There are four main coverage they are man to man,zone,zone blitz ,and man blitz. Every quarterback from pop Warner to the NFG have to know how to Identify and exploit the weaknesses in each of them. If the quarterback Is not able to they could do anything from throw an Incomplete pass or throw an Interception In the superpower that loses a football team a game. The man to man coverage are cover one, one safety in deep coverage the rest of the defensive backs are man to man with a linebacker patrolling the middle of the field.
Two man under, which means that there are two safeties splitting the field in half each taking one half and the rest of the defensive backs In man to man. And cover zero which Is the two safeties double teaming the outside receivers and the rest of the defensive backs man to man across the field. To Identify If the defense Is In man to man the quarterback can generally key on the corners and safeties. If the corners are up and on an inside shade of the receivers while the safeties are back or lined up on a receiver you can generally assume that the defense are in a man to man coverage.
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The way you can exploit this type of defense is by using crossing routes,speed routes, and rub routes. The reason these work is because every defensive player is only worried about their assignment meaning that If you can get separation the receiver will be open. The zone coverage are cover two or Tampa two as some call it and what that means is that the two safeties each get a deep half of the field, the linebackers all have a hook to curl zone and the corners have the flats in press coverage.
Cover three which is generally a roll coverage to the strong side which means that the throng side safety will roll to the side with the most receivers on it and have the flats while the other safety and two corners take deep thirds on the field while the linebackers cover the middle. And finally there’s cover four which Is when the two corners and safeties divide the field up into fourths and each take one of them while the linebackers take the middle of the field and hook to curl range. A good tip on whether a defense is in zone coverage is the quarterback can look at the linebackers and corners.
If the linebackers are off the line of scrimmage a little more than usual zone coverage of some sort. If the defense is in zone the sidelines will almost always be open. Along with the sidelines the hash marks will be open as well. Some routes that will be effective against a zone coverage will be a streak, a fade, and a corner route. All these are designed to get the receiver in the gaps of the zones. The zone blitz coverage are designed to confuse an offense because quarterbacks can never tell whoso coming and who’s dropping back into coverage so quarterbacks have to be extremely careful when dealing with these.
But can do a zone blitz out of a 4-3 or 3-4 defense and the basic play call is dogs blitz roll right double gun. That may sound like a bunch of nonsense but it’s really quite simple. The dogs are the mike and will linebackers who are both blitzing, the right or left whatever the call is determines which way the safeties are going to roll too, and the double gun means that the defensive ends are going to drop back into coverage to fill in for the blitzing linebackers.
In a zone blitz there is really no way to see that it’s coming unless one of the opposing players gives it away. The way quarterbacks can see defensive players giving it away are the defensive lineman not putting there hands down or linebackers reaping towards the line of scrimmage. The downside with this type of defense that is that there will always be holes in it because you have defensive lineman trying to guard speedy receivers. So the way to beat it is by buying yourself some time in the pocket by stepping up or rolling out and finding where the hole is going to be.
Just about every route will work on this defense the only problem is that you have to give yourself time. The man blitz is a really simple, downhill, you know whoso coming but are you able to stop it kind of defense. The basic coverage in this type of defense which can also be ran out of a 4-3 or 3-4 defense is linebacker fire, which is when all the defensive backs are in man coverage and all three linebackers are blitzing. Safety lightning which means that both safeties are blitzing and the linebackers will be in man to man.
And lastly corner smoke which means one of the corners are blitzing and everyone else is man to man. A good key on a man blitz defense is the corners and safeties. If the corners are backed off and the safeties are aligned with a receiver you can assume that you got a linebacker blitz coming. The way to beat this type of offense are quick separation routes like curls, slants, comebacks, and outs. The reason these all work is the corner can’t get beat deep so he has to give up these shorter routes.
With knowing how to identify and exploit these different defensive coverage any quarterback can make it so that what happened to Peyote Manning in the superpower. By knowing these coverage quarterbacks can put themselves at an advantage. And in a game that can be decided by inches any advantage that can be achieved is huge. Football is such a physical game that the mental aspect really does get forgotten about sometimes with these tips you can earn that inch.