Breske's coverages: Anything but predictable

THE PENDULUM HAS swing towards high powered offenses in college football, with defenses trying to catch up. The most successful offenses always have one thing in common – keeping the defense off balance. In his first year at Washington State, defensive coordinator Mike Breske wants to start tilting that balance back toward his D.

Somewhat lost in the discussion about the move to the 3-4 defense -- what coverage will the Cougs marry with their new front? It turns out, in talking with defensive coordinator Breske, that's not exactly the right question.

You have to change the word "coverage" to "coverages."

Will the Cougs run a fair amount of Cover-4?

"That's been my package in the past, to go quarters -- but we will be multiple in the back end," said Breske.

That includes a coverage some fans think is relatively new. But it's a coverage that has its roots with the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s – the Tampa 2.

"We are going to get to more Tampa 2 than they've had in the past here," said Breske. "And we'll do three deep in zone. And were going to play some man to man, too."

How much the Cougs play man coverage, as well as the other schemes, will be determined by their ability to play it, said Breske. Spring ball, which starts in less than a month, figures to be the first step in pulling back that curtain.

But it will only be a first step, said Breske.

"Spring will certainly help us evaluate them, but two-a-days (in fall camp) is when we'll get into our two deeps … the most important thing is we need to emphasize our assets and not our liabilities," said Breske.

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