Video: The 3 Ts of Coaching Successful Football Defense

During the above video, you’ll learn about the three Ts of coaching a successful and effective football defense.

The three main components of a great football defense are:

  • Tackling
  • Third down
  • Takeaways


You want to do an excellent job of consistently coaching your players on fundamental tackling techniques. You want to critique tackling by making sure that the players finish in great body positions with the head up and the feet high as the hips.

Third Down

Also, coaches need to understand what the offense is about on a third down, what the football defense’s goal is, and what they need to do to stop the offense.

Flexibility is needed on a third down. You have to present different football defense schematics in order to attack different offensive teams. Your players should have a good understanding of what they’re going to do on a third down.


Lastly, let’s talk about takeaways. Our goal, defensively, is to get the ball back from the offense as quickly as possible without the other team scoring. By taking the football away, we eliminate some of the third time downs, and we eliminate our exposure to explosive plays.

This is done by doing a great job teaching the players how to strip the football, how to take the extra step during interceptions, and everything they need to do in order to take the football away.

These are the three most important elements of playing great football defense. These are three areas that if you excel at, you will limit your exposure on the field. While these three things don’t always address overall athletic ability, they’re important regarding building a good football defense.

The thing we really stress with players is to take the extra step, whether it’s with tackling, with the third down, or with takeaways.

Do you tend to work on the three Ts with your football defense? Share your thoughts below!

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