A simple, but yet effective to system teach quarterbacks on all levels how to read pass coverage structure is the 0-1-2 Coverage System. By using this system, the quarterback can read the pass coverage based how many safeties are playing the deep middle before and after the snap. The 0-1-2 Coverage System can also be applied to football video games.
0 Coverage Family
When there is no deep safety playing the deep middle of the field, it is 0 (zero) coverage. This type of coverage alignment fits in the zero coverage family. With no safeties playing the deep middle, man coverage is called and we can expect some some type of blitz being called.
1 Coverage Family
Whenever this is one safety aligned over the deep middle of the field, it means 1 (one) coverage or man free coverage. This type of coverage fits in the one safety family. Much like that the 0 coverage family, there is a good chance that some type of blitz is called. Cover 1 and Cover 3 both fall is this category. Because it could be Cover 1 or Cover 2, we have to understand that man or zone coverage or combination of both has been called.
2 Coverage Family
If two safeties are aligned deep, it means 2 (two) coverage or Cover 2. There are two types of this type of coverage, man (Cover 2 Man ) and zone (Cover 2) . Cover 2 Man coverage is most used among pro football teams and in football video games. The reason for this is the solid coverage that it provides all over the playing field. Also Quarters (Cover 4) and Cover 6 (of Cover 2 and Quarters coverage) fall into the in the 2 (two) coverage category.
One of the biggest keys to having a successful passing attack is to pre-read the pass coverage before while at the line of scrimmage and before the snap. By knowing what the 0-1-2 Coverage System coverageis, we have a better understanding of where to attack the defense and pre-snap adjustments need to be made. For example, we can audible to another play if we don’t feel the original play called will work based our pre-snap coverage reads. By doing this, we can maximize the chance of the plays success. Last final thought, your opponent can make manual adjustments to make the defensive coverage look like one coverage, when really it’s not.