“Bronco Nation”

44 Stack Defense
1
Table of Contents



Player Personal in the 4-4 Stack

page 2



44 Stack Numbering System and Stunts

page 3



Defens...
Player Personal in the 4-4 Stack
Defensive Ends





should be the best athletes
main requirements are toughness and a...
Quick review to help in the placement of personnel:
1. Get as much speed in the lineup as possible.
2. Look for aggressive...
Defensive Fronts
“Stack” Front

“Over” Front

C

DE T

T

DE

W

L

T

DE

R

S

C

C

S

R

T

DE

C

C

W

L

FS

FS

“P...
Defensive Fronts
“Double Eagle” Front

W DE T

T

L

“65 Goal Line” Front (inside 5 yard line)

R

C

DE S

C

W
C

T DE S...
Basic Responsibilities by Position
Defensive Line
Defensive linemen are charged with establishing a push to force the offe...
Basic Alignment Rules
Overview
After the shift on quarterback’s second syllable of cadence, the defense will adjust their ...
“Always” Rules for Alignment
The following rules are always in effect:
1. The strong side defensive end will always align ...
Blitz Package
Overview
Each defensive player is responsible for learning only two gap assignments: his “base” assignment a...






Slant Stunt
o This is an excellent way to keep the offensive tackles or center off our linebackers.
o Front four ...
Combo Blitz Package


In this blitz scheme we tell the linebackers where we want them to go by simply tagging the blitz w...
Line Stunts
“Pinch” Call

“Fan” Call

C

C

DE T

T

DE

C
L

W

R

T

T

DE

L

DE

C

R

S

C

S

W

FS

FS

“Twist” Cal...
“Double Loop”

C

DE

C
W

T

L

DE

R

T

S

C

FS

14
Coverages
Overview
Each coverage assignment is designed to be as simple as possible and remain flexible. Coverages are gen...
Zone Coverage
Zone defenders are given both a man key to follow and a zone to cover. In all cases, the man key is the
offe...
(Cover 1): Man (Free) Coverage

(2)

(3)
(1)
(2)

(1)
C

DE
C
(1)

W

T
L

(2)

T

DE
S
(2)

R
(3) Draw

No TE can
EVER re...
Defensive call “Over Cobra”

(2)
(2)

(3)

(1)

C

Deep 1/4

(1)

S
Collide 2
Sit in flat

T

DE

L
Hook Left

FS
Deep 1/4...
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Bronco 44 d

  1. 1. “Bronco Nation” 44 Stack Defense 1
  2. 2. Table of Contents  Player Personal in the 4-4 Stack page 2  44 Stack Numbering System and Stunts page 3  Defensive Fronts page 4  Basic Responsibilities by Position page 6  Basic Alignment Rules page 7  Blitz Package page 9  Combo Blitz Package page 11  Line Stunts page 13  Coverages page 15 2
  3. 3. Player Personal in the 4-4 Stack Defensive Ends     should be the best athletes main requirements are toughness and agility take the best of the two defensive ends and place him on the left side of our defense should be a strong tackler Defensive Tackles   the largest players on the front four usually are placed at DT their job is basically to control the area inside the offensive tackle Linebackers   Outside linebackers o position demands two of the squad’s best athletes o they do not have to be large, but must be strong enough to meet an end sweep effectively o outside linebackers will have to make adjustments to some offensive formations o must have the ability to move quickly Inside linebackers o needs to be strong enough to help stop the inside running-play o agile enough to cover the middle area whining playing zone pass defense o does not have to be as fast as the outside linebacker Safety Men   Left and right safeties o main requirement is speed o we like to use tall boys here when they are available o they should be able to play a wide flanker or split end man-to man o must learn the sideline tackle and how to make the sideline work for them and serve as a “twelfth man” o they should be sure if not brutal tacklers Middle safety o last man between the offense and the goal line o chose this position with extreme care o should be the most dependable tackler of the three safety men o he should learn to “read the Play” quickly o play pass defense first and run second o he is the “center fielder” o he should always point out formations 3
  4. 4. Quick review to help in the placement of personnel: 1. Get as much speed in the lineup as possible. 2. Look for aggressive players who can react well and are willing to get themselves emotionally ready to play football. 3. Place the most agile of the front four players on the outside of the front four. 4. Place the larger and slower front four players at the two inside tackle positions. 5. Two of the best athletes on the squad should be placed at the outside linebacker positions. 6. Inside linebackers should be able to stunt quickly across the line of scrimmage and should be good tacklers. 7. Speed is the key in selection safety men. 44 Stack Numbering System and Stunts       Each of the four stack units is numbered. The left outside front four man and the left outside linebacker together make up un Unit 1. The left inside front four man and left inside linebacker together make up Unit 2 The inside front four man and the right inside linebacker together make up Unit 3 The right outside front four man and the right outside linebacker together make up Unit 4. Each Unit is responsible for covering two offensive gaps. o Units 1 and 4 are responsible for the “C” and “D” gaps o Units 2 and 3 are responsible for the “A” and “B” gaps. Each unit can work separately or with another unit to protect those gaps. Gap Responsibilities “D” O “C” O”B” O”A” X “A” O “B” O “C” O “D” 4
  5. 5. Defensive Fronts “Stack” Front “Over” Front C DE T T DE W L T DE R S C C S R T DE C C W L FS FS “Pinch” Front “Wide” Front DE T DE T C W R L DE T C T DE C C S W L R S FS FS “Strong Eagle” Front “Weak Eagle” Front DE T T C W L DE S W DE T T L C R DE C C R FS FS 5 S
  6. 6. Defensive Fronts “Double Eagle” Front W DE T T L “65 Goal Line” Front (inside 5 yard line) R C DE S C W C T DE S DE T L R FS FS “65 Pinch” Front (Inside the 2 yard line) “Prevent” Front DE C W C T T DE S W DE L R C C T T L R FS FS 6 DE C S
  7. 7. Basic Responsibilities by Position Defensive Line Defensive linemen are charged with establishing a push to force the offensive line to set their blocks, penetrating and securing assigned gaps, and providing an initial pass rush in the event of a pass read. No defensive lineman can ever allow themselves to be blocked by fewer than two offensive players. Defensive linemen must always continue to gain ground into the offensive backfield. Linebackers Linebackers are responsible for securing alternate gaps to the defensive linemen, for covering running backs in man-to-man pass coverage (Cover-1, Cover-0), covering the short zones in zone pass coverage (Cover-3, Cover-2), and for providing secondary pass rush in the event of a blitz. Outside linebackers are responsible for outside contain, and must never allow the ball to cross their outside shoulder at all times. Inside linebackers are also responsible for watching for screens and draws on passing downs. Defensive Backs Defensive Backs are the primary source of pass coverage downfield and a secondary run support. As such, they will not be charged with any blitzing or rushing responsibilities. They must roll towards the ball once it heads to the sideline, and provide outside-in leverage on the ball to force it back to the interior defenders. The Free Safety is the final line of defense and must play to keep all members of the offensive unit in front of him at all times. 7
  8. 8. Basic Alignment Rules Overview After the shift on quarterback’s second syllable of cadence, the defense will adjust their alignment to the front called from the sideline. Front Calls Each defensive front will be called with a term. These will be signaled in from the sideline before each offensive play. All alignments begin with the determination of the strength of the offensive formation using the following rules: 1. 2. 3. 4. Strength of offensive line (tight end location.) Strength of offensive backfield (two running backs on the same side) passing strength of offensive formation (trips set) If the offensive set is balanced, the strong side may be determined to be the field or based on offensive tendencies. Alignment Players Alignment Assignment SDE Head up on tight end C-Gap SDT Head up on strong side guard A-Gap WDT Head up on weak side guard A-Gap WDE Outside shade of weak side tackle C-Gap The inside linebackers align using the following rules: 1. When the man in front of me is head up, I stack behind him. 2. When the man in front of me moves to shade, I shade the opposite way. 8
  9. 9. “Always” Rules for Alignment The following rules are always in effect: 1. The strong side defensive end will always align head up on the tight end. 2. All defensive players will always have responsibility for the gap in which they are aligned, unless changed by a stunt. 3. Defensive linemen will always have the inside gap when aligned head up, unless changed by a stunt. 4. Linebackers will always have the outside gap when stacked, unless changed by a stunt. 5. Defenders will always be responsible for only one gap. (We never play head up and two-gap.) Alignment Depths and Positions Position Alignment Depth SDE Head up on TE On LOS Sam 1 off LOS, 3 outside SDE’s heels 1 yd or by D/D SDT By front call ON LOS Lion By front call 3 yds or by D/D Ram By front call 3 yds or by D/D WDT By front call On LOS Will 2 off LOS, 1 outside WDE’s heels 2 yds or by D/D WDE 6, OR head up on 2nd TE On LOS LC Coverage call 6-7 or by D/D RC Coverage call 6-7 or by D/D FS Coverage call, usually to strength 9-12 or by D/D 9
  10. 10. Blitz Package Overview Each defensive player is responsible for learning only two gap assignments: his “base” assignment and his “stunt” assignment. All combo stunts are merely various two gap assignments for two or more players. “Always” rules for Stunts The following rules are always in effect: 1. 2. 3. 4. A player not involved in a stunt always plays base against the offensive play. Players will always stunt through their assigned gaps. The weak side man always goes first when players cross. Stunts will always be executed by linebackers. (We do not stunt the secondary.) Basic Stunts  “X” Stunt o The most effective of our penetrating stunts. o It involves both the front four man and the linebacker in the same unit. o Linebackers will give a verbal command of “go right” or “Go left” o The ”X” stunt can be run from the stack position or from many different unit positions. o Two or more units may “X” at the same time. There are two important coaching points to consider when teaching the “X” Stunt. 1. Make sure that the linebackers do not give away their intention to stunt by moving too quickly towards their gap before the ball is snapped. 2. Make sure the units do not get patterns set up between the front four man and his linebacker. Offenses will be able to pick up on this.  Gap Stunt o The “Gap” is a stunt performed only by a front four player o The “Gap” stunt is used when we want penetration of the gap, but we want the linebacker to stay back. Do not penetrate past the ball. o There are two calls  The “Gap In” call means in toward the center.  The “Gap Out” call means away from the center.  The “All Gap out” call is an all gap out call  The “All Gap In” call is an all gap to the side. 10
  11. 11.    Slant Stunt o This is an excellent way to keep the offensive tackles or center off our linebackers. o Front four needs to line up a little deeper for this stunt. o Step towards the offensive man with your lead foot and drive through the helmet of your opponent’s helmet. o Keep your feet wide o We do not want penetration. o Linebackers must loosen up slightly and move laterally away from the slant. This is because he now has slightly more territory in his area to cover.  calls are the Unit number and “Slant Right or Left” or “Slant Strong or Weak” Loop Stunt o Very effective in stopping the off-tackle play. o If we are running a Loop stunt we will slant into the offensive tackle with our 1 and/or 2 Unit front man. o The Unit 2 and/or Unit 3 linebacker no fires off the tail of the Unit 1 and/or 4 front four man and heads straight for the offensive off-tackle hole Fire Stunt o We use this to fire a linebacker across the line of scrimmage, but keep the front four man playing Basic. o Calls are the Unit number and “Fire In or Fire out” or “All Fire IN or All Fire Out. o On this stunt we want the front four man in the firing unit to engage the man he is over and be ready to move laterally. 11
  12. 12. Combo Blitz Package  In this blitz scheme we tell the linebackers where we want them to go by simply tagging the blitz with an “In” or “Out” call. 13 “X” Out or 24 “X” Out (TE Side only) Cover-0 when linebacker over TE blitzes 13 “X” In or 24 “X” Out C C DE T T DE W L T DE R S W FS FS 23 “X” In 23 “X” Out C C DE T T DE L DE C C W C C S R T L DE C C S R T T DE R S C W L FS FS 23 “X” In Cross (2 goes first) C All “X” Out C DE T C T DE C W L R DE T C T DE R S C S W L FS FS 12 C
  13. 13. Line Stunts “Pinch” Call “Fan” Call C C DE T T DE C L W R T T DE L DE C R S C S W FS FS “Twist” Call (LDT goes in front and 1st) “Slant” Right, Left, Strong or Weak C DE T L W C T C R DE C DE C S W C “Loop” Right C T DE R L S FS C T DE R L W “Loop” Left DE T T FS C C S C DE C W FS T L FS 13 DE R T S C
  14. 14. “Double Loop” C DE C W T L DE R T S C FS 14
  15. 15. Coverages Overview Each coverage assignment is designed to be as simple as possible and remain flexible. Coverages are generally determined by the stunt in front of them. In a base call (no stunts), any coverage may be used. The exception to this rule is the 65 Goal line defense, which is always a Cover-1 or Cover-0 lock. “Always” rules for Coverage The following rules are always in effect: 1. 2. 3. 4. Any stunt that sends Sam will always result in a Cover-0. Any combo stunt sending four linebackers will always result in a Cover-0. Any offensive alignment in Trips, including TE trips and motion-to, will always result in a “Cobra” call. Corners will always have #1 to their side. Man-to-Man Coverage The basic rules of Man-to-Man are as follows: Position Responsibility Sam #2 Lion #3, draw Ram #3, draw Will #2 LC #1 RC #1 FS Deep 1/3, TE on O, or lock   At times, the FS will be used to double cover an exceptional receiver. This will be called from the sideline with a key phrase like “Cover-0, 88” where “88” is the number of the opposing receiver. At all other times in Cover-0 the FS will lock up with the TE or other #2 receiver otherwise covered by Same 15
  16. 16. Zone Coverage Zone defenders are given both a man key to follow and a zone to cover. In all cases, the man key is the offensive receiver most likely to threaten their zone. By “spying” him in their coverage it allows us to anticipate the pattern and get into a cutoff position. The basic rules of zone are as follows: Position Responsibility Sam #2 Curl-to-Flat Lion #3 Hook-to-Curl, draw Ram #3 Hook-to-Curl, draw LC #1 Deep 1/3 RC #1 Deep 1/3 FS Deep 1/3, Spy QB Cobra (Trips Coverage) Special circumstances demand special coverages. With the prevalence of the spread offense thought foot, some form of coverage adjustment must be used to counterbalance the overloaded receiver sets. Position Alignment Responsibility Same Inside shade #2 Collide with #2, sit in flat Lion 50 #3, Hook Ram 30 #3, Hook draw Will 2 off LOS, 1 outside DE’s heels #2, Curl-to-flat LC Outside shade #1 #1, Deep ¼ RC 50 to trips side Deep ¼, Spy QB    One of the few things that will change is the alignment and play of the SE, who will align as wide as necessary (Smoke Tech.) to have an unobstructed path to the QB’s setup point. He must adjust his path to keep the QB on his inside shoulder at all times. As he presses up field he must be alert to a quick screen. 16
  17. 17. (Cover 1): Man (Free) Coverage (2) (3) (1) (2) (1) C DE C (1) W T L (2) T DE S (2) R (3) Draw No TE can EVER release Clean! C (1) FS Cover 0: Man Coverage (2) (3) (1) (2) (1) C DE C (1) W (2) T L T R (3) Draw No TE can EVER release Clean! DE S Cover-0 is used when Sam stunts FS (2) or by called receiver number 17 C (1)
  18. 18. Defensive call “Over Cobra” (2) (2) (3) (1) C Deep 1/4 (1) S Collide 2 Sit in flat T DE L Hook Left FS Deep 1/4 18 DE T R W Curl to flat Hook Right C Man on 1

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