In the video below Pat Narduzzi, University of Pittsburgh Head Coach and former Michigan State University Defensive Coordinator, outlines the safety’s responsibilties in his defense. The clip is from CoachTube and is from the course Stopping the Pass with the 4-3 Over / Cover 4 Defense Coach Narduzzi’s defenses have always been recognized as strong units. This clips covers the reads and responsibilities of the safety in their Cover 4.
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A description of the video is found beneath the clip.
Coach Naduzzi begins by discussing the alignment of the safety. Their base rule for depth is 10 yds but he stresses that may be 9 yds or it may be 7 yds. That is one of the game planning decision you make based on the opponents personnel. Other adjustments include how far inside the receiver you align. For example if lined up over tight end or someone out of the backfield they might be 10×2, If they are lined up on a #2 receiver detached from the formation, then they might line-up 10 yds deep and 1 yd inside, playing inside coverage. In either situation they must always realize that they have those guys vertical.
A second teaching point. The safety must Stick the Feet. This means he plays the run first and then reads #2. If #2 goes vertical he takes him. If #2 does’t go vertical, he turns to the #1.
Third point is the adjustment to a Trips formation or how they adjust from a 2×2 alignment to a 3×1. In this situation, when the safety doesn’t have a #2 on his side he will make a Yo Yo call. This signals the corner that he is all alone. The safety will then cross key to the #3 receiver on the front side.
A fourth key for the safety is to beat the crack. This is always their responsibility. The depth of the safety is adjusted based on the match-up with the #2.
The final teaching point for the safety is to Key The Guy That Throws The Picks. If the #2 doesn’t go vertical and the safety knows what #1 is doing, then find the quarterback.