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Florida State Football Tutorial Tuesday: Man coverage

FSU’s bringing the house!

Samford at Florida State

*This is part of a new weekly segment called Tutorial Tuesday/Thursday. These articles are intended to give TN readers a simpler view of the Seminole offense and defense that our Whiteboard Wednesday pieces break down further.

Last week’s Whiteboard Wednesday gave a broad overview of coverages fans might see their Florida State Seminoles playing this fall at Doak Campbell Stadium. Be sure to click the link to revisit that fantastic breakdown. While you can expect to see multiple coverages this upcoming season, there are specific ones DC Adam Fuller leans on.

Coordinators tend toward certain calls in different situations. That can mean when a defense is facing 3rd and medium at midfield, or 2nd and long with an opponent backed up, or 1st and goal from the 10, they might have go-to plays dialed up. The red zone is an area Fuller likes to simplify concepts (man-coverage) and get very aggressive (blitz-heavy). One man-coverage concept he likes is Cover 0 (Zero). This is a game-plan he believes in, so what should we expect? It’s important to note you’ll see cover 0 in other areas of the field. Let’s take a deeper look at it:

We begin with a very simple middle of field open (MOFO) two-high safety look. Fuller likes to bring pressure with the Mike and the stud from the field-side. The corners will play man on the No. 1 receiver to each side, while the Bandit and Field safeties play man on No. 2. As the back releases, the Will has him in coverage. On the play, there are five receivers running patterns and five players assigned to cover them wherever they go. This is a very straightforward example, as we try to explain the basics:

Now things get more complex as we see motion and post/wheel concepts incorporated. Rules dictate the corners have No. 1, so when the No. 1 WR motions, the corner must run with him in a trail position on his back hip, in order to maintain good leverage. When the ball is snapped, the corner should mirror the route, as animated above. Rules stay the same across the board with the Bandit on No. 2 dragging across the field, while the Field safety picks up what becomes the No. 1 on the go-route.

Lets see some game footage:

Man-coverage is popular at all levels and will be utilized at FSU this fall. Join us in the comment section to discuss Cover 0 further.