"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him ... but let him ask in faith, with no doubting"      James 1:5

Coach Z is not responsible for mental, physical or monetary damages due to information or links within this site.  Being involved in the sport of football and following dreams is a choice with risks.
4-3 D-line Coaching Points

These coaching points pertain to a 4-3 defensive scheme and are handy to have on hand to review.  The basics always need to be enforced regardless the amount of experience players have.  Never forget the d-line is where it all begins and your front is the key to the defense.


*  Tackles must be able to play 3 - 2i - 1 - 5 techniques
*  Ends must be able to play 7 - 6i - 5 techniques

(click here to read about d-line technique numbering)

Beating the blocker - five basic reads by the D-Lineman

Defensive lineman are coached to key the football.  It's movement is the signal to go!

1)  Base block

2)  Veer block - CUTOFF

3)  Reach block

4)  Double team

5)  Pass set

The Tackles stance (3 pt)

1)  Heel to toe stagger (not much bigger)

2)  Base is arm pit to shoulder width, no wider

3)  Bend at ankle/knee/hip (coiled to explode)

4)  Down arm straight-fingers bridged (heavy on hand)

5)  Hips slightly higher than shoulders

6)  Shoulders square to L.O.S. and parallel to ground

7)  Offhand in front, thumb up, slight bend in arm

8)  Neck bulled but relaxed, read top of play side # (periph the football)

9)  Foot away from your gap responsibility is back

10)  If right hand is down =right foot back (left down=left back)

The Defensive End Stance
DE on the TE side must never allow the free release of TE.  Get cloth every time.

1)  May have a slightly bigger stagger than tackles

2)  Slightly higher hips-sprinter stance

3)  Rt. foot back Rt. hand down

4)  Left foot back Left hand down

5)  Inside foot to outside foot of Tackle/T.E. ( may tighten alignment vs.. inside run and veer)-game plan

6)  Off-hand thumb up with bull neck look though top of eyes no strain

Take off
Key is to control play side shoulder (Never lose the gap!).  Deliver a blow, separate, find ball, escape, pursue, tackle (be physical-punish).

1)  Explode on ball movement

2)  6" - 8" power step with back foot

3)  Sweep arms from ground

4)  Deliver blow to top of OL play side #’ (BREAST PLATE)  and grab cloth/separate

5)  Eye level with top of the numbers (look outside shoulder / not over)

6)  Play with leverage.

7)  Keep elbows in and thumbs up

8)  Feet must never stop (drive block the O lineman)

How to defeat different OL blocks

 Base block

1)  Drive the drive blocker

2)  Gap control is first priority (gap arm and leg free)

3)  Shoulders square to L.O.S

4)  Ball away- squeeze running lane and escape/pursue when ball commits.  Cross face

5)  Ball to you- control gap, shed and make the hit

6)  Pursue at the proper angle


1)  Must control play side # (grab cloth)

2)  Work 2x2 (lock out gap side arm and pull OL back shoulder)-get his shoulders turned

3)  Keep outside arm and leg free

4)  Shoulders square

5)  Rip the reach and attack ball at proper angle

Veer -Cutoff

1)  Squeeze blocker -don’t allow release to backer-constrict running lane

2)  Stay square

3)  Cross face or hip pocket when ball commits

4)  Tackle the cutback

5)  Wrong arm any Kick out

Double team

1)  Play your man- if you stuff him the double team will fall off

2)  Penetrate- big body lean

3)  If the double gets on you- try to split blockers-turn shoulders (rip through)- if your feet die so do you

4)  If you start loosing ground- drop shoulders quickly and try to cut the blockers

Pass set

1)  Elongate first step-close the gap (no separation)-body lean

2)  Rush in your gap responsibility-stay in your lane

3)  Have a plan (1st move) and a counter move ready

D-line rushing techniques/moves

1)  Bull rush- drive him right through the Q.B.

2)  Rip - tip your shoulder pad under his arm pit - get hip to hip -uppercut and run

3)  Swim- pull OL shoulder down and toward your opposite hip- turn shoulders and punch over the shoulder- elbow to kidney-get hip to hip and run

4)  Club and Double Club

5)  If you can't steam roll him you better have some shake and bake

Playing the G scheme, Trap and Counter

1)  Squeeze the veer block

2)  Eyes must go inside when veer block is recognized

3)  Attack the trapper-flat down L.O.S

4)  Take on blocker with up field shoulder- Rip

5)  Must press up field- try to square shoulders

6)  Spill the second blocker- sacrifice you body