From the Past:
NDSU Early 1970s Defensive Playbook
Part VI: Man Coverages
Coaches Learning Network
Part six of this seven-part series of an early 1970s North Dakota State University defensive playbook features the man coverages, assignments and adjustments used with the 5-2 Okie, 4-3 Pro and 6-5 Goal Line defenses.
It is of great importance that all defenders talk to each other when a play develops. When you see something that will help a teammate, yell it loud. It is important to shout and repeat as they may be concentrating on something else, and the crowd is often making a great deal of noise.
Corners and safeties should continually be calling "Hook", "Cross", "In", ''Out", "Deep", "Flat'', "Screen", "Draw", "Over", "Middle", "Post" or some other term that will tell a teammate something.
It is of maximum importance that the person to whom you are communicating gets this information. For example, in a Sky zone the corner may see or feel the wide receiver curling underneath him. He should immediately alert the strong safety and strong linebacker to this by shouting "curl-curl". If the receiver breaks a post to the middle the corner should shout "post-post" to the free safety. This is so important that even the use of a first name is good: "Post - Joe - Post".
II. 41 Coverage
The number "41" refers to a 4 deep secondary alignment with a single (1-on-1) coverage on all eligible receivers that an offensive set can present.
All four deep secondary alignments involve both run and pass responsibilities. Thus a complete understanding of "Sky", "Hammer", and "Cloud" principles are necessary to defend the run and pass successfully.
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