Friday, May 7, 2010

Under Front- Simple Nose Technique

The under front (also called weak eagle) is an excellent front to defend the run, pass, and to put general pressure on the offense. In high school and especially lower level athletics, it becomes a major problem finding people to fit our schemes year in an year out.

I am confident that no matter what, I can fit players into my under-front defense. In the worst case scenario I can get the defensive front going if I can find ONE solid linebacker and a shade nose that can draw a double team.


The nose aligns to the strong side with an end in a 5 and a linebacker in a 9. On the weak side there is a 3-technique and and a loose 5. The key to making this defense go is finding a decent linebacker and a nose that can draw a double team.

Many people got away from the eagle front because it was difficult to find a nose to draw the double team. This is reasonable, because the defense will collapse if the nose cannot draw a double team. The double team that the nose needs to draw is from the center and the strong side guard. If these two players can be tied up to blocking the nose, then the defense is in a good position. This is beneficial for 3 reasons:

1. The backers are free to pursue the ball and only need to worry about the fullback blocking them.

2. The 3-technique is usually put 1 on 1 with the weak side guard.

3. If the 3-technique is double teamed, then the weak side end is usually cut loose.

The nose must force this block! If the nose can successfully do this, the game will be much easier.
How does the nose force this double team?

#1 He can be such a force athletically that he requires a double team
#2 He can be used in such a way that the offense must double team him.


Finding such a player to athletically draw a double team is difficult. A good nose must be able to prevent the center from reaching him as well as the strong side guard. If either player can reach him, then the defense will be in bad shape because this will allow one of the linemen to come free to block a linebacker.

General shade nose technique is ideal, however, it is difficult for the nominal athlete to prevent a linemen from reaching him in this technique. Since he must react after the offense he is vulnerable to being caught out of position.

In low talent years this problem can become big! So the solution is to tweak the technique so that different types of athletes can play nose, and force double teams. To faciliate this, a stunt technique is utilized by the shade nose.

The technique involves the nose at the snap of the ball attacking at an aiming point at the butt of the strong side guard. This technique involves enough lateral movement to make it hard for the center to reach him, and at the same time enough vertical movement to make it hard for the strong side guard to reach him. This technique allows the nose to play the run either way.

If the guard tries to come off on the linebacker and relys on the center to block the nose there should be problems for the offense. The #1 reason is the nose will be in a position to play down the line inside-out on running plays.

If the nose can prevent the center from reaching him, then he should be free to attack down the line play-side. All gaps should be covered. On any strong side release like this, the 3-tech will also be single teamed. If one can create a favorable match-up between the backside guard and 3 technique then the defense will be in a great position.

If the play is designed to go weak and the center tries to come off on the weak side backer, then the defense should still be in good shape. Since the nose is attacking the guards butt, he should not be reached. This allows him to ricochet off the guard and pursue the ball down the line inside-out to the weak side.

Because it is hard to reach the nose with the center or guard, the offense will generally need to double team him. By drawing the double team the nose will keep the linebackers free from the linemen and put the 3-technique in a one on one situation.


The beauty of this technique is many body types fit it. A quick end, inside linebacker and even a running back can all play a shade nose. If you have players going both ways, you can use a nose by committee. Coaching the nose in this technique is simple as well. The coaching points are:

1. Force a double team
2. Don't let the guard or center reach you.
3. After the initial attack, pursue the ball down the LOS.

If a nose fails to draw a team, make the play, and allows the backer to be blocked by the OL, then he has made a mistake. This is something easy for any nose to pick up. He should know whether he was double teamed or not. If he wasn't then he should make the play.


The aggressive stunting shade nose is a front that can be run when talent is not abundant. This technique will force a double team an cut the linebackers loose. Even with injuries a typical team should be able to find a couple players to fill this role.


  1. If a team is double tight and runs to the weak side do you encounter problems? If not, how do you easily defend it? Thanks.

  2. You want them to run weak. You have a 3 tech and a will backer that is hard to get to. If the center wants to work weak the nose should be able to ricochet off and make plays!