3-2-2-4 Coverages

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There are always a multitude of coverages you can run in any defense. However, we’re going to focus on three specific coverages, two forms of cover 3 and cover 4 (with a shift towards pattern reading).

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Our usual base coverage call is cover 4. I prefer my corners playing outside leverage in 2 or 4, and playing quarters coverage with a pattern reading feel to it. We don’t just spot drop anymore, now we’re reading our #1 threat. If he goes vertical, our CB will run with him knowing our spur type players (Rover, Sam) have the flats. He will be helped over the top by the safety to his side, unless that safety also gets a vertical route, in which case it’s man coverage. Now, typically on a passing down/distance we will blitz an ILB and have our other ILB drop into the low hold.

Stack 4Some coverage ideas I’ve toyed with (and would probably run at a bigger school) are a couple of cover 3 variations from a 2 high shell.

Stack Ozone 3The first is “3 Ozone” where the okie back ($) will drop into the flat, allowing the rover to come off the edge and the free will play the middle 1/3. This allows for a nice change of pace from cover 4, and could lead to a pick 6 if someone uses the flat defender as their read. If he sees the rover drop he’s going to say… fire the ball into a slant at the X and our $ drops right into the space provided and could pick that off. We can also blitz an ILB here and create a lot of pressure.

Stack falcon 3

When we call cover 3, we’re going to start in outside leverage (but much closer to middle of body) and use the technique we’ve learned in the Y Drill to ped back and get inside leverage without being obvious about it. It’s a sneaky little move that can lead to interceptions against hitches and slants. My 8th grade CB used it in our homecoming game for a red zone INT, helped cap off a 17-0 upset (we’re under dogs all season, every season according to some slappy who has never seen us or our opponents play).


Here in Falcon 3, you can see the $ roll to deep 1/3, the FS playing the flat, the Sam blitzes. Again, much like in Ozone, we can have an ILB blitz to create more pressure if needed. I love inside blitzes right in a young QB’s face.


There are many coverage options with 2-high safeties, these are just three I thought I would use as base coverages in the 3-2-2-4.