Basic Defense: 7 Man Fronts vs. 8 Man Fronts

4-4 DefenseWe have already looked at the difference between Odd and Even Front defenses in our previous defense. Along with recognizing a defense as being an Odd or Even front, we also need to be able to recognize if the defense uses a  7 Man Front or an 8 Man Front as it’s base.

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The difference between the two is simple. In an 8 Man Front, we have enough players to fill all of the gaps in an Offensive alignment when there are 2 Tight Ends on the field. If we are running a 7 Man Front, at least one player must be designated as a 2-gap player.

2-gap players do not know which gap they will be responsible for until they get a read on the play. When we’re playing with a 2-gap player, his read should be simple, so that he can get it quickly to fill the correct gap to make the defense sound.


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