Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Giving a Corner Relief in Man Coverage vs. 3x1

There are many available coverage tools in 2 high split field safety concepts to handle 3x1 formations. 

Two common options: 


The coverage is going to play a 3 over 2 quarters coverage concept on the #1 #2 receivers. Weak side the Safety is cross keying to the #3 strong. This requires the coverage to be man to man on the weak side and puts the corner in isolation on the X receiver.

A second solution is to play a midpoints concept.


Midpoints is a traditional quarter quarter half concept. This allows the defense to put a cloud corner and safety over the top of the X receiver weak side. No doubt this provides the corner with relief of not being in isolation man to the weak side.

The two coverage compliment each other and many teams carry and call both to mitigate stress areas in the other coverage. Putting a corner in isolation man coverage repeatedly is not without risk. Having a way to relieve the stress is necessary.

One issue if these are primary coverage concepts for a defense can be what if the QB is reading the weak safety. The defense is likely in solo or midpoints.

Now the QB has a simple if/then choice. If the safety works strong in a Solo concept the corner is isolated on the X WR. This allows the offense to take a one on one deep shot to the weak side.

If the Safety is working weak as a deep half player in a midpoints concept the the QB can work strong and attempt to attack the midpoints concept with a verticals concept spaced from hash to hash. The Safety to the strong side is stressed by the two verticals as is the ILB on the 3 drop. The route spacing makes the coverage difficult especially against a good QB who can drive the ball into the #3 on the opposite hash or #2 in the strong seam.

One solution is to mix the two concepts. Here the strong side is a midpoints concept with the weak side playing a solo concept. 

The weak safety is the key. If the Safety shows he is working strong immediately the corner is still isolated and the ball will go to the X receiver. When the Weak safety reads pass he will open his hips weak to provide body position to deter the iso throw vs. the manned up corner. The safety understands that will force the QB strong. This allows the safety to work back to 3 strong. The midpoint technique of the safety to the strong side forces the #3 receiver to work to the waiting safety on the weak side. This type of concept can punish pass concepts/QB reads designed to attack base coverage concepts.

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