Youth Football 5-3 Defense Changeup

By FirstDown PlayBook on Aug 11, 2022

There is a fine line you have to walk as a youth football coach. The line separates installing a changeup to your base every now and then and not confusing your team with too much. Today we are going to look at a youth football 5-3 defense changeup. It should be considered only after your defense has the base down pat first.

This changeup is an excellent way to offset blocking schemes that attack your 5-3 defense in the B and C gaps. The challenge is to make sure that the changeup does not dilute your base 5-3 defense. Most coaches who like a 5-3 defense have a lot of confidence in their Nose. This makes sense. If you can dominate the interior, the offense is going to struggle with the run game.

As you will see in the video below, your nose guard is going to be playing in a zero technique. This means that they are playing head up on the center. There are several ways to play this once the ball is snapped. You can assign your nose the responsibility to beat the center play side. The center can also be assigned to play back door. You can also choose to slant your nose one direction or another on the snap.

This Youth Football 5-3 Defense & Multiple Changeups Are In FirstDown PlayBook

All three of these techniques are sound ways to play this defense. However, you better let your middle linebacker in on how you are playing it. The Mike LB will need to play opposite of your nose. One coaching tip is to allow your nose to play off the ball some. This will allow them to their gap responsibility easier. Another tip is that if your Mike LB is experienced they may be able to just play opposite of your nose after the ball is snapped. These are decisions you will need to make based on your personnel.

The youth football 5-3 defense changeup you are going to see in this video addresses another soft spot in this defense. The B gap can be vulnerable with this defense, particularly with option offenses. There are several things you can do to offset this. You can mix in a 5-3 Bear defense every now and then. This will align your tackles in the B gap. Now your Will and Sam linebackers will be responsible for the C gaps.

Learn More About This & 5 More Youth Football Defenses Suggested By NFL Coaches

Today however we will show you what we call a Tex stunt. This simple stunt slants the tackles into the C gap and wraps your ends into the B gaps. Once again, just like with the 5-3 Bear, your linebackers are going to have to adjust more to the edge and perimeter. Take a look at this short video to learn more and remember all of this is coached up with much more detail in FirstDown PlayBook,