Monday, July 19, 2010

The Base 5-3 Defensive Scheme for Pee Wee Football.

The 5-3 defense is one of the most popular schemes you will
see at the youth football level. It is especially
effective versus a run heavy offensive team and most teams
run more than they pass in youth football.

What is the introductory player responsibilities of the 5-3
defensive scheme? This article will answer this question in
great detail..

Our coaches make sure that every player knows our base
package inside out. Every player who lines up anywhere on
defense must have a complete understanding of all the
responsibilities of every position in the base set. If you
wnat to play defense for my team, you will learn this area
early on. You will not be playing defense for our team if
you do not understand two very simple concepts. These two
concepts are where to line up (based on the offensive
formation) and what your responsibility is. Knowing where
to line up is the first step and can usually be taught, to
the players, from the information we get from our scouting
report. As great as the scouting report is, I do not like
any suprises so I nake sure the defense knows how to line
up against just about every formation we may see.
Everything from the spread to an unbalanced line needs to
be taught to the entire defense to assure no surprises on
game day.

Understanding the reponsibilities of all your team mates is
the second phase of becomming a great defensive player.
The players needs to know who is responsible for gap
containment, outside containment or zone coverages. The
entire defensive team benefits when everyone is aware of
everyone else's responsibilities. If we are being hurt in
a specific area, it it easy to pinpoint the area of concern
and make the proper adjustment.

In the base 5-3 defensive scheme we have eight primary run
stop defenders. We use five defensive linemen which
consist of two defensive ends, two defensive tackles and a
nose guard. Three to five yards behind the defensive line
we have our three linebackers with the middle linebacker
lined up over the nose guard and the two outside
linebackers lined up behind the defensive ends. There are
three defensive backs with the safety lined up 8-10 yards
behind the middle linebacker and the two defensive backs
lined up 7-10 yards outside the outside linebackers. The
crucial positions in this defensive set are the Nose guard,
Linebackers and the Defensive Tackles. In our pee wee
football coaching program, the Nose guard is responsible
for the A gap. The middle Linebacker must cover the
backside A gap as well as the B gap on both sides. Each
defensive guard or tackle has either C gap coverage or the
backside B gap. The balance of the defense covers the rest
of the gaps down the line. The three defensive backs will
drop into three deep zone pass coverage and the outside
linebackers have outside run containment responsibility.

In conclusion, the 5-3 is a great basic defense to run at
the pee wee level since it is designed to stop the run and
most youth football teams cannot pass and must try to run
the ball.


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Jim Oddo has been coaching youth football, ages 4-14, for
over 23 years. In addition to coaching tips, there is a
wealth of information regarding youth football playbooks.
Find over 400 FREE tips and great articles on every aspect
of youth football at: http://footballplaybooks.info/.

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