How your Defensive Line attacks and defeats their blockers is crucial to defending the Inside Zone. Regardless of what front you choose, the Linebackers are going to be expected to make a majority of the tackles.
Our Linebackers in the 4-2-5 Defense are going to use the running backs as their primary key. Backfield flow normally tell them what play they are seeing. Split flow is common in Inside Zone schemes, with the Fullback kicking out the back side Defensive End (or the QB reading him in Zone Read), so we have to work that look during the week in practice.
He’ll need to pick up the movement of the Offensive Line opposite the steps of the back. The path of the Offensive Line should match the path of the back. If he sees anything out of place, like pullers, they will take him to the play.
The key is for the Linebackers to be patient with their feet while their eyes recognize the play. Once they recognize the play, they need to be extremely fast and aggressive in their attack. As long as the Defensive Line is doing their job, occupying the Defensive Line and commanding double teams, we can take our time to read the play.
If the backers are sitting back and letting linemen work up to them, they will be unable to stop the play. As soon as they diagnose the play, they need to be fast to their gap responsibility. It has to become reaction.
In our defense, no matter what front, the Inside Linebackers are spill players. So when they attack their gap, they need to take away the inside half of the gap. He should be attacking the Offensive Lineman on the inside half of his gap. Linebackers cannot run around blocks.
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