Creating a Championship Defense: The Dowling Over Front 4-2-5

Creating a Championship Defense: The Dowling Over Front 4-2-5
Item# FD-05133C
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Product Description

Discover a championship defense that controls gaps to shut down the opponent's run game!

  • Learn an over front that uses concepts of the 4-2, 4-3 and the 4-4 defensive schemes depending on offensive formations
  • Get alignment, gap responsibilities, and keys for all 11 players on defense
  • Learn a simple but effective "split safety" coverage concept that will allow your players to be in optimal coverage

with Grant Bousum,
Dowling Catholic (IA) High School Defensive Coordinator;
Has helped coach Dowling to six straight Class 4A State Championships (2013-18) with a 75-5 record during that run - the first team in Iowa history to win six state championships in a row at the 4A level

The up tempo offense is designed to create confusion and cause mental errors by aligning and snapping the ball as quickly as possible. With the Dowling Catholic Over Front 4-2-5, you can align your defense quickly with simple rules, allowing your team an opportunity to defend against any speed.

The Dowling Over Front 4-2-5 is a read and react defense in which positions mirror each other so substitutes can fit in and play fast with confidence. Coach Grant Bousum uses a PowerPoint and game video to cover each position in the scheme. You'll see how to defend against the six top running plays in football today: Zone, Outside Zone, Blast, Power, Counter and Veer. How to defend the strong side and weak side run plays are also shown.

Basics and Philosophy of the 4-2-5 Defense

Coach Bousum discuses his keys to building a great defense, which are important from a philosophy standpoint in terms of what you should try to instill in your defense. Bousum details each position and the type of player that he tries to put in each spot, as well as alignment, keys, and responsibility for each player. As an added bonus, Bousum shows video of a "2 whistle drill" and describes his methods for teaching tackling.

Each defensive position has one clear key, which determines run and pass, getting the defense to the ball with proper leverage quickly. Minimal adjustments are needed to formations that make this defense great at the high school and lower levels.

Defending the Run

Learn how to use this scheme to defend some of the most common one- and two-back run schemes in use today. Bousum explains that defending every two-back play begins with establishing that defensive players outside the tackle box are box players that must keep the ball inside of them and the defenders inside the tackle box are spill defenders that must force the ball laterally towards the sideline. The two-back schemes covered are: Iso, Power, Counter, Veer, Inside Zone, and Outside Zone.

Coach Bousum also demonstrates how he defends the zone read play both to the weak side and strong side.

Split Safety Coverage System

In this scheme, both deep safeties are independent of each other and will make calls to communicate the coverage to their side of the ball. The coverages used are primarily Cover 4 vs closed sets with a tight end, and a version of Cover 2 versus a two wide receiver side. By utilizing this system, the defense can be in multiple coverages based on the number of receivers aligned on each side of the ball. It's much easier for players to make these coverage checks because they are only looking at half of a formation rather than looking at the entire formation.

Coach Bousum goes into the pass responsibilities for the linebackers and defensive backs in both Cover 4 and Cover 2.

This is a simple, but highly effective defense that can be utilized against modern offenses that utilize multiple formations and personnel groupings.

63 minutes. 2017.

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