By Montebello QB Coach Michael McKay
Cover One refers to one deep safety.
The safety is usually in the center of the field. The other four receivers are usually guarded by two corners (on the outside receivers) and a strong safety & an outside linebacker on the two inside receivers (an extra defensive back can be brought in to cover one of the inside receivers).
Defensively, this coverage works if you have some good fast defensive backs who are good coverage guys. This will allow you to have six in the box to stop the running game. It is also important to have a good athlete at the one safety position who can run and break on the pass fast.
Offensively, I like to have 2 guys who can run at the inside slot positions. They must be able to get by the defensive back covering them and make the safety choose which receiver to cover. I like to have my quarterback move the safety to the opposite side he wants to throw to and then come back and throw to that other inside receiver. I love four vertical routes against this coverage. A good quarterback can move the safety and throw the ball to the open inside slot receiver.
Michael McKay played his prep football at Culver City, and starred at Tulane. He had professional experience in both NFL and USFL camps. His most recent coaching stops have been at Eagle Rock (two CIF championships) as an assistant to Jerry Chou, and at Temple City under Anthony White last season. In 2010 he will be coaching quarterbacks for Pete Gonzalez at Montebello High School where he also teaches.