Coach Brown from Kentucky asked this:
If you have any articles or advice on attacking a 4–3 with d-tackles over the guards I would appreciate it.
I’ve written about attacking an even front, but not specifically about thoughts on dealing with defensive tackles lined up directly over the guards (2 technique).
Side note: I didn’t grow up playing offensive or defensive line, and DL techniques confused me early on in my coaching career. Here’s a decent 101 article on it that might help.
Here’s how I responded. If you have additional ideas or critique of mine, comment below.
- You want to watch what their flow and technique is. Are they slanting? Do they ever stunt? Or are they just trying to get their hands on the inside shoulder of the guard to control or even chase him?
- Make sure you are getting your guards, tackles, TE as deep as they can be off the line (eyes to hip of center). This makes the angles easier.
- I love running the Belly / ISO play against this, especially if the weak DE is playing outside shade of the offensive tackle. That’s an easy down block by the guard, kickout by the tackle, and lead by the WB / HB through the hole.
- Trap can work here but can be tough if the defensive tackles are good at controlling A gap.
- Are they chasing guards? You could try trap with a GUT call and pull the playside guard like he is kicking out for buck sweep. The DT will often chase and take himself out of the play, or at the least make himself an easy target for the trapping guard.
- When all else fails and I’m having a hard time with interior A gap penetration, we will sometimes go to the Hammer series which is a power play without pulling anyone. We use the WBs to kickout and lead – see the video below.