Jerry Sandusky - Penn State
Defending the Run & Play-Action Passes
Discussion of various fronts and
Any defense called by a "name"
is a TE oriented Defense.
the defensive strength call goes with the TE.
Basic defensive players fundamentals:
- DT: Will crowd the ball with a three point stance.
The inside foot is back, but the hand down is not relevant.
The DT's must be able to get off and gain leverage. They
must not ever get hooked. They have to be disrupters and need to
be able to penetrate. Do not worry about being trapped.
- DE: Put them where they can take off. Strong end is
staggered with the outside foot forward, slightly tilted in a two point
stance. He wants to create lines by driving across the LOS.
Lead with the inside foot and must not be hooked by the TE.
The weak end is in a three point stance very similar to the
strong end. The ends are the contain players. They will
drive off for the three steps and then force the shoulders square
always keeping the inside foot forward. Getting under control and
decide either to continue contain or pursue.
- ILB: Align according to TE. Depth is about 3-4 yards.
The strong inside backer or simply the Backer will align on the
guard. The weak inside backer or the Wildcat will align in the
G/T gap. The responsibilities will vary dependent upon the call,
but they will always read the triangle of the QB/near back/TE.
- Flow to the strength, the Backer will play the C gap and the
Wildcat will play the A-gap. Flow weak, the B will attack through
the Center and the WC will attack B Gap.
- Versus the trap action get inside of the down blocks, beating
down block from OT.
- Versus the ISO attack and fill the void.
- OLB: Will read the ball. If the ball comes to the LOS
attack recklessly, filling C-Gap. Handle anything and everything
in there. IF it is a lead play, attack and disrupt, bouncing
everything outside. The Willies fills inside the weak end.
- DB: The secondary is dictated by the coverage.
Corners typically align 7-9 yards deep and the Safety is 9-11
yards. Primary coverage in run, safety is support play to
strength. Safety filling alley between the Sam and Strong End.
Base Front is the "Split"
Keeping the same concepts and fits, aligning TE, you can vary the front
In stack the the nose will shade the split end side of
the center. The DT and Ends will stay the same. The B
stacks the Center, giving help to the split end side. Still ready
to fill Strong A-gap. This gives the ILB's a better pre-snap
alignment to help with the Split-end side.
If you are concerned more about the TE side, over may be the front to
call. This bumps the LB's over, move the strong end head up in a
6-technique, using the base responsibilities playing head-up to inside.
He must be able to handle the C-gap. B will need to scrape
outside on run action. WC moves to over the center, the rest of
the front just like Split. Run fits all the same.
If need to get the LB's to the split end side, but keep the front the
same. Can run Under.
If we are concerned with a play which is field-oriented, use numbers to
The 5 front gives a solid front, which cuts down on the run seams,
outside runs. The N is going to be a 0-tech and play as a 2-way
player. Needs to be aggressive. The T/Weak end will align
in a 4-tech. The strong end goes head-up to outside. If he
gets a block down, then close to the inside. Strong end attacks
the TE's down block, keeping him off the LB's. Willie and Sam
have contain. The ILB have D & C gap.
Anytime two numbers are used, the 1st applies to the strong side, and
the second number applies to the weak side.
In "25" the Tackle bumps into a 2 on the strong side, while the weak
side remains in a 5.
This sends help to the weak side. The same as 25 but the ends
adjust to the strength, putting them in better position to contain.
The WC must handle the B-gap on run action to him.
The 1 front is helping by moving the LB's weak. It reduces
everybody inside. The end and willie will play 6-techniques.
Move the weak end into the B gap. WC and Sam will read the
ball and are contain players. Backer stays behind the football
working inside out.
If there is a need to really tighten everything to the inside, you can
call "2." Same as the "1"
front, but brings the WC inside.
Little vulnerable on the outside, but brings some strength to the
The "6" front puts both ends to
the inside eye, if needed you can slide
the N/T to the strength by tagging "Y"
Ends in the base are flying upfield and containing. This creates
a vulnerability to the off-tackle runs. Therefore you can throw
some change up in with line stunts.
"Jugs" = In Jugs,
the Ends will drive the OL inside of
them, through the jugular vein. This will force an exchange of
responsibility with the Sam/Willie to the TE side and with the WC to
the split end side.
"Pinch" = Strong end and willie
take a flat step to beat the TE and get
up into C-gap. The Tackle and End will drive through the
jugular of the OL inside of them (like Jugs). All LBs now play
"Tooth" = T applies to the TE
side. Punch just to the strength.
"Tan" = Tackle And Nose.
The tackle goes through the butt of the
center, then the nose loops behind.
"Eat" = The tackle and end
exchange the responsibilities. End
goes 1st then the tackle. The end drives through through the
outside shoulder of the OT, then the tackle goes flat and outside
shoulder of TE.
"Wacko" = Same as EAT, just to
the weak side with the Willie and weak
Defensive Line Stunts + Linebackers
The Split Gun is a great play to call against the pass or play-action
potential. To the split end side, the End will now go to B-gap.
The N & T will slant to the TE. The OLB to the split
end side has contain. To the TE side, the ILB blitzes straight
upfield. Any backer not going on a blitz is responsible for
Split Rifle is the same play except the ILB to the split end
side is the blitzer. The N/T slant away from the TE and both ends
are upfield for contain. The Sam will charge through the nose of
Some other variation include:
"Stack Storm" This sends
"Over Thunder" This puts
an overload to the TE side. Sam is contain.