Winning Youth Football

Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays

Friday, February 26, 2010

The 6-2 Defence

If you want to have a solid run stopping defence one of my favourites is the 6-2 defence. This defence puts 8 men in the box and with outside linebackers gives you good contain. For youth programs that face teams that like to run the football the majority of the time, it's the defence you' want to play.

The defence is basically designed to pressure the offence into making mistakes by filtering the running back into the middle where you have lots of help to stop the run. Basically to sum it up, you coach your two outside linebackers to line up about two yards from the outside shoulder of the OT. On the snap of the ball they explode straight up field about 5 yards or to ball depth, their job is to contain and force the running back to cut back inside. Your two DTs line up in the A gaps and are coached up to shoot the gap hard on the snap of the ball. By doing this they pressure the center and two guards to stay in and block which means you have two of your defensive linemen occupying three of their offensive linemen.

That's a good trade off!

Your two DE's will align straight up on the OT's in a three point stance and on the snap of the ball will play two-gap responsibility, jam the OT, read and rip to ball side. The defence is set-up to protect your two middle linebackers which means they are able to flow to the ball and punish the running back. I like the secondary to play man to man and read their receiver. If they release cover them, if they stay in and block step up for run support.

This defence gives you solid inside protection against the run, as well as good contain.

The problem with this defence is that you are vulnerable to give up the big play from time to time. If they do bust through the Line of Scrimmage it's usually for a big gain. Excellent defence to run against teams that like to zone block.



One of the most frustrating things to deal with as a coach is poor officiating. Things can unravel pretty fast when the officials are having a bad game. A big gain can be nullified; a score can be called back, non-infractions called infractions, non-calls turning into points for the other team, player and coach ejections.

At some point, we've all seen it!

I have come to the conclusion that referee's are like our players. There are days when they look great and days when they are going to miss calls and look terrible. There are poor officials and officials who are outstanding. Same as coaches.

But what do you do when you get poor officiating?

My experience has taught me to roll with the punches. To be patient, and to try and make your point as quietly as you can without embarrassing the official or yourself. Remember, your players will look to you to be rock solid when things go bad. Yelling at the official doesn't help. I must admit I was at one time one to let the officials know what I thought! I learned the hard way that they will soon let you know who's in control! You'll never win that battle!

A few tips that have helped me over the years:

Try to make your point with the official by using your captains to question, politely, of course, their call or non call. Or, perhaps after a score when the official lines up in between the benches for the kick-off you can quietly ask him whether or not he saw an infraction that you felt led to the score against. If not, ask him to please watch next time. Don't publicly embarrass them!

I was told by an official that screaming and yelling is a sign of the coach not understanding the game or as last resort when things are not going well, blame the officials. Use the linesman to your advantage; he's always in front of your bench. Ask him to watch a certain player or play or to relay your message to the Head Official for them to discuss at half-time.

Attend an officials Rules meeting and get into some discussions on interpretation. Most leagues have these meetings. Attend and build respect. You'll find that you'll get this respect back especially on the playing field during game day. Question the calls based on good knowledge of the rules. Don't grasp at straws and vaguely only know. Know the rule inside and out! I always am flipping through the rule book.

Once you get the reputation within the officials circle as being knowledgeable and under control I find they communicate, approach the bench more, and are more willing to engage you in discussion through-out the game.