You don't need MANY blitzes but I feel you need to bring one more than they can block! There are FOUR STUNTING UNITS (OLB & DE to EACH side; ILB & DT to EACH side).
INSIDE - you have the ILB hit the B gap & the DT hit the A gap - OR - vice versa (we prefer the former except vs drop back passing teams, BECAUSE you don't want to lose your ILBer too far inside on tosses, etc).
OUTSIDE - we like to crash the DE into the C gap & bring the OLBer off the edge thru the D gap, OR, vice versa (DE loops behind OLB into D gap, & OLB goes in front of DE into the C gap) - we greatly prefer the former.
To bring one more than they can block - we like to send all four units on a "TIGERCAT" MAX "KEY-BLITZ" & go "Cover 0 behind it".
That's really about all you can do out of the 4-4 (or 4-2-5), & all you need.
If it's IMPORTANT to you, & if you have QUESTIONS - email me at firstname.lastname@example.org - OR - phone me at 804-740-4479 (up till 9 PM/EDT). It takes too long & too much typing to go into more detail WITHOUT diagrams, and I can help you much better this way!!!!!!!
What age group are you coaching Coach Mountjoy? We used a "generic" 4-4 this year and did really well. We used a 33 front this time around, but will most likely move to a 31 front next year for 8th grade because it more parallels the 4-3 the high school uses. We had two blitzes and four twists. The twists actually worked better for us as it confused the crap out of the guards.
1. Inside twist - both ILBers and the tackles switched gaps.
2. Outside twist - both OLBers and the DEs switched gaps.
3. Single twists and one OLB blitzing.
The More We Sweat in Training, The Less We Bleed in Battle
- Sun tzu
I have used this defense in High School (our Youth League & Middle School "feeder" teams used it as well), College, & Pro ball (in Pro ball it was the 4-2-5 "Nickle" package - same as Patriots used vs. Colts this year).
If questions - I would be glad to discuss it in detail either by email (email@example.com), OR, phone (804-740-4479) up to 9 PM/EDT!
I have a question on base assignments for 4-4 D, who has what gap and what progression do the backers have in run and pass. It has been a while, I played the 4-4 in JR high and that was many moons ago. I am helping coach 5-6 graders and I am trying to clean up major rust/cob webs.
If you are running a stack, line your DT's head up on the G's and DE's outside shade on the last man on LOS (could also line head up). That age kids, have them read near back unless you have the time and patience to teach reading the OL. If you are going to run more of a gap-control, I'd align something like this
------------ O O C O O O
Same thing with reads here, but now kids have specific gaps they're responsible for. The stack is spectacular for stunting, but this is probably closer to what they would run as they get older and into HS. In gap control, OLB's are contain and have flats in zone coverage (C-3), ILB's need to protect A gap (strong) and B gap (weak), and have the hook/curl area in zone coverage.
Austin High School
There is nothing that will show a man's true character like the 2 yard line.
I'm with jrkelly, last year with 10-11 year olds, we ran a 4-4 amd just gapped em. One head in every hole and charged forward. I swear it looked like we sent everyone everytime. We get beat sometimes off-tackle because our OLB wanted to play contain when he did not have that responsibility. But other than that we did pretty good with that approach.