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By Mike Nahum, Defensive Coordinator/LB Coach, David W. Butler High School (NC)


See how Coach Nahum uses his quarters coverage base principles to add hats against the run while stopping 4 verticals. Read it here...

 



By Mike Nahum 
Defensive Coordinator/LB Coach 
David W. Butler High School (NC) 
Twitter: @coachnahum60 

 

 

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Introduction

As a Base 4-2-5 defense, we utilize 4 down linemen, 2 linebackers, 3 safeties and 2 cornerbacks.  Our front six is set separately from our back five.  This simplifies the teaching to our players with the use of half-line drills. Since the ball is on the hash at least 80% of the time or more in high school, we focus on teaching from the hash the majority of the time. Our defense is field/boundary based since we declare passing strength to the field the majority of the time. 

We base out of Blue coverage (Quarters concept) using split field principles. Blue coverage is a pattern match defense, which allows your players to play zone coverage with match man principles based on the route distributions. This coverage easily adjusts to handle multiple formations/motions. It allows us to handle 4 verticals and gets us in a 9-man front vs. 21P and an 8-man front vs. 20P.  It also allows us to stay in safety force concepts, which simplifies our teaching as well. 

For the purpose of this report, I will discuss our Blue coverage vs. 10P 2x2, 3x1 and 11P 2x2, 3x1. 

20P 2x1 and Empty 3x2. 

Terminology is the biggest obstacle to learning. I will simply explain our defensive terminology. 

BC: Boundary Corner, Buck: Boundary Inside Linebacker, BS: Boundary Safety. These 3 players line up to the boundary/away from the passing strength. 

FC: Field Corner, Mike: Field Inside Linebacker, Rover: Field Low Safety, FS: Field High Safety. These 4 players line up to the field/to the passing strength.  

When the ball is in the MOF,  FS declares rip/liz to the passing strength side of the formation based on the # of skill receivers. 

Blue Coverage vs. 10P 2x2, 11P 2x2 

Against 2 detached receivers to the field, we will play read coverage as a standard check out of Blue. FC will align with divider rules 1x7 inside leverage of #1. Our FS will align with divider rules 1x10 inside leverage of #2. Our Rover will align by game plan, but generally inside leverage of #2 at 5-7 yards deep. Mike will gap align to the field. FC/FS read the release of #2. If #2 is out before the Rover then the FC will leverage #2 and break on him when the ball is delivered. The FS will flat foot read and open to #1. The FS will gain depth and play curl/dig/post of #2. If #2/#1 are vertical past the Rover, the FS/FC lock on man. If #2 is in before the Rover, the FS will shuffle and rob the direction #2 went. The Rover will wall #2 and play #3 to the flat. The Rover is the force player. The Mike is a wall #3/MV#3 player in 2x2. He will always open to #3 and he is a spill player. 

Against a pro-set to the Boundary, we will play Lock coverage as a standard check out of Blue. BC will align with divider rules 1x7 Inside Leverage of #1. The BC will play all of #1 except the shallow cross. The BS will align 2x7 outside leverage of an attached #2. The BS will play all of #2 except the shallow cross. The BS is the force player. The Buck is a Wall #2/#3 to the Flat player. The Mike is a wall #3/MV#3 player in 2x2. He will always open to #3 and he is a spill player. 

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Against a pro-set to the field, we will play quads coverage as a standard check out of Blue. FC will align with divider rules 1x7 Inside Leverage of #1. The FC is a MV1 player and he will play all of #1 except the shallow cross. The Rover will align 5x5 outside leverage of an attached #2. The Rover will play the first threat to the Flat. The Rover is the Force player. The FS will be at 8 yards deep over top of the attached #2 in a flat foot read. The FS is a MV2 player. No #2 vertical, go upstairs and rob the QB. The Mike is a wall #3/MV#3 player in 2x2. He will always open to #3 and he is a spill player. 

Against 2 detached receivers to the boundary we will play read coverage as a standard check out of Blue. BC will align with divider rules 1x7 inside leverage of #1. Our BS will align with divider rules 1x10 inside leverage of #2. Our Buck will align by game plan but generally in a 50 Technique to the Boundary. BC/BS read the release of #2. If #2 is out before the Buck then the BC will leverage #2 and break on him when the ball is delivered. The BS will flat foot read and open to #1. The BS will gain depth and play curl/dig/post of #2. If #2/#1 are vertical past the Buck, the BS/BC lock on man. If #2 is in before the Buck, the BS will shuffle and rob the direction #2 went. The Buck will wall #2 and play #3 to the flat.. The BS is the force player. Once again, The Mike is a wall #3/MV#3 player in 2x2. He will always open to #3 and he is a spill player. 

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  • How Coach Nahum adjusts Blue Coverage to defend 10 personnel 3x1 formations.
  • How Coach Nahum adjusts Blue Coverage to defend 11 personnel 3x1 formations.
  • How Coach Nahum adjusts Blue Coverage to defend 20 personnel 2x1 formations.
  • How Coach Nahum adjusts Blue Coverage to defend Empty formations.
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Conclusion: 

Playing Blue Coverage from the 4-2-5 allows our defense to handle 4 verticals while activating your safeties vs. the run. Playing pattern match coverage using a split field concept maximizes your practice reps using half-line drills. This allows your players to play fast and minimizes the teaching time. This provides for more time to game plan and practice for your opponents.     

Meet Coach Mike Nahum. Coach Nahum is entering his 18th year in coaching and his 4th season at David W. Butler HS. Coach Nahum has been a Coach for FBU as well as a speaker at numerous clinics. Coach Nahum has coached every position on defense and has served as a Defensive Coordinator for 10 seasons. Coach Nahum has coached numerous players who have gone on to play successfully at the Collegiate FBS level.   

Key Statistics: Over the past 3 seasons, the defense has averaged less than 15 PPG while forcing 9 shutouts. Butler is consistently a playoff team and has won the SW4A Conference the last 3 seasons posting a 17-2 record in conference. Over the past 3 seasons, the defense has averaged 18 Interceptions, 7 defensive touchdowns and 60 pass break ups per season.  

 

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