Hot 1 Kickoff Cover Changeup

By FirstDown PlayBook on Jan 18, 2022

Can you imagine preparing your defense for the upcoming game and not looking at the offense you are about to play? Of course not.  As much as defensive football is assignment football there is still a huge advantage in understanding what the offense wants to do and does well. Same goes for special teams. This Hot 1 kickoff cover changeup we are featuring today is a good example.

As a special teams coach you should look at what your opponent does well and take that away first. You want to make the offense pay left handed. You also want to look at what you are dictating based on your special teams scheme.

Let us explain. If your kicker can place the ball to one side of the field or the other it gives your kickoff cover unit a huge advantage. The kickoff return unit can bring the ball back to the field at their own peril. If your kicker does a good job, it is almost impossible to get the ball back out to the field.

It only makes sense to expect some type of boundary return at some point. When this happens, it is extremely important that your players know how to “fit up” the return just like you do on defense. There is also an advantage to adding a wrinkle that serves as a change up from your base responsibilities.

The Difference In The Avoid & 2 Gap Techniques

It doesn’t need to be earth shattering but this Hot 1 kickoff cover can be a game saver if and when the return team is hurting you to the boundary. Knifing the R1 is an example of one such wrinkle. We call this our Hot 1 kickoff coverage. The boundary 1 will knife to the ball as opposed to playing a stack responsibility.

More Special Teams Help Where This Hot 1 Kickoff Cover Came from

This is similar to bringing a corner fire to the boundary. Just like many defensive coordinators do, you bring the R1 in this case up under your R2 and R3 players. This provides a natural twist that often frees the 1 up to the returner unblocked.

That’s what FirstDown PlayBook Special Teams is all about. We don’t tell you what you should run. We just give you a library to have as a reference tool.  Are they doubling your best player? Does this player play 3, 4 or 5?  Are they a wedge team? Do they run bounce or counter returns?

We just give you a quick reference you can turn to either before your season begins or the week of that game when you know you will have your hands full. We think the drawings are great but we also give you individual coaching points for every player so that you can coach the scheme with the confidence necessary. Technique help and special teams clinics? Of course. Click on the Hot 1 Kickoff Cover drawing to learn more.