The "2" in cover 2 comes from the two safeties that are responsible for the two deep zones, or "halves," starting at about 13 yards from the line of scrimmage. The underneath portions of the field are vulnerable against Cover 4 defenses. Defensive coaches lean on the Cover 4 scheme because it allows the defense to essentially create a nine-man box versus spread sets. On a run play, he must support contain.S: Man to man coverage on the (TE). The double move by the No. They’re lined up either on the offensive tackle’s outside shoulder or over the tight end if there is one on the field. Remember that a 4-4 Defense is the same as a 4-2-5 Defense or a 6-2 Defense (listen to this episode of The Football Coaching Podcast for my epic rant on The 4 Types of Defense in Football). While the two outside linebackers are responsible for the outside thirds of the field, often called the flat. A common zone coverage that focuses on eliminating the deep portion of the field is Cover 4. The Cover 2 Zone is a defensive scheme that is implemented by many high school, college, and NFL teams. At its most basic, Cover 4 plays as a four deep, three under defense; and at its most aggressive, it plays almost identically to a tight Cover 0. 2 receiver uses a dino stem (hard inside route sell) to sell a deep post. The corner’s presence could prevent the quick flat throws, but the corner must be athletic enough to drop to his deep responsibility, too. Could be Susceptible to Speed - Offenses that have speedy wide receivers, running backs, and even tight ends could find mismatches against this alignment that relies heavily on its linebackers to quickly cover the outside zones of the field. Military, law enforcement, or firearm enthusiast, we have a solution for you. If that happens, the deep post should have plenty of space with a lot of leverage on the outside cornerback. The cover 2 defense in the NFL requires four defensive linemen to rush the quarterback while the other seven defensive players play zone coverage. Underneath the four deep zones are three zone defenders who stretch the entire width of the field, so the defense is susceptible to underneath throws; since that’s the case, Cover 4 is usually run against offenses that need a big gain. For 7-on-7 flag football, apply the same principles if you wish to play a safe zone and not rush the quarterback. It is sometimes referred to as the Prevent Defense (as in it prevents your team from winning). The free safety and strong safety in a Cover 4 defense begin the play about 10-15 yards off the line of scrimmage. As with other zone defensive alignments, the Cover 4 defense relies on four down linemen rushing the line of scrimmage, with either three traditional linebackers or two linebackers and a nickelback, along with two cornerbacks and two safeties. Your email address is safe with me, Cover 4 Defense Football Coaching Guide (Includes Images), Defensive Tackle Guide for Serious Football Players (Tips and Tricks), Cover 0 Defense Football Coaching Guide (Includes Images), Quarters Coverage Football Coaching Guide (Includes Images), Understanding the Zone Blocking Scheme in Football, How to Kick a Field Goal in Football (7-Step Guide). The coverage would mostly be run out of nickel/dime sub-packages. It’s Versatile - The Cover 4 defense can also be modified for any experience level to implement extra wrinkles, blitzes, and even different personnel depending on the game situation or the team a defense might be facing. The National Football League plays on a field that is 53 ⅓ yards wide and the Cover 3 defense entrusts 4 underneath defenders to cover that width and most of the times at least 2 of the defenders are linebackers, who lack the athletic ability of most offensive pass catching options. It’s Simple - The Cover 4 defense doesn’t require any one defender to have multiple responsibilities or to have too much to worry about. Like other zone defenses, the Cover 4 is great to implement as a teaching tool of zone responsibilities to new players. A cover 4 defense is a Zone Defense. If the strong safety bits on the right side cross, then the left side cross will come into his zone. If the defense is facing a strong running team, the cover 3 will be less than ideal unless it has great strength in the trenches, the common term for the defensive line positions. Google it. Cover 2. The lone receiver to the right would be 1-on-1 against the corner, which is fine, but the quarterback is reading the free safety; the outside receiver to that side will have inside leverage against the corner and the free safety is going to have to take either the deep post or the intermediate post, which is probably the one he’d be baited into selecting. It Covers All Zones Well - While it is considered a four-deep defense, the Cover 4 defense can also provide a blanket across the shorter passes, as long as the defensive personnel has the ability to read, react, and provide help. The stick route by the No. The free safety and corner must be in line with what’s going on and if one of them makes the wrong decision then it’s a blown coverage and a huge gain for the offense. Aric DiLalla. The No. Both the Sam and the Will also often encounter running backs running routes out of the backfield in their zones, or even wide receivers flanked outside who run shorter routes toward the outside of the field. The tight end would then run a quick slant behind the linebackers. This video explains and diagrams basic rules for a cover 4. Deep defenders become manipulated pretty easily with clear out routes, followed by some kind of replacement route. The two outside linebackers each have responsibilities for the flat – the area where the two cornerbacks will leave void at the snap of the ball. Sometimes the issue with identifying coverage in high school is that kids don’t aways do what they are coached to do. Teams at more advanced levels, especially in college or the professional ranks, can also deploy a lot of wrinkles to the Cover 4 defense. To the left, there’s an under route from the No. For a well balanced defensive team, the cover 3 is a solid scheme that can work against the run and the pass. "The Ultimate Guide to Football Defense" Booklet (254 pages). 2 receiver’s speed out will garner the attention of the near-side linebacker to the left, which opens the throwing window to the snag that goes over the top of his original position. The defensive line in a Cover 4 defense is very similar to how the defensive line is aligned in other base zone defenses. Low-profile carry holsters with exceptional performance and retention. It’s another excellent way to engineer openings and put deep defenders into conflict. The bigger player of the two, who could be considered the nose tackle, will line up most of the time between the center and the guard, either on the center’s shoulder or the guard’s shoulder. On any given play, each player is responsible for a zone on the field, and whoever enters that zone is their responsibility. In a zone defense out of a 4-4 alignment, each linebacker will cover a quarter of the field, sideline to sideline, and be responsible for covering whatever receiver enters their zone. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. We continue breaking down defensive coverage schemes. So, a lot of times, it’s tough to decipher between Cover 4 and Soft Man. The safeties will read their run/pass keys, but against the pass they’re responsible for watching the release of the No. None are more common than the dagger (clearout/dig) combination that you see above to the right side of the formation. However, defenses will readily switch to other defensive alignments (such as a nickel defense or a dime defense) as circumstances change. Corners are typically aligned head up with outside leverage, peeking inside and forcing receivers that direction. 2 receiver to the backside deep. If you are going to use Cover 2 as your primary coverage, you will need physical corners who can jam and funnel a receiver. Both the deep middle of the field defenders are put into conflict here. Corners can line up in press and bail at the snap, confusing cornerbacks with a disguised Cover 2. 2 then turns his route into a POCO (post-corner) route, while the No. With seven players in the cover 2 defense, five defenders should each have a zone that covers throws within 5 to 15 yards of the line of scrimmage. Because of the need to drop deep into coverage at the snap of the ball, a lot of Cover 4 plays will have the cornerbacks line up off the line of scrimmage about five to seven yards back. 2’s streak, which opens up the void for the right side cross to come into the zone manned by the free safety. Copyright text 2018 by Football Advantage. On a run play, he is the backside contain player.W: Slant outside past the offensive tackle, C-gap responsibility.M: B-gap. This concept puts both the corner and the nearside linebacker in conflict; the corner has to take the streak which opens up a huge void for the 7 that can’t be covered by the linebacker, because of the distance and the flare route from the running back. A corner and safety on the same side of the field can work with one another against certain route combinations to their side (rules can be based on receivers stem and the direction of the combination). Defensive linemen in a Cover 4 scheme are tasked with putting as much pressure in the backfield as they possibly can. The two defensive tackles in a Cover 4 defense will line up anywhere between the offensive tackle and the center. This is the, "I want to be aggressive in stopping the run and short throws in any direction, … Cover 4 – or quarters – is a four-deep look with the cornerbacks and safeties each playing one-fourth of the deep zone. Each side will match according to the split of the formation and game plan. 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