Understanding how each player fits into defending the run is key to any defense. If you just like the way the players are aligned, and think it looks pretty, the defense won’t work. If the players don’t know where they’re supposed to fit in, the defense won’t work either! Unless, of course, you are just blessed with superior talent. So when looking at the 3-5-3 Defense, have to understand the run fits out of the base, first and foremost. If the coaches and players don’t know how the players fit into the run from the base defense, they will never be able to understand their fits when we start slanting and stunting all over the place.In the picture here, we see the base 3-5-3 Defense against a Doubles formation. The formation really does not affect our fits unless it is some sort of unbalanced formation. Even Double Tights does not change our fits, which is one of the benefits of the 8-man front the Odd Stack offers.What is shown is a Base 3-5 with a strong slant by the Defensive Line. They want to fit tight into their gap – something I did not used to do, but would change in running this defense again. This is because they are a “spill” player, responsible for forcing the play further outside. If they slant to wide, and the play kicks them and gets underneath, the defense is in trouble! We have talked about spill and box players in previous postings. The 3 inside linebackers are also spill players. They have the gap opposite of the direction that the guy they are stacked over takes. As an example, the Mike and Nose are responsible for the A-Gaps. When the Nose takes the strong A-Gap, the Mike is automatically responsible for the weak A-Gap. He is a spill player, forcing the play outside of that gap.
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