The 52 Monster

By Derek A. “Coach” Wade

The 5-2 Monster is the defense I was a part of as a player through junior high and high school. Although my own personal success was dismal, with one win in five seasons, I believe the 5-2 still has much to offer the youth football coach. The defense as it's shown here is designed to be as simple as possible. Therefore the slants and stunting is kept to a bare minimum. When I was a player, the defense we used aligned defensive tackles and nosetackle head up on their offensive counterparts, and slanted them to one side or the other (strong or weak) depending on the defensive call. For the youth coach, I think you'll have your hands full teaching the base responsibilities and the pass coverages. Stunting should be kept to a bare minimum at all but the highest levels of youth football. Remember, precision beats confusion.

depending on down/distance. Key guard to Fullback. Run responsibilities: Sam Follow keys. Outside shade of Flanker. Weak B Gap. 5 1/2 players per side. 5 yards deep. Outside shade of offensive tackle. trail reverses through SDE SDT NT WDT Monster . Inside shade of weak tackle. Slant to B gap Slant to strong A gap. Shade to strength on Center.52 Monster vs Pro I Formation Lineup: Sam SDE SDT NT WDT Monster Willie WDE SCB WCB FS Strong B Gap. Stay home on flow away. 4 yards deep. Key near guard to Tailback Head up on TE Inside shade of strong tackle. C gap. 7-13 yards deep. Slant to B gap D gap. 1x1 D gap. Outside shade of Split end.

Force outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Stay home on flow away. Read and respond to flow. SCB WCB FS . Stay deep until ball crosses LOS WDE SCB WCB FS Pass responsibilities: Sam SDE SDT NT WDT Monster Willie WDE Short hook zone to strong side. Short hook zone to weak side. Medium zone until ball passes LOS. Rush passer with hands high Short hook zone outside TE to flat. Play QB's non-throwing shoulder. D gap. keep receivers underneath. Zone coverage as deep as deepest player in your third of the field. trail reverses through backfield. Attack outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Keep contain. then attack. Nothing gets deeper than you. Rush passer with hands high. Follow keys. Play QB's non-throwing shoulder. follow passer laterally. Rush passer with hands high Rush passer with hands high through A gap. Rush passer with hands high. Zone coverage as deep as deepest player in your third of the field. Willie Scrape to A gap. Force outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Deep zone.backfield. then attack. Attack outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Medium zone until ball passes LOS. Keep contain.

. C gap. Weak B Gap. Key near guard to Tailback Head up on TE Inside shade of strong tackle. 1x1 D gap. 7-13 yards deep. Outside shade of tight end. Run responsibilities: Sam SDE SDT NT Scrape to strong A gap. depending on down/distance. 5 yards deep. Key guard to Fullback.52 Monster vs Tight I Formation Lineup: Sam SDE SDT NT WDT Monster Willie WDE SCB WCB FS Strong B Gap. Follow keys. Outside shade of weak tackle. 5 1/2 players per side. Head up on TE Outside shade of Flanker. Slant to B gap Slant to weak A gap. 4 yards deep. Head up on Center. Stay home on flow away.

Weak B gap. WCB FS . trail reverses through backfield. D gap. Play QB's non-throwing shoulder. Keep contain. follow passer laterally. Stay deep until ball crosses LOS WDE SCB WCB FS Pass responsibilities: Sam SDE SDT NT WDT Monster Willie WDE SCB Short hook zone to strong side. keep receivers underneath. Force outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Attack outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Follow keys. Rush passer with hands high. Zone coverage as deep as deepest player in your third of the field. Short hook zone to weak side. Nothing gets deeper than you. Attack outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Keep contain.WDT Monster Willie Slant to C gap D gap. Rush passer with hands high Short hook zone outside TE to flat. Zone coverage as deep as deepest player in your third of the field. trail reverses through offensive backfield. Rush passer with hands high Rush passer with hands high through A gap. Medium zone until ball passes LOS. then attack. Rush passer with hands high. playing through TE. Deep zone. Play QB's non-throwing shoulder. Medium zone until ball passes LOS. then attack. Read and respond to flow. Stay home on flow away. Force outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards.

Stay home on flow away. . 5 yards deep. Wing-T Lineup: Sam SDE SDT NT WDT Monster Willie WDE SCB WCB FS Head up on strong tackle. Weak B Gap or head up on weak guard. Outside shade of tackle. 7-13 yards deep. Run responsibilities: Sam SDE SDT NT WDT Monster Follow keys. C gap. 5 1/2 players per side. Head up on Center. Slant to B gap Slant to strong A gap. Attack outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Key near guard to Tailback Head up on TE Inside shade of strong tackle. Key guard to Fullback. depending on down/distance. 3 x 4 alignment outside wingback.52 Monster vs. Outside shade of split end. trail reverses through backfield. 1x1 D gap outside wingback. Outside shade of weak tackle. Slant to B gap D gap.

Willie WDE Scrape to weak A gap. Short hook zone to weak side. Stay deep until ball crosses LOS SCB WCB FS Pass responsibilities: Sam SDE SDT NT WDT Monster Willie WDE SCB Short hook zone to strong side. trail reverses through offensive backfield. Nothing gets deeper than you. Zone coverage as deep as deepest player in your third of the field. Medium zone until ball passes LOS. Medium zone until ball passes LOS. Zone coverage as deep as deepest player in your third of the field. Stay home on flow away. Rush passer with hands high Short hook zone outside TE to flat. Keep contain. Attack outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Keep contain. Play QB's non-throwing shoulder. Read and respond to flow. follow passer laterally. Follow keys. then attack. D gap. Rush passer with hands high. WCB FS . Rush passer with hands high. keep receivers underneath. Rush passer with hands high Rush passer with hands high through A gap. Play QB's non-throwing shoulder. then attack. Force outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Force outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Deep zone.

C gap. Key near guard. Outside shade of right tackle. Head up on TE. Slant to B gap . Head up on Center. 3 x 4 alignment outside wingback.52 Monster vs. Key fullback. 5 1/2 players per side. Key right guard. 3 x 4 alignment outside wingback. Head up on right tackle. Double Wing Lineup: Sam SDE SDT NT WDT Monster Willie WDE SCB WCB FS Head up on left tackle. Head up on TE Inside shade of left tackle. Run responsibilities: Sam SDE SDT NT WDT Follow keys. Stay home on flow away. 2 yards behind NT. Slant to B gap Slant to left A gap. 7-13 yards deep. depending on down/distance.

Zone coverage as deep as deepest player in your third of the field. WCB FS . Keep contain. Chase flow. Keep contain. Short hook zone to right side. Follow keys. Nothing gets deeper than you. Fire to right A gap. Force outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Rush passer with hands high. Rush passer with hands high. then attack. follow passer laterally. Deep zone. keep receivers underneath. Play QB's non-throwing shoulder.Monster Willie WDE SCB Follow keys. C gap. Force outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Stay home on flow away. Stay deep until ball crosses LOS WCB FS Pass responsibilities: Sam SDE SDT NT WDT Monster Willie WDE SCB Short hook zone to left side. Play QB's non-throwing shoulder. Rush passer with hands high Short hook zone in middle third. then attack. Read and respond to flow. Rush passer with hands high Rush passer with hands high through A gap. Medium zone until ball passes LOS. Zone coverage as deep as deepest player in your third of the field. Medium zone until ball passes LOS.

Weak B Gap. 7 yards deep. Halfway between slot receiver and tackle. 5 yards deep. Twins Lineup: Sam SDE SDT NT WDT Monster Willie WDE SCB WCB FS Strong B Gap. Outside shade of Split end. Outside shade of widest receiver. 7-13 yards deep. 3-5 yards deep. Run responsibilities: Sam SDE SDT NT WDT Monster Follow keys. Slant to B gap D gap. Key guard to Fullback. Attack outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Inside shade of weak tackle. depending on down/distance. Outside shade of offensive tackle. Slant to B gap Slant to strong A gap. Key near guard to Tailback Outside shade of tackle. . Stay home on flow away. 5 1/2 players per side. Inside shade of strong tackle. C gap.52 Monster vs. trail reverses through backfield. Shade to strength on Center.

Force outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Nothing gets deeper than you. Rush passer with hands high. Rush passer with hands high Short hook zone slot to flat. D gap. Zone coverage as deep as deepest player in your third of the field. Rush passer with hands high Rush passer with hands high through A gap. Willie WDE Scrape to A gap. Short hook zone to weak side. Attack outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. WCB FS . Force outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Stay deep until ball crosses LOS SCB WCB FS Pass responsibilities: Sam SDE SDT NT WDT Monster Willie WDE SCB Short hook zone to strong side. then attack. Deep zone. Play QB's non-throwing shoulder. Zone coverage as deep as deepest player in your third of the field.shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Stay home on flow away. keep receivers underneath. then attack. Follow keys. Medium zone until ball passes LOS. Play QB's non-throwing shoulder. Read and respond to flow. Medium zone until ball passes LOS. follow passer laterally. trail reverses through backfield. Keep contain. Keep contain. Rush passer with hands high.

3-5 yards deep. 5 1/2 players per side. 3-5 yards deep. Outside shade of widest receiver. Inside shade of left tackle. 7-13 yards deep. Slant to B gap D gap. Outside shade of widest receiver. 7 yards deep. Halfway between slot receiver and tackle. Trail reverses through backfield. 7 yards deep. Outside shade of tackle. Attack outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Halfway between slot receiver and tackle. Slant to B gap Slant to strong A gap. Run responsibilities: Sam SDE SDT NT WDT Monster Willie Follow keys. Inside shade of right tackle. Doubles Lineup: Sam SDE SDT NT WDT Monster Willie WDE SCB WCB FS Head up on Center.52 Monster vs. Fire A gap. trail reverses through backfield. C gap. . Key Ace back. D gap. trail reverses through backfield. Attack outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Head up on Center. Outside shade of offensive tackle. depending on down/distance.

WCB FS The 5-2 Monster is obviously a linebacker intensive defense. For some reason. and our linebackers were more a force of nature than football players. if I get another middle linebacker like Mike McGowan. Medium zone until ball passes LOS. Rush passer with hands high. Force outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Rush passer with hands high. Trail reverses through backfield. I might just consider the 5-2. then attack. Force outside shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Zone coverage as deep as deepest player in your third of the field. as well as sheer athleticism to perform. allowing an average of 48 points per game and helping us to finish 136-1 after five seasons from junior high through my sophomore year. . our defensive backs were self -disciplined enough to make few mistakes in coverage.shoulder of ball carrier on sweeps towards. Defensive linemen have the enormous task of keeping the offensive line off of the linebackers and allowing those linebackers to do their jobs. Short hook zone slot to flat. Short hook zone slot to flat. It requires disciplined athletes that can follow their keys precisely. Stay deep until ball crosses LOS WCB FS Pass responsibilities: Sam SDE SDT NT WDT Monster Willie WDE SCB Short zone to middle. WDE SCB C gap. Rush passer with hands high. It is for these two reasons that the defense. With all of that said. and requires a vast amount of discipline to condition the players to stay in their zones after seeing fifteen or twenty running plays in a row. Keep contain. While I still prefer the Gap-8 and 7-diamond. bear in mind that one of the best defenses I ever coached was a 5-2 that was run at the ten-year-old level. Pass defense is zone based. We allowed fewer points than any other team in the league. Rush passer with hands high. Play QB's non-throwing shoulder. follow passer laterally. and only blown tackles knocked us out of the playoffs in 1992. finished 7-2. Nothing gets deeper than you. but it is difficult to teach. Medium zone until ball passes LOS. Deep zone. which I personally do not like. Play QB's non-throwing shoulder. as I played in it 1985-1990 was a disaster. Rush passer with hands high through A gap. This takes a great deal of training in technique work. and not get suckered in by misdirection plays. Keep contain. I think these two examples serve to show that the measure of this efense is in the players and the coaching. Zone coverage as deep as deepest player in your third of the field. There is no doubt that zone defense is better suited for stopping the run than man to man is. then attack. rather than the defense itself. keep receivers underneath. Read and respond to flow.

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