I want everyone's opinion on why they run what they run. Why do you run an odd front defense? Why do you run an even front defense? What makes you believe that that front is better or easier? Just why.
As long as your scheme is based on gap control I don't think one is better than the other, it really depends on what kind of players your working with. At the youth level I've seen teams running 3-5-3 and teams running a 7-1 goal line both win championships. I always like running a 5 man front and shading them in different spots depending on S/W sides, a good NG anchoring the middle of your Defense can create major problems for a OL. Again, you can get the same effect running a 4 or 6 man front. If you have major speed and not many talented D-lineman look into 3-5/4-4, theres a lot of blitzes that will have OL chasing your guys around rather than blocking. If you have lots of solid DL, skys the limit, 5,6,even 7 down lineman can dominate up front, and free up your LB's to come free to the ball every play. You probably will hear this a thousand times on this site, but truer words were never spoke, whatever you run, know it front to back, make sure your kids know it front to back, and make you know how to adjust things if it starts to go south. If you and your team can do that, as well as knowing how and where to attack/shed a blocker, can tackle well, and can be discplined enough to know their role and play it, you'll be solid. I really stress the part about knowing where to attack a blocker at the youth level. I've seen good youth teams that could be so much better if they would teach their players this. Especially with LB's. most times theyre our studs so we figure they know, or we should just let them play, and they will make lots of plays. But go back and watch film, and just about every play they werent in on will be because they didn't take on their man the right way. Physically showing them in practice the result of them dipping/ripping through a blocker rather than running around them, how to come up hard and fill a running lane, why and when they should attack on the outer shoulder of their blocker, etc. I've believe that all that tech. matters more than the alignment were in. Gotta run, hope this helped some.
" Whoever said you can't win em' all never went undefeated"
I like an odd front. i think the center is at a disadvantage trying to block a nose, so you are almost guaranteed a double there, I also think the angles for the OL are tougher than they are in an even look. As an O-lineman I would rather have seen an even front than an odd beacause of the good angles and it always seemed easier to get to the second level.
Our base defense is an odd front, 5-2. In our league players that are over a designated weight are known as "X" players and must play on the interior line on offense, and on the line between the tackles on defense. If we have an abundance of X's we play an even front with one middle LB. If we have a scarcity of X's then we play an odd front with 2 MLBs.
I'm expecting to have fewer of my X players be my best players this season, so my defensive playbook is built around the 5-2 front I mentioned.