Cosell’s Coaching Tape: 9/14/09 Note

Our NFL film and matchup guru Greg Cosell is back to share his raw notes while breaking down coaches tape at NFL Films.



v     Steelers began with a quick tempo passing game, Get Roethlisberger comfortable – A high percentage of 2 TE sets on the first couple of possessions

v     Wallace and Sweed were the 3rd + 4th receivers; Wallace was the 3rd WR ahead of Sweed – Wallace great vertical speed, Ate up the cushion on corners and safeties in a heartbeat

v     Fuller was the Titans nickel corner

v     DT Jones flashed: Power, strength and explosiveness; An excellent inside pass rusher – He was dominant at times against the interior of the Steelers OL, Played with relentless effort

v     Steelers initial game plan was 2 TE sets, and tight formations

v     Titans LB corps active and physical

v     Parker did not have the same burst and explosion he had in the past -Also too tentative and not decisive

v     Titans secondary is physical, and they tackle

v     Roethlisberger very accurate, Consistently excellent ball location

v     Titans DL very disciplined with their gap integrity, and they all use their hands effectively – Titans DTs did not get moved in the run game

v     Holmes great explosiveness both laterally and vertically, Great explosion out of his breaks

v     Steelers predominant 3×1 sets out of 3 WR personnel, with Holmes always the “x” receiver (the single WR)

v     Steelers went no huddle with 1:08 left in the third quarter; They did it with “11” personnel (1 back, 1 TE and 3 WR)

v     Steelers guards Kemoeatu and Essex were consistently handled by the Titans DTs

v     Steelers no huddle was run out of “11” personnel (1 back, 1 TE and 3 WR); Moore was the primary back, Wallace was the third WR – Moore excellent at blitz recognition and execution

v     Steelers OL a big question mark, especially in the run game

v     Titans did not generate any consistent pressure on Roethlisberger on the Steelers final 3 drives; Plus a lot of openings in their zone coverage schemes

v     Roethlisberger showed great patience in the pocket on the final 3 drives, plus he did not force any questionable throws down the field

v     Titans very soft in the secondary on the final 3 Steelers drives, A high percentage of zone coverage with a lot of voids

v     Roethlisberger clearly comfortable in the shotgun spread with 3 WRs (and Moore as the primary back): Will the Steelers incorporate more of that into their offense as the season progresses? Will they evolve into the Patriots, and utilize the shotgun spread as their staple?

v     Roethlisberger on the final 3 drives: 16-18, 161 yards, 13 of those 18 passes came out of the shotgun


v     Fox started at ILB in place of the injured and inactive Timmons

v     Polamalu the most explosive defensive player in the NFL: No one gets from point A to point B faster, and with more body control

v     Johnson one of the few backs in the NFL who can outrun angles

v     Harrison outstanding change of direction and lateral explosiveness, plus he’s incredibly strong

v     Steelers defense can be attacked on the perimeter in the pass game with out-routes and comebacks

v     Keisel physically stout against the run: Plays with upper body leverage and excellent footwork – Plus excellent down the line quickness

v     Hoke played some snaps at NT, Kirschke played snaps at DE; Rookie Hood did not get on the field

v     Titans look to attack with the deep pass when they get into the “go zone”, between the 40 yard lines

v     Titans passing game is not conservative, They consistently run vertical routes and look to get the ball downfield – Collins a smart, savvy QB still capable of making all the throws

v     Johnson needs work on his blitz recognition and execution

v     Britt needs work on exploding out of his breaks, Tendency to throttle down when he breaks and gather himself; That doesn’t work in the NFL – Britt will play a significant role in the Titans pass game as the season progresses

v     Titans offense had a good feel for the tempo of the Steelers defense; The Steelers defense did not dictate either from a physical or tactical standpoint

v     Carter replaced an injured Polamalu in the second half

v     Titans utilized a lot of slot formation to Harrison’s side to remove him from the box: Steelers are a predominant zone team, so their tendency is to walk Harrison out rather than align a safety over the slot

v     Mundy was the Steelers 6th DB when they used their dime personnel

v     Steelers went “cover zero” on 2nd + 8 in the fourth quarter, You never see that from LeBeau – It was the only snap of “cover zero” in the game

v     LeBeau increased his blitz frequency in the fourth quarter looking to dictate, and it was successful: On a number of snaps, a rusher was clean to Collins

v     Even though the Titans only scored 10 points, there was no sense watching the tape that the Steelers defense dominated this game


v     Jaguars opened with a 3-4 front, Harvey stood up at OLB – Jaguars moved Harvey, aligning him on both sides

v     Once Gonzalez got hurt, the Colts, when they went with 3 WR personnel, had Garcon split wide and Collie in the slot

v     Rookie RB Brown understood blitz recognition and execution

v     Brackenridge was the Jaguars nickel corner, aligned over the slot

v     Jaguars played a 3-4 defense on every snap on the Colts first 2 possessions: Harvey and Groves were the OLBs, They moved them both from side to side

v     Jaguars first 4 man DL came on the first play of the Colts third possession: Heyward sack

v     S Nelson more aggressive attacking downhill than in previous seasons

v     Jaguars played a 4 man DL on every snap on the Colts 2nd quarter TD, with Harvey at DE

v     Rookie WR Collie very fluid and smooth as a route runner from the slot

v     Colts stayed with 3 WR personnel throughout the game, with Collie in the slot and Garcon in the Marvin Harrison position

v     Both Collie and Garcon very willing blockers in the run game: Effort and physicality

v     Colts had 3 long first half possessions, and the Jaguars DL was clearly tired in the second half; They got no pass rush push against the Colts no huddle offense

v     Wayne 35 yd TD really showed S Considine’s lack of range, He should have made that play – That’s a significant weakness in the Jaguars secondary

v     Colts ran the ball to Clark’s side a high percentage of the time, It was often away from slot; Clark did a good job blocking linebackers

v     Brown was the back when the Colts got the ball with 5:17 left in the game and the Colts leading by 2

v     Other than short yardage, the Jaguars only played 10 snaps of 4-3, and they were all on the Colts second quarter TD drive

v     Harvey and Groves showed little ability to rush the QB

v     CB Cox very solid in coverage against Wayne; The Jaguars play a lot of quarters and single high, so Cox was consistently matched up on Wayne on outside isolation routes and he did a good job – Wayne’s numbers made it look like Cox had a tough day, but that’s not what the film showed

v     The fact that the Jaguars predominantly played a 3-4 defense sets up an interesting matchup against the Dolphins, also a predominant 3-4 defense; Jaguars played a soft 3-4, with little blitzing


v     DT Jenkins aligned at LB and rushed the QB on 3rd + 12 on the Texans first series (That’s the way Ryan used Ngata last season with the Ravens)

v     Ryan outstanding job with zone exchange principles: Rushing second level defenders and dropping DL out in coverage, but only rushing 4 – That’s the difference between zone exchange and zone blitz: A zone exchange concept is only a 4 man rush

v     Scott very fast getting from point A to point B, maybe as quick as any LB in the league

v     Jets got Schaub playing fast by the end of the first quarter, They hit him hard on the second play of the game and again on the second series and he was clearly conscious of getting the ball out of his hands before he got hit – Schaub perceived pressure early as a result of the Jets pressure

v     Revis did a great job on Johnson when he had safety help over the top;  He got underneath Johnson and tailgated, showing great speed – You can only allow a WR to run by you, as Revis did, when you have help over the top

v     The other thing is that when you have a S playing over the top, Revis can play press and disrupt Johnson’s release – Great tactic by the Jets, especially with Walter inactive

v     What was interesting was that Revis, the few snaps in the game he did have Johnson man-to-man with ho help, clearly did not fear Johnson’s speed

v     DL Pouha an excellent job stacking and shedding blocks in the run game

v     Gholston started to show a little more explosion as a pass rusher, Could see some athletic ability – He finally showed some flashes, but he’s still not a naturally explosive mover

v     Jets defense about deception and disruption, They create chaos – The mental part just as critical as the physical part

v     Rookie free agent Westerman more naturally explosive than Gholston as an edge pass rusher; Westerman will get more snaps as the season progresses

v     S Smith stood out as a nickel defender, both as a LOS run defender and in pass coverage

v     This was a major butt whipping, The Texans could not run their offense at all, No rhythm and tempo


v     Rookie Barwin aligned at DE in the Texans nickel package, Also played snaps in the base 4-3

v     Sanchez already has a refined sense of timing and anticipation

v     Keller is the movable chess piece in the Jets’ offense, Jets moved him around to dictate matchups – On his 40 yd catch in the 4th quarter, Keller was split wide and matched against S Ferguson

v     Jets ran the “Wildcat” with Washington, They ran it out of an unbalanced line with Ferguson at TE on the right and Keller at LT

v     Sanchez consistently accurate in the short to intermediate area

v     Texans front seven excellent job both maintaining gaps and stalemating blocks in the run game

v     Jets a lot of snaps with 6 OL on the field, Clearly a significant part of their game plan

v     What I really like about Sanchez is that he sets his feet on balance off pocket movement, and maintains his downfield focus

v     Stuckey is the Jets slot receiver: He’s outstanding in the slot because of his quickness and lateral explosiveness

v     Rookie LB Cushing an impressive player: Good lateral movement, Physical attacking downhill, Instinctive and aware

v     Stuckey’s 30 yd TD came against a blown coverage: Based on the 6 man rush, it should have been “cover zero” but CB Bennett and nickel corner McCain played zone and allowed Stuckey to run right by them

v     A really well called game by OC Schottenheimer: Got Sanchez comfortable early with screens and short passes to build confidence, then did a great job anticipating the Texans defenses in specific down and distance situations – Also Schottenheimer a high percentage of maximum protection

v     Barwin used at both DE and LB: Very good straight line speed, but struggled with change of direction

v     Sanchez a poised and aware QB; Defenses must pressure him and force him to play fast, which he has a tendency to do in reaction to color and blitz

v     Sanchez on 3rd down: 11-14, 186 yds, TD

v     Jets ran the ball on 18 of 26 1st + 10 plays


v     Manning was the Bears nickel corner, aligned in the slot

v     Rodgers throws the ball really well between the numbers, with a lot of velocity and accuracy

v     Packers OL struggled with pass protection, Too many bodies around Rodgers – The quickness of the Bears front four at times was problematic

v     Packers a very multi-dimensional passing game: They attack vertically as much as any team in the NFL, primarily off play action and often off Rodgers designed movement

v     Bears CB Vasher can be attacked in the pass game: He plays soft to compensate for his lack of speed, and he struggles with change of direction on vertical routes

v     RT Barbre really struggled with both quickness off the edge and the bull rush: Will the Packers have to protect Barbre as the season progresses? If yes, that would limit what McCarthy wants to do offensively from a personnel and formation standpoint

v     Packers offense did not get into a rhythm, and Rodgers is a timing and rhythm QB – Rodgers not as accurate as usual, He never seemed to get comfortable in the pocket

v     Packers started to run the ball with success in the third quarter with Urlacher out; They predominantly ran of tight formations, with 2 backs and 2 TEs

v     McCarthy in the second half was calling pass plays just to get the ball out of Rodgers’ hands quickly, He clearly did not trust his OL – That essentially removed the WRs from the game

v     Packers pass protection allowed too many clean rushers at Rodgers – Packers a volume offense with multiple personnel and formations, and that places a premium on pass protection

v     Vasher beaten on Jennings 50 yd game winning TD; The Bears went single  high on 3rd + 1 and Vasher was matched on the outside against Jennings

v     Overall, the Packers offense was not sharp, the main reason being they struggled to block the Bears in the pass game


v     WR Williams looked much quicker than last season, Much better getting off press coverage, Better lateral quickness and explosion, More vertical speed

v     TE Bennett an excellent in-line blocker in the run game, Handled DEs with both position and physicality – I think you’ll see the Cowboys run game get on the perimeter more this season, which will benefit Felix Jones

v     Bennett used as a movable chess piece in the Cowboys’ offense, A lot of 2 TE packages with Bennett and Witten on the field together

v     Cowboys really condensed their offense from last season in terms of personnel and formations, Not much spread other than as a change-up and they usually had Witten and Bennett on the field together

v     Talib lacks recovery speed, Not very good in press position because he struggles to turn and run

v     Bucs DL not very good, They cannot exert pressure on the QB; Adams still plays too high and loses his quickness and burst, plus his effort is a big question

v     Bucs nickel corner Mack a liability in man-to-man coverage, especially in press position; Bucs cannot play press coverage with any regularity in their nickel because both Mack and Talib are liabilities

v     Phillips has no range from a deep safety position, Very evident on Williams 66 yd TD – Phillips can be exploited by offenses’ use of personnel and formation

v     Sabitelli also has range issues, Sabitelli and Phillips can both be exploited; It’s a problem for the Bucs defense

v     The only 2 guys who stood out on film on the Bucs defense were LB Hayes and CB Barber

v     Bennett was used like a WR, almost exclusively extended from the formation

v     Romo looked more patient, more composed and relaxed in the pocket, less frenetic and chaotic

v     What said a lot about the new Cowboys offense was after the Bucs had a long drive to make it 20-14 in the 4th quarter, Dallas came out with “22” personnel (2 backs and 2 TEs) on the first play

v     This was one of the best games Romo ever played from a consistency of execution standpoint play after play; The Cowboys coaching staff helped him tremendously with the use of personnel and formations – Romo was kept under control and managed, He was not an individual play QB as he has been throughout his career but rather a professional QB who played with precision from play one through play 52

Category: Fantasy Guru Daily


14 Responses

  1. JBeau says:

    This is a great blog.

  2. Stretch says:

    G.Cosell always say what you see on tape does not lie. So based on the infomation you have on the Bucs D. I’m definitely going to start T.Edwards & L.Evans in week 2 at home against the Bucs.

    Greg, I trust what you see on tape. Because I need it. I’m already 0-1.

    Thanks again for that game within the game info.

  3. JOOCE says:

    Love this stuff. Will we get the rest of the games as well?

  4. John Hansen says:

    He gets to many games, but not all.

  5. Bill Cervi says:

    That is some of the best analysis and information that I have read in my 20+ years playing FF. Good show!

  6. Chris says:

    Outstanding shit.

  7. Frank says:

    Sign Greg for the longest term deal that you can. Whatever the price. The guy is truly special and elite ;)

  8. Mark says:

    Great analysis. I want more! Is there more? What Mr. Cosel says is worth the price of this subscription to this website. Excellent.


  9. Burton says:

    This is great! Gives people that want to learn more about real football a chance to get into the game.

    Wish I knew how bad S.Jackson’s outlook is going to be… I had to turn the game off, as I couldn’t stand watching it. Why the heck didn’t they throw the ball to him? If nobody accepts my trade offers this week, then please let him have a good week, week 2!

  10. ditka85 says:

    Mr. Cosell is a very busy man. Truly a stroke of genius to add him to the staff even if you only get fraction of his time. 10% of Cosell is better than none at all. Thanx again John!

  11. PackFan says:

    This is good stuff, a very enjoyable read. Thank you.

    What the heck is “cover zero”?

  12. JOOCE says:

    I believe cover zero is man defense, one DB for each receiver, no help over the top, the rest are blitzing.

  13. PackFan says:

    Thanks JOOCE … your explanation makes sense.

    Not surprising then, to read where it wasn’t used a whole lot during the game; with that kind of 1 on 1 coverage, the Steeler blitz had better get to the QB sooner than later.

  14. Adam Caplan says:

    Zero coverage is no safety help in the back end.

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