Cover 3 Weak designates a change in assignment between the safeties and linebackers. The FS now rolls down and takes the flat, freeing up the Will and Mike to take the hook/curl zones and the Sam to take the strongside flat. With this, the Strong Safety ($) now has the deep 1/3 of the field.
Cover 3 v. Boot Pass
Boot pass is a common playaction play at all levels of football. It causes problems for a Cover 3 team, as the coverage is rotating away from where the receivers are running. Also, it puts the Will (W) linebacker in a tough position, to play run or fly out to the flat right away. Below is an example of Cover 3 v. Boot Pass.
Cover 3 WEAK v. Boot Pass
Weak is a great adjustment to teams that like to boot, attacking levels and leaking that fullback out into the flat. Safeties are to line up in a pre-snap read of being two high. As the quarterback starts his cadence, the FS will roll down into the box, taking care of the flat, and the FB.
With this adjustment, it buys time for the linebackers to play run first, and not worry about that FB getting to quickly into the flat and past them. As the play develops the $ will be running with the deep cross/post on their drop to the middle 1/3 of the field.
In cloud, the safeties will roll to cover their 1/3 of the field. The strong corner will squat, taking care of flat responsibilities. One of my favorite parts of cloud is having that corner lining up deep (8-9 yards off of LOS) and buzzing their feet, reading the quarterbacks throw into the flat.
Often times, when you see a huge hit out of a corner on a receiver, they are playing some type of squat corner in Cover 3 or 2. Allowing that corner to line up deep, read what is in front of him, and run downhill for the big hit or interception is an easy and great adjustment using Cover 3 Cloud.
This concludes my discussion on Cover 3. Hopefully I have provided you with some different twists on the coverage, and some examples of when these coverages are run. These are simple adjustments to help your players play fast and aggressive. Feel free to e-mail with any questions, thoughts, or ideas on upcoming topics. Happy Holidays! Coach Hjorth