Home | Articles | Film Room | New York Jets film room: Defensive back switching | Sabo’s Sessions

New York Jets film room: Defensive back switching | Sabo’s Sessions

Sabo's Sessions, Brian Poole, Marcus Maye
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

You see it every Sunday, but just how to NFL defensive backs handle switching? We break down Gregg Williams’s New York Jets defense.

You, that diehard NFL fan, witness it every Sunday. You may not exactly know what you’re witnessing, but it’s there.

Defensive backs need to communicate now, more than ever, thanks to rub principles that have invaded the league over the last two decades. Switching when defending pass requires communication and responsibility. Fortunately, it’s become a bit easier thanks to Nick Saban.

Saban, the then-Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator, had a problem that needed wrestling in the early 1990s. His defense required an extra guy in the box yet he knew his guys weren’t good enough to cover man-to-man (Cover 1). On top of that, when he went Cover 3, four verts would burn him.

Jets Cover 3

Playing three deep against four verts just does not make much sense, so Saban went to work on what would become pattern-match zone. Instead of thinking zone defense as a strict, drop or run to an area-type coverage, reads and responsibilities would creep into every cover man’s thought process.

This way, if four verts happened against a Cover 3, every route would be covered.

Each defensive back has a first and secondary read (at the very least). For instance, the slot cornerback would first read the slot receiver while his second read would be the X or the No. 1 receiver on that side:

Slot CB Reads

The outside corner’s responsibilities will be the exact opposite:

Jets X-Factor Membership
Sorry, the content stops here if you’re not a Jet X Member, not currently logged-in, or viewing from an outside source such as Google AMP or an RSS Feed where logged-in status is not possible.

Get Started with the button below to access this Jets X-Factor article and the best damn New York Jets content in the world for free (after becoming a member, search for this article near the bottom of the Membership Confirmation page):
Jets X-Factor, Get Started
Log In with the button below if you’re already a member:
Jets X-Factor, Log In
Connect with the button below if you’d like to create a free account first:
Jets X-Factor, Connect

Want More Jet X?

Subscribe to become a Jet X Member to unlock every piece of Jets X-Factor content (film breakdowns, analytics, Sabo with the Jets, etc.), get audio versions of each article, receive the ability to comment within our community, and experience an ad-free platform experience.

Download the free Jet X Mobile App to get customizable notifications directly to your iOS (App Store) or Android (Google Play) device.

Sign up for Jet X Daily, our daily newsletter that's delivered to your inbox every morning at 8:00 a.m. ET.

Add Jets X-Factor to your Google News feed and/or find us on Apple News to stay updated with the New York Jets.

Follow us on X (Formerly Twitter) @jetsxfactor for all the latest New York Jets news, Facebook for even more, Instagram for some of the top NY Jets images, and YouTube for original Jets X-Factor videos.

Related Articles

About the Author

More From Author


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments