Youth Football Defensive Line Slant Technique

By FirstDown PlayBook on Oct 21, 2023
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When a Defensive Coordinator dials up a defense on 3rd or 4th & one they understand the odds are not in their favor to get the stop. It’s normally going to take a great individual play at the point of attack or something scheme wise to help out. One of the most effective tools you have in this situation is your defensive line slant technique.

There are pluses and minuses when you employ this strategy but once again, the odds are not in your favor to make the stop anyway. The point we want to touch on today is how you can set this up so that you have a good chance of slanting to the point of attack.

A few years ago we featured this play on All 22 Tuesday. The Seattle Seahawks stopped the Patriots at the end of the game with a goal line stand. They slanted to the offset back and a defender came free to hit the quarterback run for a loss. You can see it here.

When you get right down to it, the adjustment they made is not that complicated. It just involves slanting your defensive front to where you think the ball is going. Without getting into the tendencies that can go into this it can be simple for a youth football coach too. Your youth football defense can make this simple adjustment if taught properly.

If you are getting hurt to one side or the other, always have a “Rip” or “Liz” call available. Your linebackers can make this to get the line slanting that way. The two plays we have here today both have “Rip” calls that tell the front to slant to the right.

A Simple “Rip” or “Liz” Call Can Make Your Linebacker Right Vs All Formations

Once again, the key or the indicator telling you and your linebackers which way to make the call is up to you. It might be to the RB. It could be to the Wing.

The important thing to take from here is to not just sit still and get pounded by the same play all game. You can can have adjustments built into your youth football defense like the one the Seahawks had.

Also keep in mind that this is not just for short yardage and goal line plays. Often times a youth football defense is undersized. If that’s the case then this slanting defense can be used as a base. This way you will make your undersized defensive linemen moving targets. They will be much harder to block.

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