After a lengthy delay, I finally took the time to read Jerry Gordon’s Coaching the Under Front Defense book this past week. There is nothing revolutionary in the way that Coach Gordon runs his Under Front Defense, and that is what makes this a great book. The defense is simple, the teaching is clear, and the book covers every aspect needed to install the Under Front Defense.
The base of the defense is just like the Under Front we run as a change up to our 4-3 Over Defense. I like the Under for 2 back offenses with a Tight End, but it is easily adjustable to anything you will see.
The Under is a reduced 5-2 Defense at it’s heart. Early in the book, Coach Gordon gives a clear explanation of why he likes this front more than any other. With only one bubble, the strong side B Gap, the Offense has fewer obvious places to run.
The explanations for how to coach each position are clear and concise, not overly wordy. The chapter on Defensive Line covers how each Defensive Lineman should be taught to defeat the various blocks they will see. The Linebacker section explains stance, backfield keys and lineman reads and blitz technique.
The section on Defensive Backs is short, and as someone who has written a few books on coaching defense, that’s understandable. A lot of coaching DBs is keeping it simple, getting reps on the same looks repeatedly, and staying disciplined.
The coverage is a Cover 4 that checks to Cover 3 in some situations. I like the concept of the coverage, as it is very similar to our Quarters coverage. There were even a few pieces I thought about stealing for our defense this season. Much like the rest of the defense, the emphasis is placed on simplicity.
Coaching the Under Front Defense concludes with several chapters on attacking the offense out of the Under. There is a chapter on changing up the fronts and using stunts up front to confuse the offense and give them a different look.
There are two chapters focusing on blitzing. There is one chapter on man blitzes and another chapter on zone blitzes. While the blitz packages are not huge, they are more than adequate to build a successful defense. The concepts for the man and zone blitzes leave plenty of room to expand, as well.
The last chapter of the book explains the Goal Line Defense that Coach Gordon uses with his Under Front Defense. Again, he keeps the scheme simple and effective for handling the undesirable situation of having your back against the wall.
This was a great book, and even though it is very similar to what we already run, I found some good tidbits. Coach Gordon avoided the temptation that so many get distracted by, to make their defense and the explanation of it overly complicated. This is a great book for coaches of High School and Youth football who are looking for a solid defense to run this season.
Order Coaching the Under Front Defense, enter the code Gordon2012 to get 25% Off!
Update: After reading the book, I enjoyed it so much that I set up an interview with Jerry Gordon for The Football Coaching Podcast. Click here to listen to that interview.