COACHING TAPE – WEEK 10 (11/10/08)

Editor’s Note: Welcome to a new blog here on This blog will include the raw notes taken by our own Greg Cosell as he prepares for the Matchup Show on ESPN by analyzing NFL coach’s tape. Greg is Senior Producer of the show, and he’s been a producer at NFL Films for over 20 years. 


  • First NFL start for Quinn: 23-35 for 239 yards, 2 TD, 0 interceptions, 0 sacks
  • Browns ran 64 offensive plays, and controlled the ball for more than 32 minutes
  • Browns 399 total yards, They were 6-14 on third down conversions
  • Browns 5 trips inside the red zone, 3 TD
  • Browns play breakdown: 28 called runs / 36 called passes
  • Broncos starting LBs: SLB Winborn, MLB Webster, WLB Woodyard
  • Lewis 29 yards on first quarter TD drive came out of “22” personnel; DT Thomas blown off the ball, Woodyard too far inside
  • Winslow 5 yard TD on 3rd + 5: Quinn stick throw into a tight window, Loved the willingness of Quinn to make the throw, Great spin move by Dumervil on RT Shaffer to get quick pressure on Quinn
  • Harrison 13 yards on first play of third series came out of full house backfield versus 9 in the box
  • Broncos again struggled with gap discipline on the back side; Overall, Broncos did a poor job of setting the edge in the run game – Broncos much better as the game progressed
  • Quinn did not pull the trigger to a wide Heiden in the end zone on 2nd + 6 from the Broncos 7 yard line: Play action, Heiden wide open on quick seam (that was the design of the play), Quinn looked at Heiden but must not have gotten clear definition – Browns settled for a FG
  • Winslow 16 yard TD on 3rd + 6 in the second quarter: Rub element got Winslow open on his out route, Quinn excellent throw under pressure
  • Quinn good sense of timing and rhythm, Clearly understands the passing game, A plant and throw QB
  • Broncos run defense improved significantly as the game progressed; Their DL was more physical, and that allowed the LBs to run and flow
  • Cribbs 27 yards on third quarter TD drive: Thomas at RT, Quinn shotgun, Cribbs aligned right next to Quinn took direct snap; Great block by pulling Thomas on LB Winborn, Cribbs made LB Koutivides miss
  • Broncos LBs played very well as the game progressed: They were active and fast, They tackled well
  • Winslow 30 yards on fourth quarter TD drive: Rub element got Winslow open quickly at 5 yards, Run after catch; Quinn hurried himself on the throw, Did not need to move
  • Rookie LB Woodyard flashed on film: More physical than I would have anticipated after evaluating him at Kentucky, An excellent tackler, Showed the ability to fight through traffic and find the football
  • Quinn smart, aware, good understanding of his outlets and check downs; Not yet comfortable trying to make downfield throws when it is not wide open – Quinn got a little frenetic as the game progressed, Some unnecessary movement
  • Great play by Bly on the final play: Design of the play was to hit Winslow on a quick throw to his outside, Winslow was the inside receiver in the 3×1 set; CB Bly aligned over #2 receiver Steptoe, He read Quinn and jumped Winslow’s route, That forced Quinn to throw the ball to Winslow’s inside, Tough catch for Winslow when he was expecting the ball to the outside
  • Quinn threw only 4 passes that travelled in the air more than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage – A very conservative approach to the passing game, Browns clearly looked to limit his impact



  • Ravens 67 offensive plays, and controlled the ball for more than 36 minutes
  • Ravens 4 trips inside the red zone, 4 TD
  • Ravens play breakdown: 39 called runs / 28 called passes
  • DT Cochran beat LG Grubbs on first quarter sack: Great use of his left arm plus strength to keep separation from Grubbs; Flacco moved into the pressure
  • Heap 20 yards on first and 10 to start second series came off play action designed movement left by Flacco – Flacco better movement skills than people thought coming out of Delaware
  • Flacco had a chance to hit Mason for the home run on 2nd + 1 on the second series: Mason won to the deep post, but Flacco unnecessary movement produced a late throw and an incompletion
  • Ravens continued to effectively use the unbalanced line, with RT Anderson aligned at TE on the left and TE Heap at RT
  • Rice struggled with pass protection, Lacks physicality and toughness – What also continues to be apparent is that Rice lacks burst and explosiveness as a runner; He’s really more of a physical power runner, yet he lacks the size to do that consistently in the NFL
  • Figurs 43 yard TD the result of a blown coverage: Texans played “Tampa 2” but S Wilson jumped the curl route in front of him and allowed Figurs to run by him to the post
  • McGahee looked quick and decisive, Good downhill instincts
  • Texans interesting concept on 3rd + 9 in the second quarter: They rushed only 2 (both DEs) and played with 9 in coverage (including both DTs, who dropped out); Flacco had nowhere to throw the ball, Left the pocket after 3 ½ seconds (although there was no pressure) and ran , Tackled for no gain
  • Bentley sack in the second quarter: Texans “46” front versus Ravens unbalanced OL, 2 OLBs aligned to the weak side of the OL with Heap at RT – Bentley beat both McClain and pulling LG Grubbs
  • Ravens first drive of the second half: 11 plays, 75 yards, TD
  • Texans again matched up to the Ravens unbalanced OL with the “46” front in the third quarter: McGahee 5 yards
  • Rookie LB Adibi played in the Texans nickel package
  • LT Gaither did an excellent job against DE Williams in pass protection
  • Flacco great timing and anticipation on out routes, especially stop routes to the outside – The other thing that stood out again about Flacco was his downfield focus, Rarely does he perceive pressure and leave the pocket
  • Heap 14 yard TD from Troy Smith: Interesting formation with Gaither and Heap flexed to the right, Flacco split wide left with no OT outside of LG Grubbs
  • Ravens a versatile and balanced offense with the ability to be both efficient and explosive



  • Texans ran 56 offensive plays, but only had the ball for 23:43 minutes
  • Texans only 2 trips inside the red zone, 0 TD
  • Ravens opened in a 3-4 front with a zone blitz from the weak side
  • I still struggle with rookie LT Brown’s pass sets, He’s very stiff and robotic in his movement, Not smooth or fluid
  • Ravens started the second series in a 4-3 front, with Suggs at DE – They clearly play both throughout the course of a game: Suggs, Ngata, Pryce and Johnson are very versatile player swho are effective in both schemes
  • S Reed still a great anticipator, Reads route combinations very well and attacks throws from a deep safety position; He gambles based on instinct, and occasionally gets burned
  • Brown and Salaam still alternating at LT; Clearly, the Texans are not satisfied with the progress being made by Brown – I’m not surprised watching him on film, Brown has major problems with balance and body control
  • Ngata interception in the end zone was an unbelievably athletic play for a man that size: He leaped and tipped Rosenfels pass and then caught the ball, It saved a TD since Daniels was wide open in the back of the end zone
  • Slaton 58 yard TD on a screen called back because of holding on Daniels: Great burst and acceleration by Slaton
  • Jones 45 yards on second quarter FG drive: Jones post route off tight motion; Reed was the safety on that side, He sat low and allowed Jones to run by him in the middle of the field over the top – Sure looked to me like Reed blew the coverage, An example of Reed playing his own game and getting burned
  • Rosenfels a stronger arm than Schaub, but not as refined a sense of timing and anticipation; Also not as quick a decision maker, Takes Rosenfels a little longer to process information – Rosenfels’ clear advantage over Schaub is mobility out of the pocket, He can make plays running with the ball
  • LB Lewis played a terrific game: He’s very quick reacting to what he sees, Intelligence and instincts – Not as fast as he once was, but still made plays all over the field
  • First Lewis interception the result of Ngata quickly beating RG Brisiel and getting quick pressure on Rosenfels; Rosenfels then compounded the problem by throwing under pressure with no definition
  • Walter 60 yard TD came out of “21” straight “I”, Play action max pro, Classic post / cross combination with Walter tight motion so that he could get across the field quicker on his crossing route and Johnson running to the post – Great route by Walter, Poor angle by Reed after the catch
  • Ravens defense a tendency to give up explosive pass plays; Too many breakdowns in coverage, plus a lack of communication
  • Johnson really stood out on film for the Ravens defense, Plays with quickness and speed: Aligned at both LB and DE, Reminds me of Mike Vrabel at his best – Ngata also jumped off the screen: Tremendous quickness for a big man, Explosion



  • Titans ran 71 offensive plays, and controlled the ball for more than 33 minutes
  • Titans 4 trips inside the red zone, 3 TD
  • Collins 30-41 for 289 yards, 2 TD, 0 interceptions, 1 sack
  • Johnson and White combined for 24-22, less than 1 yard per carry
  • Titans play breakdown: 42 called passes / 26 called runs (not counting 2 Collins kneel downs at the end of the game)
  • Roach started at SLB for the Bears, in place of the inactive Hillenmeyer – Graham was the Bears nickel corner, He played over the slot
  • Jones 25 yards on 3rd + 12 in the first quarter: Titans 3 WR personnel versus Bears nickel, Jones in the slot; Bears “2 man” with Graham matched on Jones – Excellent job by Johnson working across the formation to block DE Ogunleye, Great throw by Collins
  • Hall fumbled on 4th and goal from the 1 yard line at the end of the first quarter
  • Jones 16 yards on 3rd + 8 in the second quarter came against “Tampa 2”; No pass rush pressure on Collins, Jones in route in front of Urlacher dropping to deep middle
  • S Brown was a big factor in the run game: Did an excellent job as the 8th man in the box hitting gaps; Also a great job coming from deep and attacking the line of scrimmage, Not accounted for by the OL – Great example was Johnson 7 yard loss in the second quarter
  • Scaife 10 yard TD came against Bears zone blitz with DE Ogunleye dropping into coverage on Scaife’s side, Ogunleye stood in no man’s land doing nothing – Great job by Collins manipulating single high safety Payne
  • Bears at times played a 5-3 front in normal down and distance situations, with SLB Roach aligned on the line of scrimmage and S Brown aligned at LB – It caused some hesitation and confusion in the Titans run blocking concepts
  • Overall, the Bears played a high percentage of 8 man fronts in normal down and distance situations, with many different alignment concepts – Bears a lot of movement with slants and scrapes, That caused problems for the Titans OL
  • Titans started the second half with a 6 play, 56 yard TD drive: 5 of the 6 plays were passes
  • Gage 12 yard TD on 3rd + 3 came out of balanced “12” personnel versus Bears “man free”, Gage beat Vasher’s press coverage off the line of scrimmage
  • A poor performance by the Titans OL, both in terms of individual matchups and cohesion – Titans OL big and strong but not very athletic
  • Bears defense looked quicker and faster than the Titans OL, A mismatch in terms of speed and quickness – Briggs really stood out
  • A very professional performance by Collins: He was poised and calm in the pocket, No sense of playing fast and being hurried, Did not force throws and sustained drives with the passing game



  • Falcons 5-11 on third down conversions
  • Falcons play breakdown: 34 called runs (not counting 2 Ryan kneel downs at end of first half) / 23 called passes
  • Falcons called a fleaflicker on their first play from scrimmage, but the quick penetration by the Saints DT Ellis prevented Turner from tossing the ball back to Ryan
  • Jenkins 13 yards on first quarter TD drive: Jenkins split left as the “x”, White aligned in the backfield as an offset FB
  • White 16 yard TD came out of “12” personnel with White split left and Finneran in a wing TE position on the right; Route combination on the left was White “skinny post” and TE Peelle deep cross with vertical stem to attack S Kaesviharn – White great route to beat Gay, Ryan focal point down the middle to hold Kaeasviharn in the middle – Great throw into a tight window
  • DT Ellis stands out on film: Quickness off the ball, Shows the ability to disengage from OL and find the ball – Unlike Dorsey, who looks slow at the NFL level, Ellis quickness and burst at the college level has transitioned to the NFL
  • Ryan excellent ball location, Accuracy has improved as the season has progressed – Continued to be impressed with his sense of timing and anticipation
  • Falcons integrate run and pass principles and concepts as well as any team in the NFL
  • Turner 20 yards on 3rd + 1: “22” personnel, Straight “I” strong left with both TEs; Saints 4-4 personnel with 9 in the box, No one set the edge and Turner was able to bounce outside
  • Falcons continue to make great use of Norwood as a movable chess piece; He is a significant part of their offense, not just a change of pace back
  • Falcons again used their version of the “Wildcat” formation with Norwood in the shotgun, They used it once in the third quarter and Norwood handed the ball to Turner for 5 yards
  • Falcons featured a lot of “12” personnel with Finneran in a wing TE position, and it was very successful both in the pass game (White TD) and the run game
  • Falcons a very patient offensive approach, yet there is an explosive element to it – Very versatile offense with a lot of formation variation, A lot of different personnel packages
  • Norwood 67 yard TD catch: Ryan in the shotgun flanked by Norwood and Snelling, Scissors cross in the backfield; Saints zone blitz with the pressure coming from the side of the flare pass to Norwood – Great block by WR Robinson, Unbelievable burst and acceleration by Norwood. 



Category: Fantasy Guru Daily


14 Responses

  1. Duh says:

    Great stuff!

  2. Tony says:

    Wow. This is a gold mine.

  3. Gregs da best.Will he cover all da games?

  4. North Dallas says:

    Awesome! great stuff

  5. Staff says:

    He won’t get to every game, mainly the better teams, but most of them. Like he won’t break down the Lions often, for example.

  6. Chad says:

    I joined this site solely for Greg’s insight. He’s the best in the business and gives more than the normal cookie cutter, talking head responses. He really has changed how I watch football, and his knowledge in very influential when I pull off trades in my league.

    Good stuff, keep it up.

  7. Josh says:

    i’ll echo all the other comments…this is phenomenal. I really hope this relationship can continue.

  8. Mark says:

    Thanks for getting this to us, it’s awesome, I love it!!

  9. Anth says:

    Great stuff. Would love to see this on all the games.

  10. Scott says:

    I love the raw element of it. Too bad Greg can’t sneak some of that tape out to post on the site. I probably wouldn’t know what to look for but it would be cool to see after hearing Greg and Adam talk about the differences between tape and TV.

  11. John S says:

    Agreed with the masses. This is top shelf insight. This separates GURU from the also rans.

  12. Dave R says:

    John and Adam have no secret of their personal fondness and professional admiration of Greg. Their weekly podcasts together have been excellent all year. I’m thrilled that John and Adam upped the ante and that John, Adam, and Greg are taking the relationship to the next level. Whomever thought of posting Greg’s notes as a work in progress — something Greg has to prepare every week anyway — should try not to pull a muscle patting himself on the back. Great great job, guys.

    Speaking of taking things to the next level, I would love to see weekly cameo’s from Hodge and/or Jaworski. The Edge NFL Matchup show is by far my favorite football show, and those two gentlemen know what they are talking about and are fun to watch. John and Adam, with a sprinkling of Greg, Merrill, and Ron. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!

    Keep up the outstanding work.

  13. Adam Caplan says:

    Dave: Love the idea and one I’d love us to do but that would come at a high cost number one and both are contractually obligated to ESPN (you would not believe the restrictions they put on their talent to do anything that is not connected with ESPN)–I also think Greg is just as good and you know how strongly we feel about Jaws. Greg learned from him (he’d be the first one to tell you that) and I’m happy we’ve been able to give him a forum for his information. It was actually his idea to post his notes (he ran it by me last week when I was at NFL Films and John loved the idea so we got a fair deal done with both parties this week). One thing we might be able to do is tape something with Jaws later in the season the next time I’m visiting with them at NFL Films and put it on the site if it’s OK with them.

  14. Adam Caplan says:

    BTW, I will make a thread on the main subscriber forum regarding questions for Greg for the Thursday podcast. Look for that on Wednesday evening.

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