Chalk Talk: “Cover 2 Zone”

Monrovia DB Coach Jacob Ochoa

Monrovia DB Coach Jacob Ochoa

By Jacob Ochoa

Jacob Ochoa has been the defensive coordinator at Alhambra and also coached the defensive backs at Glendale JC. He is currently the DB coach at Monrovia under new head coach Jerry Chou. 

When you hear cover 2, you tend to think of 2 safeties with deep coverage and 5 players with underneath coverage, typically cornerbacks and linebackers. Having now worked for 3 different D Coordinators over the years, I have realized that the saying “there’s more than one way to skin a cat,” is definitely true. Just like there are many different schemes and defensive fronts being run all over the country, there are also several ways to run Cover 2 Zone coverage.

"Anyone who has a kid trying out for his High School football team needs to read this book. Torosian has taken his 20 some years of reporting on Prep sports, mixed a healthy dose of San Gabriel Valley insider references and created a very readable first effort." "A page turner...I'm sorry it's over! Is a sequel in the works?" "Torosian does for high school football what Hemingway did for the Spanish Civil War...compelling look beyond the scoreboard and into the lives of players..." "A truly great story unfolds in the pages of Joe Torosian's first novel. With high school football at its core, the story of Dale Andrade shows how a young man grows in all aspects of his life thanks to being a part of a team and a football community." “This is a great read for everyone: from those who love high school football to those who have no idea about the game.” "This book brings you onto the field and into the locker room..." Joe Torosian's high school football novel is available through Amazon.com --click pic-- (Cover by Pat Cherry www.blackheartart.com)

“Anyone who has a kid trying out for his High School football team needs to read this book. Torosian has taken his 20 some years of reporting on Prep sports, mixed a healthy dose of San Gabriel Valley insider references and created a very readable first effort.”
“A page turner…I’m sorry it’s over! Is a sequel in the works?”
“Torosian does for high school football what Hemingway did for the Spanish Civil War…compelling look beyond the scoreboard and into the lives of players…”
“A truly great story unfolds in the pages of Joe Torosian’s first novel. With high school football at its core, the story of Dale Andrade shows how a young man grows in all aspects of his life thanks to being a part of a team and a football community.”
“This is a great read for everyone: from those who love high school football to those who have no idea about the game.”
“This book brings you onto the field and into the locker room…”
Joe Torosian’s high school football novel is available through Amazon.com –click pic–
(Cover by Pat Cherry www.blackheartart.com)

The most traditional way to run a Cover 2 is the cloud coverage which keeps the corners hard on the flat. The safeties will split the deep coverage into 2 zones, and the remaining backers will have hook and curl zone responsibilities. This coverage will allow the corners to take away any short, quick throws like bubble, hitch, quick outs, and also to play hard on the run. Corner play can almost look like a blitz when they read run, as they have no deep responsibility in the pass game. The safeties split the deep field in half, which makes them vulnerable for quick throws behind the corners as well as plays that involve 3 or 4 deep routes. The deep middle is especially vulnerable in a cloud cover 2.

In trying to solve the deep middle dilemma, coaches have gone to the Tampa 2 coverage used by several NFL coaches throughout the years. In a Tampa 2, the corners will continue to play cloud coverage in the flat; however the Mike or Will linebacker will have deep middle coverage responsibility. The middle linebacker has infinity coverage down the middle and will keep running as deep as he needs to. This allows the safeties to play coverage outside of the hash marks and in essence will have a 3 deep coverage mentality to be able to defend 3 to 4 deep routes. The remaining linebackers will have hook and curl responsibility, which leaves the defense vulnerable to short throws across the middle. There is also a potential mismatch with a deep receiver against a dropping middle linebacker.

Finally there are those that run a Cover 2 that looks and feels more like a Cover 4. This was the system that I was under at Alhambra for many years. The corners have flat responsibility but they also have deep help responsibility. So they may continue dropping or help out on vertical routes. This will allow the safeties to play closer to the hash and protect against deep middle throws such as post routes. This type of cover 2 will have 2 corners and 2 safeties playing 4 vertical routes, which could be an advantage to the defense. The remaining linebackers would play curl to flat and middle linebacker has the entire hook zone. This type of cover 2 will be vulnerable to flat throws as the linebackers are reacting late, and also the middle linebacker has a 10-15 yard hook zone to cover. However this Cover 2 system will be stout against deep throws.

As you can see there are several ways to run a Cover 2, and each DC will have their own variation, rules and disguise for their coverages. As you watch high school, college and NFL games this season, watch closely to see the different types of Cover 2 systems that each team runs.

21 Comments to "Chalk Talk: “Cover 2 Zone”"

  1. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    June 3, 2016 - 6:08 pm | Permalink

    @ friday nights, only talked about for a awhile by you. That’s it

  2. June 3, 2016 - 10:19 am | Permalink

    @greenie
    Yup yup… Arroyo whooped them but good last week. People gotta start mentioning how good the Knights will be in the trenches. Big strong fast and best of all NASTY! This is gonna be one of those teams you talk about for a long time!!!

  3. Greenie's Gravatar Greenie
    June 3, 2016 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    LOL…Montebello shouldn’t be looking down upon Keppel or anyone. Those same 300 lbs lineman get whipped by much smaller players all the time.

  4. ?'s Gravatar ?
    June 2, 2016 - 11:24 am | Permalink

    Football is a sport where there are no weight limitations. I mean Keppel can line up a 150 lb defensive lineman that has never played against a 300 lb experienced guard from Montebello. These kinds of matchups happen all to frequently with under manned teams. Boxing, wrestling,MMA, contact sports for sure that have weight restrictions.

  5. Beyond Insane's Gravatar Beyond Insane
    June 2, 2016 - 10:45 am | Permalink

    The same lunacy which caused Sepulveda to be tossed is well and alive at Keppel, in the form of waiting until this late moment to install a head coach. It seems the administration considered everything except the welfare of the undermanned squad which will (presumably) take the field to be pulverized this fall. CIF clearly needs a ruling whereby a member school MUST have a football coach in place no later than, say, April…the risks of injury in this sport are too great to do otherwise.

  6. NWO's Gravatar NWO
    June 1, 2016 - 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Keppel finally hires a coach, now, do they even have a team? Two months to learn a new system? Could be dangerous.

  7. June 1, 2016 - 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Finally Keppel makes a hire. Can’t say much about it but Sepulveda was building something. Oh well Tuttle it is good luck. Go Azteks…

  8. @Fat Dad's Gravatar @Fat Dad
    June 1, 2016 - 11:08 am | Permalink

    Could it be the grammar? Maybe the kids didn’t understand what you were trying to teach. Hell I couldn’t read what you were trying to write.

  9. Coach Jacob Ochoa's Gravatar Coach Jacob Ochoa
    June 1, 2016 - 9:23 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the feedback guys. I kept the overview basic at the request of Midvalley. However I will be happy to go over the specifics of any coverage (landmarks, rules, depth, etc) with any coaches or up and coming coaches out there. Of course I won’t be giving away the Cats defense this year, but it’s not complicated, just based on discipline and team defense which is what Chou is known for. Just email me if there is anything you need. Go Cats!

  10. Fat dad from Pasadena's Gravatar Fat dad from Pasadena
    May 31, 2016 - 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Insulted well I coached at keppel the last few years it wasn’t the schemes. We had to deal with numbers not the best athletes and a school not known for football. I know 7 on 7 isn’t season but let ok at that and check out some game footage. It was plays and games were we did not get out schemed. That program loses because numbers and just not enough athletes. I wonder how your kids are in sports. Even how were you playing. Don’t diss what you don’t know.

  11. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    May 31, 2016 - 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Good explanation of various cover 2 schemes. All pretty basic though. Obviously most won’t talk about technique or too many details.

  12. ?'s Gravatar ?
    May 31, 2016 - 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Just a complicated way of saying zone defense. These wanna be’s get so wrapped in the x’s and o’s that the kids actually playing just say “What the heck are you talking about”?

  13. May 31, 2016 - 2:41 pm | Permalink

    With Coach Hobbie in league MTown must come up with something different to counter that potent offense. Good read here.
    One team I saw vs SG was South El Monte I couldn’t quite make out what they were doing some kind of Man/Zone combo which is very dicey in HS. maybe we can get the DC on here to discuss his philosophy.
    Any word on Keppell just yet? June starts tomorrow!!!!
    Does anyone know where the big passing games are this week or weekend?

  14. May 31, 2016 - 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I understand not giving away all the details but a good descriptive overview would be great. Just like this cover 2 article nothing in it gives away what they are doing, just gives an insight. Plus with scouting the way it is today everyone knows exactly what you run anyway.

  15. Insulted's Gravatar Insulted
    May 31, 2016 - 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Next week we will have the mark Keppel staff going over their potent offensive scheme

  16. Greenie's Gravatar Greenie
    May 31, 2016 - 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Sounds good…underneath crossing routes/drags have killed Mtown the last few years. SF, SM, and others have used these. Monrovia plays to quickly to the front side. Now this is one area of “Discipline” The Cats need to clean up on. I see they are trying to counter SM passing attack early. Good Stuff!

  17. NWO's Gravatar NWO
    May 31, 2016 - 12:13 pm | Permalink

    This guy should have been Alhambra’s HC years ago.

  18. FBFan's Gravatar FBFan
    May 31, 2016 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    I doubt very many coaches will be as willing to talk about their schemes to the public…. This coach gives a solid, thorough explanation but He doesn’t go through all he details he coaches his players which is probably a wise move:

  19. May 31, 2016 - 7:48 am | Permalink

    Folks might be on to something here…
    Love this! Get more coaches to talk about scheme. Would love to read Charter Oak and Arroyo offense. Defensively Rosemead and Montebello would pretty cool.

  20. Tampa guy's Gravatar Tampa guy
    May 30, 2016 - 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Great job coach. Good concise explanation of the varied cover 2.

  21. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    May 30, 2016 - 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Good stuff. But with chou ull see a lot more variations of cover 2, exciting stuff. Enjoy coach

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