Football Coverage

Chapter 9.2

How does the defense defend against the passing play? What are some strategies they use to stop the offense from scoring? Get ready to learn the basics of the defensive coverage in football.


There are many types of strategies that a good defense will employ. All defensive strategies revolve around coverage, the ability to defend against offensive players movement and their forward-progress. Here are two types of defensive coverage:

Man To Man Coverage

In Man-to-man coverage every defensive player is assigned a player on the opposing team's offense to cover.

Rookie Road Football Man To Man Image

A team will match players based on the following:

  • skill-level
  • size
  • speed
  • player position

Zone Coverage

In zone coverage, players are given specific areas on the field to protect. They must defend against any offensive player that enters their assigned zone.

Rookie Road Football Zone Coverage Image

Zone coverage is great for defending against passing plays. Defensive players will protect a zone and watch for offensive receivers entering their area of the field.


Blitzing is a defensive strategy that comes from the German word blitzkrieg that was a strategy of war used in WWII. The idea here is to create defensive plays that break through the opposing team's offensive line to quickly overwhelm the offense and to sack the quarterback.

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