The 3-5-3 Stack Defense is one of the best defenses in football. It is becoming more and more popular as more offenses are spreading the field and becoming multiple. The 3-5 Defense can easily align to spread formations while still being strong against the run and power formations. Here are 3 reasons why the 3-5-3 Stack is a great defense:
3 Reasons Why the 3-5-3 Stack is a Great Defense
Easily Adjusts to any Formation
The 3-5 Stack can easily adjust to any formation with minimal movement. More and more teams are spreading the field so it’s important that you have a defense that can easily adjust to those spread formations. Aligning against spread formations is very simple as you only have to move 1-2 defenders. This defense will allow you to adjust to their spread numbers, while still maintaining a six man run strong box. This is important because teams will spread you out then run inside. Just because you are facing a team that runs the spread offense, that doesn’t mean they are throwing the ball every play. Most teams will spread the field and run the ball inside, so having at least six defenders in the box will help you defend against inside runs. This is also a great defense against compressed power formations. The 3-5 will put eight defenders in the box against double tight-end formations. The 3-5 can easily adjust to unbalanced formations as well. With more and more teams going multiple, it’s important that you have a simple defense that can adjust quickly and easily to ANY formation.
Multiple Blitzes and Stunts
My favorite aspect about the 3-5 Stack is the variety of blitzes and stunts that can be implemented. This defense will keep the offensive linemen on their heels because they don’t know which of the five linebackers are going to blitz. Having stacked linebackers will actually slow down the offensive line’s fire-out because they will not know where the defensive linemen are going to slant. They have to wait and see where the defensive linemen is going, then block. That’s why the stack is so effective, when your defensive tackles/ends are stacked, it forces the offensive tackle to have to worry about his left and right gap. The blitz combinations that can be executed with three defensive linemen and five linebackers are endless. There are excellent interior, off-tackle, and outside blitzes that can be implemented that will really make life miserable for the offense. These types of blitzes and stunts are very difficult to pick up and there aren’t many blocking rules that can account for the multiple slant and blitzers. When you stack your defenders it will confuse the offensive linemen and you will see their coaches frustration when you have a free defender running into the backfield on every play.
Great for Undersized and/or Athletic Defensive Linemen
The 3-5 features several blitzes and stunts that will get your defensive linemen on the move. Having undersized defensive linemen isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you are facing a team with a massive offensive line you have to make those big offensive linemen be athletes. The bigger they are the slower they move. Many big kids can’t move fluently so a good get off and dip & rip will make the offensive linemen whiff. Let’s not forget that their fire-off will be slower because they don’t know which gap your defensive linemen are going to shoot. This is the best defense for athletic defensive linemen because it will allows them to really utilize their abilities and frustrate the offensive line. I promise you the 3-5 Defense is a defense opposing offensive linemen won’t like playing.
Related Content: 5 Reasons Why You Should Run a Stack Defense in Youth Football
Coaching Points for the Defensive Line
- Mix up slants and blitzes, keep them guessing.
- Practice good defensive linemen get off when that ball is snapped.
- Execute the dip and rip move (reduce blocking surface).