Stopping the Run in the 4-3 Defense

by Eric Kasperowicz
Stopping the Run in the 4-3 Defense


Tweak your 4-3 defense to drastically improve its effectiveness against the run!

Teach your players to align against any personnel grouping to simplify the rules your athletes must remember
Adjust your front to take away what the opposing team does best and put your team in position to succeed
Read the position of the running back to help determine which plays the offense is likely to run.

The 4-3 defense is a fantastic option against teams that run the ball heavily because it can be flexible at the point of attack. You'll see how to make it hard for teams to pound the rock against your defense in this comprehensive video from Pine-Richland High School head coach, Eric Kasperowicz.

Coach Kasperowicz gives an overview of his defensive philosophy and why his version of the 4-3 press quarters defense is so tough against the run. He describes the ingredients necessary to build a run stopping defense, including alignments and individual responsibilities for each position.

Base Rules and Responsibilities

Kasperowicz diagrams the alignment and run responsibilities of each position in the 4-3. Stance, reads, and reactions for each position are covered. Additionally, Kasperowicz describes tags that change the alignment of each player to give the defense an advantage against a variety of formations and blocking schemes. He includes game footage of his defense that helps illustrate the 'how' and 'why' behind each rule in his system.

Adjustments and Automatic Calls

Kasperowicz brings everything together by diagramming how the defense adjusts to several personnel groups and formations. He also gives you some of the automatic calls that he uses against certain teams that are determined by the game plan. In all, you'll learn how to:

Adjust your defense while keeping run fits similar for all players.
Coach the field and boundary linebackers when they're taken out of the box against the run.
Use automatic calls to adjust the front based on the position of the running back.
This video from Coach Kasperowicz will help you learn how to maintain a balanced and structured defense that can adapt to defeat run-heavy teams. Improve your 4-3 today!


The Coach


Eric Kasperowicz

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


Coach Eric Kasperowicz spent the 2021season as an assistant coach with the ACC Champion Pittsburgh Panthers.

Former Head Coach of the Pine-Richland Rams, Coach Kasperowicz was the Head Coach there for 8 years and has a career record of 85-18 (.825).
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. 

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 Hamilton

The entire 3 course set on 4-3 defense is excellent. There is so much good and bad info on 4-3 defense on the internet that it can be overwhelming. The EK courses focus on what you really need to know. The courses cover the fundamentals of what makes 4-3 work, how to cover 4-3 weaknesses, reading offenses, easy alignment systems, and adjustments for the run/pass games. The series covers a lot of great information in three hours but is extremely easy to understand and implement. Highly recommend for coaches and players of all levels.

Jun 22, 20 03:28 PM

Great course with clear explanation of the defensive scheme

Jun 27, 20 08:47 AM

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Course Info

Rating: (2)
Caterory: Football/4-3 Defense
Bookings: 77