Understanding the 46 Defense

The 4-6 defense can be used many ways but I’m going to try to break down the base 46 defense to the best way I know it. Hopefully, some of you will understand the formation better. Also correct me if I'm wrong.

The formation consist of 4 defensive linemen meaning 2 defensive tackles and 2 defensive ends. Also there are 4 linebackers and these 4 consist of a hybrid LB/SS which I will discuss further along, a middle linebacker, and 2 outside linebackers that act like down lineman. One of the 2 outside linebackers must be ready at any given moment cover the flat or drop into coverage to defend against pass. The two outside linebackers are lined where we would call a rush end. The rush end is usually where there is no tight end or the opponent weak side. The rush side is where all the pressure would come from (Just imagine Davis, Maybin and Coples all rush the QB from one side).

The most important part of this defense is the LB/SS hybrid. This player is lined up as an additional linebacker next to the middle linebacker. The LB/SS hybrid must have solid tackling skills and have a fair amount of speed in case a run play or screen is called towards the opposite of the rush end. He need to know when to drop into coverage in case of an audible by the opposing QB. He also cannot be prone to taking the bait on a play-action play.

Now on to the defensive backfield, there are 1 safety and two corners. The free safety is about 10-15 yards deep patrolling the immediate and deep passes plus also assisting one of the corners. The two corners must excel in man-to-man coverage in order for this defense to work.

This formation is a gamble and is all about execution. It's a great formation for confusing QB's but it’s a dangerous risk if everybody is not on top of their game. I’m taking a guess that we may see much of this defense this year due to how the front office drafted this year.

It’s going to be a lot of different looks and personnel groupings. The grouping I'm looking for in this formation is as listed:

DT - Pouha and Ellis

DE - Coples and Wilkinson

MLB - Harris

LB/SS - Allen

OLB - Davis and Maybin

FS - Bush

CB Revis and Cromartie

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