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What's Cover 2 & other burning questions

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What's Cover 2 & other burning questions

Postby Axl's Army » Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:08 pm

I was thinking that I know about the West Coast Offense & stuff offensively but I don't know a whole lot about Defensive Theory and how those theories effect us, the fantasy junkies.

For instance what is Cover 2?

Are there only a couple Defensive Philosophies out there? Like Cover 2 & something else?

I was listening to Rome today & he was interviewing Takeo Spikes who is glad to be out of Buffalo (I think) because they ran a cover 2 & they don't in Philly.

Then - I started thinking - what the heck is cover 2 & how does it effect me & my wide outs that are going up against it? Will RBs that go up against cover 2 do better or worse? TEs?

If there is some sort of correlation between positional success against cover 2 defenses (or others for that matter) it may help in making a decision between 2 players that are equal in who to start that week.

Any light you can shed on this would be awesome. Hey you IDP players, maybe you have some additional insight because you follow defense more than the avg fantasy guy.
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Re: What's Cover 2 & other burning questions

Postby bagobonez » Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:14 pm

In traditional Cover 2 schemes the free safety (FS) and strong safety (SS) have deep responsibilities, each guarding half of the field. The NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, and Detroit Lions run a variant of this defense called the Tampa 2.

Cover 2 can be run from any seven-man defensive fronts such as the 3-4 and the 4-3. (It is difficult to implement Cover 2 from an eight-in-the-box front, because the strong safety or someone replacing him is usually the eighth man. Various "underneath" coverage played by cornerbacks and linebackers may also be implemented. For example, Cover 2 Man means 2 safeties have deep responsibility while the cornerbacks and linebackers follow their offensive assignment in one-on-one coverage. The NFL's San Diego Chargers inherited a base Cover 2 Man 3-4 from Wade Phillips. Cover 2 can also be paired with underneath zone schemes: Cover 2 Zone refers to 2 safeties with deep responsibility but now the CBs and LBs drop back into specific coverage zones where they defend passes only in their assigned area.

Teams that play Cover 2 shells usually ascribe to the "bend-but-don't-break" philosophy, preferring to keep offensive players in front of them for short gains while limiting long passes. This is in stark contrast to a more aggressive Cover 1 type scheme which leaves the offensive team's wide receivers in single man-to-man coverage with only one deep helper. By splitting the deep field between two defenders, the defense can drastically reduce the number of long gains.

The main weakness of the Cover 2 shell occurs in the middle of the field between the safeties. The safeties attempt to gain width upon the snap of the ball to cover any long passes to quick wide receivers down the sideline. This movement creates a natural hole between the safeties that can be attacked. By sending a receiver (usually a tight end) into the hole, the offense forces the safety to make a decision: play the vulnerable hole in the middle of the field or help out on the wide receiver. The quarterback reads the safety's decision and decides on the best matchup (i.e. which mismatch is better--TE vs S or WR vs CB).
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Re: What's Cover 2 & other burning questions

Postby mystykoekaki » Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:40 pm

Minnesota also runs it.
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Re: What's Cover 2 & other burning questions

Postby skibrett15 » Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:38 pm

mystykoekaki wrote:Minnesota also runs it.

the tampa 2??
The biggest diference I can guess from a fantasy perspective would be in IDP. Corners in the tampa 2 are going to have a much greater tackling responsibility. They are responsible for all the quick throws to the flats and for the outside runs that get to the sidelines. For this reason, corners in the tampa 2 would get more tackles so maybe they're the guys to target?? As far as a deep league I would think so. Once the top corners are gone I think a tampa 2 starter would be valuable. Also, the tampa 2 will yield less sacks from backers since they'll be dropping into zone most of the time compared to a 3-4 team that blitzes like the chargers or the old steelers.
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Re: What's Cover 2 & other burning questions

Postby Axl's Army » Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:01 pm

skibrett15 wrote:
mystykoekaki wrote:Minnesota also runs it.

the tampa 2??
The biggest diference I can guess from a fantasy perspective would be in IDP. Corners in the tampa 2 are going to have a much greater tackling responsibility. They are responsible for all the quick throws to the flats and for the outside runs that get to the sidelines. For this reason, corners in the tampa 2 would get more tackles so maybe they're the guys to target?? As far as a deep league I would think so. Once the top corners are gone I think a tampa 2 starter would be valuable. Also, the tampa 2 will yield less sacks from backers since they'll be dropping into zone most of the time compared to a 3-4 team that blitzes like the chargers or the old steelers.


No - I dont want to know about IDP . I just thought fantasy players that use IDP may be able to shed more light. I want to find out if the offenses going up against them will have advantages at certain positions.
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Re: What's Cover 2 & other burning questions

Postby Cowboys 4 life » Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:34 pm

Axl's Army wrote:
skibrett15 wrote:
mystykoekaki wrote:Minnesota also runs it.

the tampa 2??
The biggest diference I can guess from a fantasy perspective would be in IDP. Corners in the tampa 2 are going to have a much greater tackling responsibility. They are responsible for all the quick throws to the flats and for the outside runs that get to the sidelines. For this reason, corners in the tampa 2 would get more tackles so maybe they're the guys to target?? As far as a deep league I would think so. Once the top corners are gone I think a tampa 2 starter would be valuable. Also, the tampa 2 will yield less sacks from backers since they'll be dropping into zone most of the time compared to a 3-4 team that blitzes like the chargers or the old steelers.


No - I dont want to know about IDP . I just thought fantasy players that use IDP may be able to shed more light. I want to find out if the offenses going up against them will have advantages at certain positions.



The weaknesses of the cover 2 are listed above in the last paragraph of Bagobonez.

Think about what is happening in a cover 2. The ase D can be a 4-3 or 3-4 depending on your personel. The corners have an assignment and that is to cover a WR 1 on 1. The FS and SS have a decesion to make on each play. Either help the corner cover a stud WR or they can blitz leaving a WR 1 on 1 with the corner or a TE 1 on 1 with the LB. If you have a cover corner like champ Bailey then the Safety on his side can cover the middle better or blitz which is almost more of a cover 1.

Lets say you got TO to cover. A typical CB can't cover him 1 on 1 so the safety has to cheat closer to the sideline to minimize the big gain. That leaves the middle open for a TE to exploit if the LB covering him blitzes or even a slot WR who will have to be covered by a LB.

But lets say you got Gates. The safetys will have to cover the center better instead of the sideline. That will leave it open for LT to run a sweep with the WR being utilized as a blocker. If the LB misses and the Safety gets juked its a 50 yd TD.

Bottom line is its tough to predict who is going to win big against a cover 2. It can be 5 different players.
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Re: What's Cover 2 & other burning questions

Postby WickedSmaat » Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:45 pm

bagobonez wrote:In traditional Cover 2 schemes the free safety (FS) and strong safety (SS) have deep responsibilities, each guarding half of the field. The NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, and Detroit Lions run a variant of this defense called the Tampa 2.

Cover 2 can be run from any seven-man defensive fronts such as the 3-4 and the 4-3. (It is difficult to implement Cover 2 from an eight-in-the-box front, because the strong safety or someone replacing him is usually the eighth man. Various "underneath" coverage played by cornerbacks and linebackers may also be implemented. For example, Cover 2 Man means 2 safeties have deep responsibility while the cornerbacks and linebackers follow their offensive assignment in one-on-one coverage. The NFL's San Diego Chargers inherited a base Cover 2 Man 3-4 from Wade Phillips. Cover 2 can also be paired with underneath zone schemes: Cover 2 Zone refers to 2 safeties with deep responsibility but now the CBs and LBs drop back into specific coverage zones where they defend passes only in their assigned area.

Teams that play Cover 2 shells usually ascribe to the "bend-but-don't-break" philosophy, preferring to keep offensive players in front of them for short gains while limiting long passes. This is in stark contrast to a more aggressive Cover 1 type scheme which leaves the offensive team's wide receivers in single man-to-man coverage with only one deep helper. By splitting the deep field between two defenders, the defense can drastically reduce the number of long gains.

The main weakness of the Cover 2 shell occurs in the middle of the field between the safeties. The safeties attempt to gain width upon the snap of the ball to cover any long passes to quick wide receivers down the sideline. This movement creates a natural hole between the safeties that can be attacked. By sending a receiver (usually a tight end) into the hole, the offense forces the safety to make a decision: play the vulnerable hole in the middle of the field or help out on the wide receiver. The quarterback reads the safety's decision and decides on the best matchup (i.e. which mismatch is better--TE vs S or WR vs CB).


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There's 3 weaknesses of the cover that can be exploited, there's the 10 yard area which you described between the safeties and corners, but the second one is going to be the middle deep between the two safeties. This is usually the tight end seam that usually takes advantage of this because the corners have to lock into the flats and release off their wideouts and the safties have to take them if they go deep down the sidelines. The other is the under the linebackers and safteies depending on who's blitzing and whatnot. You need to have very good pass rush linemen to execute well and force the QB to make a decision. Generally cover 2 defenses fair better in the INT department because it's more like playing centerfield in your zone, someone enters it you take them, they leave you watch the QB. Generally in the 3-4 there's going to be more zone blitz schemes where a guy drops out while another attacks the hole. They can be very effective with the personell, and you don't have to have playmaking DBs, just smart ones.

As far as what you considered the eight in the box, most of the time they will roll into a cover 3 which pits the FS and 2 DBs deep with LBs/SS playing the flats. This is one way to exploit cover 2's also is lineup even on both sides, then motion to move multiple players on e side like trips or bunch formations. Because cover 2 is very weak in that situation, it can either roll to cover 3 or a 2 deep with man coverage. It's more cerebral than just straight man because you have to pay attention to just about everything.

I played safety in a cover 2 scheme in HS and I loved it as a safety, shame we sucked on offense too much ;-7 Check out the playbooks on Madden or NCAA 08, those are the general basic plays of Cover two and can explain the responsibilities of each player. But there's more in depth and sneakiness to it because most teams that run the tampa 2 or cover 2 don't run it all the time ;D
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Re: What's Cover 2 & other burning questions

Postby tianyi86 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:20 am

If you want to learn about football plays, playing madden isn't a bad choice. You will learn about what plays are designed to defend what and the weaknesses of each play. Play a couple hundred games and you will understand all of this.
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