• July 4, 2022

Why Will Eagles Defense Change To Much More Cover 2?

Everybody expects the Eagles to acquire a starting cornerback via free agency or trade, but they also are planning on doing something else to stop their right cornerback and safeties from getting torched. Remember last year’s Eagles defense was the worst Red Zone defense in the last 25 years in the NFL. That’s quite an accomplishment but not a good one.

It wasn’t a surprise to me to find out that Andy Reid wants to make a structural change in the way the Eagles play defense in order to improve the pass defense and especially the Red zone defense.

“I know Coach Reid has wanted to run the Cover 2 for a long time”, Eagles veteran safety Quintin Mikell told Geoff Mosher of DelawareOnline.com. “It seems like the past couple of years we’ve been slowly progressing toward that. It might be moving toward that. I think he [Castillo] is going to kind of tweak things here and there. It’s gong to be kind of the same 4-3 but I think it’s going to be a little less based on scheme and more based on guys just kicking somebody’s butt.”

Cover 2 is a two-deep zone defense that is the number one coverage of the Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Indianapolis Colts. These teams live in Cover 2 on first and second down. The two safeties stay deep and prevent big plays. Many times offense attack them with short passes. These teams rely on speed and good tackling to limit the short passes to short gains.

The Eagles weren’t a Cover 2 defense when Jim Johnson was calling the signals and they weren’t Cover 2 defense when Sean McDermott took over. Reid probably feels that Cover 2 could make things much easier for a young and inexperienced defensive coordinator like Juan Castillo.

He saw another young and inexperienced defensive coordinator like McDermott, make the coverages and defensive alignments too complicated. He lost his job because the Eagles felt his overcomplication of the Birds defense was the number one reason that the secondary and defense played so poorly in the Red Zone.

Last year rookie cornerback Trevard Landley wasn’t able to get on the field because he was unable to understand the coverages. McDermott was fired for it.

Reid knows Cover 2 will make life much easier for Castillo and the teams young cornerbacks, Lindley and third-round draft pick Curtis Marsh.

Cover 2 is a simple coverage, which can be played against just about every play and formation. The cornerbacks must be willing to hit, force the run and tackle. They need to be able to roll up into the faces of wide receivers and get physical with them as they try to come off of the line of scrimmage.

Cover 2 takes pressure off the cornerbacks and puts more responsibility on the safeties and everybody else in the defensive secondary.

That’s the bottomline, Reid will have the Eagles defense playing much more Cover 2 because it takes pressure off the cornerbacks and off of the defensive coordinator.


Read Previous

McNabb Makes More Sense For Arizona Than Kolb

Read Next

Stamkos Signs and Flyers Face Cap Restrictions


  • G:
    I don’t like it. It invites the NFC East to throw to their TE’s. And that’s a problem for the Birds. TE under, over, and deep. I just don’t like it G. I don’t care about how tough it is to master press or man; suffer during the first half of the season and see what the CB’s are made of. In addition, I’d run the
    TE and slot deep, and slant the Eagles to death from the left side. Who’s gonna tackle him?

  • The front 7 better be good if this is the case. Teams that successfully run the cover 2 usually have a very good LB who can do everything. I’m not sure we have that guy right now who would be able to run with TEs consistently. And the front 7 will have to be able to be good at stopping the run since the secondary guys will not be as close to the line when you’re not blitzing. And they also better be good at getting to the QB without blitzing. One of our biggest problems over the past couple seasons was not being able to get to the QB even when we blitzed a lot of times. So in order for this to work we need to severely upgrade parts of that front 7. I’m not oppose to any defensive style if we had the right players so we will see. Having said that, we may be too much of a finesse team on both sides of the ball. But we will see.

  • Which is another reason you won’t see Asmo in the Green and Silver who prefers more of a Man-to-Man type of Defense (look for Asmo to sign with
    Redskins or with the Falcons)
    Covering the TE’s has been a problem due the spotty play of the Eagle LB’s and their Safeties since Dawkins left the team..

  • I think we need to run more base, over, and under defenses in our schemes Like Rex Ryan. Sadly our players don’t fit that mold.

  • reid is a loser

  • They do not have the personnel to run a cover 2. Samuel can’t tackle, Allen is more of a cover safety, Jarrett is a rookie, who knows, RCB is non existent, & all the backups are Smurfs. We have no coverage LB’s & the LB corp has too many questions, & more holes than swiss cheese. They better f^@king heavily invest their money on DF & not bu!!$#!t us, because this DF is horrific & pitiful. Changing the DF to cover 2, doesn’t change the fact that they have ZERO defensive players. ZERO! Don’t be surprised if Samuel is traded down the road also. He isn’t a team player, can’t & won’t tackle, & gives up as much as he takes away. Look at how many times he was exposed in the red zone. Also if they don’t upgrade DE & DT, Cole will be ineffective by week 10 again, as usual.

  • I would love it if, they would trade Samuel after the lockout, & sign &/trade for 2 good, new starting CB’s.
    My fantasy- James Joseph & Ike Taylor.

  • No way they deal Sante. Cover 2 would be something Sant will excel at in my opinion. Remember there not going strictly to this look. Could easily be times we play straight man. And either way Sante is a beast…he makes plays and he’s had a corner on the other side one year who was solid. One year with good safety play. He’s by himslf every game either way.I like Joseph and Ike but no way they deal Sante.

    According to his record Reid IS A WINNER. More deep insgith from the kid over here.

    Chaney will be a better coverage backer this year. I could see Falcs throwing money at Asmo. Dunno what there space is like though Paul.No way he signs with a team that isnt sniffing the p-offs. Lions,Jags,Skins,and any other bum teams can forget NA.


  • EROCK, I agree with almost everything you said, but Asante is not a beast. A beast is someone that plays great all the time & actually hits hard, & can tackle. He is pretty good, but way overpaid & overrated, IMHO. PETE60 is a hate troll. He doesn’t matter. Pay him no mind.
    DAMN, feels good to talk & debate pigskin again, don’t it?

  • Pete – you really are a troll – are you Tom Coughlin? Wade Phillips? Jason Garret? That is the only real explanation here. You clearly have something specific against Andy that makes you not even want to talk about coaching and/or football. You must be someone who lost to him over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. I guess these last few days of the lockout has you coaches seaching for something to do?

  • DD – yeah man, do you know Reid’s win percentage? That’s one thing that’s undisputable – he’s up there with the best of them – period. That’s a great example of hate clouding any reason. Even you have it (though you correctly called out Pete).

    And you claim Allen is more of a cover safety so that’s bad for cover 2 – um, dude, cover 2 is ALL ABOUT safties covering – that’s 100% of the point. I think you’re passion for hitting/tackling (which is obviously key in the game) has you going overboard and not thinking/learning straight.

    And remember folks, this is just media rumor spreading/something Q said. We really don’t know what the D will be, and how Asante would behave in the whole new context.

  • and DD – and anyone else – Asante proved last year that he CAN hit – sure he clearly is still reluctant to because he wants to extend his career/stay healthy etc… sure sure. But the man CAN hit – he DID several times – WELL – last year. And if you think it’s worth getting rid of him, well then maybe the Phils should drop Ry Ho because he’s not the best small ball guy – or maybe not because homer and interception MASTERS are HUGE and NOT easy to come by.

  • Schill, I don’t hate anyone in sports or likewise. That’s not right. I highly dislike, as in Amaro, Muts, Yankmee’s, Cowgirls, Giants, Celtics, Lakers, Nicks, Penguins, Devils, Rangers, anything NY, internet trolls, comment nazi’s, excuse makers, politically correctness, racist people, & someone who uses the race card for everthing.
    The only things I hate are child molesters, drug dealers, murderers & punks that hit & abuse woman, & someone who tries to force me into their thinking, beliefs & frame of mind. All of this to me is fun, opinioned, blogging, to forget about the everyday stress & grind. If anyone doesn’t like it, too bad.

  • with the cover 2, the Eagles need better linebackers and safeties…. they are the key

  • D and Shill are working through there squable like men.HAAAA

    Sant does lay would when he has the chance. He wants to be a HOFer and bring a title to Philly. I see that…he;s one of the guys i go too camp to even hear practice. Class.

    Look..i think the Birds smack fire out of the East this year. 5-1 and ill stick by that. FA will ultimatly show us how the D will be in the next 3 years.

    Allen concerns me in his recovery.Is Coleman ready? I watched Jarrett play a few times and he is a stud. But to be a starter all year and make plays come p-offs? Im hopeful but this is the Beast.

  • Chaney…love his skills…nice cover backer this year.
    Stew…they resign him then im on his wagon.He needs a big year.
    Fokou…dude needs to show something in camp and we’ll see.
    Matthews…rook..good bloodline but coverage.
    Jordan…make a play man.

    Theres some questions…..potential for some picks from the backers this year(what!) but lets see what happens in camp.

    DDCar…Yankmees…ahhhhh…friggin classic.

  • Sarge is awesome….the hats set it off nice.

  • Jordan probably not even on the Eagles Roster after the Free-Agency period comes and goes, He’s not under contract and don’t see the Eagles offering him one.. They have youngsters in Clayton & Rolle to battle it out for the Back-up LB and Special Teams.
    I think LB R Jentry makes the squad and will push Fokou for starter’s time at th SAM Position though he’s no “Coverage LB”
    I also think the Eagles will Sign Free-Agent LB Steve Tulloch or Ben Leber and let Stewart Bradley walk..

  • Sorry to go off the subject but Bastardo is the real deal! im totally convinced!! he is just in a zone unlike anything I ever seen from the phillies closers and it would be idiotic to replace him let alone trade for another closer.

  • Cover 2 complaints? JJ system has sucked for the last 7 years. Its old, it was played out and predictable. The Eagles were the only team to bring 8 and everyone got picked up. Time for a new defense. The only thing that saved this predictable offense was the the unpredictable Vick.

  • BAstardo has been red-hot, 18 PItches tonight with 14 of them strikes, he goes goes right after guy, 0-2, 1-2 Counts and he just finishes them off and doesn’t waste pitches or get too cute out there..He stays aggressive and gets batters on the Defensive right away.. What’s kind of funny is that he does not appear to have overpowering stuff but everyone keeps swining and missing so he musst have a lot of late movement and the ball just explodes the last 10 feet before hitting the Ruiz’s glove..

  • Daggolden
    Eagles had a surprisingly good Season last year thanks to the Arm and Legs of Vick.. A down year for the Cowboys, Vikings, 49ers really opened the door for them,but when you take away Vicks unbelieveable stretch in late October thru November, the Eagles were simply an average team and once thre league and DC’s figured out to Defense him and the Eagles, they didn’t do much the last month of the Season when it really counts.. VIck did not play that well versus the Bears and Vikings (Both losses) and was too inconsistent in the playoff game vs the Packers and warmed up a little too late as the entire team did after having rested their starters the week before in th eSeaons finale vs the Cowboys and then came out flat and took a 1/2 to get it going which was too late versus a very good team in the Packers who were on a roll…

  • VR, your right, The Bastard is the real deal. Hopefully he stays healthy, because he is good & a lefty to boot.

  • The surprising Eagles run game will spare Vick the punishment this coming season.

  • Ha, priceless. (Paraphrasing paulman) “when you take away the star players, the team is average. And the team really played bad games during the games they lost”. Freaing genius. Groundbreaking.

  • daggolden, JJ system sucked because the players sucked. You could have run Rex Ryan’s system with our personnel and get smoked. I don’t disagree with you in maybe changing to a new scheme isn’t so bad. Personally, I’m more concerned with the personnel than the scheme. With a cover 2 you usually need a very good front 7 that contains a very good LB and good safety play. I’m not so sure we have that right now. Now maybe after the brief FA period we will be better but right now (since this is the only thing we can base the convo on), this defense doesn’t look good with any scheme.

  • hit me up for the fantasy football league astuckey05 at gmail dot com

  • Schill, bwahahaha!! Here are 2 more Paulisms- “If they don’t score more runs than the other team, they will lose. And if the team wins less games than the other team, the will be worse.” Classic.
    Sorry Paul, it’s pile on Paulie day.

  • Eagles were lucky to beat the Giants with that Miracle Comeback and played like crap versus teams that had nothing but pride to play for their final 2 games when the Eagles could have had a higher seeding(Vikings/Cowboys)
    If you look back on last years schedule, they thumped the Falcons at Home which was probably their best overall Team performance by the Offense.Defense and Special Team against a good opponent
    They beat the GIants Twice (Eli’s fumble and the MIracle Game) and that’s about it, split with Redskins & Cowboys in a year where the NFC East was not very strong.. They beat the Lions,Jags,49ers all on the Road which was nice but all those teams were all below .500 and beat the Texans/Colts at Home (the Colts had 3-4 Starters out and really are not the same team they were a couple years back) Th Eagles lost to the Titans,Bears and Packers twice (at home) which the final scores were relatively close, but the Packers were the much better team in both games and really dominated the line of scrimmage for 3/4’s of those games as they marched to a SUper Bowl Championship..
    The Eagles are aa good talented team, but need 2-3 playmakers added to the Defense at CB/LB/DE positions and depth on OL (which this Draft should have taken care of) but they really need to have a more physical presence on Offense once inside the Red Zone and not have to rely on VIck’s scramblng ability or gadget plays to be successful on short-yard/red-zone rushing attemps. The Kicking game will be important as usual but this year Eagles will have Rookie A Henerey handling the duties so it will be interesting to see how he develops (he could be a good one for years to come)

  • Paul, you are the best. I don’t care what they say about you. I get you brother. You make my day with your posts. LMFAO!!

  • paul, luck is part of sports. You honestly do get that right?

  • Maybe the word fortuante would have been a better word to use instead of luck. Luck and getting breaks are a part of lfe as they are in sports and generally have a tendancy to even themselves out over a course of a game, a season or even a lifetime.. The Good teams and positive people typically make their luck and take advantage of their opportunies or good fortune.. The Eagles failed to do so whenthey had a lot of things going for them last year with the resurgance of Vick, a high-powered offense but honestly, it all came to soon as the peaked mid-Season.. They were the hottest team in the NFL from mid-October thru late November and then shot their wad in that comeback win vs the Giants and were spent and were not the same team afterwards..In the NFL as we have seen time and time again, it’s how your playing at Season’s end that really make the difference as the Playoffs start and the past 2 Seasons the Eagles have finished flat which you have to look at the Coaching too ..When you play versus other playoff teams with good Coaching and good Oc’s and DC’s, you can’t expect to run the same formations and be succesful with it, You have to mix it up and not be so predictable and for all the gadget/passing plays that Coach AR/MM use, it always seems like the good teams and coordiantors are better prepared and even opponents players state we knew the plays by certain formations,personnel packages,tendancies of the Eagles..

  • Going to a Cover-2 Scheme is just another reason why Marlin “Billie Jean” Jackson will be a Starting Safety on Opening Day for he is very familiar with the schemes for that’s what they played in Indy when he was there under Tony Dungy a couple years ago when he was healthy and a good player

  • Have I missed something, or has G declared a moratorium on reporting on the lockout negotiations? PFT has been blowing up all day. I admit, I may be expecting too much.

  • I think G is on vacation with D-Jax out in Southern California somewhere..

  • nobody mentioned the most important thing
    if u are gonna run cover2
    u better have very good not average front 4
    clearly tampa (over the yrs) chicago and indi all have major front 4s
    u run cover 2 ur front 4 better bring the heat u cant be in zones and the qb has 5 6 seconds to throw i dont care what lbs or safeties u have

  • Hey PW, welcome back, I guess you were in a ‘Lockout” too and hope all is going well for you and your family and your 100% correct, limited or average Pass-Rush spells disaster for a Cover-2 Scheme..
    I am thinking Canadien P Hunt and V Abriamri should supply the heat opposite of T Cole just like LC Greenwodd did for Joe Greene, or that Robert Mathis does for Dwight Freeney or that R Edwards does for Jared Allen of the VIkings.. What you think…

Comments are closed.