Inside/Outside Puller Fits to Defend Gap Runs from Mint Front

Apr 12, 2021 | The LAB, Front, Defending Run Game, Defense, Odd Front Structures, Position Groups, Linebackers

By Lawson Green
Defensive Coordinator
Oak Grove High School (LA)
Twitter: @lawson_green45


We are a base 3-4, 2-high team with our defensive linemen aligned in a 4-0-4 front.  Our defensive line is usually bigger kids that must demand a double team and can eat up blocks. Our End is the more athletic of the two tackles. He will bump to a 5-tech at times. Our Tackle is a true Defensive Tackle that will have to play 3 at times. We teach our Defensive linemen a Shade technique for when they are lined up on the shoulder of an offensive lineman and a Head technique for when they are lined head up. Our inside linebackers are decent runners, but they must be able to get off blocks and make tackles. Our outside linebackers must be able to play the curl area in the pass and set the edge or play a 9/6 tech against a Tight end. Our Corners are our best cover guys, and our safeties need to be our best tacklers. We have adapted our defense over the years to try to stop the spread attack. We no longer start our defensive installation by defending the Pro formation.  We now start with defending 2x2. When talking about run fits in our defense our players must understand that our coverage leverage is going to dictate their fit in the run. If their coverage places them outside the box, they are going to fit according to our rules based on the alignment of the back. If they are inside the box, they fit based on the blocking scheme they get. When defending 1 back gap scheme teams we always want to make sure that we have someone inside and outside of each puller. When a lineman pulls, they are creating two new gaps to the side they are pulling to, so we must make sure we have someone in each one of them.


Aligning to 10 personnel

The Front Five: We align our front five to the field when in our base 3-4 front. We want to take away gaps from the inside out. We play our tackles in 4s or 4Is depending on their ability, they will utilize our head technique. They are responsible for the B gap on runs and they are contain rushers against the pass. Our nose is aligned in a zero. He is the backside A gap player. We want our nose to disrupt the middle as much as possible while maintaining the backside A gap. If our nose gets a double team, he will sit his hips down in the crack and fight pressure against the double team.  Our ILBs align in 20s and are frontside A gap players on runs to and cutback/Quarterback players on run away. The ILBs are fast-run fitters.


Outside Linebackers (OLBs)vs 10: Our Sam and Jack will apex the #2 receiver and the offensive tackle. They will align 5 yards off the ball with their inside foot up.


Sam and Jack are either a “Pause” or a “Fit” player based on the alignment of the back. If the back is aligned to their side, they are a Pause player, meaning that they will hang in the slot window for a pass then play Qb to cutback. If the back is aligned opposite of them then they are a Fit player, meaning that if they get run action, they are going to attack the line and get square to force the ball back inside.

Safeties vs 10: The Strong and Free Safety will align off of the #2 receiver based on the coverage call. They are pass-first players. Their job is to fit outside in vs any run to their side and to play long cutback away from him. The Free Safety will align 5x7 off the offensive tackle to the single receiver side. He has the same responsibility as the Strong.

Corners: The Corner aligns from the #1 receiver based on the coverage call. He is a pass 1st player with secondary contain responsibility vs run to him and last man pursuit vs run away.