4-2-5 Defense Option Responsibilities


Post by Zach Davis

This is a post by Coach Zach Davis, defensive coordinator at Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy in Georgia. You can follow him on his Twitter Handle, zachdavis24. If you’re interested in guest posting for Strong Football, email CoachCP at editor[at]strongfootballcoach.com.

We have very simple 4-2-5 defense option responsibilities because of all the different types of option we see during a season. We have seen veer, midline, shovel, power, speed and triple option this year and we have devised a simple way to play the option so our players can play FAST!

We want to hit the quarterback as often as possible when he is a ball carrier. He is the decision maker and we must “wreck the decision maker” in order for us to be successful against the option.

We take away the dive with our defensive linemen and we make the quarterback attempt a long pitch because we are sending someone to the quarterback once we realize it is option. We may be a little weak against the pitch, but at our level the pitch is not a huge threat.

If there is not a #2 receiver removed from the box, the outside linebackers or our Dogs, plays the quarterback and his objective is to make him pitch it fast so the pitch is long and 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage.

If there is a #2 receiver removed he will play the QB to pitch and slow play the quarterback so he can play the pitch. The inside linebackers are scraping for the quarterback because they know the defensive linemen are taking away the dive.

We play a lot of cover 3 so we can have all of our eyes on the ball carrier and the receivers can’t run – off the outside linebackers and corners. We are a cover 3 team and even though it may not be the ideal coverage versus the option, but our players believe in it and we have had great success stopping the different types of option that we have seen this year.

Below are 3 PowerPoint slides that illustrate how we defend the option against different these formations.

21 Personnel


10 Personnel


30 Personnel (Double Wing)


Overall, the goal is to take away how the offense can hurt you. At the high school level, for triple option teams, their biggest threats are the dive and the QB. After the ball has been pitched, you can rally to that play with the secondary and the other players. Using these 4-2-5 defense option responsibilities, you can take away what the offense does best and be successful.