Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Simple Adjustable 4-2-5 Zone Blitz vs. Spread Offenses

The 4-2-5 has evolved from two places the 4-4 and the 4-3 nickel sub package. The 4-4 background of the 4-2-5 provides great solutions for loading the box to stop the run as well as dealing with two back formations. When dealing with spread formations however, it is often helpful to draw on the 4-3 nickel roots of the 4-2-5. The following zone blitz comes directly from traditional 4-3 thinking.

Blitz terms defined:
Boss - Backer or SS blitz
Boss Back - Backer or SS to the back blitzes
Boss Bob - Backer or SS opposite the back blitzes

Coverage Terms defined:
Back Spin - Safety to the back Spins down to the Seam
Bob Spin - Safety opposite the back Spins down to the Seam

This naming system is built similarly to the TCU concept of building sentences.

G tells the Nose to align in a 2i

Tag - Tackle move to A gap

Boss - The Backer or SS aligned to the back blitzes. In this case the SS is the blitzer. The SS must make a "Fire" call to tell the End to his side to go inside. The Backer who is aligned away from the back has the Seam.

Back Spin - The high safety to the Back spins down to the Seam. The high safety away from the back has the middle 1/3

Spin - tells the Corners to play Tight 1/3 technique and the Mike to play the 3 Receiver Hook drop

Here is the same blitz vs. a 3x1 formation.
The only adjustments are the alignments of the inside linebackers. The Mike must widen his alignment to handle the 3RH drop. The Will can tighten his alignment to the core with no split #2 pass threat. The Will can now defend the open B gap opposite the blitz.

If the back is aligned to the Backer (Will) the backer is the blitzer and the SS is a Seam dropper. The Will backer must make a "Fire" call to the end to his side telling him to go inside. The high safeties know the spin is going to the back. The Weak Safety spins down to the Seam while the Free Safety rotates to the Middle 1/3.

In this example the blitz is now being run opposite the back (Bob = Blitz Opposite the Back). The Backer is opposite the back so the Will blitzes. The SS is aligned to the back making him a Seam dropper. The high safeties spin opposite the back.

Other situations that must be addressed with this type of variable blitz are:
1. Where is the blitz coming from if the offense does not have an offset back (pistol or under center)?
2. What to do if the offense moves the back? Can we reset the blitz or do we lock it on?

The Boss concept can also be used vs. TE sets.

In this example the blitz is being run to the Y or TE. All of the rules remain the same.

The naming structure of building sentences is designed for a wristband driven defense. This system allows the defensive coordinator the flexibility to have multiple variable blitzes on any given wristband. The Boss blitz can be used to bring pressure where ever the defense wants to bring it with a simple tag word.


  1. If your facing a 3x1 and they motion into empty (3x2) do you check out of Boss or the WS simply lock on if it vert and play seam if it's anything else

  2. It depends on the team we are facing. Against some teams we will play the 3/3 deep coverage vs. empty. Against others we will use a empty check and change the call completely.

  3. I just started using the 4-2-5 last year and was really amazed at the versatility and the simplicity of the defense. I have our opening game against a team that tends to run a lot of spread and this helps me keep my cover two look while still being able to bring extra pressure. Now I just need to adapt the lingo you use to my kids (high school) and we'll be set.

    1. Anthony how do you declare strength v 2 x 2 sets?

    2. You declare strong side vs 2x2 as the side with RB, if the RB is in pistol set then we declare wide side as strong and boundary as weak side

  4. Could anyone recommend a good online article/book/set of dvds/any resource that helps with installing the 4-2-5 and that has the play calls listed too? Something that shows how to build the sentences with the Tag words? Thanks