What is Tampa Two Defense in Football?
A Tampa two defense in football is a variation of the 4-3 defensive alignment popularized in the 2000s by Florida's Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, its origin is from the Pittsburgh Steelers and their "Steel Curtain."
The formation consists of four linemen, three linebackers, two cornerbacks and two safeties. Everyone in this specific formation needs to be extremely agile and quick on their feet. The linebackers, cornerbacks, and safeties are responsible for defending the middle of the field. Cornerbacks must jam up the receivers and force the runs inside.
The outside linebackers are responsible for the area from the line of scrimmage to 10 yards behind it. The safeties cover their halves from about 20 yards out. The strong safety is the hard hitter and the free safety can either blitz the quarterback or cover the zone that his teammate left when he moved to blitz the quarterback.
The middle linebacker must be a strong runner and ready to assist the outside linebackers with short, quick passes. He is the key and most important player in this formation, as he drops back deep for a lot of defensive coverage.
Every variation of 4-3 defense is a conservative choice. This formation can be very successful when playing against a team that plays from behind, as this strategic formation limits the development of larger plays. It forces the opposing team to work with shorter passes. All four defensive linemen must have a full view of the field at all times. It all comes down to being in the right spot at the right times.
This formation works well for players with fast speed. Height and build is not as important in this formation, but quick feet are!
On defense, each player is responsible for covering their gap, so if one player lets up, the formation can fail. That is one of the cons of this formation. Zone defenses can leave open gaps, and if the middle linebacker is even one step out of place, the play could be faulty, too.