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  1. #1
    Del Rio Guest

    Cover 2 disected

    The cover two scheme is not new in fact it can be traced back to the Steelers teams of the 70's. It gained popularity as the most effective way to contain a West Coast Offense.

    The C2 is the main counter attack for the WCO because in a true C2 defensive lineman provide all the pressure. Blitzing should be unnecessary. Defensive lineman line up "in" the gaps to slow the run, and make it more difficult for holes to open up. The main point of this form of gap control is to force the run outside to your LB's, corners, and safties.


    The entire concept of the Cover 2 is to make it hard to pass on you. The name comes from the position of the safeties, who both play deep zone coverage. In this normally 4-3 coverage scheme (the Rams run it often out of their nickel package), your safeties play further back, while your linebackers and cornerbacks play zone coverage underneath the safeties. Each person underneath covers about 1/5th the width of the field for about 7 yards deep. The two safeties split the field and each cover half against the deep pass.



    There are a few weaknesses to the Cover 2. All zone coverage has holes in it, and teams that run the Cover 2 are heavily exposed to deep post patterns, seam routes, medium range hooks, flooding the zone. Because of how much ground the safety has to cover, deep passes can easily overload his zone. A common play that teams run to stop it is a quick fly or out to the far sides. Once the receiver breaks the zone where the corner plays, he’ll be in a soft zone. Realistically, it’s about 8 yards for him to run, while the safety might have to cover 20 yards to run over there and provide help over the top. Its also a mismatch as most safeties in the NFL can not cover a receiver effectively.



    The Tampa 2 is a coverage scheme out of the 4-3 that was pioneered by (now Indianapolis head coach) Tony Dungy. Its emphasis is on speed and a quick pass-rush. While the normal Cover 2 has each Linebacker or Cornerback covering about 1/5th the width of the safeties, who each cover half, the Tampa 2 pulls the middle linebacker into deep zone coverage as well, similiar to a Cover 3. What this does is allows the safeties to have to cover less ground, so they can cover the traditional soft zone past the corners more effectively. Since the middle linebacker drops into coverage to watch the center of the field, the four men underneath each cover about 25% the width of the field each. Speed at linebacker is so important here because they need to cover more ground than linebackers are normally used to covering.



    What generally hurts Dungy’s system is its emphasis on speed. Faster is always better because his system is based entirely around the pass. The speed works well for passing and outside runs where the linebackers and corners can quickly converge on the runner. However, the Tampa 2 suffers from power runners. Big, bruising running backs can normally run over the smaller linebackers and a lot of times won’t be stopped until they reach the safety. A good running game cheats the safety out of the coverage he wants to run and makes him hesitate since he has to watch the run. When play-action passes can get involved and the safety has to respect the team’s running game, a lot of times it can spell a long completion or a touchdown. The Panthers are good at demonstrating this and exposing it, since they possess a power-running, play-action pass offense. A vast majority of their passes come off the play-action, and when the safety has to watch out for the run, it really opens up holes in the coverage.



    Take it for what it is worth. I'm not a big fan of cover 2, if we do run it on our team then we need a major upgrade at LB. I love to watch the line though and cover two will definately make it interesting with stunts and dropping a lineman into coverage to bring a LB in......

  2. #2
    canadian_vikes_fan's Avatar
    canadian_vikes_fan is offline Hall of Famer
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    Re: Cover 2 disected

    I think the key to making this system work is good play from the D-line. If they can't contain the run and get some pressure on the QB, we're going to have to bring in a LB and it'll screw the whole thing up.

    I'm happy with EJ in the middle, but I think we need to upgrade both outside LB's and bring in a safety.

    Thanks PPE for the sig.

  3. #3
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Cover 2 disected

    Talent wise the line is sound.

    You are right though a lot depends on if they can contain the run. Just having Pat Williams near the middle as well as Kevin Williams will be a big bonus. Even better is we have quick speedy DE's

    For the record I would like to see EJ starting at MLB as well.

  4. #4
    whackthepack is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Cover 2 disected

    In the Tampa 2 you also need to have CB's that can bump the receiver at the line, this helps take away some of the deep threat exposure.
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  5. #5
    thepacksux's Avatar
    thepacksux is offline Asst. Coach
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    Re: Cover 2 disected

    "Del Rio" wrote:

    For the record I would like to see EJ starting at MLB as well.
    u think ej can play well enough in coverage to play the middle??

  6. #6
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Cover 2 disected

    The problem LB's run into on our offense was the extended coverage they were required to maintain.

    You would often see a LB 20 yards down field on a TE or a RB, it happens. Not in cover two. It is a zone coverage and I think EJ has the speed and the ability to cover a small portion of the field.

  7. #7
    BBQ Platypus's Avatar
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    Re: Cover 2 disected

    I really am pretty iffy on E.J., even in the Tampa 2. He looked confused at the Mike position in '04. Our linebackers in general need major work. Harris wasn't too terrrible at coverage. Unfortunately, he WAS terrible at everything else. We need to get at least one (and I would prefer two) young, yet moderately-experienced LB's, particularly in the middle. E.J.'s got some raw talent, but I just don't think he has it between the ears. Maybe we could stick him on the outside.


    "This is my timey-wimey detector. It goes ding when there's stuff."

  8. #8
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Cover 2 disected

    Luckily for us we don't have to make those decisions.

    If we can't get a big name in here, Brooks or someone, I would just as soon we develop the talent we have.

    I expect having a good defensive cordinator will go a long way in developing these young men. They have the talent to play here, the "in between the ears," thing comes from having good coaches as much as it does from having smart players.

    You won't learn as much if your being taught by someone incompitent. That and if even your Vetran players are confused you are not going to get much intelectual help from them.

  9. #9
    BBQ Platypus's Avatar
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    Re: Cover 2 disected

    "canadian_vikes_fan" wrote:
    I think the key to making this system work is good play from the D-line. If they can't contain the run and get some pressure on the QB, we're going to have to bring in a LB and it'll screw the whole thing up.

    I'm happy with EJ in the middle, but I think we need to upgrade both outside LB's and bring in a safety.
    The line needs to be mostly pass-rush-centered, so I'll agree that our line fits perfectly with the Cover 2. Basically, it's not just about plugging the gaps, but also about disrupting the area behind them. If anyone gets through, take advantage of the D's athleticism to limit yardage. We don't necessarily have to send an LB if the D-line does a less-than-spectacular job if our LB's are in position.


    "This is my timey-wimey detector. It goes ding when there's stuff."

  10. #10
    VikesfaninWis's Avatar
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    Re: Cover 2 disected

    "thepacksux" wrote:
    "Del Rio" wrote:

    For the record I would like to see EJ starting at MLB as well.
    u think ej can play well enough in coverage to play the middle??

    EJ has the speed and the ability for the cover 2. I agree, we need to start EJ.

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