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By Garrett Schmidt, Defensive Coordinator/DBs Coach, Huron High School (SD)

Find out how Coach Schmidt and his staff have been able to cover up trips and quads without taking Mike and Will out of the box. Read the report...


By Garrett Schmidt
Defensive Coordinator/DBs Coach
Huron High School (SD)
Twitter: @CoachSchmidt17



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Today’s offenses are all about spreading defenses out so they become unsound in the running game. In response, our coaching staff had to figure out a way to defend Trips/Quad sets while still keeping our defense sound up front. We are able to do that, partly due to being a 4-2-5 team, by allowing our Mike and Will LBs to remain in the box at all times; even against Quad sets. First, we want to first take away the run game with our alignment. Secondly, we want to take away any bubble/flat routes. When teams take their number one receiver and put him on an island, we can leave our best corner on an island with their best receiver or give him help over the top if we need to.

Defensive Backs Alignment vs. Trips/Empty


Against Trips or Empty sets, we run like to run cover 6. For us, that means that we are running cover 4 on the passing strength side and on the weak side we are running Cover 2. This year, we also experimented with a read cover 2 and had some success on the back side with that concept. The main difference in this is if the #1 receiver goes deep (X in diagram 1). If he does, then the corner goes with him and the hybrid will then get deeper and play as a deep safety reading the entire field. In that situation, the FS needs to be aware of the #2 receiver in the coverage, which is most likely a back coming out of the backfield. Everybody still maintains their same run fits against Trips/Empty and the hybrid has weak side force and bandit has strong side force.

Coaching Points

  • The weak side cornerback must maintain outside leverage on #1 receiver and is looking for any routes coming his way from the running back or #2 receiver. If #1 receiver goes deep then he goes with him and the Hybrid will look for anything out of the backfield or any crossing routes.
  • Hybrid needs to get depth, we have him align at 10-12 yards, so he can see the entire field and get overtop of #1 if need be.

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  • Defensive backs’ alignments and coverage against Quads (4x1 formations).
  • How Coach Schmidt trains his coverage to handle bubble routes to the field and single receiver routes to the boundary in 4x1 sets.
  • How Coach Schmidt alters the run fits of his box defenders against Quads and Trips formations. 
  • Plus raw and narrated game film on these coverage concepts.

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These concepts allow our defense to stay simple and allow our athletes to play fast because they are not thinking as much. This could be adjusted to a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme as well, as long as the end result is simple enough for your athletes to continue to make plays. They key to this concept is first make sure you take away the run-game between the tackles, then focus on taking away any bubble or flat routes, and finally do not let them kill you to the one-receiver side.

Meet Coach Schmidt: Garrett Schmidt just completed his 4th year coaching high school football at Huron High School in South Dakota. Schmidt played defensive back collegiately at Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota. In the last three years at Huron, Schmidt and their staff have had 4 All-State defensive players and numerous All-Conference student athletes.



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