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.
Base Play 4-2 Defense Strong vs Short Routes and Patterns Side Balanced
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.