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Friday, June 4, 2010

Youth Football Defensive Contain Responsibility

Defensive Line Fundamentals and Drills Vs the Run

One of the most difficult assignments in football is to contain the offence. That is, prevent the offence from getting outside to the side line, gaining the corner, and sprinting down the side-line. For the most part, a good athletic running back that gains the side-line will probably score the majority of the time as once they are in the open field will use their speed and athleticism to do damage.

The contain responsibility would be the assignment of either the outside linebacker or defensive end depending on your philosophy. My experience at the youth football level is that you will be more successfull assigning an outside linebacker with the contain responsibilty as opposed to the defensive end. A true defensive end would read the play and have both an inside and outside run responsibilty, be able to scrape off his block and contain the outside run. However, these type of players are hard to find at the youth level and once double teamed are ineffective and give up the corner on the outside run play.

I have had more success by using a outside linebacker with primary contain responsibilty and set up the defence so that the defensive ends work in tandem with the outside linebacker to maintain contain . Basically the outside linebacker would align on the line of scrimmage about two yards outside of the offensive tackle and on the snap of the ball would get up field to at least ball depth and turn in any outside runs or roll-outs, once they are disciplined on getting up field the next step would get them to collapse the pocket at ball depth and force the ball carrier to the inside.

I like to align the defensive ends on the outside shoulder of the Offensive tackles and on the snap of the ball they would engage the tackle and control the C gaps while at the same time reading the play in case of an inside run. The outside shoulder alignment gives them the edge on the outside run and by engaging the offensive tackle they can help with the inside run as well.

The offense now has to choose who to double team either the outside linebacker or the defensive end and with the end and outside linebacker working in tandem you should still have solid defence versus the outside run.