Stunt 4-3 Defense

In 1999, I had the opportunity to learn the Stunt 4-3 from Don Richardson.  Don was the defensive coordinator at the time at Amherst Steel High School where I was an assistant.  He knew the defense inside and out and learned it directly from George Perles and his staff when Perles was at Michigan State.  When I became a head coach at the high school level, it was the defense that we used.

While many teams don’t necessarily run the stunt 4-3 as a system, some of the components have been integrated into many defensive systems.

I spent the day talking football with Don today, and he had a great quote.  “I hate the damn guy who keeps running his best play.”  Don’s point was that many coaches will grow impatient and stop calling a play that’s effective for them because it gets shut down a few times.  If it’s your best play, you need to stick with it and keep calling it.  I’ve learned a lot of football from Don and I’ve always viewed him as a mentor.  It was great to talk some ball with him again.

Don is still running the stunt 4-3 and has added adjustments and evolved the defense to stop today’s offenses.  It was always great defense for us even with average personnel.

Here are some resources and articles on the Stunt 4-3:

Here’s our defensive playbook.  I’m not sure how it got on the web, but it’s out there now.  We used Power Point and hyperlinks to create a very dynamic playbook.  It looks like someone got it mid change before we finished bringing it to a different school.  Half is in our previous team’s colors.

On page 114 is an article by Perles.

The 4-3 tilted nose tackle: history, scheme and the Buccaneers

’76 Steelers

Super Bowl X Pittsburgh vs Dallas


My iBook 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays provides concepts that can be utilized in any offense, not just the pistol. I have received some great feedback from coaches who adapted all or some of those ideas in 2013. Get 101+ PRO STYLE PISTOL OFFENSE PLAYS for your iPad or Mac from the iBookstore

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