The Counter Trey may not be as popular as it once was, but the principles of defending the play are still important for your defense. The play relies on your Linebackers being a step slow because of the counter action and a strong kick out block on your Defensive End.
We’ll look at the Counter Trey against a 4-2-5 or 4-4 Defense, but this should apply to most defenses.Keys to Stopping the Counter Trey
- Play side Defensive End reacts the down block. We have the end in a 7 technique (inside shade of TE) by alignment, but his eyes key the outside hip of the Tackle. When that hip leaves, he’s slamming down into C Gap and expecting the kick-out block from the back side Guard. If he can wrong-arm that block he destroys the play. The pulling Offensive Tackle never gets involved because of the pile-up
- Play side Linebacker keys near guard to Tailback. Lots of teams used to key the Fullback in the I Formation (shown here), but the Tailback is the true read most of the time. As the Tailback takes his initial steps, the backer mirrors, then counter steps back with him. Attack the opening right off the hip of the collapsing Defensive End.
- Back side Linebacker keys near guard to Tailback. Teach your guys to make a “PULL! PULL!” call when they see a pulling Guard, and you can save the play side Linebacker a lot of headache. PSB hears the call from the back side, he knows the pull is coming as he sees the counter step of the back and immediately diagnoses the play. Back side backer recognizes the play and either shoots the gap where the pulling Guard left, getting in his hip pocket, or scrapes over top checking cut-back to spill over the top.
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