X&O Labs Finds New Coaching Trends In...

4-2-5 Defense Study

By Mike Kuchar, Senior Research Manager, X&O Labs

“I love what you’re doing at X&O Labs. I’m all for it. I love the research you’re getting out, it’s all very good stuff.”
Chris Ash,
Defensive Coordinator, Ohio State University

This is the largest, most in-depth study ever conducted on the 4-2-5 defense.

This study took over six-months to compile the research data, conduct interviews with coaches like Bud Foster and watch hundreds-of-hours of game film from schools like Virginia Tech, James Madison and some of the top high school programs in the country. What we found in our research was nothing short of powerful. Our research identified new, emerging trends in the 4-2-5 defense – and our re-examination of the established concepts of this defense identified the best teaching methods, strategies and drills.

This is no small study. It totals over 23,000 words and includes 116 diagrams and 28 videos (featuring game film and drills). We’ve released The 4-2-5 Defense Study into four cases:

Case 1: The Front Six Defenders:

This report closely examines Bud Foster’s Virginia Tech defense.  Plus, we cover everything from formation calls to the “Maintaining the Box” theory (and just about everything in between). Here’s just a small sample of what else you’ll see in this report:

  • The most common pre and post-snap movements of the front four.
  • Virginia Tech’s four most productive post-snap movements by its front four.
  • Various coaches’ perspectives on the advantages and disadvantages of using a 7 vs. a 6 technique or a shade nose vs. a 2i technique in the front four.
  • Training your linebackers in the 4-2-5 to react to the four different flows used in the run game.
  • Plus game clips from Virginia Tech.

Case 2: Q&A with Bud Foster, Mickey Matthews and Chris Brown:

Virginia Tech’s Defensive Coordinator, Bud Foster, contributed significantly to The 4-2-5 Defense Study.

When we first compiled our research for this project, we received a lot of write-in questions from our readers. So we decided to go straight to the source of some of the best 4-2-5 minds in coaching. This is only a very small fraction of what these guys told us:

  • Bud Foster told us why he has gone away from his true “Up G” front in goal line situations.
  • Which coverages are most productive in defending the four vertical pass game.
  • Why Chris Brown told us Cover three, yes Cover three, is the best coverage to use against four verticals.
  • Mickey Matthews tells what coverage he uses against four vertical routes in 2×2 sets.
  • What offensive players Bud Foster likes to recruit to play his Rover Safety position.
  • Plus we’ll show you the Diamond Drill on video – this one trains the eyes of the three safeties in the 4-2-5.

Case 3: Formation Adjustments and Split Field Coverages:

“We’re enjoying what you’ve [X&O Labs] been doing for the coaching community. Keep up the good work.”
Dirk Koetter,
Offensive Coordinator, Atlanta Falcons

This report is probably one of the most in-depth resources you’ve ever read on adjustments and coverages in the 4-2-5. It’s over 9,000 words, 37 diagrams, and 6 videos depicting game film and drills. Again, this is a massive report so what you see below is just a small amount of what is included:

  • Video tutorial of how Virginia Tech installs and teaches Robber Coverage out of their 4-2-5 defense.
  • Complete installation with coaching points of Robber, Quarters and Halves coverages – the ones most commonly used in conjunction with the 4-2-5 defense.
  • Descriptions and explanation of the 6 most efficient coverages to use against 3×1 formations in the the 4-2-5.
  • The most productive coverage adjustments to use against 21-personnel, 22-personnel, 11-personel, 10-personnel, and 00-personnel.

Outstanding Report!:

“The 4-2-5 Study is outstanding! We are a 3-4/4-2-5 hybrid defense and this special report was an excellent road map to help us mainstream our blitz games from both packages without changing terminology. Excellent report!” 

Coach Rob Busmente


Case 4: Pressure Packages:

This report reveals the most intriguing aspects of our research – our data identified the best formations to pressure and the best players to pressure with. Now this report isn’t all research data. We also included much more, such as:

  • A complete breakdown and video tutorial of 8 of Virginia Tech’s 3-deep, 3-under zone pressure package out of its 4-2-5.
  • The ‘Tiger Cat’ Cover 0 ‘Blitz Check’ concept and various other Cover Zero pressure packages out of the 4-2-5.
  • Plus, a lot more.

Again, that was just a small sample of all that is included in The 4-2-5 Defense Study.


Extremely Helpful!:

“I enjoyed reading the 4-2-5 Defense Study. We’re a multiple 4-3 defense meaning sometimes we are 4-2-5 or in our alignment. All of the variations of coverages featured in the 4-2-5 Defense Study were very interesting and extremely helpful.”

Coach Nick Ware


So, I want to take this time to invite you to get instant access to this entire study because its full of all the information, drills and strategies you need to help you make better coaching decisions.

This study has already helped me as a high school defensive coordinator. I’ve already used a lot of what I learned in this study to better my program’s 4-2-5 defense, and I’m planning to use more, such as the Tiger Cat blitz package detailed in case four (just let the cat out of the bag for my opponents).

I can tell you that much of what you’ll find in this study can be implemented in one, or just a few practices. We’ve given you everything you need to know. This is a complete resource.

Get Instant Access to The 4-2-5 Defense Study!

We’ve released the entire 4-2-5 Defense Study on our exclusive membership website – Insiders. You can join the Insiders right now and get instant access to this study.

And when you join today, in addition to the 4-2-5 Defense Study, you’ll also get instant access to these other great features only available in the Insiders:

  • Special Reports: In-depth special reports, like our Zone Read Concept Study, the 4-2-5 Defense Study, our Concept Blocking System and our Defensive Line Study. Plus, our upcoming special reports on the no-huddle system, quarters coverage, 3rd down conversions and many more…
  • Massive Video Library: Our video library featuring hours and hours of video featuring drills of just about every position…
  • Exclusive Interviews: In-depth, one-on-one, exclusive interviews with some of the top coaches in the game. Coaches like Mike Leach, Head Coach at Washington State; Dirk Koetter, Offensive Coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons; and, Bobby April, Special Teams Coordinator of the Philadephia Eagles. Plus, more college coaches like Ron Zook, Bud Foster, Tim Brewster, and much more…
  • Research: Exclusive statistical analysis reports featuring all the raw data from every research study we’ve ever conducted. This includes literally hundreds of research graphs…
  • 100% of Everything: Plus, the Insiders includes all our full-length, not the summary versions, of research reports, clinic reports, interviews and videos…

See, that is why we believe the Insiders membership website is the most effective resource for maximizing your coaching production.

And we’re not the only ones that believe this either.

Who’s Already Joined X&O Labs’ Insiders?

Thousands of high school, college and professional football coaches have already joined our exclusive membership website – Insiders

Making the Insiders website one of the most trusted resources for football coaches.

Coaches on the following staffs have joined our Insiders website with a 12-month membership:

>>> Notre Dame

>>> Oklahoma State

>>> Texas State

>>> New York Jets

And the list goes on with coaches on the staffs of Purdue, Cincinnati and coaches in all 50 U.S. states and as far away as the Slovak Republic.

Here’s what some of our members have said about the Insiders website:

>>> “The Insiders is a GREAT, GREAT website with a lot of amazing coaching information.”

- Coach Battaglia


>>> “I’ve been working my way through the Insiders website and it is phenomenal. Thank you so much!”

- Coach Lappe


>>> “I have found tons of useful information on the site. Keep up the great work.”

- Coach Natrone Means


In just a second I’ll show you how you can sign up and start your 12-month membership to the Insiders website. But first, I need to tell you two important things you need to know about the Insiders.

One Low, Affordable Price

First, because we’re coaches, we wanted to make the Insiders one of the most affordable coaching resources you’ll find anywhere.  So, right now you can start your 12-month membership for just $39.95. That’s less than just one instructional coaching DVD – and I can guarantee that the Insiders website is filled with information that equates to dozens and dozens and dozens of instructional coaching DVDs. And today, you get instant access to all this information for only $39.95.

And you can rest assured that 100% of your membership fee goes to support our research.

Now if you’re already a member of X&O Labs’ Insiders website, just click here to login and start reading The 4-2-5 Defense Study.

Our 100% Money-Back Guarantee

Now the second thing I wanted to share with you is that we offer a full, 90-day money back guarantee.  If at any time during your first 90-days you feel the Insiders is NOT worth the $39.95 you’ve spent, just email us and we’ll refund 100% of your money.

Click the button now to get instant access to our Insiders website and all of our special reports, research reports, interviews, clinic reports, drill reports and our massive video library for just $39.95 – that’s less than $3 per month. And with our 90-day money-back guarantee, you literally have nothing to lose.

So, go ahead and click the button below this video now and get instant access to The 4-2-5 Defense Study when you join the X&O Labs’ Insiders!