The Ultimate Quarters-Based Defensive Playbook

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Kenny Ratledge
329 pages
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When contemplating a coverage upon which to base a defensive system, coaches have a veritable smorgasbord of types and styles of coverages to choose from. Obviously, the team’s available personnel and a coach’s knowledge of the scheme are two very important considerations when deciding which coverage(s) are best. Another very important question to ask is—what type of front do you marry to that coverage? A coach can choose to go with an even or odd front system, using a 3-3, 3-4, 4-3, 4-2, 6-1, or 6-2 front, etc. In terms of coverages, a coach can choose to use cover 0, man free, a two deep five under cover 2 look, eight men in the box zone or man coverage with strong safety rotation out of a two-deep look, eight men in the box zone or man with weak rotation by the free safety, three-deep, etc. When researching defenses, a coach should give pause if testimonials keep popping up such as, “a players’ defense, the mother of all coverages, and looks the same pre-snap but different variations unfold when the ball is snapped.” Other sterling affirmations which this author has seen that should tweak a coach’s curiosity include “one coverage but it has built-in principles that morph into different defensive reactions depending upon the route,” “built-in robber coverage,” and “few techniques but multiple reactions possible.” Of note, all these accolades and many more have been used to describe quarters coverage, but in this particular case the author believes the hype. The quarters coverage system the author develops in this book is based upon the scheme that has been used very effectively for a number of years at Michigan State. The Spartan’s recent success and development into a national powerhouse has been attributed in large measure to the defensive philosophies which have been refined in East Lansing. The Ultimate Quarters-Based Defensive Playbook will teach you everything you need to know about the implementation and operation of Quarters.


Chapter 1: Why Quarters Coverage?

Chapter 2: Defensive System and Nomenclature

Chapter 3: Offensive Identification

Chapter 4: Fronts and Line Movements

Chapter 5: Cover 4 Quarters Read Coverage

Chapter 6: Quarters Trips Adjustments

Chapter 7: Quarters Empty and Quads Adjustments

Chapter 8: Cover 4 Quarters Variations

Chapter 9: Quarters Supplemental Coverages

Chapter 10: Quarters 4-3 Stunts

Chapter 11: Quarters Mustang Package

Chapter 12: Quarters Short-Yardage and Goal Line Defenses

Chapter 13: Quarters Coverage Beaters and Defensive Countermeasures

Chapter 14: Defending Personnel Packages and Formations

Chapter 15: Defending Special Situations

Chapter 16: Quarters Coverage Drills

Chapter 17: Defensive Call Sheet