Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pattern Read: Corner Response

One of the advantages of the 7-man front is ability to eliminate the perimeter with a corner as a force run defender (essentially allowing 9 to stop the run). Consequently, the one drastically different response in Cover 2, will be from the corners. The following will outline how corners are to handle and respond to threats in their zone, and whom they should be relating to.

In Cover 2, corners relate to the #1 receiver and keying the end man on the line of scrimmage for a pass/run key. On run action TO him, the corner should maintain (outside) leverage on #1 and squeeze the running lane to shut off the perimeter from the ball carrier. On run action away from him, he should sink and expand in relation to #1 (again, maintaining leverage as run force).

On pass read from the EMOL, the corner should immediately scan the stem of the #2 receiver, to determine how he responds to the route.

#2 Inside - #1 Vertical

If #2 takes an immediate inside release, he can rest assured that #2 will not be threatening the flats (no longer a threat) and can focus his attention on the #1 receiver (who will likely be running an inside breaking route). When #2 does not present a threat to the corner, he will reroute and carry #1.

#2 Outside - #1 Vertical Inside

If #2 releases outside (again being the key the corner looks to on pass read) AND #1 stems vertically and inside, he should expect a high-low pattern and sink and carry #1 (the deeper of the two routes). Much like the 'smash' route below, if the corner does not sink on the deeper throw it will create an unwinable situation for the defense, as the corner will be too shallow and the safety to contracted to defend this deep, outside throw.

#2 Flat - #1 Vertical Outside

With #2 shooting to the flat (immediate threat) and #2 stemming outside and vertical (fade), the corner should look to expand #1 for width to the sideline and spy the QB's vision/shoulders on which throw to pursue. By expanding and delaying #1 vertically, he is buying time for the playside safety to cover ground on a downfield throw outside the numbers. The corner should expect the flat throw (as he is eliminating the deep throw confirmation read from the QB)

#2 Vertical - #1 Shallow

One of the most susceptible throws against Cover 2 is the shallow by #1 and the expect Smash , open hips play the '7' (corner) route. As mentioned above, this is a situation where if the corner bites on the shallow hitch, he opens the width to the deep sideline to a point where the half field safety is helpless to defend.

#2 Vertical - #1 Vertical

With #2 vertical and #1 vertical, the corner should expect "all go" (no other threat to the flat) and should collision #1 and carry his route vertically. With nothing left to defend, he can help the safety out (hopefully collisioning #1 enough to prevent both receivers getting vertically at the same level).


Anonymous said...

Good post, However I always wondered how much can corners really partake in the run game. I know theoretically there are nine in the box but other than sweep plays won't they have a hard time getting involved.

Also would the outside linebackers or the corners be your force players?

Anonymous said...

Love the Blog Brophy, I always learn a lot. How do you handle a #3 threatening the flat in C2? For example, you get verticals by 1 and 2 and an H or Fb runs a flat route? Do you have the OLB run out to it? Concede the flat and rally to the throw?

Same question with a shallow cross into the flat.

brophy said...

see the next blog entry :D