Red Zone Bracket Coverage Is $

By FirstDown PlayBook on Mar 21, 2024
Team vs Single User

Every year we watch some offensive units move the ball down the field until they get into the red zone, only to stall. Some of this is because of their reluctance to run the ball, but that’s another topic for another day. Today we want to look at red zone bracket coverage and why it’s so effective.

Some offensive units are very talented in the passing game and they come after you on the outside with speed. They dare you to match up against them. This is why 2 deep and 4 deep coverages can be a defensive coordinators best friend when he needs them out in the field.

There are other teams who are talented outside but where they get you is in the slot with underneath routes. We have all seen that slot receiver who has wiggle and can just get open in space. Think Tyreek Hill and how the Chiefs and Dolphins have worn defenses out with him.

7on7 Defensive Help Vs Empty Formations

Although you won’t have to line up against Hill this year, everything is relative. What’s your answer when the opposing offense is serving up death by a thousand cuts? They are just feeding the slot receiver on option routes. This becomes even more magnified when they get into the red zone. Take a look at this diagram and consider how you would shut this slot receiver down. Then scroll down and see how we would do it.

Before we get started here let me point out that I am aware that there are many ways to bracket a talented receiver in the red zone. Trust me, I have seen it on many a Sunday. Red zone bracket coverage can be very tailored to the team calling it.

I have also seen it blow up in a defensive coordinators face when the offense started shifting and motioning. This is why, at the high school level I would suggest that you find a very simple adjustment for defending this slot receiver.

Your Red Zone Bracket Coverage Must Be Simple Enough To Handle Motion

You want your nickel to travel with the slot receiver regardless of if he is strong or weak. The safety to that side will work with the nickel to “in and out” or bracket the slot underneath. This provides a bracket on the slot and also a changeup to the slot’s normal read on your coverage.

In this particular case you are going to normally just match up outside if you want to play a deep safety. That’s why it’s best to disguise this red zone bracket coverage until late. The quarterback should see two deep or quarters prior to snap.

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If the slot runs vertical then the safety to that side will cover him. Remember, it’s not the deep threat that he has been hurting you with. Also the back of the end zone is your friend. The nickel will then settle and look to help underneath vs a shallow crosser from Z or X.

Simple Red Zone Bracket Coverage To Shut Down A Talented Slot Receiver.