Building a Defense With the 4-2-5

Good Start

It has long been said that offense wins games but defense wins championships. So now you have your first Head Coaching job, or maybe your Head Coach comes to you in the off season and says you are the new Defensive Coordinator. OK that's great, now what do we do.  It can easily become so confusing. Should I play the 4-3, 3-4, 4-2-5, 3-3-5, 3-5-3, 46, 52 monster? Man blitz or Zone blitz? Box or Spill? So you go to every clinic and every website known to man to come up with the perfect scheme.  Then it hits you.  There is no perfect scheme!!!  The perfect scheme is the one you can teach the best, and more importantly your kids can play the best.  In my opinion every coach should try and learn as much as possible to make themselves better. The best coaches then break that information down into what can my kids learn, and what can my kids play.

Always Teaching
 Let's take a look at what I think are some important things to consider when making your decision. Keep in mind this is for public high school football where you are playing with the cards you are dealt.
1)What is the talent level at my school?
2)How high is the football IQ of my players?
3)How high is the football IQ of my staff?
4)What do the teams in my conference run?
5)How can I be multiple enough to defend all the things I see in High School?

Now by no means am I saying this is the list Nick Saban or Bill Belichick use, but I think it's a pretty good foundation for a new defensive coordinator.  As a young Head Coach i fell into the same trap as a lot of inexperienced defensive coordinators. Every week was a defense of the week, coverage of the week, and blitz of the week.  I told people we played the under front, the over front, the double eagle front and the okie front. We played cover 2, cover 3, cover 4, cover 6, cover 8 and man free.  Every week I dialed up the newest exotic blitzes.  Well, we were not very good and it took me some time and reflection to realize I was the reason we were not good.  My kids had no chance to play fast because their assignments always changed.  We spent more time installing than we did practicing. After trying about everything I could I came across the 425 and never looked back.  For me, at my school, the 425 gives us the best chance for success and it gives my kids the opportunity to play simple, fast football while being multiple at the same time.

That Sounds Good I'll Try That
The 425 has built in flexibility that allows us to line up and compete every week regardless of the offensive scheme we are facing.  If we see a 2 back team we are an 8 man front.  If we see a spread team we can adjust to 2x2, 3x1, and empty formations with no personnel changes.  Not only does the personnel allow flexibility, but the divorced front and check with me coverage principles make it ideal for high school football.
Divorced front simply means the front 6 players and back 5 players work independently of each other.  We can set the front 6 to run strength while the back 5 go to passing strength.  Our coverages are all based off of receiver deployment. This idea comes directly from Gary Patterson's work at TCU.  We base out of 1/4 1/4 1/2 principles and allow our safeties to set the coverage based on the amount and type of receivers deployed to their side.

Here is a look at how we would align to some generic formations.  There will be some film cut ups and then a white board discussion video at the end. I hope this helps.

You Won't Play Good if You Don't Play Fast

**Just a note, late in the video I am talking about  2 Read and I say the FS releases under the LB'S.  I meant to say the #2 WR releases under the LB'S and the FS can double #1. ROOKIE.

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