3 Ways to Handle a Disruptive Defensive Tackle

When you are playing a disruptive Wide Defensive Tackle it can be extremely frustrating for you as a coach and for your players. I consider a Wide DT a Defensive Tackle that lines up in the C-gap or in a 7 technique. Wide Tackles are mostly utilized in the 6-2 Defense but it’s an alignment technique that any defense can utilize. A couple years ago we played a team that had two really disruptive WDTs and they gave us fits all game long. They completely took away the off-tackle gap and shut down our Power and ISO. We’ve played a bunch of WDT defenses but this team had two studs that where on another level. Usually we will down block on them with our TE but that didn’t work. After watching two Wide Tackles terrorize our offensive line it forced me to come up with an answer. Here are 3 ways we  handle a disruptive Wide Defensive Tackle.

3 Ways to Handle a Disruptive Defensive Tackle | 6-2 Defense

Double Team 

(Power without backside pull- some call it Duo)

 

Double Team Block

The simplest way to deal with a disruptive Defensive Tackle is to double team him. Against a Wide Defensive Tackle we will utilize a double team with our TE and LT. Sometimes it will take two blockers to handle one great defensive linemen. For me double teaming isn’t ideal, but like I said, sometimes you have to commit two blockers to get one stud blocked. For us, our base rule for our TE will be to block down on the DT. If we can’t handle him with a down block we utilize a tag we call “Deuce”. This tells our TE and LT that they are responsible for double teaming the defensive tackle. Utilizing a double team sounds like an easy solution but it is important that proper double team technique needs to be practiced- otherwise you will be just wasting two blockers.

See Also: 3 Ways to Run the Power out of the Spread

Hammer 

(Belly)

Down Blocking

Another great way to take care of a disruptive Defensive Tackle is to HAMMER him with the Wing Back. Usually your Wing Back will be smaller than your TE or T, but we love the WB Hammer for a couple of reasons. Reason one, our WB (labeled 3) has an excellent blocking angle of the DT. Two, he will be able to generate some momentum which will help him generate more power with his down block. Three, the WDT will have his head looking inside watching the football and will not see the down block coming. When the WB and TE hear the ” Hammer” call they are just switching responsibilities. The TE will now release to the second level and the WB will block the first level (the DT).

Keep in mind that if you are double teaming the Left Tackle’s inside gap will be open for a linebacker to blitz. Make sure you teach your TE and OT that are double teaming to combo off if a second level defender attacks their inside gap. 

Related Content: The Wide Tackle 6-2 Defense for Youth Football

Long Trap

Long Trap

A great way to handle disruptive Defensive Tackles is to trap them. Much like the Hammer block Trap blocking will allow your blocker to utilize a good blocking angle on a defender that won’t know it’s coming. On Long Trap, the backside guard pulls and kicks out the first defensive linemen past the LT. It will usually either be a Defensive End in the 4-4 Defense or it will be a WDT in the 6-2 Defense. Trap is one of the best concepts in football, but it isn’t utilized enough on the youth football level. Trap is great because most defensive linemen are taught to fire out and get penetration. When defensive linemen penetrate they leave horizontal space and set themselves up to be easily kicked out on a trap block. Against disruptive WDTs I think Trap might be your best answer.

These are great tactics that you can also be utilized against your tradition aligned defensive tackles. Also, these tactics can be utilize with pretty much any play, doesn’t have to be just the plays I drew up.

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