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Saturday, May 31, 2014

4-3 Over Defense

This is going to be part one of a three part series on the 4-3 defense. I believe you win and lose football games in the trenches so it is only fitting that we start with the basic fronts of a 4-3 team. There are two fronts you can use in the traditional 4-3, over and under. There are slight differences between an over and under front but the biggest differences are the placement of the Sam linebacker and the 3 technique. However, this blog post will focus on the over front for the sake of simplicity. Below is an example of an over front:
The end aligned on the TE aligns in a 6 technique and is a C gap player. The tackle is in a 3 technique and is a B gap player. The nose is in a 1 technique and he is an A gap player. The open side end is in a 5 technique and he is a C gap player. The Will linebacker does not have a true gap assignment, but he is a lever player in this look, unless it is 3 sky or quarters then the Rover would be the force player. The Mike is a strong side A gap player who spills the football. The Sam is an open side B gap player who is a lever player. 

The most common coverages with the over front are quarters and cover 2. You could roll the Rover down into the box and slide the linebackers weak, but that would be more of a 4-4 look, not a 4-3 front. There are a plethora of ways to play quarters coverage and Joe Daniel has a great YouTube video describing his version. Here is the link for that YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQPM_3JTHXI

The other coverage that fits well with the 4-3 over front is cover 2. I believe that this front is perfect for running Tampa 2 because the Mike is protected by a 3 tech and a 1 tech, and not a lot of teams run strong side A gap Iso. Here is a link for a YouTube video that has some really good Tampa 2 cutups from the Chicago Bears: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGqie7o1Hjk

Thank you for reading this article and may the LORD bless you as we enter summertime!!

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