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Let’s go back to last night’s Michigan-Alabama game and take a look at C.J. Mosley’s ‘pick-six’ vs. Denard Robinson. A good opportunity to talk coverage, route scheme and decision making from the QB position vs. Cover 3 (3-deep, 4-under). Take a look at the video replay and then we will get into some coaching points.
Offensive Personnel: Jet (4 WR-1RB)
Defensive Scheme: Nickel Cover 3
- Check out the split of the “X” receiver (bottom of the numbers) to the open (weak) side of the formation. With the ball on the near hash (into the boundary), this is an alert for an inside breaking concept.
- Michigan uses pre-snap “divide” motion to create a “triple stack” alignment to the closed (strong) side of the formation. That leaves the X receiver on the backside of a 3x1 alignment (alert for the slant at both the pro and college level).
- Bama has four underneath zone droppers. Both LBs will play the “seam hook” (or “middle hook”) with the SS and Nickel playing a “curl-flat” technique to the closed and open side of the formation.
- With Michigan using 6-Man protection (RB will chip on open side DE), there is no threat to the flat to widen the underneath defenders to the open side of the formation (think Slant-Flat, Curl-Flat route combinations).
- The open side CB plays with a “bail” technique (outside leverage, back to the sideline) and will drive the slant route. Just as he coached up to do playing the outside 1/3 in Cover 3.
- Robinson forces this ball. That’s how I see it. Working vs. Cover 3 (or Cover 2, Cover 4, etc.), the QB has to account for underneath defenders on any inside breaking concept (slant, dig, curl). And if the ball is late (as it is here), those windows close quickly. Too easy for Mosley to drop to his landmark, sqaure his feet and break on the throw.
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