Lavonte David Can Anticipate Because He Studies

By Will Cinelli on Jul 16, 2020

By Will Cinelli, The Scouting Academy

Most Thursdays here on the FirstDown PlayBook Coaches Community website we will feature a breakdown of personnel and technique. This is provided by our friends over at The Scouting Academy who are our go to experts in this field!

There is a ton of mental processing ability required to play Zone coverage effectively. You don’t want your LBs to simply drop to a spot and float there, as that doesn’t really take away the routes the offense is running.

This clip from Lavonte David shows how challenging zone coverage can be to play but how an intelligent and prepared LB can take away multiple routes as they work through his zone and make a play on the ball. David is assigned to cover the Hook/Curl zone on this play. He recognizes the first threat (the WR) enter his zone, quickly diagnosing that he’s running a vertical route and passes him off to the DB who has the deeper zone.

With his peripheral vision, David then picks up the RB running a “Texas” route into the zone. David jumps that route, eliminating it from the QB’s progression. As he does so, he focuses his eyes on the QB. Late in the concept, and with the pocket collapsing around the passer, David knows that he can be aggressive in reacting to the QB’s eyes. This is what allows him to jump the crossing route coming from the other side of the formation and almost come away with the INT.

It’s critical to know that this doesn’t just happen, even for a player of Lavonte David’s caliber. This is hours and hours of film study and seeing the route concepts in practice and walk-throughs coming together on gameday in a big way.

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