Coverage in football shows the alignment of the defense on the field. A good defense will adapt their coverage strategy based on the opposing team. There are two basic kinds of coverage:
Man To Man
With man to man coverage every defensive player is assigned an offensive player to cover.
In man to man, player cover other players based on:
- skill level
- player position
An example of man to man coverage in football is when a cornerback will cover a wide receiver. This prevents the wide receiver from getting open to catch a pass thrown by the quarterback.
With zone coverage defensive payers are assigned areas on the football field called zones to protect. If a player on offense enters the assigned zone, the defensive player must defend it.
Zone is great for defending passing plays. On a passing play, the defense will protect a zone and watch for receivers on the offense that enter them.
A blitz is when the defense sprints towards the ball carrier to tackle him for a sack right after the snap. The ball carrier is usually the quarterback or a running back.
The term blitz comes from the German word blitzkrieg, a strategy of war from World War II. Blitzing is a football philosophy designed to overwhelm the opposing team quickly before they have time to react.