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Teaching Defense Backs Keys and Reads

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© February, 2008


by John Shea
Defensive Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach, Pope John High School, Everett, (MA)
Coaching the defensive backfield is a difficult undertaking. Secondary players must master the same fundamentals that other defensive positions need to master: i.e., tackling, block protection, etc. They need to have better catching ability than other defensive positions so that they don’t forget the importance of generating turnovers. They generally need to spend more time on footwork drills than any other position. Yet, despite the multitude of skills that must be mastered to play defensive back, it is often the ability to read the offensive plays and make the appropriate reactions that determines their effectiveness.

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