Football nerdism of the week: When a DB should turn to play the ball in coverage

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Here at the Cus Words Blog we love nothing more than a little in-depth inside football talk.

With the Ohio State defense having a tendency to absorb too many pass interference calls early this season, defensive coordinator was asked a common question: Why don’t his DBs turn to look for the ball more?

Defensive coordinator Greg Schiano explained this week:

“If you are in position, we call it an advantaged position, where you’re even with a receiver or on top of a receiver, then you’ll need to locate. That’s the verbiage (for turning to find the ball). If you’re behind him, then you don’t because all you’re going to see is somebody celebrating over your shoulder because they’re going to catch the ball. Now, part of it is why are you behind? Why are you trailing? Some coverages are designed that way and some aren’t. The ones that aren’t, now you’re going to be on top of ’em, and that helps.

“So there’s not one single issue, but I’ve watch every play that our corners have played this year very closely. I’ve sat down with Coach Coombs because if there’s an issue, we’ll fix it, but I don’t think we’re far off.”

This is a common question, so I thought it was worth sharing for now and future reference.

His answer is similar to one from Nick Saban a few years back.

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