Install 8: IMFB 4-2-5 Defense vs 3-back formations

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One of the first things we teach in our 4-2-5 is how to align to our 20/30 personnel Tiger formation, which is a Diamond Pistol formation. I think every high school should worry about defending against themselves first and foremost. Our first scrimmages are all Dawgs O vs Dawgs D, as is every Monday during the season. I picked this method up from Bill Castle the legendary Lakeland High School (FL) head football coach. He wants to compete and get good at what he does in camp, spring football, and every Monday during the regular season, and so do I!


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Of course, every defense should be built with a base. The base of the IMFB 4-2-5 is actually a 4-3 Over made famous by the Miami Hurricanes in the 80’s and 90’s. Since we establish our base versus what our offense will bring into a scrimmage setting, our base is set to defend a 3-back diamond pistol formation from 20 personnel (TB, FB, WB, 2 WR’s). It’s also the most simple to line up in and throw on the field to teach run fits and pass drops. While alignments, run fits, and pass drops will change throughout the year based on our sets, we run “Miami” quite often during the course of the season.

I like to have our Bulldog (strong side DE) in a 5 when there’s no TE. Then our 3-tech is to the TE/Trips/FB/Field, 1 away. Rover (weak DE) is in a 5 too. Our SLB is in a 40, MLB a 10, WLB a 40 as well. Our FS and $ are 8 off and stacked over the EMOL. Our CB’s are 3-5 off (speed depending) and outside leverage. Our outside leverage is just belt buckle on his outside knee. It’s not even a foot.

Tips for installing the 4-2-5 defense:

  1. Install your DL, LB and DB alignments to this formation.
    • Install your strength calls
      1. Rob/Lowe for DL, Ricky/Lucie for LB, Row/Low for DB
  2. Install your run fits.
  3. Install a base coverage.


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Miami 4 vs 30 Diamond Pistol

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Miami 4 vs the Flexbone 30 personnel


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Miami 4 vs Diamond Pistol 30 personnel

1 thought on “Install 8: IMFB 4-2-5 Defense vs 3-back formations

  1. Pingback: The IMFB 4-2-5 Defense – Introduction | Ironman Football

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