Coverage Adjustments to Quads/Empty Looks



I got a request on my you tube site to talk about defending quads sets, and sets where the offense can flood a side with 4 receivers.  It was actually a request from an offensive coordinator who runs a lot of these things and wanted to know how I would defend them with quarters concepts and adaptations.  

I will try and break them down into three different sets:
1)3x1 Sets with Running Back Releasing Strong
2)True Quads 4x1 Alignment
3)Empty 3x2 Motion to Quads

For me I always want to have a way to play every formation with my base rules before the offense forces me to check to an automatic look.  I think anytime the offense can get you in an automatic by formation they have the advantage.  The first question you need to ask yourself is, Why is the offense running this set?  Do they want to throw quick screens? Do they want to force the defense to widen and spread out so they can use QB run game?  Are they trying to get 1 on 1 match ups to the single receiver?  First you determine what they want to do, then you determine how to defend it.

I will look at my main trips check which I call "MIX" and show you how we can adjust to Quads or Empty formations within that coverage so we do not have to create a new defense to defend these sets.  Remember new defenses make your kids hesitate and play slow so the offense wins just by alignment if they can get you to play slow.  Our Mix coverage is an X out concept which means we play man on one of the trips receivers in essence making it a 2x1 set.  We will play our corner man to man on the #1 receiver.  Our down safety and free safety will play palms coverage or 2 Read rules on #2 and #3 with both of them reading the release of the #3 receiver.  Our Mike LB will play Palms coverage similar to the way the Will LB has to play Palms coverage VS. #2 removed weak.  The Mike will widen and hip the DE on his side.  His rule is #3 does not cross my face and #4 does not out leverage me.  He is what is also known as the "Swing Deep of 4" player.  On the backside we will be playing some sort of Cover 2 or Bracket coverage on the single receiver since we do not use the backside safety on #3 vertical in our Mix coverage.  **WHEN THEY GO TO QUADS WITH #4 IN A POSITION TO GO VERTICAL IMMEDIATELY WE USE THE BACKSIDE SAFETY** Our Will LB will push his drop strong when he gets #4 releasing strong and he will look up the new #4.

I will go through this coverage and the adjustments we make in a chalk talk video.  If you have anything you would like me to Blog Or Chalk Talk about just let me know and if I do it or know about it I will cover it. Please check out my you tube channel by searching Thomas MacPherson for a look at all of my chalk talk videos.

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