When I coached at the College of William & Mary, our team played a good amount of two-deep zone. Here’s one cone drill used in coaching Cover 2 cornerbacks.
For this cone drill, set up three cones in a triangle. Our corners are coached to have a 5-yard box (2.5 yards to their inside – 2.5 yards to their outside) that they need to protect on a vertical release by a receiver. In this drill, they simulate the movements within this box.
The corner aligns in the middle of the box. Tell him that the No. 1 receiver is taking an outside release. As he gets to the edge of the box, he will pivot on his outside foot, zone-turn with vision on the quarterback, staying connected to the receiver with a blind wedge, playing underneath the fade of No. 1 and over the flat route of No. 2. Have the corner react to the indicators of the quarterback.
Now tell the corner that the receiver is taking an inside release. As he gets to the inside edge of the box, he turns his two-handed jam into an outside-handed jam which naturally opens his hips up so that he can get depth and width, positioning himself under a potential corner route of No. 1 and over top of a flat route by No. 2, once again reacting to the indicators of the quarterback.
The next progression on an inside release would be to have No. 2 continue on a wheel route. The corner carries any No. 2 on the wheel playing him with a blind wedge and zone eyes in case No. 3 leaks to the flat or comes from across the formation into his zone.
A drill variation is utilizing the cones set in this triangle, giving a key for the corner to begin his movement (inside or outside) and throwing him a ball in the void area behind him or in the flat. We call these drills our Cover 2 ball drills (Diagram 3A/3B).
This article on cone drills for Cover 2 Cornerbacks was written by Bob Shoop, Defensive Coordinator, Mississippi State University. For more articles on defensive back play, click here.