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Defeating Press Coverage

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© June, 2012

by Tom Duffy
Wide Receivers Coach • Morehead State University

The single most important job for us, as coaches, from a fundamental and technique standpoint, is to give our players as many tools as possible to make them successful on the football field. I tell my players on a weekly basis that they need to have as many tools in their “tool belt” as possible, and it is their responsibility to know which tool is needed to do the job on each particular play. We often try to make the game more complicated than it needs to be, thus slowing the speed at which our players can play on game day.

For wide receivers, as for any position, the key to the game is playing as fast as possible with great technique. The key for a WR to play fast is to have a plan, as soon as the play is called, for which tool he is going to use to defeat either press or off coverage that correlates to the route he is going to run. The player must recognize the technique that the defensive back is utilizing, and what he is trying to take away with that technique. Defensive back coaches continuously stress to their players to maintain leverage on the wide receiver. If the wide receiver can recognize the leverage that defensive back is using, then he can use the tools necessary to break down the defensive backs leverage and thus gain an advantage. In an attempt to keep things simple for my wide receivers pre-snap, we break the defensive backs leverage into two categories - press or off coverage.


Although we rarely face teams that exclusively use press coverage, release drills are something we do during individual periods twice a week, regardless of the opponent. My theory is that press coverage is ...The full article can only be seen by subscribers.
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