Course Content
How to play Defense in the INFL
How to read a Defense
Reading a zone defense in American football can be a challenging task, but it is a necessary skill for quarterbacks, receivers, and offensive coordinators to master. Here are some tips on how to read a zone defense:
Drills For Playing Defensive Line
Mastering the Defense in the INFL
About Lesson

Introduction: Cover 3 is a defensive coverage scheme in American football. It involves three deep defensive players dividing the field into thirds and defending their respective areas. Cover 3 is typically used to protect against deep passes and prevent big plays. In this lesson, we will discuss the basic principles of Cover 3 defense and how to play it effectively.


  1. Understand your responsibilities: In Cover 3, the three deep defenders are responsible for their respective deep thirds of the field. The cornerbacks cover the outside thirds while the free safety covers the middle third. The linebackers are responsible for covering any short passes or runs that come their way.

  2. Keep proper depth: The defenders in Cover 3 need to maintain proper depth in their zones to prevent deep passes. The cornerbacks should line up about seven to eight yards from the line of scrimmage, while the free safety should be about 12 to 15 yards deep.

  3. Communicate with your teammates: Communication is key in Cover 3 defense. The defenders need to communicate with each other to ensure that everyone is in the right position and that there are no coverage breakdowns. The free safety should be the quarterback of the defense and should make sure everyone is in position before the snap.

  4. Read the quarterback: The defenders in Cover 3 need to be aware of the quarterback’s intentions. They should read his eyes and body language to anticipate where he will throw the ball. The goal is to break up or intercept any passes that come their way.

  5. Stay disciplined: Cover 3 defense requires discipline and patience. The defenders should not bite on any fakes or play-action passes and should stay in their zones. They should also be aware of any receivers running crossing routes and communicate with their teammates to ensure that there are no coverage breakdowns.

Conclusion: Cover 3 is an effective defensive scheme that can help prevent big plays and limit the opposing team’s scoring opportunities. By understanding the basic principles of Cover 3 and staying disciplined, defenders can effectively shut down their opponents’ passing game.

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