Cover What…Cover Me…Cover 2

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Cover What…Cover Me…Cover 2

In Part I we dissected the cover 0 schema (, today we will jump right to cover 2.  Stop, if your first question is what happened to cover 1? I discussed that already in my first ever column here at Phinphantic, check out the link to take a trip down memory lane.

So let’s take a closer look…. 

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  • Adam Spohn

    Pretty good write up about explaining the Cover 2 D. This is great stuff and I love it when people spend the time to educate on the NFL. Football can be a complicated and intimidating sport.

    There is one thing I would correct you on. Cover 2 isn’t Tampa 2. I think sometimes in the NFL it becomes a hybrid at times but the Cover 2 D is different from the Tampa 2. Which is why Tampa 2 is called something different. Your play draw up shows the traditional cover 2. Not the Tampa 2. The Tampa 2 asks the MLB to drop into cover the middle of the field if needed essentially turning it in to a hybrid cover2/cover 3 Defense. So the Tampa 2 D has that MLB dropping into safety range with the other 2. Its not a cover 3 because its a much bigger range and its a LBer not a DB playing that spot.

    I would also argue that Dansby is EXACTLY the fit of a Tampa 2 LB. I was shocked when you listed him as not a good option for the Tampa 2. This is exactly what he did in Arizona and played a lot of “safety” type coverage down the field. He is one of those rare athletic Linebacker’s. This is the reason Miami paid him so well when they couldn’t cover Tight Ends in the seam the year before.

    • bahamas

      First of all thanks my friend. Appreciate the feedback.

      As per the Tampa 2 vs Cover 2 you are right. I didnt get into the MLB position in depth, but as I stated it was a spy, which means a mild cover 1 responsibility.

      As per Dansby, I will agree to disagree. And the reason why i say that is due to his big feet, which translate to lateral movement. I agree he is amazing cover LB, but based on tampa 2 LBs, you think BRain Urlacher and Derrik Brooks.

  • Chinzo

    No offense, but you’re way off here. The Tampa 2 and cover two are different schemes, and your claim that Dansby and Ray Lewis wouldn’t fit this scheme is ridiculous. Ray Lewis? You might want to double check that. He’s probably the best MLB in the NFL, possibly of all time, and like most teams, the Ravens most definitely have a Cover 2 package in their formidable defensive playbook. Lastly, you named Derrick Brooks as an ideal MLB in a Cover 2 defense? Brooks didn’t even play in the middle! He played OLB, and mostly on the weak side because because if his pass rushing ability.

    I’m not trying to sound like a know-it-all, but I had to comment on this one.

    • bahamas

      No worries, everyone has a right to express their opinion.
      Regarding Ray Lewis, he is built for 3-4 or 4-6 D…not a Tampa 2 D.

      Yes he has is a type of player than can play in any D, but is more categored towards the formations listed above.

      Like the Patriots Coach stated, if Jason Taylor played in a 3-4 his entire career he would be a sure bet Hall of Famer…..

      If Ray Lewis didnt play in 3-4 or 4-6, would he have made the same impact on the game? You and I can’t answer that question.

      Now to correct you on a misunderstanding, Tampa 2 and cover 2 are have the same pressence in the formation, but you have different variations..
      Tampa 2 is a formation just like 3-4.
      Cover 2 is coverage responsibiliy.

      That is what i was trying to point out. Of course they are completely different. Tampa 2 consist of building a defensive front similar to what the Bears and Tampa ran.

      Cover 2 is a coverage used by CBs and FS/SS.

      My bad on Brooks, i thought he played a ROVER LB….which is once hybrid of OLB/MLB