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The Drills Report

Two Deep Coverage Cornerback Drill
by: Wayne Anderson
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As coaches, we are always looking for new and innovative ideas to help improve the play of our athletes. As in any other setting, practice makes perfect and practice on the football field involves drills. American Football Monthly’s newest feature is dedicated to finding creative drills that coaches can implement into their programs. The subject matter will be broad in scope and will be selected from coaches of all levels; from high school through professional.

This month’s feature drill is from Coach Andre Thaddies, defensive coordinator at Atlantic Community High School in Delray Beach, FL. The former Minnesota Golden Gopher defensive back brings eleven years of coaching experience to his current position with stops at the high school level in the state of Minnesota as well as serving as the defensive coordinator of the LaCrosse River Rats of the National Indoor Football League.

Coach Thaddies’ drill is a two deep coverage cornerback drill that primarily focuses on the cornerback being able to improve his jamming techniques as well as the redirection of the wide receiver to the cover two half-field safety. The two deep coverage scheme is an intricate part of the overall success of the Atlantic Eagles under the tutelage of Coach Thaddies. This is a drill that is used frequently during training camp as well as daily practice preparation routine during the regular season.

As a sidebar note, this drill is excellent for wide receivers to work on their different release techniques to elude the cornerback’s jam and redirection. This feature will explain the techniques of the cornerback position, then provide direction on how to set up the drill, and finally cover the implementation of Coach Thaddies’ drill.

Cornerback Technique:
Diagrams 1, 2, and 3

It is very important that the cornerback maintain a good athlete’s position with shoulders square to the line of scrimmage, good knee bend with feet shoulder’s width apart and weight properly distributed on the balls of the feet. This is critical for the cornerback to be able to react and move in any direction quickly and efficiently. The cornerback’s hands should be in a position that gives him the ability to strike and deliver a redirection blow on the receivers as he tries to release from the line of scrimmage.

Setting Up the Drill (Diagram 1)

Diagram 1.

• Two stations are set ten yards apart.

• Each station is comprised of having two cones that are set 8 yards apart on a line.

• The receiver is lined up between the cones on the line of scrimmage.

• The cornerback is head-up on the receiver, five yards off the line of scrimmage.

• One coach is responsible for blowing a whistle.

• Two other coaches are responsible for throwing a pass to the receiver.

Diagrams 2 and 3

The drill starts with a whistle blow. The receiver that is between the cones will then work side to side laterally practicing on trying to get to the outside shoulder of the cornerback.

The cornerback, in return, will mirror the direction the receiver takes by shuffling his feet and maintaining good athletic position, and working on keeping the receiver to his inside (Diagram 2).

Diagram 2.

After about 10 seconds, the coach will blow the whistle for a second time and this will release the receiver up the field. It is then the job of the cornerback to come up and strike a blow to the receiver with good jamming technique, redirect the receiver’s path, and then gain depth while looking for the number two receiver to threaten his area. The coach behind the receiver will then throw a pass for the receiver to make a play on the ball (Diagram 3).

Diagram 3.

To make sure that everyone involved in the drill gets as many repetitions as possible, you will alternate the two stations .Players will also alternate stations so they can get repetitions on both sides.

Coach Thaddies believes that “if your defense plays a two deep coverage scheme a lot, this drill is good to hammer home for the cornerbacks to get that inside jam and redirection to allow the half field safeties a chance to make plays.” Also, it is an important coaching point to remind the cornerbacks to play deep-to-short in their drop technique.

This is the second installment of American Football Monthly’s featured drill. Each month the latest and most innovative drills will be featured presented by Rogers Athletic Co..


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