This post is the fourth in our six part series on recognizing defensive coverages.


Cover 3 is a single safety defense where the corners are playing between 6 and 8 yards off the line of scrimmage. This is a zone defense where the safety and the 2 corners split the field in to thirds. The corners will be looking at the quarterback to make sure they can provide support in case it’s a run or a pass play.

This coverage can look like Cover 1, which is a single safety with the corners playing man against the receivers, so it’s important to know the key identifiers of this coverage.

Key identifiers:

  1. Single safety deep.
  2. Corners playing 6 to 8 yards off the line of scrimmage.
  3. Corners looking at the quarterback.

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