Solid youth football defense wins championships. Choosing the right defense is vital to a successful season. Remember, it does not matter what defense you choose, what’s important is that your team gets to the ball and tackles well.

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Youth Football 53 Defense

The 53 defense is probably the most common defense in youth football . In my league I play against the 53 defense at least 5 times per season, including playoffs. The defense is a solid defense for youth football. It puts 8 defenders in the box to stop the run. This defense is a simple, yet effective.  It is sound against the run and effective against the pass.

The 53 defense has 5 down linemen, 3 linebackers.  The secondary consist of 2 cornerbacks and a safety.  The great thing about this defense is that you only have to find 3 linebackers. Where as the 44 you need 4 linebackers.  It also has 5 down linemen which will allow your 3 linebackers to be free off blocks and make plays. This also a great defense to hide some of your weaker players as they get required plays.

(Download) 53 Swarm Defense


Youth Football 44 Defense

Youth Football 44 Defense

The youth football 44 is a defense which consists of 4 down linemen and 4 linebackers. The linebackers are stacked behind the defensive linemen. The secondary has two cornerbacks along with a free safety, playing center field.

The 44 stack is a great way to confuse the offensive linemen’s blocking scheme.  Stacking your linebackers will hide which defender is attacking which gap. The 44 stack makes the offenses pre-snap read difficult.  The 44 defense is a blitz and stunting friendly defense. This defense has 4 linebackers that can blitz at anytime.  Slanting of the defensive linemen and looping of the linebackers works really well in this defense. Having 8 defenders in the box in youth football is a good thing, stop the run.

 (Related Content) 44 Stack Defense

(Related Content) 44 Defense Blitz Packages


Youth Football 52 Defense

Youth Football 52 Defense

The 52 defense is commonly used youth football defense. There are 5 down linemen. There are 2 inside linebackers, with 2 cornerbacks. There is a free safety and a strong safety. This defense is great because of the strong safety.  The SS can be moved to any area of the field. Having a strong safety allows the defense to adjust accordingly to multiple offensive formations by only moving one player (bringing the strong safety over to strong side). In youth football it is good to keep defenses basic, focus on getting off blocks and tackling. What is also good about the 52 defense is that the strong safety can play the strong side flat zone (against slants, screens, flare passes).

(See Also) 52 Monster Defense




Youth Football 62 Defense

Youth Football 62 Defense

The 62 consists of 6 down linemen, 2 inside linebacker and 3 secondary players (2 corners and 1 safety). This defense is tough against the inside isolation and power plays. The 62 defense is also good for hiding some of your weaker players (minimum play players) in the interior of the line with little chance of giving up large yardage.  Youth football linebackers are sometimes hard to find, so coaches usually can put your two best players at the inside linebacker positions. Having 6 down linemen will also occupy most of the interior gaps. This will leave your two linebackers free from blocks, allowing them to make plays.



(See Also) Cross Blitz- 62 Defense


Youth Football 43 Defense

youth football 43 defense

The 43 defense is not a very common defense in youth football, because it only has 7 defenders in the box. This doesn’t mean it is a bad defense. The 43 defense consists of 4 down linemen, 2 outside linebackers and 1 middle linebacker. The secondary has 2 cornerbacks, along with a free and strong safety.

What is good about this defense is that it has two safeties. This will allow you to adjust to the strong side of the offense- only having to move one player (one of the safeties). You can shift into a 44 defense easily as well; bringing down a safety to make an 8 man box. The 43 is also very successful in pass coverage. The cover two works well in passing situations. Cover 4 (four deep coverage) is also great for prevent. Although, this defense is decently rare in youth football, it can still be a successful defense. It is simple to implement, which is definitely a good thing. Easy and simple is key for youth football.

(See Also) Zone Blitz out of the 43 Defense


Youth Football 33 Stack defense

Youth Football 33 Stack Defense

The 33 stack defense has 3 down defensive linemen, 2 defensive tackles and a nose guard.  There are 5 linebackers; 1 inside linebacker lined up stacked over the center, 2 middle linebackers stacked over the defensive tackles, and two outside linebackers. There are 2 cornerbacks, along with a deep middle safety (free safety). This is strictly a gap control defense.

The 33 stack defense is designed to confuse the offense with the “stack” look. Having the stacked linebackers will really confuse the offense. Combination blitzes and defensive linemen slants will be a nightmare for offenses. This defense is also very flexible; it is easy to get into the 44 or 53 defense-with minor player movement.  The 33 defense will put pressure on the offense, because they will not know where the blitz is going to come from. It is a great defense for youth football. It will eat up many different youth football blocking schemes. Even though I have always had a 5 man front, I use a lot of 33 stack defensive philosophies.

(Download)  3-3 Stack defense 


Other Defenses:

Slanting 3-4 Defense 

4-2-5 Defense 

3-5-3 Stack Defense