Prevent defense is all about not giving up the big play. Prevent defense should be used when there is little time left in the game or a half and the other team is trying to score. Prevent can also be used when the offense has a 3rd or 4th and long. Our base defense is the 53. When we get into our prevent we will take out the nose guard and put in another linebacker or secondary player to play the wide side flat (S). Basically we want to put a better athlete on the field. If your nose guard is good enough just have him go out to the wide side flat. This prevent defense is a cover 4 zone.
Key Coaching Points for Playing Prevent Defense:
- Defend the wide side of the field.
- No one gets behind the defense.
- Tackle. Tackle. Tackle.
- Be disciplined. Know that the offense will attempt something tricky.
- Contain the QB.
- Safeties must be the deepest players on the field from the start of the play to the end of the play.
- Defensive tackles must anchor their inside gaps. They cannot allow the QB to step up or run up the middle.
- Two deep safeties cannot be over aggressive. They must hold their zone, they cannot get over aggressive and leave their zone voided. Safety must be super deep and backpedal.
- Scout. Get film on your opponent-know who their go to players are. Know what they like to do on long down and distances.
- If they end up getting a big play or you take a penalty make sure your defense is ready for the next play because the offense will probably be in hurry up mode.
- When playing zone coverage the defenders must play with depth. Meaning, they must get deep and always take the deepest receiving threat. Always want to play deep-to- shallow. If they flood a zone the defender must always play the deepest threat, then come down and break on the shallow routes.
- Make sure your players adjust to heavy formations, like 3 or 4 wide to one side.
Defensive Ends-Must contain the QB- cannot allow him out of the pocket. They must contain against reverses as well.
Defensive Tackles- Pass rush up the field-get to that QB. Anchor gaps.
Mike Linebacker (M)10+ yards playing deep middle coverage. This player must get depth and play the middle of the field-Defend against posts, deep crossing routes, and laterals. When the ball is thrown player needs to go to the football.
Will Linebacker (W)- 10 + yards playing deep middle coverage. This player must get depth and play the middle of the field-Defend against posts, deep crossing routes, and laterals. When the ball is thrown player needs to go to the football. Backpedal.
Sam Linebacker (S)– Plays the wide side flat. This player is to defend against any screen or a mobile QB. Odds are they are going to call a play to the strong side of the field. Having that defender playing the wide side flat makes things difficult for the offense. Get depth.
CORNERS- 15+ yards deep playing deep 3rd coverage-nothing gets behind them. When the ball is thrown players need to go to the football. Backpedal.
SAFETIES- Go back as a deep as 20 + yards-playing deep half-nobody gets behind them. You do not want them to get over aggressive, especially when pursuing. Do not over pursuit, allowing the ball carrier to cut back. Backpedal.