Friday, March 26, 2010

Cover 2 and Cover 4

Cover 2 Beaters

The two places to beat cover 2 are in the "windows" anywhere from 16-22 yards on the sideline and in the middle of the field. Because there are only two safeties, the deep-zone responsibility of these defenders is much greater than cover 3 or cover 4.

Smash-the smash (also called "china") concept is a great route vs. traditional cover 2. It provides a vertical stretch or hi-low on the cornerback with the corner-hitch combo. You can make the smash either a key defender read with the corner being the key defender or it can be a high to low progression. It can be run as a 2 or 3 man concept. The following image shows the smash executed on the right side of the formation in a 2 man concept.

Three verticals- this can be a great cover 2 beater because the three vertical routes put tremendous stress on the two deep defenders. The safeties are responsible to cover 53 yards of field and can be taken advantage of. The below image shows a bread and butter play the Indianapolis Colts with both the TE trying to get inside of the safety over the top of them. You can only see half of the field in this image but the horizontal stretch on the safety is evident.

Double slants- arguably the best "quick game" concept vs. cover 2 is the double slant concept. The cover 2 corner is taught to funnel the #1 receiver inside to make the safeties job easier. This allows the leverage we need to throw the slant pattern. The OLB will close down and follow the slant by #2, thus opening up a nice window to get the ball to #1.

Cover 4 Beaters

Since cover 4 employs 4 deep defenders, it is difficult to get anything down the field. Cover 4 is most vulnerable in the flat, curl, and hook zones.

Stick concept- the stick is a 3 man concept that puts a horizontal stretch on the OLB in cover 4. The #1 will run a vertical route to run off the corner, the #2 will run the "stick", and the #3 (either a TE, slot, or RB) will run a arrow/flat. When running the stick, the receiver will work to a depth of 8 yards and then break inside or out, depending on where the coverage is. Texas made a living this year running this concept with Jordan Shipley running the stick.

Double Outs- using the same horizontal stretch as the stick concept, double outs puts a lot of pressure on the OLB as well. With a slightly decreased split, #1 and #2 will run a 4-yard speed out. The #2 receiver, will read the OLB and either continue or stop his movement toward the sideline depending on the movement of the OLB. You can also run this from a trips set, with the #1 receiver running vertical to get the corner to bail.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for for post on this, very useful for the offense to know about the defense. By the way, you second picture is broken, would you please replace it?