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Cover 2 - Base Defense
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Cover 2 - Base Defense


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  • 1. Defense
  • 2. Introduction Important things to know about the Cover 2 Defense:  Most teams in our league use a basic Cover 2 defense.  Most QBs in the league are well versed in the weak spots of a Cover 2 defense.  Very Flexible defense – can be quickly tailored to adapt to a particular offensive scheme.
  • 3. Base Play 4-2 Defense Strong vs Short Routes and Patterns Side Balanced
  • 4. Cover 2 Base Alignment CB’s should align approximately 6 yards from the sideline. LB’s should align approximately 6 yards from the CBs and each other.
  • 5. Cover 2 Proper Alignment These alignment shifts should be subtle, and not create large gaps in the defense.  LBs and CBs evenly spaced between WRs.  Strong side WRs are bracketed by LB and CB.  Weak Side Safety is aligned inside of the slot WR.  Strong Side Safety is aligned over the top of the slot WR.
  • 6. Bracketing the Strong man Regardless of where the Strong side WR lines up, the defense creates a bracket on either side of the Strong Side WR, and the WR they lineup next to.
  • 7. Front Line Depth CBs and LBs align 5-7 yards from the line of scrimmage. CBs and LBs can drop up to 15 yards from the line of scrimmage - more if necessary.
  • 8. The Balance of a Cover 2 Most of the time, either the Center or a Strong Side WR will cross to the Weak side creating a 1:1 ratio.
  • 9. Weak spots of a Cover 2 3 general weak spots on the field. Susceptible to Floods. When the Center or Strong Side WR don’t cross run to the Weak Side, there is an uneven balance on the Strong Side.
  • 10. Strengths of the Cover 2 It exploits weaknesses in  Short Yardage Situations QBs  The Cover 2 allows for 4  Shorter QBs have trouble constant defenders to play seeing the middle weak in the front 15 yards spot. maintaining at worst a 2:3  The deep outside zones defensive ratio, where requires the QB to have a Robber and Bandit both really strong arm, or a lot of evolve to a possible worst time to throw, to exploit. case 1:2 ratio – One Defender vs. two Receivers.
  • 11. Common Weak Side RoutePatterns It is likely they will try to stretch the CB back and run a route underneath him, or they will try to draw the Safety away from the sideline, and then throw over the CB on a double move.
  • 12. Coverage for Common WeakSide Routes The Weak side Safety’s #1 priority is always the deep sideline threat. CBs are taught to always stick with a WR that is trying to catch them with a double move. LB always picks up the most inside WR on the Weak Side.
  • 13. What if it looks like a flood, butisn’t? The Center runs to the Strong side appearing to cause a flood, but a Strong side WR goes back to the weak side evening out the balance of the field.
  • 14. Coverage for ApparentFloods The Weak side LB controls the balance, and if the Center goes to the strong side the LB moves inside until they find and pickup a crossing WR.
  • 15. Common Strong side RoutePatterns Assuming the Center goes to the Weak side and creates a balanced attack, the Strong side generally is in some form of a trips alignment.
  • 16. Coverage for Common Strongside Route Patterns Strong side LB always needs to get good depth on his drop, and look for a slot or Wideout crossing at mid depth. Strong side Safety always has the deepest threat. Strong side CB always has a WR on a double move, or a flats attack once they’ve released their WR to the Safety.
  • 17. What if they flood? Flood Delayed Flood Either the Center going to the Strong side, or a Weak side WR crossing to the Strong side, causes a flood (greater than 1:1 ratio).
  • 18. Cover 2 Flood Coverage Flood Delayed Flood Weak side LB moves inside to provide support. Weak side CB moves inside to provide support. Weak Side Safety picks up the uncovered WR on the back side of the play.
  • 19. Recap Maintain 4-2 alignment, with LBs and CBs still evenly spaced. Front line of defenders need to drop up to 15 yards. By design there are 3 holes in a Cover 2, and its susceptible to flooding. The Cover 2 is amazingly flexible, and can form uniquely to various styles of Offense. Weak side LB controls the balance of the play. Weak side CB and Safety need to key the Weak LB so they can adjust coverage accordingly.