Cover 2 – Made Simple “ The Muskie Way” Muskingum College
Table of Contents :
1. Why Cover 2?
2. Offensive Formations / How they affect Defenses?
3. Basics / Terminology
4. CB / Align. / Tech. / Reads
5. Safety / Align. / Tech. / Reads
6. Underlying Factors (It’s what’s up front that counts)
7. Tying it all together!
Chapter 1: Why Cover 2?
Gives Defenses the ability to cover down all field zones pre-snap depending on the formation.
Gives you a cover down affect so that there are no receivers that are uncovered.(for example cover 3 or 1)
Gives you good perimeter run support.
Gives you the ability to line up on your landmark.
Helps to control the short passing game. (Most teams are not vertical passing teams)
Forces teams into attacking down the field. (force teams into playing you left handed or out of their comfort zone)
In general the shorter the pass the higher the % of completion. Force them to throw the ball where they don’t want to. Down the field.
*** The ability to give the QB the same pre-snap read. There are many coverage's that we can stem into from this shell. Now the Offense has to worry about attacking Cover 2 or what appears to be Cover 2. They must be proficient at sight adjustments or they must assume that we are going to roll on each snap and that will limit what they can do to attack the coverage.
*** The ability to disrupt the timing and affect the ability of QB’s and receivers to get on the same page. This can be achieved in one of two ways; move the QB and, or disrupt the receivers stem. Either way the timing is affected.
Chapter 2: Offensive Formations
Offensive Formations and how they affect the coverage. Certain personnel groups can add to or their #’s match up
Chapter 2: Offensive Formations (Cont.)
Chapter 3: Basics /Terminology
For Us to be an effective Cover 2 football team we must communicate. This communication must be consistent and constant.
As a coach when I don’t hear us talking I know that we are not reading and reacting to what we are seeing. We are zoning out or locking on to something that we should not see.
In/ In/ In - #1 receiver goes inside within 5yds. CB makes call as he finds #2.
Cross / Cross / Cross - #1 receiver goes inside behind the Lb’ers. CB should squeeze #1 with eyes to #2 or any potential crosser.
Smash / Smash / Smash - #1 Receiver runs any kind of hitch, q1, stop, or any kind of delay route staying outside the hashes. Should tell the CB’s to sink now. It also tells the OLB that there is someone in the flat and to react to ball thrown there.
Sink/ Sink / Sink – Call made by the Safety to CB telling him to get depth because #2 is vertical. Potential for the Corner route on top of the CB. Do not hang on #1.
Stretch / Stretch / Stretch – #1 Receiver has taken an outside release. This call alerts the backside Safety that the offense is trying to expand the seams, and stretch us both vertically and horizontally. Anticipate the ball in the seam or at least down the field.
Minus / Minus / Minus - #1 receiver takes a split that is not normal (not 17 yds.). This split allows for the receiver to get across the field quickly for mesh / it also allows for run blocking angles by creating more gaps along the offensive front and if not careful lulls defenders into thinking that they are not vulnerable to all of the space outside of them.
Chapter 4: CB /Align./Tech./Reads
Cover 2 Field Markings
Chapter 5: Safety/Align./Tech./Reads
It’s What’s up Front that Counts!!
Chapter 6: Underlying Factors (It’s what’s up front that counts)
The Main ingredient to Cover 2 = Your Defensive Line.
What’s up front will make or break your coverage. Not to say that you need a bunch of All-Americans in front of you – but you must have a sound scheme to force the football to the perimeter.
As we have already discussed the offense can have a #’s or a gap advantage – You have to have some athletic players that can get off blocks and run to the football. This includes your Lb’ers as well.
Schematically you must also find ways to help secure the inside run gaps so that your Lb’ers can get into their drops.
Essentially Our Mike backer has 2 interior gaps based on flow – we must take away one of these gaps and make his run read more definitive. We must give him a one way go. If the ball is not in that gap he plays pass and reacts to anything else.
In a passing situation our 4 rushers must defeat at a minimum 5 blockers. (+ any additional backs)
In a running situation our 4 D-Linemen + our Mike must account for at a minimum 6 gaps up front.
Somewhere we have to get a 2 for 1 exchange!!
“ It’s What’s up Front that Counts”
Chapter 6: Underlying factors (cont.)
Chapter 6: Underlying Factors (cont.)
Chapter 7: Tying it all together
The weakness of the defense or the coverage is the RUN GAME. The offense should utilize their #’s/gap advantage to attack the defense.
Having said this as a defensive coordinator we need to understand through statistics and film study just what are the passing downs and run downs. If I am anticipating run I’m probably not sitting in Stack Cover 2 (our 4-3 front). If I am anticipating run I might be disguising cover 2 and dropping into some kind of 8 man front. However I do like Cover 2 vs. a perimeter run game.
This is where the gamesmanship comes into play. If you can get me into a 2 deep shell and run the ball when I am expecting pass you have a chance.
Anyway as a Defensive Coach we watch film as well – we understand what your run tendencies are as well as your pass tendencies.
Are you spreading us out to RUN or to PASS. There is a difference.
IN A NUT SHELL
We must win the battle up front. We must be able to get pressure with our 4 down lineman. Not much in the way of blitzes and pressures.
“ Man on Man” defense. If we can’t beat the man in front of us, the holes and #’s will catch up with us. We must be able to play with great effort and get after our opponent. This includes our CB’s matched up on their WR’s, our LB’ers on their Slots and our D-Line on their O-Line. It is all encompassing, everyone must execute their part.
Lastly we must excel at the “Overlap” principle. Our Cb’s must overlap with our Safety’s, our Lb’ers must overlap with our Cb’s etc. We must be able through great, great effort be able to get to the ball carrier and or QB. We must gang tackle the ball and we must play with great speed and determination.
This is a total Concept defense. This is not designed for one of the segments to lead the team in tackles – everyone must do their part.
Ultimately we want to be the most physical team on the field. We want to control the TEMPO of the GAME!!
Muskingum College Shap Boyd Asst. Head Football Coach Defensive Coordinator Defensive Backs Muskingum College 163 Stormont St. New Concord, OH 43762 [email_address] 0 740-826-8311 C 740-255-6333