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Lobo Cover 2

New Mexico\'s corner and safety techniques
by: Troy Reffett
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Our base defensive alignment is a 3-3-5 that allows us to execute multiple blitzes and coverages from various fronts. One of the primary coverages we have in our package is Cover 2. We will run Cover 2 with three, four and five man pressures. Based on the amount of pressure, the underneath drops and assignments may vary slightly. The one position that remains constant in their assignments and techniques is the cornerbacks. I will focus on our coaching progression with the corners in depth and talk briefly about our safeties assignments.

Base Corner Rules and Reminders:

• Collision – Funnel – Sink
• Alignment at five yards or less – Press
• Formation – Quick 2
• Vision – Through #1 to #2 and QB

We want the words Collision – Funnel – Sink – to immediately come to mind when Cover 2 is signaled. These three techniques must be executed for the coverage to be successful on the perimeter. The deepest we want our collision of the receiver to take place is five yards from the receiver. If the down and distance is less than five yards, we may collision sooner or utilize a press technique to ensure we can reroute the receiver and disrupt timing. The collision point is aimed at the outside half of the receiver’s body. We then want to funnel him inside to the linebackers and safeties. As we funnel, our eyes are immediately on the next inside receiver, the “Quick 2.” As we collision and funnel, we will continue to sink and gain depth reading route combinations and the QB.

Technique and Assignments Versus Routes:

Verticals by #1 and #2 – This is a route concept where the Collision – Funnel – Sink technique is crucial. We want our corners to run with the #1 receiver with outside leverage to give the safety help with the two verticals. The corner may be in somewhat of a trail position but the QB will see a defender in the vicinity that can make a play on the ball.

Smash Concept (#1 five to seven yard hitch, #2 corner route) – We expect our corners to make the play on the corner route or force the ball to be thrown to the hitch. As #1 breaks off his route the corner must open inside and sink underneath the corner route while reading the QB’s shoulders. The offense may attempt to keep the corner in the flats by delaying the release of #1 by releasing him slowly from the line of scrimmage. The corner must recognize this and sink quickly.

#1 Vertical, #2 Quick Out – Offenses want the corner to jump the out to open up #1 in the window between the corner and safety. Receivers may also release wide, attempting to get outside the corner and make him turn his back to the ball. Regardless of the release, the corner must sink and buy time for the safety to gain width. We coach our corners, versus a wide release that can’t be funneled, to turn inside and keep vision of #2 and the QB. Meanwhile, they must continue to sink and take away the throwing window.

#1 Post, #2 Wheel – Corners will run with the wheel route trying to maintain outside position and keep leverage on top. Inside leverage on a wheel route may allow the offense to convert the route to a wheel-comeback.

Versus an alignment of two WRs within five yards of one another or a three-receiver bunch alignment, we will not attempt a collision due to the threat of being out-leveraged by #2.


Mirror Drill – from press or five yard alignment. Receiver works laterally between two cones as a corner shuffles with his shoulders square maintaining a funnel position (See Diagrams 1 and 2).

Diagram 1: Mirror Drill

Diagram 2: Mirror Drill

Half Line Pass Skeleton – Rapid fire route combinations versus corner, linebacker and safety. High-repetition drill (See Diagrams 3-5).

Diagram 3: Half-line Pass Skeleton

Diagram 4:

Diagram 5:


• Post-snap depth must be a minimum of 12 yards.

• Width alignment will vary based on ball position and split of receivers.

• Read #2 to #1 for route combinations. If #2 goes flat, inside or outside, find #1 to dictate width of drop.

• Must have enough depth to play over the top of two vertical threats.

• Trust Corner to make the play on the corner route. Overly aggressive safeties against a corner route will lead to a corner/post route adjustment.

• Against the run, corners are primary run support. Safeties work lateral, with depth, to run flow and to check play action or gadget plays.


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