You want more cover-2 from the Pittsburgh Steelers defense in 2015? Well, by the sound of things, you just might get your wish.
Wednesday, Adam Crowley of Steelers Nation Radio talked to defensive coordinator Keith Butler and he asked him specifically about the use of more cover-two in 2015.
Butler on cover 2, "It's going to be a big part of what we do this year."
— Adam Crowley (@adamcrowleySNR) July 29, 2015
“It’s going to be a big part of what we do, but it’s not going to be the only thing we do,” Butler told Crowley. “We’re going to do some of the things we did last year. Some things will be a bit different. The cover-2 part of it will be there, too, to help us out, but we’re going to do a lot of different things.”
So, will the cover-2 be part of three and four-man fronts?
“Well, it will be several things,” Butler told Crowley. “It could be either or. It could be three-man, four-man, false blitzes – stuff like that. There’s a lot of different ways to run cover-2.”
Why make that a part of the defense this year?
“We’ll, because we feel like we need to do what we can do and what our players do best and we feel like right now, we put a lot of draft choices in our front seven and it will probably enhance what they do,” Butler told Crowley.
Personally, I’m a bit surprised by Butler’s admission. In fact, I’ll believe it when I see it.
The Steelers defense isn’t a stranger to running cover-2 over the years, they just haven’t run a lot of it. They’ve mainly been a cover-1 and cover-3 defense over the top of either zone or man coverages with some cover-2 and cover-6 sprinkled in.
The Steelers gave up quite a few explosive passing plays last season and it’s obvious that they want to improve on that in 2015. Additionally, opposing offenses have shown over the course of the last several years that they’re not afraid to throw underneath against the Steelers off coverages on early downs. Using more cover-2 on early downs would help protect against the shorter out throws as the cornerbacks will be playing much closer to the line of scrimmage.
We still have several weeks to go before the start of the regular season and we’ll be watching closely for more cover-2 between now and then.