Category Archives: Cover 3

Why You Can Run Cover 3 vs. 4 Verticals

As I was watching the Seahawks play the Broncos in the Super Bowl this year, I kept having a single thought creep into my head: The Seahawks are playing a TON of cover 3!! Now, I follow the Seahawks closely enough to know that they run a lot of cover 3 and use cover 1 and their change – up.

Mike Chan (writer for Field Gulls) does a great job detailing how the Seahawks play cover 3. The beauty of cover 3 is that the offense will rarely hit the big play and you can play 8 men in the box versus the run.

cover 3 vs 4 verticals

Basic 2×2 Versus Our Cover 3

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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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Defending the I Formation like Pete Carroll’s Seahawks Defense

The Seattle Seahawks dominated many I formation teams this year. Under Pete Carroll, the Seahawks defense had a nice little adjustment to pro style formations, like the I formation.

Especially in 21 personnel, 2 backs and 1 tight end, the Seahawks defense matched up well. One way they did that was playing a “heavy” end on the weakside.

Many defenses declare passing strengths instead of declaring it to a tight end and then they set the shade side, or open side, to either the tight end or the split end.

seahawks defense vs pro formation

How Many Teams Play the Over Front vs 21 personnel

The Seahawks do it a little differently. While the Seahawks defense in 2013 set the reduction, or 3 technique side, to the tight end in many situations. The nose and Sam linebacker get set to the split end. The strong safety, who I call the Rover, is set to the 3 technique side.
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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

4-2-5 Defense Option Responsibilities

Post by Zach Davis

This is a post by Coach Zach Davis, defensive coordinator at Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy in Georgia. You can follow him on his Twitter Handle, zachdavis24. If you’re interested in guest posting for Strong Football, email CoachCP at editor[at]strongfootballcoach.com.

We have very simple 4-2-5 defense option responsibilities because of all the different types of option we see during a season. We have seen veer, midline, shovel, power, speed and triple option this year and we have devised a simple way to play the option so our players can play FAST!

We want to hit the quarterback as often as possible when he is a ball carrier. He is the decision maker and we must “wreck the decision maker” in order for us to be successful against the option.

We take away the dive with our defensive linemen and we make the quarterback attempt a long pitch because we are sending someone to the quarterback once we realize it is option. We may be a little weak against the pitch, but at our level the pitch is not a huge threat. Continue reading

Dick LeBeau’s Mike/Will Cross Fire Zone Blitz

Dick LeBeau is an innovator, and most in coaching circles understand that. He changed the way coaches blitz with the fire zone blitz. Well, his Mike/Will Linebacker Cross Blitz is arguably one of the two most famous zone blitzes used today, only preceded by the NCAA blitz.

What makes LeBeau’s Mike Will Linebacker cross fire zone blitz so nasty is it really can hurt tight A gap runs and off tackle power and counter plays. With two of the inside linebackers exchanging responsibilities, it is hard for many teams to use these types of plays unless their players execute it at a high level, aka they make that play their bread and butter and they really practice it a lot. Continue reading