Safety Technique





“PAT” Tech


PAT technique is a DB technique that we normally play when we call a high pressure cover zero scenario. Some coaches call it ‘catch” , some coaches call it off man but the way that PAT tech is played and how we teach it really helps the defensive backs stay patient while patting his feet and being able to read the inside hip of the receiver. In Arizona, the rule states that we can make contact with the receiver when the quarterback still has two handle the football. So, our job is to impede any type of quick route while bringing pressure and make sure that we can jump on a quick route and make sure the quarterback keeps two hands on the football. Everything in Pat technique should be perfect especially when you’re playing a quarterback who gets it off right away. The following out is how I teach PAT Tech to our backs and safeties and some fundamentals to follow installing it.


Stance is very important when playing pat technique, it really helps the DB move laterally attack, downhill, and really do anything that we need to do when we are in this technique.

1. First when lining up against the receiver , we must be lining up 7 to 8 yards inside shade of our designated man.

2. The defense of backs feet should be shoulder width apart with the pressure on the inside of his feet.

3. Feet should be parallel to each other.

4. The back should be in a half squat.

5. Big chest and shoulders back

6. Eyes up

On the Snap

What we are looking for when the ball is snapped, is for the defensive back to pat his feet in a steady motion. What it does is, it makes sure that the player has his feet moving and not stuck in the mud when the receiver makes a break. The feet must be moving together. I.E., padding up and down together instead of one at a time. When the feet padding together it makes sure that when the backs feet touch the ground, he can push off the inside of either foot to create the wall.

Teaching Process

When teaching the drill, it must be done in phases to ensure proper execution. Make sure we have a step over behind each player. Make sure each bag is paired up with the receiver at 7 yards from them. And then make sure the back is lined up inside shade of that receiver.

1. The first thing we want to do is have the DB stand 7 yards from the receiver with his hands behind his back. We want the receiver to run a post route. When the receiver breaks towards a post route on the 3rd or 4th step when they plant the leg in the ground, we want the DB to react and push off the inside foot towards the inside of the receiver trying to maintain leverage and keep his chest in front of the receiver, finally colliding with his chest.

2. Make sure the DB shoulders stay square as he pushes off his inside foot so can collide his chest. We cannot let the receiver run through the gate or open the door for the receiver to run his route. We need to try to impede the receiver, then once we impede, we can turn and run.

3. Have the receiver run a corner or a post route and have the DB work both directions without using his hands, just moving his feet laterally pushing off his inside foot

4. Repeat the same drill now letting the defensive back hang his hands in a fighting position. When the receiver runs the corner or the post route the DB must react off the route and then when the coach yells “hands” . Then DB must then push off his inside foot, get chest to chest and then be physical with his hands causing a jam.

5. Make sure the DB does not go backwards into the step over and that he moves lateral first

Short Routes

PAT technique could also be used against short routes, slants and outs. Have the receiver run slants or outs instead of corners and posts. When the receiver takes his break step on the short routes have the DB pat and then mirror the brakes ste