Today we want to talk about gaining your Weak Safety vs. single width formations.  If you have read any of my defensive blogs you will realize that my weak safety is in a down position most of the time vs. single width to his side.  It stems from an 8 man front theory and stopping the run first.  After doing a lot of research on my own tendencies and performance I came to realize that I am losing that player in certain situations and need to have ways to gain him back where I need him.  We will still use him down a majority of the time but situationally we will also now allow him to play on the hashmark to help vs certain route concepts.

One of the biggest issues we have is we are an 8 man front team that plays with the Middle of the Field(MOF) open most of the time.  20 personnel or twins open has become a more prevalent set for offenses recently.  This set puts us in Quarters to the twins side and Sky or Cloud to the single side by definition or rule.  When I say Sky I mean our weak side safety is down in a force/flat position.  This means the MOF is open and many teams will try to attack there in the passing game. I have never been a fan of quarters coverage to the weak side because that makes the Will LB responsible for #2 to the flat and on the wheel.  I'm not crazy about that with him also being a B Gap player. But if his leverage is good and he can see the angle the running back takes he should be ok.

This will allow us to be creative with our weak side safety.  We can still use him as a run defender, but if he gets pass reads we may be able to gain him where we need help.  The term I picked up at a clinic a few years ago was "vision and break".  Usually a quarters player with no threat of #2 vertical would rob the post, dig, curl routes of the #1 receiver.  What we are going to try and do is let the Weak Safety rob off the intentions of the QB.  After 16 years coaching in high school and intensive study of our last 3 years I have found that 95% of high school QBS will look where they are throwing the whole time.  I have found it very rare for a QB to look off of his intentions in High School.  You may get some well trained QBS that look down the middle first, but they immediately lock on to their progression side after that. So what we are going to try and do is let the Weak Safety play off the intentions of the QB.  This way he can help middle of the field throws, but also will be able to help on throws to the single.  Now we can help close the MOF without playing MOF closed coverages like 3 Deep or Man Free.  You have to be willing to play some press man on the single, and your Will LB on #2 man.  We are certainly going to look at it this spring.