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Saturday, June 21, 2014

46 Defense

I was reading "Coaching Football's 46 Defense" by Rex Ryan these last couple of days and it is a GREAT BOOK! I highly recommend that every football coach read this book because it is filled with fantastic material. The detail Rex goes into on defensive line play is impressive and applies to every defensive scheme.



 The book details how to play the 46 (Bear) at the professional / collegiate level, but as a high school coach I will only use bits and pieces of the book.

It was hard to move the ball on the 85 Bears
As a high school defensive coordinator, I am looking for ways to simplify scheme so I can make sure my players align correctly on every play, read the correct key and PLAY FAST!!! I have used the 46 (Bear) front in the past and I think it can be played on any down and distance, but I have used it primarily on short yardage / goaline situations. 

High school football is unique because we cannot recruit our players and we must adapt our scheme to fit our players on a year to year basis. Some teams deploy a Bear front out of a 3-3 stack defense, and some use 3-4 personnel. 

The base coverage for the Bear front is cover 1, and that is what fits best with this scheme. If I am going to use a Bear front, then we are going to send at least 5 players and cover with 6 or 5. I believe that you can bring up to 6 with the Bear front and play soft zero in the secondary. Even if the running back pops through the LOS or a DB misses a tackle, you can still get the ball carrier down because the defenders are in off - man so they can see the throw / running back. 

3-4 Personnel


The Nose plays a 2 gap technique and the two Ends are in 3 techniques (B gap players). This allows the Mike and Will to keep their depth and scrape to make plays. The weak - side end is a C gap player who forces the ball inside to the Will. The strong -side end is a D gap player who will force the ball inside to the Mike or the walked down Strong Safety. 

The Mike and Will combo the backs, so they read through the Guards to the back nearest them for their run / pass read. The secondary plays cover 1 or 0 if you want to blitz the Strong Safety, Mike or Will to get a 6 man pressure. 


The Bear front is not complex, but it can give the defense an advantage because of the 8 man box and man coverage in the secondary. Hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any 46 material that has been beneficial to you, please send it my way!! My email is zach.davis24@gmail.com.. God bless!

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