How to Name Defensive Fronts (Even if Names Don’t Matter…)

defensivefrontsOne of the most confusing parts of coaching football is all of the different terminology. We use different words to mean the same thing, and use the same terms to describe completely unrelated concepts.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the naming of Defensive Fronts. What makes the 4-2-5 Defense different from the 4-3 Defense? What about the 4-4 Defense? And where does the 46 Defense fall? It’s not easy. For me, the 4-2-5 and the 4-4 Defense are the same. the 4-3 Defense, however, is very different. And the 46 Defense name has nothing to do with how many linemen and linebackers are on the field.

In this edition of our Coaching Basics Video Series, we’re looking at Defensive Fronts, and how they get their name.

Since so many coaches like to use so many different terms, our descriptions are never going to be perfect. But this is a good starting point for understanding how all of these defenses got their names.


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