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Coach Rob

Pass Coverage Techniques

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Looking for your input on proper pass coverage. How do you teach pass coverage techniques to your players? I'm looking for how far you teach them to play off, how not to bite on fakes and get beat long, those types of things. Fundamentals that you teach.


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Man pass coverage can have a lot of different nuances to it. In its very basic form you want to shadow your man, keeping yourself between him and your goal. Ideally you want to be able to shadow him and also watch the QB. That's not always possible and it really depends on the coverage. If the other team is in short yardage you want to get in tight coverage and deny the inside. In longer yardage you might give a cushion of 5 yards or more. I prefer my guys to get "handsy" in coverage. I'm not talking pass interference, but a little hand checking and using your hands to feel which way he's going, get closer, etc. It's more aggressive and prone to more penalties but I'd prefer to play that way.

When coverage guys get turned around, teach them to watch the receivers eyes. They will telegraph when the ball is in the air. They can either try to turn around and find the ball at the last second or better yet stick their hands up in the space where the receiver is trying to get his hands. You don't need to see the ball to do that and it's an effective way to break up a pass. * Also, have your other defenders yell "ball!" when the pass is in the air, giving your man coverage guys who are turned around a chance to get ready.

Going back to alignment, the defender should place himself inside the receiver or straight up. I don't think you'd ever want the receiver to have an easy time getting inside. Make it easier for them to go outside because its a more difficult play to make.

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