Over the past few seasons, there has been a lot of talk about coverage presentation and contours. Primarily, the discussion has been over the influx of two-high alignments in the NFL. Starting with the Rams and Broncos in 2020, the NFL has seen a steady increase in the usage of two Safety contours. Former Broncos Head Coach Vic Fangio is the original architect of the systems that dominate the two-high philosophy. But that doesn’t mean they run Quarters.
At the college level, the use of Quarters as a way to stop the Spread has been well documented. In the early ‘10s, defenses began relying on Quarters to cap vertical routes and combat the QB run games off Zone Read. As an extension of the Triple Option, the Zone Read forced defenses to play in space and hold to option principles. As the Zone Read and the Spread became more popular, offenses evolved to use RPOs that utilized quick screens on the perimeter, a modern-day Triple.
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Fast forward to today, and offenses have become much more complex. Play-action and passing on early downs have proven to be effective ways to stay ahead of the chains. As more defenses have moved to “lighter” personnel groupings, offenses have begun to stockpile hybrid players like TEs or “power” Slots that muscle out smaller defenders. We have seen this story before with the Tampa 2, but this time around, Spread principles have won out. We aren’t going back.