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Principles of the 3-4 defense

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PATRIOTS-80, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    per request from ShirtsLeeve I decided to post another thread dealing with football defense.

    I found the following article fascinating. Click the diagram to go to the link.


    [​IMG]


    In this play, the secondary goes into a cover-3 shell. The SS is the force/flat defender (sky coverage). The ROLB (defense perspective) covers the other flat.

    Notice that the play allows a
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2007
  2. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    ok, here's another one. Feel free to comment. And remember, its all for fun!!! :)

    The coverage is a standard cover-2 shell. The underneath coverages are divided into 4 sections, the CB takes 1/4, the RILB takes 1/4, the LILB takes a 1/4 and the other CB takes a 1/4. Both OLBs blitz along the 3 defensive lineman.

    [​IMG]
  3. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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  4. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    what I don't get is cover-2 squat and cover-2 read.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2007
  5. shirtsleeve

    shirtsleeve Rookie

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    Thanks, 80. Gotta check it out, but wont have time till later tonight!
  6. TripleOption

    TripleOption Rookie

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    2 Squat is also known as 2 Hard. The CB's are pure flat players. 2 Read has the CB's playing flat, unless #2 goes vertical. Then they must play deep as the Safety would get 2 deep in his area.
  7. shirtsleeve

    shirtsleeve Rookie

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  8. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    When they say "stay inside of the #2 receivers," is that referring to the slot receivers?

    ok, whats the difference between cover 4 and a cover2 read?


    [​IMG]
  9. unoriginal

    unoriginal Rookie

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    Yes, them or the tight end or motioned tailbacks (technically a slot receiver). Actually the real answer to this premise is not so much "the #2 receiver pre-snap" its "the 2nd receiver on that half of the field running deep." The DC here is asking his safeties to stay inside of the inside-most deep receiver on his half, when the default technique for the safety would be to split the two receivers and play the ball once thrown. The safety can jump the inside guy if the corner is responsible for the deep out and fade.

    Cover 2 "Read" or "Soft" is a hybrid of Cover 4 and Cover 2 "Squat," "Hard" or "Tough." Not to be insulting by noting the obvious, but the pattern to understand for coverages is the number tells you how many men are deep/without force responsibility. In Man 1 one person (generally the Free Safety) is deep, in Man 0 no one is deep, and in Cover 4 four men are deep.

    Cover 2 Read is called like it is because it is more a Cover 2 than a Cover 4. It becomes a Cover 4 when the deep zone is stressed, but pre-snap coverage and force assumptions are made consistent with a standard Cover 2 (Cloud Force is the standard Cover 2). If the offense were to run a sweep the corners would have outside contain, which is not true out of a Cover 4 (outside linebacker has to get over the top). Also the Cover 4 usually has the outside backers dropping out to the flats, while the Cover 2 puts them in the hook/curl area on the seam.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2007
  10. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    thanks unoriginal. So, if the inside slot receivers run deep routes, the safeties have to read into a cover 4 look, and so do the CBs. Don't the underneath coverages have to change then ... if the CBs are vacating the flats?
  11. unoriginal

    unoriginal Rookie

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    You're close, but you're still not getting the finer points.

    Let's say you've got a slot receiver and split end weak side, with the free safety, Will, and corner in a Cover 2 Cloud Read. A common route combination is out/seam. Even though your inside receiver is running deep (seam), the corner does not bail. He jumps the inside shoulder of the flanker. The Will drops the tight end at about 15 yards to the safety then looks for ins and crosses.

    Another combination is slant/chute. The corner directs the slanting split end to the Will and peels off onto the chute route, passing it off at 15 yards to the safety.

    In both of these cases the inside receiver went deep, but in neither of these cases should the corner leave his zone, unless the ball is in the air. Only if two or more receivers go deep against Cover 2 Read does the corner provide deep help to the safety.

    The underneath coverages, aside from the corner leaving the flats, do not and can not change. The linebackers can not see what the split ends and flankers are doing, and consequently cannot tell until late in the play if the corners have bailed the flats or not. If the inside receiver has left the hook/curl zone and no crosses or ins are coming, the linebacker can and will jump up on routes run by the backs, but that's their prerogative in most cover 2 schemes. What the linebackers cannot do is cover the flats. The flats are vacated in Cover 2 Read against multiple deep routes.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2007
  12. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    [​IMG]

    And just to be sure we're on the same page, this is a chute route, right?

    And when you say, "passing it off at 15 yards to the safety," which player is the "it," the player running the slant route, or the player running the chute route?
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2007
  13. TripleOption

    TripleOption Rookie

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    A Shoot route is also known as an Arrow. It's a 5 yard out.

    The CB would peel off the Slant and jump the Arrow.
  14. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    is the shoot route #7 on this passing tree?

    http://www.football.com/playbook/passtre.shtml
  15. TripleOption

    TripleOption Rookie

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    No, that is a "Chair" route or and Out and Up.

    A Shoot is a shallow out at 5 yards. Usually #2 or #3 runs it...or a Back out of the Backfield.

    I see on the website they are calling that a Shoot. Terminology may differ. We call it an Arrow. The Chair Route shown we call a Wheel. Usually a Wheel is run by a BOB but we call any out and up a "Wheel".
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2007
  16. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    oh, okay, so in unoriginal's slant/arrow combination .... the arrow route is a 4 or 5 yard route run at full speed by the #2, while the SE runs a slant. If the defense was in man-coverage, wouldn't that be a "rub"?
  17. TripleOption

    TripleOption Rookie

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    Sure. It's a staple combo of most teams. In Cover 3, the Arrow is always open.

    Also, on the Goalline, the Arrow is cash in the bank. Run it shallow enough to just get across the goalline...
  18. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    okay, so on a cover-2-read, if the slot runs a seam, and the SE runs a chair route, the CB would have to play deep because the safety will have the slot passed on to him by the LB. Right?
  19. TripleOption

    TripleOption Rookie

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    2 vertical means that the CB better get deep.
  20. unoriginal

    unoriginal Rookie

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    My apologies for using confusing terminology (again :( ). A "chute" route meets an iin-cut route (in this case a slant, some other routes would be post, curl, dig) right at the cut point and proceeds up the sidelines, almost like a fade. It is different from a chair route because there are no hard cuts. Oftentimes it is run by a skill player motioning into twins formation, to give that player a speed advantage getting wide and deep.

    The corner plays it exactly like he does TripleOption's arrow route, except for the chute eventually passes out of the flats, and the corner hands it off to the safety.

    EDIT: I realize now that the common term for this route is likely "wheel." It's a wheel being run out the slot, however, so there's not as much parallel motion and the receiver gets up the field faster.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2007
  21. TripleOption

    TripleOption Rookie

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    OK, we would call that a Wheel. We run it more like you described, as the "Out and Up" version is much too slow. Option teams call that combo (Skinny Post/Wheel) the "Switch Route" because it simulates the Switch blocking they use on the perimeter (#1 cracks the Force, #2 arcs to cut the CB)

    I have seen the Arrow called the "Shoot" as well.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2007
  22. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    so its kinda like the "Out and Up," but the WR cuts corners and doesn't quite do 90 degree angles. The result being that the route is run by the WR much faster. Does the WR cut it on 45 degree angles, kind of like so?

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  23. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    ok, this all makes sense. I remember when Tom Brady broke down the TD pass he threw in SB 36 to Patten. Tom said BB wanted Charlie to call a out-and-up because Dexter Mcleon (sp) always tended to "squat" at the goalline. Tom said Dexter just wouldn't let anyone throw a out on him, so they gave him the "cheese" in Tom's words, and then ran the up. Patten caught it, result TD. Patriots 14, Rams 3 at half-time.

    I now understand when Tom said the term "squat," in view of the cover-2 squat, and the CB being a pure flat player.
  24. unoriginal

    unoriginal Rookie

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    [​IMG]
  25. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    ohh, it looks more like a fade than I thought.
  26. TripleOption

    TripleOption Rookie

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    Switch Route. Navy loves it.
  27. TripleOption

    TripleOption Rookie

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    If you want another GREAT "Take the Cheese" coaching move by Weis, check out the Smoke and Go vs the Colts near the Goal Line. The Pats ran the Smoke (Quick X Screen) all year and vs the Colts, the CB bit hard and I believe Givens got the easy TD.
  28. unoriginal

    unoriginal Rookie

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    Like a fade, the chute puts pressure on the defense to cover the deep sideline. Its the farthest place for the safety to get to, and if you run it fast/deep enough you can beat the corner to the ball.

    Unfortunately, like the fade, the chute puts equal pressure on the quarterback's arm. In the route combo above the chute is the 2nd or 3rd read, after the slant, because the chute is primarily designed to get the cover 2 corner and safety wide and deep, opening up windows for the slant to sit down in, behind the linebackers. If the safety jumps that, the chute is a potential home run.
  29. shirtsleeve

    shirtsleeve Rookie

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    Thanks guys, this is turning into another very educational thread!
  30. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Great thread. Watching the games I pick up on lots of this but to see it written down and the theory behind it is very cool.

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