Find The Corner Who Won’t Tackle

By FirstDown PlayBook on Apr 20, 2022

Offensive coaches are always looking for ways to find an edge in the run game. It might be with leverage, it might be with personnel but it always seems to get down to numbers in the run game. If the defense has one more than the offense then that often means get out of that play. There are some offensive coordinators however who are smart enough to find the corner who won’t tackle on the defense.

A lot of coaches can get scared out of potentially successful runs because the defense outnumbers them in the box. There are times when the offensive coaches need to ignore the math and make that unblocked defender prove he will tackle. This is especially true when that defender is a corner.

Spread Offenses Have Dictated That Most Corners Are “Cover” Corners

This is even more true today than ever before as the spread offenses have forced the defense to play with great cover guys at corner who rarely if ever get near the line of scrimmage. Some of these players will flat out not tackle. They were recruited or drafted to be cover corners. In high school football, they be the only player on the team who can play man coverage well enough.

Make The Corner Prove They Will Tackle

Good defensive coordinators will do their best to protect a corner in the run game. Sometimes that means playing “corners over”. This is when both corners align on the same side to defend two receivers. This way the safety can play to the other side. This gives the defense a better tackler to the run threat.

When defense plays corners over, this is often an indicator that they are playing man coverage. It’s not always the case but the zone coverage rules can get a little funky when a corner starts covering the curl areas. This is not something corners do very often. If it is man coverage, there are a lot of creative ways to motion to get those receivers open. This is not to mention your jet sweep and around packages in the run game.

When a defense does leave the corner over to be a part of the run stop box, this is when you need stay with your run game. Your blocking schemes should account for the big guys and the safety. Find out if that corner wants to come down in there to make a tackle.

One last point in the way out today. If that corner will tackle you can bet that they are going to be very aggressive vs the run. They want to make that tackle before the ball carrier spits out into the open field. This is when you can show your tight end a little love and slip him out on a play action pass.

Stay With Your Run Game & Make The Corner Tackle