Monday, December 27, 2010

The Cover None?

Andy Furman with the observation that the Cover 2 is ineffective against top flight quarterbacks:

Pete called it fool's gold. You get success vs weaker teams with these schemes, but when you play against the GOOD QBs, it does not work. Aaron Rodgers picked on the off coverage so often (slants, etc..) that he racked up 225 yds in one half. Thomas and Webster were playing on Pluto while Jennings, Jones and Rodgers were playing pitch and catch. By the time the second half came and we began to see a little more press coverage, it was too little too late.
I'm not sure about the veracity of this. The 2002 Buccaneers certainly had success running this scheme almost exclusively, but that defense also averaged 3 turnovers per game and featured 5 Pro Bowlers. It seems like a more reasonable argument that under a team with more pedestrian talent, this pedestrian 'limit-the-damage' scheme cannot succeed against offenses that efficient at executing plays.

It would be worth exploring how the T-2 performs (relatively) against great offenses versus poor offenses.


  1. The biggest difference to me is that today there is an additional decade of analysis done by the best offensive minds in the league to figure out how to dissect the Cover2 than there was back when the Bucs used it for their Super Bowl run. So, the article quoted is probably right today, but that doesn't mean it has always been true.

  2. I think you're both right. If your D has 5 Pro Bowlers and fit the Cover 2 OR the 46-defense, you're going to give any offense fits.

    But TOJ is right, a decade of film on how to play it helps offenses a lot. Just like when teams were all playing nickel/dime/joker defenses for a while they came up with the Veer/Wildcat again.


  3. Didn't Indy win a Super Bowl just 4 years ago, playing exactly this defense?

    I find it hard to believe that the past 7 or 8 yrs of film have made the difference, tilting the Cover 2 from a chapionship D to unusable. The Cover 2 has been around since at least the early 70s. The prior 30 years of film weren't enough, but the last few made the difference?

    It's a basic, sound staple of modern D. Every team plays it at least some of the time.


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