Category Archives: Man Coverage

Getting After It with the Cover 1 3-3 Stack Blitz Package

I have recently spent time with coaches who run the version of the 3-3 that Charlie Strong ran at South Carolina in the early 2000’s. It has been an awesome experience to learn that style of defense from great coaches. I am going to share a little bit from their 3-3 stack blitz package, specifically two of their cover 1 blitzes. I learned this off-season, and I hope you can incorporate these pressures into your package because they are SIMPLE and SOUND!!

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3-4 Defense Man Coverage Principles

The off-season is a time where I love to get together with local coaches and talk about defense. I am blessed to live in the Atlanta area, so there are a lot of great coaches that are willing to share their knowledge with a young defensive coordinator.

3-4 defense man coverage was a scheme that really interested me as I met with several defensive coordinators in the McDonough / Atlanta area. I grew up playing against the 50 defense as an offensive lineman and my eyes like having a balanced, five man rush with man coverage behind it. We call this man coverage but in all reality it is cover 1, but instead of a post safety, we have a low – hole inside linebacker.

Using 3-4 defense with man coverage is VERY simple, but it has been proven effective over the years. Continue reading

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

4-3 Blitz Package: Making an Easy Blitz Look Complicated

Intro: Last spring, I was approached by the head coach of the school I am currently at now to design and implement a new 4-3 Cover 2 defense. As I began researching the different ways to play 4-3 Cover 2, I realized that I needed to simplify what we were going to do with our players as they would be switching from Fritz Shurmur’s Eagle 5 defense to something totally different.  So we began to look at a cover 1 4-3 blitz package.

We would be changing from boxing/contain to spilling as well as jamming and funneling. Knowing this, I knew that when we needed to get pressure, what we would be doing couldn’t be that difficult to implement and practice as we would be spending more time repping Cover 2 fundamentals. Continue reading

Cornerback Press Coverage Drill from Nick Saban / Alabama

Saban watching a cornerback press coverage drill

Thanks to for this photo.

I found this little gem on youtube, which is a great resource by the way. It’s short and sweet but worth your time. You’ll seee the Crimson Tide coaches doing a cornerback press drill with their players. It’s a drill that can be used for almost all positions, basically a mirror drill. Notice the footwork and the use of hands throughout the drill. Continue reading

Runcodhit Football: Defending Trips

How to disguise your Coverage or Scheme when defending the trips formations

Another top football coaching blog post from 2011. The Trips formation annoys many defensive coordinators, and RUNCODHIT does a nice job of describing how to defend the trips formation in multiple ways. He describes four basic ways to defend the trips formation.

  • “A Cover 3 concept
  • An X-out concept like Special
  • A Pattern-match coverage with a safety poaching #3 (solo)
  • The Classic: Straight up Man or Man-Free”

RUNCODHIT does a nice job of describing what to call these coverages and informs readers of when to call them. This post also provides links to other in-depth articles on the subject. RUNCODHIT has some fantastic posts in general and you really should check it out!

By the way, has an interesting little forum. You should check it out.

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