Cover 2 and cover 4
We have never been involved with Cover 4 because I didn't understand it although I am aware that it can be a great run stopper. Our use of Cover 2 has been limited because we had difficulty getting our halves players aggressively attacking the ball. I do like Cover 2 with man under as our under coverage can be more proactive knowing they have help behind them.
We are all in this together.Simple is good . . . simpler is better.
Your halves players shouldn't be attacking the ball. That would be your corners that need to attack the ball.
My best two DB's (by far) are safeties..... Kinda why i liked cover 4 better.
An OC buddy tells me he thinks" you chase to much" and are always in a trail position with cover 4.
"Whether you think you can, or cannot, you're probably right."
Personally I would hold off on all the TCU stuff for lower level ball. (i.e. all 9 million checks)
for youth (and even high school) I basically teach it as "Double Cover 3"
the players are told to get deep and stay deep
They follow simple rules so they don't have to make any "checks"
if 1 receiver it is "man", zone your quarter with an emphasis on #1
if 2 or more "midpoint" #1 and #2 deep
vs a "nub" stay outside'
For Safteys it's very similar:
Zone off of #2 Deep
If there is only a #1, mid point #1 and the next receiver to the other side
This basically will put you into a "Special" check vs Trips
X O O O O O Z
E N T E
W M S
C $ F C
You can play around with adjustments i.e. press quarters, split field calls, 2 read etc.
vs Double tight teams it basically becomes cover 2
X O O O O O Y
C E N T E S C
Corners have "nub"
You can move the $ and F up to 6-8 yards if you aren't afraid of their passing game
Grab a look a Tampa 2 based Coverages. Especially if your Mike is a Real Athlete! At the HS Level you have the advantage of Opponents Tapes!
First thing to Consider is Who is their True#1? Do they move him all over? How many targets does the next best kid get? Are they a vertical passing team or a typical Spread "West Coast" Run extension team? Read Option? Cover 4, IMHO, assumes the worst! Great QB and 4 Deep Threats! What that means is Huge Windows for that So So # 2 and 3 can make catches! If you hate to swap corners that's on you! Consider Man Lock! Double (Hi/Low) their best! Zone everything else!
Also. If your worried about their vertical game, how good is their pass blocking? Can they pick up the odd blitz? I always loved the Packer Corner Blitz under Dom Capers. Woodson chasing motion and then streaking to the QB!
Not MPP... ONE TASK! Teach them! 🙂
plain cover 2, 2 man, and robber would give the average offensive youth guru headaches.
Robber, just to be clear, means if two goes in or out, the safety play underneath #1. If #2 goes vertical, safety has #2.
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Id love to hear any tips, tricks, thoughts and pitfalls on your teaching or experience with cover 2 & 4.
At the HS level, I've taught it 2 ways:
Good ol' fashioned squat Cov. 2, with the CB aligning rolled up with outside leverage on the receiver and pushing him in towards help while squatting in the flats for run force, then the S on each side dropping to the hash. The LBs will simply drop to the numbers at about 8-10 yards and the MOF (assuming a 4-3 or a 3-4 that's rushing a LB) and looks to wall off crossers. Everyone keys QB's eyes when they get to their drops.
Good ol' fashioned Cov. 4 was the same thing, except the CB drops to the deep top of the numbers and keeps everything in front of him, while the OLB widens from the hash to the top of the numbers as well. That's more of a prevent thing. The S needs to be in force here. We never had much use for it, honestly.
They should be keying the EMOL's head for a run/pass read here. Hi hat=pass (rare in youth ball) and Lo hat=run (common).
Now that I'm at the HS level, we teach them as a pattern match kind of thing, which is more like a match man coverage. It's actually simpler if you think of it as just man with a twist.
We start with Cov. 4 (Quarters).
CBs will align on #1. They have #1 deep. If he breaks inside and underneath at least than 10 yards, they will zone their 1/4 (top of the numbers).
S will align on the hash. They have #2 deep. If #2 breaks underneath 10 yards, they will "rob" the post of #1 by getting under it in their 1/4.
LBs will wall the near receiver underneath and stretch with him to the outside, carrying him deep until something shows in the flat.
We teach Cov. 2 as the same thing, except this time the CB and S are both keying #2. If #2 breaks on an out at less than 5 yards depth, the CB will come up on him while the S gets over top of #1.
Again, pattern matching sounds complex, but this is pretty simple, actually.
S has force here in both coverages with the same hi hat/lo hat read as described earlier. Get your eyes on the EMOL as you take your 2 read steps back, then come up hard if you read run or get eyes quickly on #2 if you read pass. Backside S plays cutback.
In both these coverages, we have 2 Trips checks we can use:
One is called "Cancel." That means we "Cancel" out #1 to the Trips side by manning up the CB on him there (that's a long throw for a QB) and then play 2 Read on #2 and #3 with the S and OLB to that side. This means we do have to teach the OLB to run with #2 deep unless #3 breaks outside at least than 5 yards. ILB will wall #3. This is our preferred coverage because teams will try to isolate a stud WR one on one on the weak and this lets us keep a S to help out and double him over there.
The other is what TCU calls "Solo." In that one, we man up the CB on the weak side receiver and the weak OLB on any RB out, then slide the FS over top of #3. The FS has #3's deep route while the MLB will wall him deep. Then we play 2 Read or Quarters just like normal on #1 and #2 with the FS, CB, and OLB. It's actually a heck of a lot easier than it sounds. We run this one when they're actually hurting us to the Trips side, as this gets us more numbers there.
A trick is to set your secondary to the field and boundary. Have the field side work against 2 and 3 receiver looks in practice while the weak side works against 1 and 2 receiver looks.
For the backpedal for the CBs, if you press them, it's important to teach a good punch and proper footwork. We like to roll up and press on the inside eye of the WR. Punch him with the near hand to his breastplate on the first step, then backpedal and punch across your body with the off hand. Keep square to him and maintain your backpedal with inside position and do not let him cut across. When he's even with you, flip your hips (inside hip will turn)--don't bring it too high above your knee, but be smooth and fluid in getting to your stride. Club him with the inside arm and elbow as he runs his route to knock him around--again, do not let him cut across you. Playing good coverage is less about speed as it is about technique.
Of course, this is youth ball, so you don't really need to worry about that stuff too much unless you play in a MS league with some outstanding young QBs.