Defending the Curl Route in Quarters Coverage

I wanted to take a look at some different route combinations against different defenses, and thought I’d start with a simple Curl/Flat route combination against the Quarters coverage.

On the one hand, we’d be really good against the curl route because of the Safety being over top of it, and the Outside Linebacker coming underneath. On the other hand, the flat is the weakness of Quarters.Not much way around it, there’s no good way to stop the Flat Route when you’re running Quarters, without checking to something that makes you vulnerable elsewhere. And if we’re going to be vulnerable anywhere, the flat route is the place to do it. Its a long throw for short yardage, so we take our chances!

Against the Doubles set, we’re going to make our Alert Check. This puts the Safeties at 12 yards depth, inside shade of #2. They’re more like deep half safeties in a Cover 2, compared to our normal Read Check (versus 1 receiver removed), when the Outside Linebackers are expected to play contain.The Corner moves his alignment up to 4-6 yards, and funnels the release of #1 in toward the Safety. He’s playing a vertical line rule with the Safety. He stays over top of #1, and the Safety plays over top of #2, until they cross. If they cross, it breaks the imaginary vertical line, and the two switch coverage responsibilities.


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