Ferris State’s 4-1 Box Fits in Quarters Structure

Dec 11, 2023 | Front, Even Front Structures, Defending Run Game, Defense, Coverage, Two High Coverage Structures, Position Groups, Linebackers

By Mike Kuchar with Grant Caserta
Linebackers Coach
Ferris State University (MI)
Twitter: @GCaserta1



The first benefit of playing a 4-1 box is that allows the Mike linebacker to track down ball carrier  and make plays from sideline to sideline. The second benefit lies in allowing the front to close interior gaps along the line of scrimmage which alleviate any run/pass reads for Nickel linebackers (the Buck in Ferris system) on the perimeter. “Many quarters teams will walk the Buck out and send the defensive into the B gap like a stunt,” said Coach Caserta. “We can still play him in a 5-technique and if he gets pass we can rush the edge.”


Front Play: “Gap and a Half Responsibility”

It stats up front with what Coach Caserta calls a “heads technique” for the interior tackles, who are gap and a half responsible, meaning they are responsible for playing the A gaps pre-snap, but if the ball hits in the B gap, they are taught to swipe. “We want the Tackles to control the A gaps,” said Coach Caserta. “But once the ball declares, he can swipe outside Guard’s face. Must hold his gap first. He can’t swipe too early. We talk about staying in the gap until the ball declares.”


The defensive ends will align in 5-techniques but are responsible for the B gaps and will spill any blocks to the perimeter. If they get a base block or stretch block, they will play into the B gap.