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Defending the Bunch Offense – 5 on 5 Flag Football Defense Tips

Many people have asked for some 5 on 5 flag football defense tips, and there’s no better place to start than how to defend a bunch offense.  The bunch offense might be one of the most difficult offenses to defend, but there are a couple of ways to make it easier for the team. You will have to adapt on the fly but if you can, your defense will earn you a couple more stops.

Run a box defense or 2-2

This is the base defense that you should run against bunch. It has 2 people splitting the underneath zone and 2 safeties splitting the deep half. You need to understand a bunch offense mindset to try and stop it. When I run a bunch offense, I want to make 1 player on the defense try and chose who to cover. So I will flood sides to confuse the defenders on who to cover typically by having a deep and short combo route. Running a box defense helps stop that.

Put your quick and/or rangy defenders on the underneath zone

Most of you are thinking this is ridiculous but that is exactly where you want your best defenders. Think about it, covering the deep ball is fairly simple. On the snap, a slow person can just turn around and run backwards with a 10 yard head start. There are so many route combos and flows to this defense so having the quick guys underneath to help split differences and close on routes is the best.

Flow to the strong side of the offense

This is based off of experience. Most QBs run the flood to the strong side of the bunch so you want to make sure you have enough to cover it. You can achieve that by rotating over. Your underneath player on the weak side (the side with a smaller amount of people outside of the center) plays in the middle and only goes to the outside if there is a quick shoot route to his side. This helps cover the flood to one side and will confuse a quarterback for at the very least a couple of plays.

Give the shoot routes up

Be a smart defender. Flag football is an offensive game so what you are really trying to do is contain them and make them score on the second half of the field. So give away the short stuff and pull the flag. You won’t be able to stop every play so would you rather give up a 1 yard shoot route and pull the flag at 5-8 or the 15 yard out/deep post. Be smart and keep everything in front of you.

If you have any questions or other helpful tips against a bunch offense, leave a comment and I will reply back. Good luck out there!

A pioneer in the flag football community, Travis helped co-found the Flag Football World Championship Tour, FlagSpin and USA Flag. Featuring 15+ years of content creation for the sport of flag football, creating and managing the largest flag football tournaments on the planet, coaching experience at the youth and adult level as well as an active player with National and World Championship level experience.

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