SNATCH! Take that, sucka!
After spending years teaching the traditional back pedal, I have found the most efficient method another way. For the past few seasons, the "Saban Method" (though, clearly not his invention as it is as old as his days in Cleveland) of the shuffle and pattern-match.
Though playing true Cover 3, we 3 step shuffle into 3 step (short) game (under 12 yards).
Corner reads QB into the shuffle while periphing #1 to #2 receiver.
The 3-step shuffle puts the corner at a depth of 10 yards, which would be on top of any short game stick into their route, which helps the corners remain in phase with receivers and any vertical threats. As a general rule, we don't jump short throws, as they belong to the underneath defenders, however, being able to anticipate routes and throws allows the put him in a position to make the interception and reduce unnecessary RAC.
If QB continues on drop (into 5-7 step), the corner is already in perfect position to turn and run (ala baseball turn), anticipating the deeper route (+12 yards).
If #1 goes vertical, he will simply baseball turn (bail) into the vertical stem, staying over the top of #1. This transition is the most important reason to use the shuffle as there is no wasted movement in going from square with a receiver to a 180 degree bail.
If #1 is shallow (hitch/out), immediately look to #2's stem (see first handout below)
- If #2 goes vertical, you must baseball turn to stay over the top of #2
- If #2 sticks at less than 10 yards (and #1 is shallow) like double hitch/curl/slant, now the corner can stick his downfield foot in the ground and jump #1.
The FS versus pro, is keying TE as he presents the first immediate inside vertical threat.
- If the TE is vertical after 10 yards, the FS can anticipate picking up the TE threatening the middle of the field
- If the TE releases outside, he can anticipate the weakside post or cross (dragon)
- If the TE releases inside, he can anticipate the strongside post or possibly help out on the weakside vertical route.
Below is the first DVD handout for DBs after the first Spring scrimmage - going over alignment and handling pattern recognition with 2 receivers. This was a good example of "training the junior high" out of these guys, who would fixate on the single receiver in some pseudo-bastard man-cover 3 concept. More on video handouts can be read here, here, here, and here.
This next handout (Fall) reviewed how to break into the appropriate route (who and how) by reading the QB drop into the shuffle. This clip stressed understanding where the player should be based on the drop of the QB and the field of vision he was looking (which receiver).
This last clip was geared for FS's in Cover 3, primarily drilling the method of pre & post snap logic.
One other important aspect (briefly touched on during the handouts shown here) is alignment in 1-high defense. Divide the field into thirds, using your landmarks and field position as the guide.
For corners, the 'divider rule' is used which is premised on the top of the numbers being 9 yards from the sideline in high school (2 yard length of numbers). The landmark, or 'divider' (of the field) exists 1 yard inside the number (10 yards from the sideline) that the corner must align inside the receiver if he is formationed outside this landmark. The reason being, he is discouraging inside, vertical breaking routes that the FS will not be able to assist on. This allows all 3 deep secondary personnel to coordinate their help amongst each other to distribute the deep thirds appropriately.