In this Whiteboard Wednesday Series we will be going over different coverages in football. Starting off we will talk about the Cover 3 Defense.
Cover 3 is a zone defense where there are three defensive backs deep splitting the field in thirds. Typically this is going to be the two Cornerbacks and a Free Safety. Underneath you will have four defenders dividing the field into four zones. Cover 3 defense is a great base defense for teams because it protects well against the run and the pass.
Breaking Cover 3 into three levels:
Level One (Green): Flat Defenders
- Responsible for Run first – outside gap (C & D Gaps) – if an outside run main responsibility will be to force the runner to go back inside.
- Goal is to get hands on #2 WR to funnel inside to the middle of the field.
- Zone is a progression from hook to curl to flat. Depth should be between 10-12 yards while making way to the flats.
Level Two (Blue): Hook to Curl Defenders
- Responsible for Run first – Inside the tackles (A & B Gaps)
- Between the two middle linebackers zones will be 8-12 yards off the ball inside the hashes in the middle of the field
Level Three (Orange): Deep Third Defenders
- Not Responsible for the Run.
- Cannot let anyone offensive player be deeper than them
- Start 6-7 yards off of the LOS (Line of Scrimmage) then bail when the ball is snapped.
Strengths of a Cover 3 Defense:
- Well balanced and effective against both the pass and the run. .
- Ability to play eight men at the line of scrimmage. These players can space out the field properly while still committing to any run.
Attacking the Cover 3 Defense:
Seams (12-15 Yards)- Look off middle safety and throw where he is not.
Middle of Field (Under 8 Yards) – Find alley where one of the LB opened up too wide
Flats (Hitches/Bubbles) – Quick Hitting route between the safety or LB can get to the flat.
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