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Defending RPOs with 2-Read Coverage

Run-Pass-Options (RPOs) have become all the rage in recent years.  RPOs seek to take advantage of defenders who are in a run-pass-conflict.  This conflict is created because the defender has a gap he must defend in the running game, and a zone he must defend in the passing game.  An offense will execute a run…

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5-Spoke Secondary Play

I got a copy of Modern Defensive Football by Gomer Jones and Bud Wilkinson for my birthday.  Written in 1957, it’s still extremely relevant today.  In this book, Jones and Wilkinson describe their 4-Spoke and 5-Spoke secondary.  Today we are going to look at the 5-Spoke secondary.  In the book, they use position names common…

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Cover 2 Variations

Cover 2 is one of my favorite coverages.  It defends the short, quick passing game extremely well and is a good against the run.  It also has many adjustments that can be used to attack the offense and make up for the shortcomings inherent in Cover 2. Below we will examine several of these variations.…

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Defending Trips with Cover 3

When an offense aligns in a Trips (3×1) formation, they are attempting to gain an advantage in either the run or pass game.  In the passing game, they are looking to overload the 3 receiver side of the coverage or isolate their player in a one-on-one match-up on the single receiver side.  How you defend…

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Defending Flow Pass with Cover 3

This is an excerpt from my book, Defending the Pass with Football 3-Deep Zone Coverage.  Pick up your copy here. Play Action Passes A play-action pass is a pass play that, on the initial action by the offense looks like a run play.  They are designed to draw second-level defenders up to defend the run. …

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Nick Saban’s Pattern Match Cover 2

Today we are going to take a look at a pattern match Cover 2 concept used by Alabam Head Coach Nick Saban and Michigan Defensive Coordinator Don Brown.  Saban calls this concept Cut and Brown calls it Eagle. Learn more pattern match concepts in our book, Split Safety Pattern Match Coverages, available now in the store.…

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Defend Against Strongside Flood Routes

Every coverage in football has inherent weaknesses.  Cover 3 is no different.  As a coach it is imperative that you are aware of these weaknesses and develop ways to minimize them. One of the weaknesses of Cover 3 is the strong side flood route known as Sail.  In this post we will look at how Sail stresses…

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Protecting the Seams

Defending the 4 Verticals pass concept can be a big challenge for a defense employing a 3-deep zone coverage.  The reason it is so difficult to defend is simple math.  The offense is sending four receivers deep down the field while the defense only has three receivers back there to cover the routes. The play…

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