Defending Trips and Quads Out of 4-2-5

Jan 13, 2018 | Front, Even Front Structures, Defense

By Garrett Schmidt
Defensive Coordinator/DBs Coach
Huron High School (SD)
Twitter: @CoachSchmidt17





Today’s offenses are all about spreading defenses out so they become unsound in the running game. In response, our coaching staff had to figure out a way to defend Trips/Quad sets while still keeping our defense sound up front. We are able to do that, partly due to being a 4-2-5 team, by allowing our Mike and Will LBs to remain in the box at all times; even against Quad sets. First, we want to first take away the run game with our alignment. Secondly, we want to take away any bubble/flat routes. When teams take their number one receiver and put him on an island, we can leave our best corner on an island with their best receiver or give him help over the top if we need to.

Defensive Backs Alignment vs. Trips/Empty


Against Trips or Empty sets, we run like to run cover 6. For us, that means that we are running cover 4 on the passing strength side and on the weak side we are running Cover 2. This year, we also experimented with a read cover 2 and had some success on the back side with that concept. The main difference in this is if the #1 receiver goes deep (X in diagram 1). If he does, then the corner goes with him and the hybrid will then get deeper and play as a deep safety reading the entire field. In that situation, the FS needs to be aware of the #2 receiver in the coverage, which is most likely a back coming out of the backfield. Everybody still maintains their same run fits against Trips/Empty and the hybrid has weak side force and bandit has strong side force.

Coaching Points

  • The weak side cornerback must maintain outside leverage on #1 receiver and is looking for any routes coming his way from the running back or #2 receiver. If #1 receiver goes deep then he goes with him and the Hybrid will look for anything out of the backfield or any crossing routes.
  • Hybrid needs to get depth, we have him align at 10-12 yards, so he can see the entire field and get overtop of #1 if need be.

Defensive Backs Alignment v. Quads