Cover 2 no longer in vogue

Greater emphasis on passing making it tougher for once-popular scheme to flourish

Originally Published: January 12, 2011
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

The Bears' Lovie Smith saved his head-coaching job with the hires of offensive coaches Mike Martz and Mike Tice, but can the successful signing of defensive end Julius Peppers save the Cover 2 defense as we know it?

Peppers was a dominating force in 2010 in Smith's Cover 2 -- against the run and rushing the passer -- but the trend in football is moving away from the pure Cover 2 and the 4-3 scheme. The Houston Texans hired Wade Phillips to switch to the 3-4, becoming the 16th ...

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