Basics of the 4-3 Defense

by Eric Kasperowicz
Basics of the 4-3 Defense


Discover all of the in's and out's of setting up a championship 4-3 defense!

See how to set up a 4-3 press quarters defense in a way that's easy for players to understand
Get the base rules for each position in the 4-3 defense so athletes will be able to play with confidence
Adjust the 4-3 defense to several formations to counteract various offensive schemes

In this video, you'll see Coach Kasperowicz present on the 4-3 defense and its ability to control and run and pass in today's version of the game that features many Run-Pass-Option looks on offense. He will give you ideas for adjustments that you can use to help your players quickly counter any offense.

Defensive Philosophy

Kasperowicz begins by giving an overview of the defensive philosophy that helped his team capture a state championship. He describes the simple, but aggressive approach that allows his defense to defend modern offenses without having to change personnel. Kasperowicz also describes several turnover drills that he uses with his team, and shows several examples of these skills in action during games.

Base Rules and Responsibilities

Kasperowicz diagrams the base rules and responsibilities for each position group. Responsibilities against the run and pass in the base defense are explained, as well as demonstrated with game film. You'll get:

The basic alignment and responsibilities for defensive linemen, including: stance, technique, and run fits.
Alignment rules, run fits, and basic pass coverage responsibilities for linebackers.
Basic alignment and rules for the press quarters coverage that Kasperowicz uses with his 4-3 defense.
Adjusting the 4-3 Defense

The presentation concludes with a whiteboard session focused on common adjustments to the base defense against various formations. Kasperowicz describes how he can teach his players to align to virtually any offensive formation in a sound manner by teaching them a few simple rules. He includes:

How to adjust the secondary to 3x1 formations with or without a tight end.
The importance of setting the "3 technique" to the field against spread attacks.
Simple rules for linebackers to help them get aligned against any formation.
Coach Kasperowicz does an outstanding job presenting the base rules of the 4-3 press quarters defense. The Pine-Richland 4-3 offers solutions to stopping the run game while defending RPOs and spread offenses. Coaches looking to transition from an odd front to an even front defense will find this video very useful.


The Coach


Eric Kasperowicz

Play Simple, Play Fast...Win More Games!


Head Coach of the Pine-Richland Rams
Eric Kasperowicz led the 2020 Pine-Richland Rams to their second Pennsylvania State Championship in the past four years an undefeated 11-0 record.  The Rams finished as high as #14 in the USA according to Max Preps and #24 according to USA Today.  In 2017, the Pine-Richland football also finished as State Champions and a 16-0 record.  They finished as the #1 in Pennsylvnia and #10 in the USA according to MaxPreps Xcellent 25 football rankings. Kasperowicz has been the Rams' head coach for 8 years.

In 2017 Coach Kasperowicz was named a finalist for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Coach of the Year honor.  Coach Kasperowicz was the National Federation of High School (NFHS) Coach of the Year this past season (2018).  He was the PA State Coach of the Year, the Post-Gazette AAAA Coach of the Year, and the PA Football News AAAA and PA Football writers AAAA Coach of the Year in 2017 & 2014. 

Coach Kasperowicz just finished his 8th season as Head Coach of the Pine-Richland Rams and has a career record of 85-18 (.825).

Playing Career

Coach graduated from North Hills High School in 1994 where he was a 4-year starter at Quarterback and Safety. He led the Indians to a WPIAL AAAA Championship and the school’s first & only PA State Championship.

Considered as the best all-around player in WPIAL history, Eric had 6,869 career yards and 20 career interceptions as a defensive back. In 1994, along with Peyton Manning, Eric was selected as a Parade All-American.  Eric was also selected as the USA Today and Associated Press Pennsylvania Player of the year and was the starting Quarterback in the prestigious Big 33 Game (PA vs. OH), was later voted as the All Time Greatest Player in Western PA (WPIAL) beating out just great sports luminaries such as Mike Ditka, Tony Dorsett, Dan Marino and Lavar Arrington. All of these awards culminated with Eric’s 2014 induction into the WPIAL Hall of Fame.

Upon his graduation from high school, he attended the University of Pittsburgh on a football scholarship lettering all 4 years and was the team’s starting outside linebacker his last two years. After an injury-plagued career and a few NFL tryouts later, Eric was able to return to his high school alma mater to begin his coaching career. Coach Kasperowicz spent 11 years as an assistant coach and offensive coordinator under the legendary Jack McCurry, with each year getting the team to the 9 win mark. 

Coach Kasperowicz lives in Pittsburgh with his lovely wife Jennifer, and his three children, Ella, Eric and Emlyn. 

Ratings and Reviews (2)

Jason Mohns

Great course with tons of useful information! Coach Kasperowicz detailed his defensive philosophy and how he implements his scheme. Lots of great coaching points and quality cut-ups, presented in a clear and easy to digest manner. Love how Coach “overpopulates” the box and uses zone pressures to disrupt the offense without giving up explosive plays. Highly recommend!

Apr 13, 20 08:20 AM


Outstanding presentation by Coach K on Pine Richland's 4-3 Defense. Scheme is very sound and has a very solid structure in place. Coach K does a great job explaining the basics of their defense and excited to hear more from him. Matt Gegenheimer Head Football Coach Prior Lake High School (MN)

Apr 15, 20 01:44 PM

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Course Info

Rating: (2)
Caterory: Football/Team Defense
Bookings: 30