Glen McNew’s Defending the Wing-T with the 4-4 Defense

National Wing-T Clinic 2016 Glen McNew Defending the Wing-T

Coach Glen McNew ran a different style of Wing-T talk – stopping the (spread) Wing-T with the 4–4 defense. This is a comprehensive subject to cover in just one hour, but he brought up some good points that you might find helpful.

Initial Analysis

Glen gave a few tips to help guide your analysis and game planning:

  1. What type of player is the QB? A runner or passer? If he’s both his advice was to pray…
  2. Identify the nature of the team – run or pass? Who are the playmakers? How do they react to six in the box? Who makes the checks - QB or coach?
  3. As a defensive coordinator you will need these things to be successful:
    • Team speed
    • Excellent open field tackling
    • Gap responsibility
    • Coverage knowledge and execution
  4. What are their base run plays (buck sweep, etc.)?
  5. What are the base pass plays (screen, quick pass, traditional, etc.)?
  6. What type of pressure will you bring

Core Advice

Coach McNew likes to have his two best defenders at outside linebacker, and he believes you must have one man at cornerback that can play man coverage. He commented that they run a “read cover 3” primarily but didn’t go into it much. I inferred that it is probably similar to a cover 3 pattern matching coverage but I could be wrong.

His defensive alignment looks something like this:

  • Rover is a 7 tech DE aligned on the strong side
  • The tackle is a 3 tech aligned with Rover
  • The nose is a 2i aligned on weak side call, and he also places him 1 yard off the line of scrimmage but still in a stance.
  • The end is a 5 tech
  • The Sam and Mike are 30 technique
  • Bandit and Will are the outside LBs

Coach McNew prefers outside stunts to bring pressure. He wants to hit the QB as much as (legally) possible.

Defensive Line Tips

Glen likes DL in a proper stance with the hand down on side he is lined up on (so if on right side, right hand is down). Technique wise they need to master the step & punch, steer the car (push and pull, eventually ripping through), wrong arming, and the circle drill.

Linemen are taught to get 1 yard upfield then to move laterally. To defeat the double team, they pop up and try to split it. If he is getting skated away, grab and pull them down.

The 3-tech tackle has two key reads to focus on:

  1. The visual key from the feet of the guy in front of the player. Against a spread he must look for the stand up key showing pass.
  2. A pressure key, usually from the tackle on his side. Is he coming down? There’s likely an outside run heading that way.

That was about it. I’d love a half day session with Coach McNew where he covers his defensive scheme. He could easily have spent 90 minutes just on defensive line technique, plus I’d love to learn more about his coverage approaches.