

TE
T N
Ghost

L
L T

TE
N E

Stab
Stab means set the edge (C Gap) This is for the Tackle and the End No matter where they are lined up if their responsibility is to stab they need to set the edge

Stab (examples)
Eagle (Larry Call)
Tite

TE
L
Jump

Jump

E Stab

Over

TE
S E
Jump

N
Jump

T Stab

Stab (examples)
Eagle (Larry Call)
Okie

TE
L
T N
Ghost

E Stab

TE
L T N E
Stab

Big Stick
Player angles two gaps Good for zone blitzes Depending on blitz any D-Lineman can do this

Big Stick (examples)


Tite Bama

TE
L
Big Stick Big Stick

Jump

E Stab

Over Florida

TE
S E
Big Stick

N
Jump

T Stab

Big Stick (examples)

Okie Bama

TE
L T Big Stick N E Stab

Shoot
Player shoots the gap he is lined up in If lined head up player posts up and plays two gaps Rarely use this technique. Usually only use it on certain inside blitzes.

Shoot (examples)
Tite

TE
L
Shoot

Shoot

E Stab

Over

TE
S E
Stab

N
Shoot

T Shoot

Shoot (examples)
Okie

TE
L
T N
Ghost

TE
L T N E

Bringing it all together


The line is the hardest part when switching between the two. The blitzes and coverage's do not change whether you are in a 4-3 or 3-4 set for the back end players.