Once we’ve taught our corners and our safetys a zone flip, in other words, how to transition their hips, open and run and keeping a receiver on the outside, we can take it one step further by making our zone defender in deep third coverage defend two players in their zone with this awesome defensive back reaction drill.

Defensive Back Corner Zone Reaction Drill

For corners, we like to define a one third field zone as being from the sideline to the hash mark (using the high school hashes).

Take your alignment 2 yards inside the widest receiver approximately 6 yards deep. The corner is going to do his zone flip, turn his rear end to the sideline, transition out with speed, and read the quarterbacks shoulders. The quarterback will then throw the football to either the wide receiver or to the inside receiver. And the corner is going to break on the throw.

A very important coaching point when teaching young players how to play zone coverage is to constantly remind them that they don’t have a man in most thirds concepts. He has to play whatever the route is in his zone and then break on the football after it’s thrown in most situations.

You also want to remind your corners to keep the ball in front of you. Don’t transition your speed and break back to the ball – break across to the football. Keep a good leverage angle on the throw.


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