Football: The 5-2 Defense vs. Spread Offenses

Defensive Football

“5-2” OVERVIEW

FOR THOSE OF YOU INTERESTED, I WILL BE WRITING A SERIES OF NEW HUBS ON THE 5-2 DEFENSE OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS. WE HAVE INSTALLED IT THIS SPRING AND OUR PLAYERS ARE EXCITED ABOUT THIS STYLE OF PLAY.

ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN AROUND FOOTBALL, HAS HEARD OF THE "OKIE" DEFENSE. AS FAR AS I KNOW, IT WAS DEVELOPED BY THE GREAT OKLAHOMA COACH, BUD WILKINSON ABOUT SIXTY YEARS AGO. AS I RECALL, HE WON 47 STRAIGHT GAMES WITH IT AT ONE POINT IN HIS OUTSTANDING CAREER.

OBVIOUSLY, IT HAS EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS AND IS NOW OFTENTIMES CALLED THE 3-4 DEFENSE. HOWEVER, THERE ARE SOME MAJOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO AND THESE I WILL DISCUSS IN FOLLOWING ARTICLES.

OUR STARTING POINT IS “52 C. 4 “ THIS IS OUR BASE AND WE WILL NOT PROGRESS TO ANOTHER FRONT OR COVERAGE UNTIL EVERYONE FULLY UNDERSTANDS THIS ONE. IF WE GET INTO TROUBLE, THIS WILL BE THE ONE WE FALL BACK ON. (I WILL INCLUDE DIAGRAMS WHEN I REMEMBER HOW TO INSERT THEM)! FOR NOW, I WILL GIVE YOU THE POSITIONS AND THEIR ALIGNMENT VERBALLY. LET'S START WITH THE NOSE MAN:HE IS LINED UP HEAD UP ON THE CENTER, BOTH D.T.'S: LINED UP HEAD UP ON THE O.T.'S. BOTH D.E.'S:  ON THE L.O.S. OUTSIDE THE T.E. OR O.T. BOTH INSIDE L.B.'S;. HEADS UP ON THE O.G.'S. BOTH C.B.'S: 7X1 INSIDE #1 W.R. BOTH SAFETIES: 10X2 OUTSIDE #2 RECEIVER IN THEIR QUARTER.

IT IS A NINE MAN FRONT WITH QUARTERS COVERAGE BEHIND IT. THIS GIVES US GREAT VERSATILITY IN OUR BLITZING AND COVERAGE SCHEMES. ANYTHING FROM RUSHING 2 AND COVERING WITH 9 TO RUSHING 7 AND COVERING WITH 4. UTILIZING OUR BEST ATHLETES, WE CAN ADJUST WITH RELATIVE EASE TO ANY OFFENSIVE FORMATION. IT IS VERY SIMILAR TO THE '30 STACK' IN THIS REGARD.

ONCE PLAYERS HAVE LEARNED THEIR ALIGNMENT AND ASSIGNMENT RULES, THEY CAN THEN CONCENTRATE ON EXECUTION OF THEIR TECHNIQUES. AS IN ANY DEFENSE, THE MAJOR THRUST IS TO ELIMINATE CONFUSION. THIS DEFENSE IS NO DIFFERENT. EVERY DAY WE ARE LOOKING FOR WAYS TO SIMPLIFY WHAT WE’RE DOING. AT THE SAME TIME, WE DON’T EVER WANT TO PAINT OURSELVES INTO A CORNER BY GIVING OURSELVES ONLY ONE WAY TO GO.

EVEN THOUGH THE 5-2 DEFENSE HAS GREAT VERSATILITY (AS DO MANY DEFENSES). IT CAN BE A TWO EDGED SWORD WHEN TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH WITH IT. WE MUST NEVER SACRIFICE QUALITY FOR QUANTITY. WE HAVE TO BE CAUTIOUS IN MAKING TOO MANY ADJUSTMENTS AND NOT PERFECTING SOUND TECHNIQUES. IT DOES NO GOOD TO HAVE A LARGE NUMBER OF STUNTS AND BLITZES WITHOUT KNOWING WHO, WHAT AND WHERE TO USE THEM. IT WOULD BE AKIN TO HAVING A GREAT NUMBER OF MISSILES IN YOUR ARSENAL AND NO DELIVERY SYSTEM.

MORE TO FOLLOW..........

More by this Author


Comments 1 comment

C P Fitzgregor 3 years ago

Coach, one point of emphasis that many teams have gotten away from is that in Wilkinson's 52, the nose man actually lined up two to three yards off the LOS and was actually a one gap player to the weak side or a call side A gap. Most modern defenses make him a two gap player and unless he a special player (even at the higher levels) this can hurt a team. Thanks for the post - I will read more.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working