Category Archives: 4-2-5 defense

5 Keys to Developing a Defensive System in Football

Last year, I was asked to put together a new defensive system for our football team. We were moving from the Fritz Shurmur Eagle 5 linebacker defense to a more modern 4-3/4-4 defense.

As I was sifting through endless books, playbooks, and clinic materials to compare what all the best and brightest minds in the game of football were doing, I realized that there are five keys to creating a defensive system, and only 2 have anything to do with X’s and O’s.

football defensive systems

Fritz Shurmur’s 5 Eagle Linebacker Defense wasn’t cutting it anymore.

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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]

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. Continue reading

Playing Fast with the 4-2-5 Defense

Guest Football Coaching Blog Post

This is a guest blog post on the X’s and O’s of football 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]

In the world of small, private schools there is a need to maximize your players’ ability and the abilities of your coaches. At Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy in McDonough, Georgia, we found the 4-2-5 has been the perfect fit for our program because it allows us to do that.

We are a school of approximately 400 students in the high school, with 72 of them playing football for the Chargers. It is a blessing to have that many students come out for football, but it presents some challenges considering we only have 6 football coaches on staff, and only two of the six are full time defensive coaches. Therefore, we need to use a defense that is sound, simple and easy to teach to inexperienced coaches.

Basics of our 4-2-5 Defense

This season, we decided to go to the 4-2-5 defense with cover 3 as our base coverage and cover 1 as a change-up. The 4-2-5 defense allowed us to break our players into three position groups instead of four and playing cover 3 limits the amount of checks we have to make to different formations and shifts. We keep our scheme simple so we can coach the fundamentals on a daily basis, even as we progress through the season. Our players know how to react to every formation, scheme and personnel grouping because we have repp’d everything an opponent can throw at us on a Friday night. Continue reading

Tips for Understanding Defensive Line Techniques

I find this as a common question, that really a lot of coaches can’t answer. What are the popular defensive line techniques, and why are they called that?

Well, great question. First of all, let’s find the “genius” (please notice the quotes…) of the system. Continue reading

TCU 4-2-5 Defense Explained – Cripes! Get Back to Fundamentals!

TCU’s 4-2-5 Video from Gary Patterson

The next top post of 2011 is one that I think almost everyone will enjoy since everyone loves extensive one on one clinic film from the top minds in coaching. In this post by Cripes! Get Back to Fundamentals!, the TCU head football coach Gary Patterson explains his vaunted 4-2-5 defense, along with the intricacies of his split coverage philosophies and how the front is separated from the coverage. The videos here are very valuable to anyone considering the 4-2-5 defense. I highly recommend visiting Brophy’s post on the 4-2-5 defense for anyone who coaches. It does a great job of illustrating the importance of breaking down the little details of football. It provides game film clips as well if I remember correctly.

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