2 Read/Blue Coverage-The Reads

Deuce | February 10, 2012 | 0 Comments

The most important part of any pattern reading defensive scheme…is the reads! I’ve heard and seen a myriad of ways to read/react in Quarters/2 Read etc. However, I like to keep it as simple as possible when teaching to the players. I think it becomes very easy to overburden the young high school mind, that quite frankly I’ve yet to figure out some of the things they are thinking about! Keeping it simple has been a golden rule of football for years, but as with anything there’s always a way to over complicate things. I’m going to use this post to describe the reads, and the reactions I’ve taught my defensive backs (DB’s) for years now. I also know there are more than one way to skin a cat, so I’ll also try and present some other ways of doing things. Shall we?

Blue Coverage- The Cornerback’s Reads and Responsibilities
The corner in 2 Read, or as most now call it, Blue coverage is always the widest defender on the football. His reads will always keep him from becoming out leveraged. Let’s take a look at these reads and reactions and see how they work. For those that downloaded my PowerPoint’s I’ll follow them to a “T” so you can see where the reads and reactions come from. If you need to go here to download a copy of my Blue coverage for corners. In Blue coverage, the #2 receiver dictates EVERYTHING! This is very important, because both the safety and corner will get their respective reads from the #2 receiver. The position of the #2 receiver does not matter, he can be in the backfield, a wing or slot, or a tight end (TE). Also, for clarity’s sake, I number the receiver’s on either side from outside in, with the #1 receiver being the widest of all the receiver’s then numbering increasing to the inside until you reach the center of the formation. Anyhow, the #2 receiver will be our key for EVERY read and reaction we make in Blue coverage.

opposing band fight songs and s o forth.Man 1. Although. This puts their mindset that they are on an island similar to man coverage. . one thing I preach to corners from day 1. don’t let 2 cross your face). because basically the #2 receiver can only do 1 of 4 things. I don’t want corners thinking all the time “the safety should pick that up” as it lends itself to the releasing of receiver’s and big plays. so the basis of “man 1″ is a little false. The reason you cannot allow 2 to out leverage you is because the corner in Blue coverage is the swing deep of 2 player. Never let 2 out leverage you (ie. So. he does not leave 1. with no help. however I did say that I would go into the finer details. he’s no longer concerned with 1. oversimplification can also be troublesome too. until 2 will no longer allow you to do so. is expect to play #1 man to man. go inside. so that’s why you have to dig more into the specifics. break on the throw (to 1 or 2). 1 is inside. 1. I also have the corners give an “in” call to let the safety know just what 1 is doing. That’s basically it! I know.Man 2.Squeeze 1. 2 is outside. The basis of the reads are simple. when the corner sees 2′s release is to the outside. 2. and will still react to the movements by the #1 receiver. 1. meaning he has any out or out and up (such as a wheel) route by #2. 2 is inside/under/vertical or stays. The corner cannot effectively cover the wheel if he becomes out leveraged. that’s block (stay). he will now be looking for the throw to 2. However. under or vertical. as he knows I’ll have help from the safety. and here they are! #2 releases outsideWhen the corner sees 2 to the outside. then I will go into the “finer” details of the coaching of the techniques involved with each read. The reactions are as follows: 1.Corners Reads I will first give you the reads EXACTLY how I teach the corner. The wide receiver (WR) can also do these things. I teach the corners to squeeze 1′s route.

This does one of two things. In a nutshell. and putting himself in position to either jump the throw. This is important as he has no inside help from the safety on this particular route combination.The corner should think smash immediately. The corner can NEVER come under an post route. He HAS to carry and squeeze 1 to the safety. 1. #1 and 2 run shallow crossing routes. #2 and 1 are vertical. or force a bad throw. and outside and underneath of the route by 2. 1 is vertical. and must work to maintain leverage on the upfield shoulder of the WR. that does it for the corners. #2 is vertical. I teach this because we want the corner to have leverage on the post corner route.Man 1. By squeezing 1 to the inside it also reduces the amount of ground the safety has to cover to get to #1. He does not know if he has safety help. There are some specifics though that you must teach your corners when they get this read. In years past I’ve even had them yell it out “smash-smash-smash”. Over the years.2. Blue coverage simply becomes squat 1/2′s coverage for the corner. and it forces the QB to fit the football into tighter windows. and must “high shoulder” the post route. So.The corner should gain depth and play off of the crossing route of #1 and think “post-corner”. I tell the corners be prepared to rally to the throw to 1. . now let’s move to the second part of the read. The same can be said of the dig route. This allows the safety to come off his read of 2 and get to 1. 2. Teach your corners to beat the WR to the ball on this particular route. but play off enough to help with the corner route. That’s basically it for it #2 is out. The corner will squeeze and “trail” this route. he’s leaving the safety on an island with a huge void to cover with a receiver streaking down the sideline. I teach working to inside leverage and “wedging the fade”. The corner should be outside and over the top of 1.If #1 wants to stay vertical. what to do when #2 is inside/under/vertical or stays in to block. #2 Releases inside/under/vertical/or staysThe corner can now lock on to #1 man to man. 4. 3. I teach the corner to read the nonthrowing shoulder of the QB and as soon as that shoulder crosses his face he’s to settle his feet and be ready to break on the throw to 2. it puts the corner in a position to break on throws instead of chasing routes. reading the #2 receiver and the QB. This read is very simple and frees the corner of any other responsibility other than man to man coverage on #1. Very simple. You will be surprised to know it’s actually a natural reaction for the corner to move to inside leverage on the fade route. I’ve had a lot of corners come up with interceptions by undercutting the corner route by #2. Again.The corner locks on to 1 here. #2 inside. #1 is short. 1 runs a post. the corner is not jumping routes. he’s relating to their distribution. This is a key coaching point in Blue coverage as if the corner jumps the out by 2. Now that the corner’s have been established. teach the corners to read the routes and use their distribution to position themselves according to be able to react to the throw. let’s move on to the safeties.

1. 2. At the very least. make checks.Blue Coverage-The Safety’s Reads and Responsibilities The safety is the toughest position to play in Blue coverage.Man 2. Basically. read opposing offenses. and must have the finesse to run with WR’s in space. and tackle in open spaces. Baby Steps! 2 Releases outside . The specifics become the part. what are the specifics to coaching the safeties in Blue coverage? Well here you go! Follow along in the PowerPoint that can be found here and here for the safety reads. This athlete must be able to cover ground. 2 is outside/inside/under or stays and blocks. I highly urge defensive coaches to put some of their best overall athletes at these positions. cover man-to-man. 2 is vertical. I know. This DB must not be afraid to “bloody his gums” against the run. Remember the old adage “whole-part-whole”. put some of your best open-field tacklers here. but you have to start with baby steps. Yes. and the finishing touches become the final “whole”! So.Get to #1. both the initial reads you teach the corners and the safeties are the whole. Safety Reads Here is exactly how I teach my safeties their reads. oversimplification again.

2 Stays in to blockFor the purpose of this post. 2 releases outside. 3. should get his eyes to #1′s hips and decipher the route. 2 releases outside. all the while having the mindset that #1 is going vertical. The safety again. one. Once they see what #2 is not a threat. The safety should man turn to this route. I want to see the safety in the throwing lane on the deep post route. the will actually turn and open to #1. 2 releases outside. 2 is vertical and out. 2. 1 run a curl. meaning he corner takes the outside route. 2 is inside and 1 runs a post. 2 Releases inside and underneath 1. or in. but the safety should work to inside leverage on #2. 1 runs a slant. both of which should have defensive coordinators (DC’s) licking their chops! 2. the way I’ve taught my safeties is that they are flat-footed reads. The same may be said of the dig route. and the safety takes the inside route. I’m talking about passing situations and reads. At the very least we want to see a high throw forced by the safety. 2 Releases verticalThis is obviously the simplest of the reads by the safety. 1. yet 2 breaks outside.The safety’s eyes should immediately go to 1. the safety must turn and run to the inside shoulder of #1. I also like to have the safety give an “out” call to the corner in case the offense is attempting to run a variation of a high -low route I call scissors. at the coverage has basically converted itself to man coverage. or an interception. either a huge collision. however technique is very important in this case. Later I will discuss run reads. This technique prevents pick and rub routes that offenses utilize when they see some form of man coverage. once he sees 1 breaking off his route and coming inside. Also.The safety should undercut the post. As a side note. Two things can happen here.If the safety declares that 2 is vertical. but for simplicity’s sake. the safety settles and then drives to the upfield shoulder of the WR. or buzzing their feet on the snap (I prefer to buzz). This way they are always prepared for the worst case scenario. In the case of scissors. .Get to 1! Simple as that. if #1 breaks his route to the outside. the safety must drive through the upfield shoulder of #2. He must always think “I have no help” on this particular route combination. 2. This is the toughest route combination the safety will have to defense in Blue coverage.This is a tough. The safety should work to stay inside and over the top of 1 and break on the throw to 1. and be on the inside shoulder of the WR. as the first thought I put in their minds is “1 is vertical”.1. 1. 1. the safety should drive for the deepest shoulder and squeeze the WR to the sideline. I mean pass block.If #1 shows no intention of breaking off his route. The reads here are identical to that of if 2 is out. we would “banjo” the routes. 2 runs a post. 1 is vertical.

swing deep of 2. and you’ll be fine. the corners rules in 2 read are:  Blue reads of 2. I call the reads listed above “Blue Reads”. So. Remember. in my playbook. Start with the simple reads described above. you obviously have a playbook. The safety’s reads are the same. So. it takes three times as long to type the reads as it does to teach them. and then break down the individual reactions to the various routes and route combinations that you will see. and he has the out and up of #2. o This means the corner will read #2 according to the rules listed above. there you have it! That’s basically it.Safety/Corner Rules Before all the above is established. and listed as follows:  Blue reads of 2. all of 2 vertical. teach whole-part-whole. Then put all these back together to formulate the answer to the simple reads! . To be honest.

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