Cosell’s Coaching Tape: 9/16/09 Notes


v     TE Winslow great movement skill, Looked like a big WR running routes – Cannot allow him to release cleanly from the conventional LOS TE position

v     Leftwich really spun it well, Ball came out with good velocity

v     Jenkins started at RCB for the Cowboys; Scandrick was the nickel corner, aligned over the slot

v     Williams ran hard with excellent pad level, Good leg drive; Good short area quickness and burst – Williams ran over S Hamlin on his 3rd carry

v     LB James really struggled in the run game

v     The majority of the Bucs runs attacked the middle of the Cowboys defense

v     Cowboys a lot of movement before the snap to match up to offensive shifting and motion; They got caught a number of times being misaligned, and not in position to play the called defense

v     Bryant 30 yards on in-breaking route came on 1st and 10 out of a balanced 2 TE set versus 8 in the box, “cover 3”; 8 man protection

v     Bryant a very professional route, Good understanding of coverage and how to break it down

v     Leftwich overthrew Bryant on what would have a TD on the final play of the first half

v     I thought Leftwich saw things very clearly; He left some plays on the field because of his erratic accuracy, but he was locked in mentally

v     Ware aligned predominantly on the open side of the formation, on the opposite side of the TE – That’s how the Cowboys have utilized him in recent seasons

v     Cowboys did not exert any pass rush pressure on Leftwich; Ware was not a factor as a pass rusher – Their zone coverage schemes were soft, They left a lot of voids

v     Ware blocked by TE Winslow on Ward 22 yds in the third quarter

v     Cowboys played predominantly “quarters” and ¼, ¼, ½ on first and 10

v     I believe Winslow will become a much more significant part of the Bucs passing game as the season progresses; He still has excellent movement skills, and can attack the vertical seams

v     Watkins replaced an injured Sensabaugh at S for the Cowboys

v     CB Jenkins can be targeted in the pass game: He’s not a confident corner right now, He’s playing defensively

v     Faine injured in the fourth quarter, replaced by Compas; That’s a significant loss for the Bucs OL – Bucs OL a very good run blocking unit; A good pass protecting group when the offense is on schedule and they can throw in normal down and distance situations


v     LT McKinnie not a very stout or physical run blocker, Tendency to play too high

v     Poteat was the nickel back for the Browns; When they went dime, S Adams was the sixth DB

v     Browns defense clearly game planned to play 8 in the box in normal down and distance situations; Peterson was the focus, not Favre – The Vikings formations dictated that at times, particularly when they aligned with 2 TEs

v     Harvin moves powerfully for an explosive guy, He will effective catching the ball in the middle of the field; A toughness and physicality to his game

v     Harvin aligned primarily in the slot

v     Shiancoe the movable chess piece in the Vikings offense, Shifting and motion

v     There was a snap late in the second quarter in which the Browns aligned NT Rogers at MLB and blitzed from the inside – That’s a clear trend in the league right now; The Ravens do it with Ngata, the Jets did it with Jenkins against Houston

v     WR Rice not very quick or explosive, but he’s a long strider with vertical build up speed, especially when he has free access; Would not surprise me to see Rice utilized more on go routes versus 8 in the box as the season progresses

v     Vikings good mix of personnel and formations, especially to run the ball: They spread the field with 3 WR looks, although it was often Shiancoe in the slot or split wide, and they also used a good percentage of tight 2 TE formations

v     C Sullivan not a strong and powerful run blocker, More finesse and positioning than strength

v     Peterson unbelievable stop and start quickness and explosion; He goes from 0 to 60 in a heartbeat, which is extraordinary for a man his size

v     Peterson run breakdown – One back sets: 15-165; two back sets: 10-15 (5 in the red zone)

v     Vikings first and 10 play breakdown: 13 called runs for 130 yds, including Peterson’s 64 yd TD; 12 called passes: Favre 4-10, 22 yds, 2 sacks


v     CB Hall came inside over the slot in the Redskins nickel package to match up to Smith

v     Manningham good quickness and explosion off the ball when he had free access

v     Orakpo showed quickness and explosion of the line when aligned at DE in the Redskins nickel package – Also showed some power, initially driving LT Diehl back on a number of rushes

v     Haynesworth aligned at DE a number of times in the Redskins nickel, just like he did last year with the Titans

v     Jacobs incredible lateral agility for a 265 pound man, Made an unblocked CHB Hall miss in the open field

v     Redskins had 5 DL on the Manningham 30 yd TD; They played “cover zero” with the corners off, which allowed the completion to Manningham on the quick throw

v     S Landry really flashed: Physical, relentless, and fast – Redskins played him closer to the line of scrimmage in this game on a number of snaps and he was very active in run support

v     Rookie WR Nicks not very explosive off the line, even when he had free access

v     Doughty replaced Horton at S in the second half; I don’t think Horton was hurt because he came in for a snap in the third quarter, playing with Doughty and Landry in a 3 safety package

v     Horton played in the fourth quarter; In their dime package, the Redskins played with 3 safeties, which is something they did last year as well

v     What stands out about Haynesworth, besides his obvious strength, is his quickness and agility; He has great movement skills

v     Orakpo struggled with recognition and reaction at OLB, but showed excellent pass rush ability at DE

v     Doughty flashed: Instincts and effort, A relentless motor, Always around the ball

v     Bradshaw a strong inside runner, Runs with physicality and toughness – He’s not a scatback in his style of running

v     CB Hall a liability in coverage, Gives way too much cushion and plays soft; He’s also a poor tackler

v     Smith an excellent slot receiver; That’s his best role, which is why the development of Manningham and/or Nicks is critical as the season progresses


v     Saints opened the game in a 3-4 defense, with Mitchell and Vilma at ILB

v     Saints played both 3-4 and 4-3 fronts; In the 3-4, Ellis was the NT

v     McCray a wild card in the Saints defense, a movable chess piece: He aligned at DE and also at LB – McCray gives DC Williams versatility with his fronts, alignments and personnel

v     Gay was the Saints nickel corner, playing over the slot

v     Every once in a while with Stafford, the ball does not come out clean; It has some wobble to it

v     Vilma showed excellent range, sideline-to-sideline pursuit

v     Stafford struggled at times with both his processing of information and recognition of coverages, and with his accuracy – An erratic performance

v     Rookie Jenkins replaced an injured Porter in the third quarter: The first play was a 3rd + 6 and the Saints were in their dime package; Jenkins was aligned on Calvin Johnson on the outside, and he was beaten for a 64 yard completion – Jenkins not very fluid in his movement for an NFL corner

v     Stafford showed some of the concerns I saw at Georgia: Inconsistent lower body mechanics that caused off-balance throws, which led to accuracy issues

v     When Stafford got what he anticipated from the play call and he had time and space in the pocket, his throwing skills were evident

v     Hargrove flashed on the Saints DL, He played inside at DT: Showed quickness and burst

v     Lions OL struggled with pass protection, Not a very athletic unit

v     Saints defense more aggressive, more versatile from a front and pressure standpoint

v     Stafford needs to be firmer in the pocket, which he showed at Georgia; Against the Saints, he had a tendency to fall away from some throws – You can’t do that in the NFL


v     The Saints came out and spread the field in their first drive of the game using multiple different sets and formations (Shockey and Thomas aligned in the slot and split wide at times) – New Orleans was able to march down the field versus the Lions shaky defense and then incorporated some base, running formations and ran the football some

v     Brees does an excellent job moving within the pocket to extend the play on their 3rd Down play inside the Red-Zone, allowing him to step up and deliver a pass to Marques Colston for a opening drive TD – Brees has as good a feel for the game as any QB in the NFL

v     It is extremely difficult for opposing defenses to get to Brees because of how precisely he plays the QB position – Brees does not hold onto the football and does a good job of getting the ball out of his hands quickly and normally to the right receiver

v     Brees is a timing and rhythm QB who does an excellent job of getting the football to his receivers on time, reducing the chances of defenders getting to him prior to throwing the football – Tremendous movement within the pocket, while staying on balance and making accurate throws down the field (Long TD pass in 2nd Half versus the Lions)

v     New Orleans runs a lot of different variations from their base personnel, with both spreading the field and running the football which allows them to keep defenses off balance

v     RB Bell runs with a very good combination of speed/quickness and physicality; Good downhill runner who makes decisive cuts and gets up the field quickly and immediately – Has excellent feet; Make quick, sharp cuts and runs hard

v     Looking ahead at Week 2, the most intriguing aspect of this match-up is the active Eagles defense versus the complex and dominant Saints offense

v     Rookie S Delmas is a very aggressive player who flies around the field and does an excellent job of attacking the ball in the run and pass game; He can be exploited and beaten in the passing game because of his aggressive style, but he will be a tempo setter for the Lions defense – He plays with noticeable physicality and excellent athleticism, which is seen in his ability to cover a lot of ground in coverage

v     Brees is unparalleled reading defenses and making immediate decisions  where to throw the football once the defense makes its move

v     The Saints OL is average at best, but because Brees plays with such tempo they were able to keep him protected for majority of the game, but they will have a much stiffer task in dealing with the Eagles week 2.

v     LT Bushrod (who is starting for the injured Brown) struggled in pass protection; He got beat by both power and speed


v     Baltimore started the game in an unbalanced set with RT Oher aligned on the left side next to LT Gaither; It consisted of base personnel with 2 RB’s (McClain and Rice) – They ran a play-action pass with a Post/Cross element with their 2 receivers, but the Chiefs secondary played the receiver routes well and Flacco did a good job of pulling the ball down and running with it.

v     Baltimore ran 6 play-action passes to start the game

v     The Ravens like to design big plays from their running formations with a good majority of them coming from either a heavy or unbalanced formation

v     Flacco threw the ball a good amount on 1st and 10; Flacco went 9 of 13 for 90 yards when throwing on 1st Down (going 7 of 10 for 78 yards on 1st down when using a play-action element to the play), and 5 of those passes went for 10 yards or more

v     Baltimore has a deceptive and explosive screen game off of their play-action pass looks – Very effective and efficient screen team

v     Ravens OL played very solid against the Chiefs in both the running and passing game and they utilized a lot of unbalanced alignments in their passing game to help protect Flacco and give him time to make throws down the field with his powerful arm

v     Rookie RT Oher played an excellent game and was very impressive in both the running game and pass blocking; Oher plays with good physicality in how he attacks defenders when engaging blocks in the running and passing game – Oher does a good job of playing under control, and clearly has a good combination of power/strength and speed/quickness

v     DT Ngata was used as an additional OT/TE in one of the Ravens goal line sets/formations to give Baltimore 7 total lineman, including Ngata – Expect to see more of this formation down the road and for Ngata to have his own package where he runs a few routes from an eligible alignment/position

v     Baltimore ran a lot of their plays out of base sets with only 2 WRs on the field

v     Another versatile aspect of the Ravens offense is how they can use certain players in multiple positions – McClain aligned at RB, FB, and even at TE, which gives the Ravens several different looks for opposing defenses

v     Flacco has surprising movement skills when he is required to improvise due to defensive pressure or his receivers are not open

v     When Flacco aligned under center versus the Chiefs, every pass play but 3 the Ravens used a play-action element to it; Baltimore likes to incorporate play-action into their pass plays when under center, but generally used a basic drop when aligned in the shotgun

v     Chiefs OLB Hali flashed numerous times, showing an excellent combination of speed and quickness to beat blockers to pressure Flacco -Hali showed quick, explosive moves to get to the QB

v     Baltimore’s passing game is a vertical passing attack with a lot of 5 and 7-step drops with a good amount of play-action incorporated into it, along with a lot of extra pass protection provided for Flacco through unbalanced lines and heavy personnel

v     The Ravens mixed in a good amount of no huddle in this game to speed up the tempo of the game and dictate the personnel match-ups they wanted

v     Flacco made some tremendous throws in this game, but was somewhat inconsistent and erratic, missing some open receivers – He normally missed them high

Category: Fantasy Guru Daily


One Response

  1. Dan Merritt says:

    As an ex-sports writer, this is what I want to be when I grow up. My girlfriend would kill me if I still spent this much time watching NFL. Thanks for doing it for me!

Leave a Reply