Types of Football Defenses

Over/under 4-3

The over/under 4-3 is basically a four down linemen and three linebacker scheme. The object of this defense is to shift more defensive linemen to the offense’s suspected point of attack, which is called the over, or to shift the linemen to the weak side of the offensive formation, which is called the under. The down linemen are the stars of this show.

In the under 4-3, one defensive lineman is on an offensive tackle, another is on the guard and center, and another is on the open side offensive tackle (the side opposite the tight end). In the over 4-3, three of the four defensive linemen shift toward the strong side of the offensive formation (the tight end side). A defender is always directly opposite the tight end in both of these defenses.

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