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Published by: CoachHuff on Jul 28, 2013
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Probably the most common defense in use today at the youth levelis the 6-2-3 zone. It has a number of variations, from widetackle to tilted guards, but the one in every offensivecoordinator's playbook is the one shown here.A system you might consider looking at is John Carbon's
Jaws of Death
defense, an early version of which is locatedhere. Thisis a slightly different version of the standard sixty front thatmixes two common variations of the 6-2 together. The
systemcombines the wide tackle 6-2 and the split-6 into a multiple-front look that challenges offenses and disrupts blocking.The main problem with this defensive front is that it doesn'tfit the screwy rules that some leagues use. The system detailedon this page is not technically sound against certain offensiveformations, but against the standard I-formation and Wing-Tlooks it should be effective enough.
Figure 1: Basic 6-2-3 alignments
 Alignment Run Responsibility
Pass Responsibility
SamHead up on the strongside tackle, 3 yardsdeep."C" Gap Strong side hook to curlStrong DE Outside shade of TE"D" Gap.Trail flowaway throughoffensive backfield.Rush passer with hands highStrong DTInside shade of strongside tackle if possible by rule."B" Gap Rush passer with hands highStrong DGInside shade of strongside guard if possible by rule."A" Gap Rush passer with hands highWeak DGInside shade of weak side guard if possible by rule."A" Gap Rush passer with hands high
Weak DTInside shade of weak side tackle if possible by rule."C" Gap Rush passer with hands high
Weak DEOutside shade of TE,1x1 outside tackle."D" Gap. Trail flowaway throughoffensive backfield.Rush passer with hands high
WillieHead up on weak sidetackle, three yardsdeep."C" Gap Weak side hook to curl
Free Safety7-12 yards deepdepending on downand distance, 5 1/2 players to side.Read and respond toflow. Do not approachcloser than five yardsto LOS until the ballcrosses the line.Deep zone, follow passer laterally,keep
receivers underneath.
Weak CB Outside shade toZone pass coverageuntil ball crosses LOSDeep 1/3
Strong CBOutside shade towidest receiver.Zone pass coverageuntil ball crosses LOSDeep 1/3
As you can probably tell, I'm not wonderfully fond of thisdefense. While it has the advantage of simplicity, it fails togarnish any great mechanical advantages for your players.Especially fearsome against it is the Wing-T buck sweep, whichcould possibly outnumber the defense 5:3 at the point of attack,depending on how the opposing coach runs his offense.Additionally, because the linebackers are nailed to one locationon the field, the flats are impossible to cover adequately. Asimple hard fade from the tight end (45 degree slant from theline of scrimmage) while the fullback runs parallel to the lineof scrimmage would leave one of the two receivers open 100% ofthe time. The quarterback can simply roll out and make aneither-or decision.If I were forced into a defense of this nature, I would preferto run it more as a 4-4 with linebackers on the line rather thanas a true 6-2. My defensive ends would be linebackers unlessprevented from pass coverage by rules. They would have outsidecontain responsibilities, using the defensive tackles as purepass rushers and run stoppers to the "C" gaps. I'd also considershifting the line to strength, and possible adding a series ofslants to keep the offensive line guessing.I hope this guide helps you out if you get stuck with thissystem. If you have run a 6-2 of any nature and been successful,I welcome any comments or an article about your programhere.The Gap-8 was the original name ofJack Reed'sGap-Air-Mirror.It features an eight man defensive line, a single player in amiddle linebacker/free safety position, and two corners.

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