Eliminate Big Plays with Cover 2 Read

By Adam Harvey | Posted 3/5/2019

At Cibolo (Texas) Steele High School, we base out of a press-two coverage. Our checks are sky and cloud to go Cover 3, and we will play Cover 4 and Cover 1. Our Cover 2 Read takes away the things that usually attack Cover 2 like smash, fade-flat and slant because of the rules and techniques that the corner is taught to play.

Cover 2 Read

Why Cover 2?

The first thing we like about our Cover 2 Read is it allows us to align versus different formations and continue to stop the run. We want to be sound on the back end, especially against offenses like the Air Raid, but we also have to stop the run and have answers for the immensely popular RPO offenses.

We like that the coverage eliminates the big play by disrupting the routes early. The way we play our press allows no easy release off the line of scrimmage for the wide receiver. We have found that at the high school level it’s difficult to get off of a really good press technique by the corner.

Finally, we like that it takes away the quick passing game. Spread passing teams want to hit you quick especially versus off quarters, which allows them to dink and dunk down the field. By having someone in the flat immediately, the quarterback will have trouble hitting a high percentage of his quick throws.

This coverage is good for you if you have athletic corners who are athletic and aggressive as it allows them to be dynamic players and disrupt the offense’s attack.

This coverage is effective against the common Cover 2 answers of smash and fade-flat. The way corners are taught “lane of ball” or LOB, helps define their correct reaction to what the offense is doing. The lane of ball indicators allow for aggressive play on run or wide receiver screens.

The effectiveness of this coverage can be seen in the clips below:


Access the entire Coaches Note which includes TIPS to help you utilize this concept successfully.


Coach Harvey shares the why and the how behind the coverage, including narrated cut-ups showing its application.


The installation plan for how this is taught is shared to include video on the drills utilized to teach the skills necessary to play this coverage.

Problem Solve

Common problems in implementation of this concept as well as the opponents’ methods to attack it are addressed.

Read the full Coaches' Note here: Cover 2 Read to stop the run, pass and RPO

Further Review

No need to get a separate subscription to access video clips utilizing your team’s HUDL account for your own analysis or creating teaching videos. Simply download cut-ups from our Further Review section to your desktop and upload to Hudl.

About Coach Harvey

Coach Harvey is a 15-year coaching veteran, currently serving as the Steele High School defensive backs coach near San Antonio. In his five seasons as the Knights DB coach, he has guided 11 athletes to the collegiate ranks, playing for programs such as Texas, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Sam Houston State along with several DII and DIII schools.


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