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What to Expect from Steve Wilks: Cover 1 (Man to Man Coverage)

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Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Cover 1 might be the most popular coverage in in the NFL. And though new Browns Devensive Coordinator Steve Wilks runs a considerable amount of zone coverage, he will run Cover 1 a fair amount as well.

Cover 1 is a man to man coverage with a single high safety in the deep middle of the field:

It provides tight coverage on every receiver, allows the defense to add an additional player to the box to play the run, and if run properly can be good at taking away the easiest throws available to an offense (short and over the middle).

However, Cover 1 tends to be weaker outside, especially against out-breaking routes by the inside receivers. Any man to man coverage is also obviously reliant on talent for success. And in this era of football, pick routes and bunch formations are a major threat to Cover 1 as well.

With defenders such as CBs Denzel Ward and Terrance Mitchell, FS Damarious Randall, and LB Joe Schobert excelling in Gregg Williams’ scheme last year, it would make sense for Wilks to consider expanding the amount of Cover 1 that he runs with the Browns.

Pro Football Focus

Here are a few looks at Wilks’ brand of Cover 1: