Category Archives: Cover 2

Using Cover 2 with the 3-4 Defense

Cover 2 is the base coverage for many 3-4 teams — your defense could learn something!

As an offensive lineman at Liberty University, I had the privilege to play against a two gap, 3-4 defense that based out of cover 2. Playing against a 3 – 4 defense that two – gapped the front and played a majority of cover 2 has shaped my philosophy as a defensive coordinator.

I can still hear our head coach, Danny Rocco, instructing us to “play with your face in the fan” and “never take a side” while blocking or taking on blocks. That hard – nosed approach helped to develop me as a player and as a young man.

It is not a stretch to correlate the style of play to the development of young men. Young men need to learn what it means to meet your opponent head on and not run around the opponent. At Liberty, we were a hard – nosed football program that kept the schemes simple and strived to physically dominate our opponents by out – working them in the weight room and on the practice field.
3-4 defense cover 2
There are five reasons why I believe in cover 2 as the base zone coverage of the 3-4 defense.

  1. Eliminates potential personnel mismatches which can be created vs. man coverage
  2. Allows for defenders to have better vision on the QB/ball.
  3. Dictates where you want the ball to be thrown. Cover 2 = force the ball to be thrown underneath
  4. Eliminate potential for long runs
  5. Defenders can speed up reaction time by reading their keys
    1. Pre – snap read
    2. QB eyes
    3. QB shoulders
    4. Hand off the ball

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3-4 Dime Personnel Package

See what coaches are learning about this 3-4 Dime Personnel Package – including Video

We are in an age of football where offenses spread the field and want to get players in space. It is essential that defenses adapt so they can limit the number of big plays and points allowed.

The 3-4 is the most versatile of all defenses and this 3-4 dime personnel package gives the defense more speed on the field and the ability to bring pressure or drop 8 into coverage.

The base coverage for this 3-4 dime personnel package is Tampa 2 with a run – thru “Star” that will run to the goalpost at 15 – 22 yards if he sees it is a pass. This package also has the ability to bring a field fire zone and a double edge pressure to keep the offense guessing. Continue reading

Multiple 3-4 Fire Zone Blitz Coverages

Coaches thought Fire Zone Blitzes Were Just Cover 3 Concepts – Then They Read This!

The term “fire zone blitz” has become a buzzword at all levels of football, and the effective use of them has shut down many offenses. In this article I will explain two fire zones blitz coverages that can be used against every style of offense.

The coverages used in these fire zone blitzes are cover 3 and cover 2, which are simple fire zone blitz coverages that are taught at even the Pop Warner level. The secret to the success of these fire zone blitzes is that you are able to disguise them, because the pre-snap look is the same to the quarterback (2 high shell).

A lot of coaches do not like to run fire zones because they seem too complex, but when you break them down you will see how simple and effective they are in creating confusion and chaos for an offense.
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3-4 Cover 2 Man Under Defense

In the era of the spread offense it has become essential to employ a defense that can maximize numbers in the box and still provide excellent pass coverage. Offenses are using the entire field and defenses must be able to defend from sideline to sideline and still have enough players in the box to stop the run. Our base defense was a 4-2-5 this past season, but we played a 3-4 cover two man look versus pure spread teams (Air Raid / Tony Franklin System).

In our classification we see mostly 21/22 personnel but when we play teams that are mainly 10/11 personnel we utilized our 3-4 cover 2 man defense. The following paragraphs will detail the reads, alignment and assignment of each position in our two man package.
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3 Ways to Defend Trips Formations from 1 Coverage Shell

Defending trips formations, even with many more spread formations, is still a tough task. Many teams will still check to one automatic blitz or one automatic coverage.

Well, that ends today! I want to show you 3 examples of how to defend trips from the exact same coverage shell.

For many of you, these are pretty safe adjustments too, meaning you’ve probably already got something like them in your playbook. You might not need my exact adjustment for defending trips formations, but maybe you can tweak your already existing concept.

We’ll present one slightly tweaked zone coverage adjustment, one man coverage adjustment, and finally a zone blitz. Again, all of these will come from the same shell. That way, you don’t need to teach new adjustments or give any tells to the offense. Continue reading

Cover 2 Trap: A Fire Zone Blitz

I’ve recently discovered Vine, a twitter app for iOS (and soon android) that takes short snippets of video and shares them easily. I’m going to start sharing a few of these football videos that I do on Strong Football’s twitter account. I wrote my first vine… Tweet on cover 2 trap you can see the video later in this post.

The big advantage of vine is how quickly it works. I will be starting chalk talk sessions using the #fbcoach hashtag. If you have questions or thoughts, please share them by messaging my twitter account or retweeting it. There is a lot of great football coaching material using that hashtag so check it out.

Cover 2 Trap

For now, here is my first Vine post, discussing cover 2 trap, a fire zone blitz that fakes like your rolling to cover 3 or a 3 deep blitz. The trap is actually in the strongside corner. He drops momentarily post snap to influence like its cover 3. He then settles his hips and plays the flat like he would in cover 2.

Cover 2 trap is a great zone blitz on heavy run downs. You can easily bring a safety into the box and run a coverage besides cover 3, while also taking away the quick game. A lot of people will run this coverage with 4 underneath, and that’s fine too. I just thought I’d share one of my favorites I’ve seen. By the way, there is sound if you watch it on my Twitter or vine account. There wasn’t sound at the time of this posting.

Now there are some weaknesses to this coverage. You have to have rangy safeties and your weakside corner needs to be okay on an island. I would run other coverages versus spread sets, like a 3 deep 3 underneath zone blitz using those now infamous rip/Liz match rules from Nick Saban.

Overall, cover 2 trap is a great alternative for your fire zone blitzing family if your seeking an alternative coverage. In regards to vine, I will probably sharing more videos take on here soon.

FishDuck.com Guest Post on Split Coverages in Football

I wrote a guest post for FishDuck.com!. Make sure you check it out! It’s on split coverages in football (think quarter-quarter-half, 2 read and traditional cover 4, etc…). Here is a small excerpt….

Split coverages, whether they’re regarded as such, are used by many high school, college, and pro teams. While most teams also have a balanced zone coverage, like cover 3 or cover 2, split coverages are growing more popular. Perhaps TCU is best known for successfully implementing split coverage schemes.

Consistently one of the top defenses in college football, details on the TCU 4-2-5 defense are among the most sought-after topics in the football coaching community today. Whether it’s playbook information, or even a clinic talk, the concept of split coverages is very popular today, whether a team implements a 4-2-5 defense or another scheme.

If you want to read more, check out FishDuck’s blog post Split Coverages in Football.

Also, check out ChiefPigskin.com!.