Friday, July 16, 2010

4-2-5 Alignments-Part II


Alignments to the pro I is very straight forward and allows room for flexibility and imagination. In this part I will focus on base alignments with a few other options.


The front and secondary both declare the strength the same way in this alignment. The TITE call puts the 3-tech towards the TE, the strong DE aligns in a 6. The backers align in 30 techniques. Some people argue that the backers should align in their gaps. ie, the RB should be in a 10. However, in the 30 alignment the RB can still defend his A-gap and is in a better position to play outside and off-tackle plays towards the TE.

The secondary calls "read-left" and sets the SS and FS in coverage to the left. The strong safety aligns 5-7 yards outside the TE and about a hard from the LOS. Also, the SS cocks his stance in and places himself perpendicular to the LOS. This alignment allows him to get under routes by the #1 WR, have a good angle to force the ball, and make it difficult for the WR to crack block him. The last reason needs further explanation. Teams like to run outside, will get tired of the SS forcing the ball back inside. So, they will attempt to crack him inside in order to get around the edge.

Making the crack difficult is accomplished by this alignment for a couple reasons. First, his back is turned to the WR. The receiver cannot legally block him in the back. Second, if he does attempt to crack block him, the crack will occur near the LOS. By making a crack happen at the first level, the corner is free to replace the SS as the force man. If the crack occurred further from the LOS, the corner could not replace as quickly, because he has to respect the crack and go. By attempting the crack at the first level, the threat of the crack go is eliminated. It is difficult to fake a first level crack and turn it into an effective go route.

The WS aligns in a postion to force the edge to his side and play the cutback on plays toward the TE.



Twins is a formation where the front and secondary call the front in opposite directions. The AB is aligned in 10 in the diagram, but he could just as easily be aligned in a 30, it makes little difference. The SS and FS align to the twin WR's just like they would versus the spread. On the TE side the corner is shown close to the edge playing force. The WS could just as easily be there. The alignment each year might be different depending on the type of corners and WS you have. Below is a diagram of TCU from this past year aligning to twins.

Versus the Full-back set strong

Here the backs slide over and WS comes up into the nest, this call a "scoot" adjustment. Everything else is the same as regular pro-I alignment.


Here the alignment follows the base rules. The strength in the diagram is arbitrarily to the left. Versus the balanced front and the motion based nature of the flex-bone, the free safety will declare the read-side upon motion.


The last view diagrams are an example of how TCU aligned versus Clemson principals. The particular scheme they employ is not really special to the 4-2-5. I am showing it as a way of understanding how the particular positions are aligned.

A safety has replaced one of the corners on the right edge. The DT's are hard A-gap player, and the backers are cheated-up into their gaps. There are two safeties to each side aligned on the edge and behind. The corner in the middle is adjuster who moves with any motion by the backs. This allows the front to stay relatively focused on the play by leaving adjustments to the corner. The next diagram shows the formation after motion.


  1. Couple questions:
    So the End on the outside shoulder of the Off. Tkl. is FORCE player if there is a split end?
    WS looks to be playing B gap inside of E.

    Also, what is the technique used by the D-end that is aligned on the TE side? It appears sometimes he's shaded inside, sometimes head up. What is his role specifically?

  2. Ok...maybe another question...vs. The flexbone set, how does that cover 2 check work? Based on flow I assume...but not sure.

  3. First Q: No the backers and weak safety are fast flow....... The WS would still play force. His alignment is so, because he is favoring filling cutback first prior to playside force.. The offset back lead to this

    Second Q, I cannot say with certainty.... I will say in base fronts he is a 6 playing the c gap, but I have seen him align in a 6 but play like a 9 tech....... In the pics I posted it is hard to be sure.

    3rd Q: The 2 roll is a flow check. The side towards the motion becomes the read side and the backside safety replaces the hole the FS leaves on his robber tech

  4. In TCU's playbook, their twins rule has the SS inside eye by 5 off the #2 receiver.


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  6. When adjusting to a 2back set ex: strong pro. Getting into the slide/SCOOT front I understand the strongside LB is a free player and can run to the ball. The middle LB is a 1 gap player and the WS is the Westside B gap player.... WHO HAS weak force?? The DE or the WS?