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Football: The 4-2-5 Defense

Updated on September 29, 2009

The 4-2-5 defense is used extensively today by all levels. (Fig. I) It has great flexibility against both the run and the pass. Like all defenses, the key is the defensive line. If you have two big strong guys in the middle that can play the run and two quick players that can play on the edge, you are truly blessed.

One position that gives this defense its flexibility is what we call the strong safety ($) position. In quarters coverage, he normally lines up to the strength and reads the #2 receiver vs pass. However, in other coverages he can "stem" to almost any alignment. The great thing is it will look like our base coverage on the pre-snap read and end up as something entirely different on the post-snap read. For example: If we wanted to go to a two deep coverage, the strong safety could play to strength, field, boundary, robber, man up or almost any place you want to put him, Obviously, he would have to be one of your better players in order to do this. I will go into greater detail in later articles concerning this position.

What we look for in each position: Anchor must be strongest D.E,. End (Rush End) must be quickest D.E., Tackle usually our biggest inside player, Nose usually our quickest inside player, $trong safety is our best football player in the secondary, Mac is usually our biggest and strongest linebacker, Will is usually a larger strong safety, Corners are cover guys, Free and Rover are linebackers lined up at ten yards that can run. I will be doing a series of articles on the 4-2-5 in the next few days.

THE 4-2-5 WITH QUARTERS COVERAGE.

POSITION.....ALIGN........................RUN TO/AWAY.................PASS.................

ANCHOR (A) – ‘7’.......................... C GAP/REVERSE..........RUSH CONTAIN

TACKLE (T) – ‘3’ .............................B GAP/CUTBACK...........RUSH B GAP

NOSE (N) – ‘1’ .................................A GAP/CUTBACK...........RUSH A GAP

END (E) – ‘5'......................................C GAP/REVERSE..........RUSH CONTAIN

$$ – 5X1 ON #2 ................................ALLEY/CUTBACK..........JAM-READ #2

M- '40' ALIGN..................................... A GAP/CUTBACK...........DROP-HOOK

W- '50' ALIGN..................................... B GAP/CUTBACK...........JAM-READ #2

FC – 7X1 INSIDE #1..........................SECURE #1.....................DEEP 1/4

BC – 7X1 INSIDE #1..........................SECURE #1.....................DEEP 1/4

F – 10X2 OUTSIDE #2.......................FORCE/CUTBACK..........READ #2

R - 10X2 OUTSIDE #2....................... FORCE/CUTBACK..........READ #2

NOTES: BASICALLY, WE'RE IN A 4-4 TO STRENGTH AND A 50 LOOK TO THE OPEN SIDE. THE ANCHOR END IS LIKE A WIDE TACKLE IN THE OLD WIDE TACKLE SIX DEFENSE. He must step into the T.E. and play his block. If he doesn't block him, he then plays his normal technique on the offensive tackle' $$ IS LIKE A "MONSTER" BACK IN THE OLD 52 MONSTER DEFENSE. We have the capability to move him around without wholesale changes in the defense. Anything from manninig up on their best receiver to zone blitzing him. MAC BECOMES A TWO GAP PLAYER VS. A SINGLE BACK OFFENSE OR 4-3 LOOK. Anytime we lose Will out of the box in this alignment, Mac becomes responsible for the strong 'A' gap and the weak 'B' gap. WE FLIP FLOP EVERYONE We do this for stunting and blitzing purposes. This way the same people always come on the same stunt, We don't have to worry about right and left calls, the stunt or blitz is the same call on both sides.

In Figures II and III you will find schematic diagrams of where the secondary "fits" in runs to the right and left. The techniques or how they get there will be discussed in later articles.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave your comments or questions. Also, please take a second and click an ad if possible.

Fig. I
Fig. I
Fig. II
Fig. II
Fig. III
Fig. III

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    • profile image

      steve 

      5 years ago

      i noticed there are two difrent alignments of the 4-2-5 one is gap front line and one is shifted to the strong side.. i personal thing the sift to the strong side is the best aligment.. any advise

    • profile image

      itsmeechiebaby 

      5 years ago

      Guest 14, of course if you know the perfect play and the weaknesses of a coverage than you could design the perfect play to expose the weakness. If I know you are gonna run boot, I could simply run cov.1 with a pressure or zone blitz off of cover 3 where my lb's reroute #2

    • profile image

      kihness 

      6 years ago

      n this defence you end as well as the nose and three tech have to be the fastest off the line yes they can be strong but fast because if not then the ends can get get fooled and be out ran if they have a fast qb and get ten yards or more

    • profile image

      Guest 

      6 years ago

      Who in the world covers the backside Number 2 on Boots and such? Everyone is flying outta there, I'd just run waggle and boot delay all day

    • profile image

      sw 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for an articulate, effective explanation. Very nice. Look forward to seeing the following articles on the 4-2!

    • drcrischasse profile image

      Cristopher Chasse 

      8 years ago from Boston

      Better hope your linebackers stay home and not be fooled by play action. I played college ball and I was never a fan of only two linebackers in a set.

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