Washington 4-3 Under: Defining the Defense (2023)

This series is finally coming to an end. By taking the time to describe all of the different "base" lineups Washington is making, we've got you covered:

· How Shaq Thompson really defines defense

· The 4-3 stack

· Nickel Defense (possibly the real answer thanks to Shaq)

· the 3-4

In SB Nation we have a feature called StoryStreams. It's a way to consolidate articles covering the same topic or event in one place. All articles on "Defining Defense" (an impossible task, thanksJustin Wilcox) can be found in the StoryStream, which should be to the right of this card. At the bottom of the non-exhaustive list is a link where you click "full stream." Hey, stream complete. Earlier this week, I was thinking about Lil Jon's "Get Low." Now I'm laughing at Full Stream. Maturation takes time, right?

Today we're going to take a look at the 4-3 under par defense. This is my favorite defense for the sole reason that I know it better than any other defense. A word of advice to Danny Kelly of Field Gulls, he's the reason I got interested in tape work. The 4-3 Under and 3-4 defenses are two very similar defenses. I've heard the expression "4-3 defense with 3-4 staff," and it really makes more sense to think of it that way than to think of it as a reshuffled 4-3.

Before going into the details, you can think of the positions as follows:

3-4 = 4-3 low

will = will

mike = mike


Jack = WDE/Leo/Elefant



WDE = UT (Bajo Plywood)

Here is the 4-3 Under or the 3-4:

Washington 4-3 Under: Defining the Defense (1)


Washington 4-3 Under: Defining the Defense (2)


Both look like 5-2 defenses. In a way, both are 5-2 defenses with adjustments, as each defense is different.

4-3 Under Defenses is trying to do two things, two things that every Front Seven is trying to do. First: stop the race. Second: pressure on the passport. To do this, he uses 1-slot techniques, which means he relies on penetration and disruption of the offensive line.

The 4-3 low lineup is designed to guide strong lateral runs at will. The D-Linemen and SAM Support must control their slots in the LOS for Will and Mike to play. The way in which the D is oriented must allow the will to be free and unblocked, as well as the funnels that lead to it. The primary tacklers should be Will and Mike, similar to 3-4. In weak side runs, both Will and Mike should flow to the play side and let the SAM do the cleanup work.

That is a bit of the philosophy of the 4-3 Under. Now to the players.

under tackle

This is the namesake of the defense. He positions himself on the weak side of Tech 3. The Under Tackle (UT) is a small DT who comes down to speed, quickness, and technique. Pure girth is not very important for this position, atypical for an inside line position. Many UT are ex DE that have turned inward. Well, not all UTs are the small and fast type. It depends on what the defense coordinator wants for the situation and the position.

Washington 4-3 Under: Defining the Defense (3)

When the defense is focused on stopping the run, the UT is often a bigger defender. It could look like a 3-4 DE. There is versatility in how this position could be used. UT's first star was Hall of Famer Warren Sapp. Sapp is an anomaly, a player of great size and strength and speed.

Typically, a DC wants their best interior pass-rusher at UT. Since he will be up against a guard in many one-on-one situations, the UT should be able to work his way into the backfield and confuse the QB in addition to penetrating running plays.

One of the main ideas of the 4-3 Under is to put defenders in one-on-one situations. Look again at the 4-3 Under on the board. How can a team (of 21 or even 12 people) duplicate someone other than the NT? While the defense is based on one-on-one encounters, it is specifically designed to put UT and WDE in one-on-one situations.

When running a 4-3-under, it's very, very, very important that the 3-tech UT be able to consistently hit solo blocks. More than consistently, frequently. With the defense so eager to get him those looks, it becomes almost necessary for him to master individual blocks.

In case you haven't noticed, the 3 tech under tackle is one of the most important players, if not the most important, in this entire defense. His ability to charge the passer from the inside and hit his blocker in hopes of stopping runs in the backfield is what defense relies on.

Something I found interesting: UW usesDanny Sheltonat the UT point frequently. She wishes she could hear Wilcox's explanation of this, as the NT point is perfect for Shelton's abilities.

Other potential UTs for UW: JoJo Mathis,empty daniel,Connor cree,evan hudson, Andrew Hudson y Josh Banks.

New Testament

Nose tackle at 4-3 low is a very easy position. It must be massive and powerful. Positions between center and guard (usually sometimes in "direct shadow" over center) in a 1-tech or 2i (outside shoulder to inside guard shoulder) on the strong side of the formation . In Wilcox schemes, the NT will line up over the center, atypical of many 4-3 under schemes.

The NT is one of the few 1-Gap-D linemen whose job it is to control rather than attack. He should be able to command a double team with the raw power of him.james to giveit is made to block these guys. Atoe is the heaviest player on the Huskies. When UW is up against a top tier NT, you expect a lot more from Atoe than in other games simply because junior's size can't be overcome by overwhelming power.

Some defenses (I haven't seen UW use this) use what's called a nose tackle. The NT deploys in its normal spot, a 1-Tech or a 2i. Then he "tilts" his body, but what he's really doing is looking towards the center. This allows him to shoot very quickly into the space between center and guard with speed.Washington 4-3 Under: Defining the Defense (4)


What Wilcox likes to do is align the NG with a 0 tech just above the center. His job remains the same: control the medium, draw a double team.

Washington 4-3 Under: Defining the Defense (5)

strong defensive end

The SDE is not a pass-rusher. Its purpose is literally the same as a DE 3-4. Each scheme will use it a little differently, but your goal is to control the OT, maybe get a double out of the TE, establish the edge, and control the C gap on the strong side. Simply. He can compete as a 4-, 5-, or very rarely as a 6-tech. When you line up in the 4-tech, you have the responsibility of B-gap.

The duty of defensive ends is similar to that of the nose tackle. Instead, however, they are tasked with executing tackles instead of crosses.

The most common position in a "true" The 3-4 defense for a defensive end is technique 4. This is just above the offensive tackle. However, the DE is still found in several different places. Some of the more common alternate points are the 4i point (very lightly shaded within the rig) and the 5-Tech. 5-Tech is also a very, very common place.

But in the image that I'm going to show you, UW has his DE in 3 techniques. It shows how arbitrary the job titles are and also how different the responsibilities are in the different schemes. A 4-3 DE would fight like a 3-4 DE and vice versa. DEs playing here would have a hard time using a wide nine technique, which involves moving back and attacking. joe southwick.

His job is to control the offensive tackle and draw duplicate teams of the other blockers; It doesn't matter if the other blocker is a guard, tight end or running back, the DE wants to get his attention.

Think about it: when the nose takes center and guard to the side and the OT has their hands full on the defensive end, who's going to stop an OLB tackle? Who will stop an ILB shot through any of the remaining spaces? If that3-44-3 Under is executed perfectly, linebackers are playable free and unblocked.

The work Es slightly different nose and needs another player. In offensive tackles, the defender often has to deal with the longest player on the football field. This means that if a burly guy tries to push him, he'll have trouble moving through the long arms of the device. One of the best ways to counter this is with a long defender who still has power and strength. The top 4 technique on the Huskies is the 6'5", 280lb converted TE Evan Hudson. Hudson's length helps him better defend against the long arms of offensive linemen. The power of him still allows him to push the tackle when he can get under the pads.

Potential BDS: Cree, Hudson and Hudson, Mathis, Jarret Finau,Markus Farria.


Wilcox does not use the terms LEO and Elephant, but they are used by countless coaches in the 4-3 Under world, most notably Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks. He brought the scheme over from USC and it has served him well in both professional and college play. More on that later, but just a heads up.

The WDEs line up in a technique of nine. Their wide deployment (wide nine is a term used for a defensive scheme with both DEs on nine techniques) gives them a better angle of attack at QB than if they were set up on a 5 or 6 technique.

Washington 4-3 Under: Defining the Defense (6)

The WDE is the team's main rim runner. She must go after the QB with ruthless abandon. In the running game, meanwhile, she has to maintain responsibility for gap C. This defender is an extremely agile fast-twitch athlete.

As he flies like a bat out of hell toward the quarterback, he still can't let a run pass him. You must not allow the RB to reach your exterior. If you can't stop the RB on the C space, you'll have to force the RB back inside where the will awaits. Remember how I said that the defense directed strong lateral runs towards the will? He is also sometimes sent runs from the weak side.

Carroll at LEO:

“The best pass-rusher on the team is usually the defensive end the openingfield side. That puts him on the quarterback's blind side and makes him a C-gap player on that defense. We often aim it wider to give it a better angle of attack and allow it to play in space. We line him up a yard outside offensive tackle most of the time. He has to play run support in the C space, but at the same time rush the passer like he's third and tenth. However, it must be able to close if the device blocks it.

"(He) has to be one of your best football players. Size doesn't matter that much. We want an athletic player who can move."


These three have almost the same responsibilities and require the same player as the 3-4. Different schemes and different philosophies can change things, but basically they are the same players.

Washington doesn't trade its outside linebackers. They are given LOLB and ROLB designations depending on the game and matchup. They then take on the responsibilities of the will or SAM, depending on whether they are on the tight end's side or not.

Washington 4-3 Under: Defining the Defense (7)

here is ashortcutto the 3-4 defensive break if you want to re-read the assignments of these three linebackers.

In summary:

The SAM is deployed in a nine technique out of the SDE. It is his duty to force the ball carrier back into the tangle of the front seven. He has control of the edge next to him and doesn't let the runners get away from him. He will run for cover with the tight end when the defense is playing man and is tasked with flat zones or flat covers in zones.

Mike is the quarterback of the defense. He makes adjustments to the defense. Typically, he positions himself in a three-way technique from the line to the strong side. He is responsible for the B gap in running support. On man defense, he takes out the first running back out of the backfield. Typically, he is responsible for the short zones over center in the zone, whether he covers 1, 2, 3, 4, or 6. If the defense is playing a Tampa 2, he runs tight end if the tight end run up.

The will calls for the smallest stature of the three linebackers. He must be unblocked and has a duty to flow to the ball carrier if his gap (weak A gap) is not immediately threatened. As mentioned above, the defense is trying to force run plays since he's unblocked. Typically, he is the best coverage linebacker, as he is the smallest and fastest of the three. He has a flat zone or the flat side of his side of the field in zone or second running back out of the backfield.

Against "Ass"

Ace staff is when the offense is at 12 (one running back, two tight ends) staff. The first strongside tight end is "covered" by SAM's linebacker. What about the other tight end? No matter where he competes, free security will take care of him in man cover. The area is obviously different.

Washington 4-3 Under: Defining the Defense (8)

There you go. The series is over. You are now a defense expert. On the right?


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Prof. Nancy Dach

Last Updated: 11/01/2024

Views: 6258

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (57 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Prof. Nancy Dach

Birthday: 1993-08-23

Address: 569 Waelchi Ports, South Blainebury, LA 11589

Phone: +9958996486049

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Web surfing, Scuba diving, Mountaineering, Writing, Sailing, Dance, Blacksmithing

Introduction: My name is Prof. Nancy Dach, I am a lively, joyous, courageous, lovely, tender, charming, open person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.