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Old 03-31-2015, 05:44 PM   #1
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Patriots' Pass Game

Questions regarding the Patriots’ pass game come up every so often and I’m in the mood to talk football so here we go. We had a small discussion in another thread where a question was asked which got me thinking of starting a larger conversation so I figured on taking a closer look at the pass game in general and the Pats’ pass game specifically. I do this stuff on my own for my own purposes so I figured why not share. Plus Lisa loves my diagrams so I decided I’d post a bunch for her to make fun of. Hopefully I don’t bore you.

Feel free to ask any questions that come to mind regarding what I've posted if you’d like. Don’t be afraid to chime in. I know a lot of people read these threads but don’t participate but if you have a point to make or disagree with something I've said or whatever please do.

As usual, I’d like to mention that I am no expert and most of what I say is simply my perspective. I do not have access to the Pats’ play-book or meeting rooms. There’s little question I’ll make some mistakes here and there, so feel free to question whatever comes to mind. I may sound like a know it all but I’m far from it. The more I look at this stuff the less I realize I actually know.

Frequent topics have centered on Tom Brady focusing on specific receivers rather than “the open man” and the complexity of the Patriots’ pass game. I’ll touch on these points as we work through this.

I’ll try not to get bogged down too much with QB mechanics, pass protection or game planning. I’ll stay away from too much pass coverage detail as well. I’ll describe the basic coverages and point out a few things along the way though.

QBs and receivers have to have a clear understanding of coverages and how they work to be successful in the pass game on any level. The QB has to recognize fronts and their associated coverages while all need to quickly recognize the cues that communicate what coverage they are facing even when teams are disguising and attempting to confuse.
There are five basic families of coverages.

Cover 0 is a Middle of the Field Open (MOFO) pure man coverage for blitzing & doubling.
Cover 1 is a Middle of the Field Closed (MOC) Man coverage.
Cover 2 is a MOFO zone coverage
Cover 3 is a MOC zone coverage
Cover 4 is a MOFO zone coverage.

There are variations of all of these coverages which must be planned for and recognized. A MOFO coverage means that there is no Safety in the deep middle of the Field/Formation. Cover 0 has no one playing a deep safety position. Cover 2 & Cover 4 are dual safety MOFO coverages. Cover 1 & Cover 3 both feature a single high safety working the middle of the field (MOC).

I will point out coverage info as I go along especially as it applies to the play.

I won’t go crazy with Formation identification but will discuss nuances where appropriate. I will identify formation by how many receivers are aligned to a side as in 2x2 and 3x1. When I identify a receiver in a formation it will be by number and/or name. Number 1 is the first receiver from the sideline in, number 2 the second etc. Front-side (FS) is the play-side and back-side (BS) is the away side of the play.

Last edited by AllWorldTE; 03-31-2015 at 06:19 PM..
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