Get a 4-2-5 scheme that allows a simple key for each position so the defense can play fast!
- Learn alignments, keys, and responsibilities for the front seven against some of the most common offensive formations
- Identify half of a formation and adjust quickly with that side of the defense
- Learn how to handle linebacker pick routes to open up the offense's running backs in the short passing game
with Joe Woodley,
Grand View University Associate Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator;
2013 NAIA National Champions;
2013 Football Scoop Coordinator of the Year; 2009 MSFA Midwest Assistant Coach of the Year
and Travis Johansen,
Grand View University Co-Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach
In 2015, the Grand View defense was first in the nation in both total defense per game (237.5) and scoring defense per game (13.9). They were also second in the NAIA in both pass defense efficiency (90.4) and rushing defense per game (91.3). Grand View finished top 10 in the country in pass defense per game (4th-146.2), opponent fourth down conversions (4th-29.4), total sacks (7th-35.5), and opponent first downs (9th-178).
The 4-2-5 defense is one of the most common and effective defensive schemes utilized at the college level. Each defensive position has one clear key which determines run and pass, getting the defense to the ball with proper leverage quickly. By replacing a traditional linebacker with an additional safety, teams are able to more effectively defend today's spread offenses that feature more skill players.
Joe Woodley begins this video explaining his basic philosophy of defending the run: outnumber the offense at the point of attack and bounce all inside runs. Also, Coach Woodley explains how he tries to give each of his players one key to focus on to increase confidence and reduce conflicts the players may get from their keys.
Travis Johansen then discusses all of the keys and reads, as well as responsibilities in the split coverage for Grand View's Base Weak 80 defensive scheme. In split coverage concept, your defense is divided into two halves with each side independent in its coverage, which leads to fewer mistakes.
Base Run Defense
Coach Woodley diagrams the defense that he calls Weak 80. This defense aligns to the passing strength in order to get the nickel or "Stud" backer involved in the run game in the case of two-back formations. The "Stud" outside linebacker is put in a position to force the run and be at the point of attack on plays to the strength of the formation. He covers how to use the "BOB" call to shut down the open "B" gap in spread formations by having the defensive end cross face and kick out blocks by the offensive tackle.
Coach Woodley also describes how the weak safety, or the "Rover," will be involved in the game to the weak side in the case of a two-back run to the weak side. By utilizing the "Stud" and "Rover" players as primary run defenders, the defense can handle all two-back runs without having linebackers playing two gaps based on the flow of the backfield.
You'll learn the alignments, keys, and responsibilities for the front seven. Coach Woodley uses game and practice footage to show examples of the defensive alignment against two-back formations, and one-back 2x2 and 3x1 formations with and without a tight end. See how Coach Woodley defends the most common plays from these formations: Iso, Zone Read, Power, and Stretch Zone; and, learn two ways to adjust to a trips formation which are simple and don't change the front seven assignments.
Coach Johansen diagrams Grand View's Weak 80 coverage against a variety of offensive formations. He demonstrates how the Rover will be the adjuster when the offense gets into a two-back set in order to create an eight-man front. Coach Johansen also diagrams and uses game footage to show the defense's alignment against a variety of one-back formations and how the defense will adjust to each formation without putting additional stress on the linebackers.
You will also see drops and responsibilities against twins, pro, and trips formations. The "Zip" call uses the Rover to "rob" and help with the third defender to the strong side
Coach Johansen also explains each secondary players' keys and responsibilities