Odd Front DCs: Scenarios for Two-Gap Technique

Jun 17, 2016 | Front, Defense, Odd Front Structures

By Mike Kuchar
Senior Research Manager
X&O Labs
Twitter: @MikekKuchar


The following research was conducted as part of XandOLabs.com special report on “Odd Front vs. the Run Game,” continue reading for more information on this report.

Instances to Two-Gap the Nose

Mark Segina, Unadilla Valley High School (NY): “I use two gap techniques for mainly three reasons: if I have a kid who can two-gap, if a team is mostly running read option/outside zone stuff and to keep the center off my inside linebacker.”

Dino Kaklis, Defensive Coordinator, University of Virginia-Wise: “We two-gap unless we have some sort of movement going on. We are flexible due to who is playing the position for us.”

Brandon Staley, Defensive Coordinator, John Carroll University (OH): “We believe in playing two gap because the whole idea of run defense is to slow the run fit down and create as many one-on-ones as possible. That’s what you get when you use two-gap techniques. The whole concept of offensive football, whether it’s zone or power, is to get double teams at the point of attack. Our big goal is getting movement off the line of scrimmage will get you beat on double teams. The whole purpose of playing two gaps is to create one-on-ones at the point of attack. We want to be in a three-down front because you are defending two-back football. It’s easier to do in three down than in four down because you don’t give the offense angles. Every body wants to block an over front. The edges are firmer for the read game and the counter game because you have overhangs.”

Tom Bainter, Bothell High School (WA): “For us, it depends on the player. The better the player, the more freedom we give him to play two gaps. The inside linebacker will fix the open gap. We've had some great NT's so we play two gap nose most of the time.”

Jason Faulk, Cecilia High School (LA): “We mainly two-gap our nose against double tight end formations. We often have trouble with our outside linebackers being physical enough to play on the line of scrimmage. We are fortunate enough this year to have a big enough nose to play a two-gap technique however, if the center is crossing us and pinning us we will check to a Diamond Front where the nose shades strong and an inside linebacker will get in a four point stance and shade weak.”

Dale Sprague, Defensive Line Coach, Southern Virginia University: “In our base fronts, we have the nose two-gapping whenever he is in a zero technique and we are not stunting or zone blitzing.”

Jeff Larson, Defensive Coordinator, Chadron State College (NE): “We rarely two gap the nose, but when we do it is usually vs. open sets. The main reason we did two-gap our nose vs. open sets was because the lack of the extra gap created by a tight end, so we felt our backside linebacker could make the nose right and not have to worry about leaving an extra gap open.”

Alvin Smith, Defensive Line Coach, Wagner College (NY): “We have bigger body than an attack 4-3 defense that have some athleticism. 3-4 defensive ends and 3-4 nose’s are starting to be bigger than offensive lineman. You don’t want to give up more than 10 pounds to your opponent.”

Douglas Godwin, Gulf Breeze High School (FL): “We two-gap our nose in our eagle look to help defend against heavy run teams. We want to take away any type of inside run that teams will give us. We will also do this in short yardage situations.”