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coaching today's cover 2

coaching today's cover 2



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Published by Michael Schearer

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Published by: Michael Schearer on Nov 16, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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It is an honor to represent Western New

Mexico University and our football pro- gram in theAFCASummer Manual. I would like to thank defensive line coach Tobe Smith for help on this article.

This fall marks my 25th year of coaching this great game, with 23 years spent at the college level and all of them coaching the secondary. I have seen a wide cross-sec- tion of fronts and coverages during that time, but the basics always remain con- stant. I want to discuss an old favorite, Cover 2.

We believe in teaching the strengths and weaknesses of each coverage so that the players understand if a play is made by the offense, we do not lose confidence in the coverage. Cover 2 is a two-deep, five underneath zone coverage. You should have very good coverage short and be able to react quickly on the run or option phase. With two safeties each covering half of the field, you are vulnerable to three and four receiver combinations vertical, triple streak or post corner routes by the No. 1 receiver and a vertical route by a tight end or No. 2 receiver weak. We want to stress reading the routes and overplaying certain combi- nations or forcing the quarterback to throw to the underneath zones.

Looking at today\u2019s coverage, you will see all quarter coverage, quarter-quarter- halves, roll weak, three-deep zone and combinations of man and zone. Cover 2 has been a consistent mainstay for the last 20 years. In teaching Cover 2 today, you must be able to adapt to the multiple for- mations you encounter along with motion from wide receivers or from the backfield. Cover 2 is a zone coverage which tells my players, all defenders in coverage should see the ball thrown and be able to react to it. We try to avoid ever turning our back on the quarterback so that we can react once the ball is thrown and move to it (Diagram 1). I teach stance, start and alignment with

the defensive back knowing, down, dis- tance, field position, time of the game and score. I give our corners flexibility with

alignment, either a head up even stance or outside foot up, body slightly turned inside facing the quarterback. I want the corners in a relaxed position, not tight or tense. Their alignment is five to seven yards out- side the eye of the No. 1 receiver.

(Diagram 2) The safeties are 10-14 yards deep depending on where the ball is on the field. Again, I will give a player with experience and talent some leeway about alignment, but keep in mind, depth is always an ally. If the formation is in the mid- dle of the field, the safeties split the differ- ence between No. 1 and No. 2, a tight end or another wide receiver, and to the weak side, the No. 1 receiver and the offensive tackle. The safeties depth is 12-14 yards off the line of scrimmage. The corners are five to seven yards off the No. 1 receiver. The secondary keys the quarterback for a run-pass look. For instance, ball off the line of scrimmage, we play pass and react accordingly. Ball on the line of scrimmage, we think run with the safeties staying in a back pedal until no possibility of a pass. If the ball is off the line of scrimmage, both safeties will key the tight end and stay in back pedal until the route develops and react to it. Once the tight end moves hori- zontally, the safeties find the No. 1 receiver to their side and react to him. If the receiv- er is vertical with an outside release, the safety must open and run to the hole. If the receiver releases inside, the safety stays in a back pedal and again reacts to what he encounters. Outside (post corner), the defensive back jumps to the up-field arm. (Diagram 3) An inside release, (dig route) the defensive back jumps the route and

AFCA Sum m er M anual
2 0 0 0
Diagr am 2
Diagr am 1
Diagr am 3
Land Jacobsen
Head Coach
Wester n New Mexico Univer sity
Silver City, N.M.
Coaching Today\u2019s
Cover 2

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