It’s not a myth that quarters coverage is becoming a top choice for defenses of every front, philosophy and persuasion.
As such, here are 3 insights on how to improve quarters coverage. These aren’t the only things I believe in, but I definitely think they are true most of the time.
By the way, the third insight includes some video on adjusting quarters!
#1 Insight for Quarters Coverage: Diagram Common Formation Adjustments in the Pre-season
You should prepare for as many formations as possible on a white board in the pre-season with your coaching staff.
I recommend you categorize them by personnel and formations within that group. For instance, I’d start with 21 personnel pro, then 21 personnel slot, because we’ve seen it a lot. After I get all the 21 personnel formations (including noticable wide receiver splits), we’d work to another personnel set. Regardless, the goal is to make sure you plan your base adjustments in quarters coverage (robber, 2 read, hard cover 2, cover 2 invert, etc…) before you practice them with the kids.
Coaching PointDon’t forget to plan motion. I’d do all the formations first, then a few days later I’d plan for motions and shifts and make a few stead fast rules. For instance, do you go corners over, or roll the safety over?
#2 Insight for Quarters Coverage: Know the field and boundary
Quarters coverage’s BEST strength is it’s ability to play formations and the field and boundary. For instance, in my video on using quarters coverage versus spread sets (seen below), you can see I plan for the field and boundary.
Now, know that every form of quarters coverage isn’t perfect in every situation – that’s why it’s adaptable. For instance, 2 Read (which let’s you keep a linebacker in the box), it’s not great into the field unless you know it’s a run most of the time.
Just remember spacing issues do exist. Teams like Baylor take advantage of teams with their spacing. Along with you pre-season formation adjustments, think of your field and boundary adjustments.
#3 Insight for Quarters Coverage: Keep it Simple, Stupid
Do not, under any circumstance, over load your players with adjustments. Build your binder, go over what’s necessary during the pre-season, and then only use a few adjustments each week.
This ensures you maximize repetition on coverage adjustments versus your opponent that week. Don’t get carried away by going over every possible situation. You still have your playbook, and if you’ve practiced it then you might be able to run it if things get really hairy.
But hopefully, by perfecting a few adjustments each week (not every adjustment), your kids will truly excel. They’ll know their strengths – and their weaknesses. Make sure you inform your kids of the weaknesses too, and how to adjust on the fly.
Cover 4, just like any coverage, has ways it can be exploited. Make your players believe in the quarters coverage adjustment decisions you make each week in your game plan, and let them know that the offense is going to have to work to break you guys.
Just don’t make it too complex. That’s when big plays happen. Keep it simple, stupid.