Are you lining up just to line up in a kooky front, or are you legitimately trying to defend the gaps by the alignment of the offensive players?
......defend each element of the offense first.
First thing they present is a formation.....if you already outflank yourself based on the offensive formation, how realistic is your defensive concept for that play?
Defend the formation (what are the vertical threats of the formation?) with a coverage.
it's as simple as....
B.Run support (force & alley)
C.run support gap fits
I have seen way too many coaches holler and scream at their players...but the fact is, they have assigned 3-4 different assignments to a player (there is no realistic way that player could be right all the time).40 technique linebackers that are supposed to play flat....Cover 3 corners who are supposed to be primary run force AND deep 1/3 safeties.All 11 players have to tie-in together ............realistically.
What do I want to do?
- 8 man front (because most conferences are dominated by the run)
- strong side load (play cover 2 strong...because most teams run to the TE the majority of the time)
- use the weak OLB as my deep 1/2 safety to keep the reads / alignment consistent for that SOLB -- and keep the FS oriented to the TE side/key
It just happens that everything I want to do from a coverage standpoint (and the fact that I prefer a 4 down rushers) equates to the 42. ( or whatever you call it.....have no problem doing the same out of a 3 man front...and run exactly the same thing).
Also, last caveat, I am a former college DL......I do not get off on this 'philosophy' because it is my comfort zone...but because it is the tried-and-true acid test for a Team Defense.
What kind of defense you 'really' are is what is your base coverage?
44, 42, 43, 52, 53, 61, 62, 33, 34, 35, 18, 551, whatever....you've got 11 guys on defense (12 if you're lucky) and you're playing a coverage.
Coverage determines your run support, which determines your front......finito.
I equate it to;
- A tortilla filled with beef and cheese open faced = Taco
- A tortilla filled with beef and cheese and rolled = burrito
- A tortilla filled with beef and cheese, rolled and covered with chile sauce = enchilada
- A tortilla filled with beef and cheese that is fried = chimichanga
- A tortilla filled with beef and cheese that is fried, baked inside a pizza, wrapped with bacon and smothered in gravy, and served with four shots of Jagermeister = 42 Defense
Call it whatever you want, but you end up with essentially the same things (depending on your coverage)