Cosell’s Coaching Tape: 9/30/09 Notes


  • Dolphins want Porter aligned on the open side of the formation, where there is no TE in his face
  • Dolphins matched up with their nickel package, with Jones as the third corner aligned over the slot, based on down and distance, not on the Chargers personnel; They often treated Gates as WR in those situations
  • When the Chargers went 3 WR with Gates, the Dolphins predominantly matched up with their dime package, with Culver the third safety
  • Rookie CB Smith very comfortable in press position: Very patient and composed, not overreactive; Showed good quickness and change of direction mirroring receivers
  • The Dolphins utilize Smith as if he is a shutdown corner: A high percentage of press man coverage, often with no help over the top – They show tremendous confidence in him
  • Smith rotated at RCB with the other rookie corner Davis; Davis more natural quickness than Smith, Also effective in press position
  • Taylor does not have much left as an outside pass rusher, Lacks the explosion and burst he had a number of years ago
  • Dolphins very aggressive in the secondary, They challenged the Chargers receivers – An excellent tactical approach given that the Chargers receivers are big and measured more than quick and fast
  • LB Wake stood out as a pass rusher for the Dolphins, He was used at times as a down DE in the 4 man line
  • Chargers OL struggled in the run game, Was physically overmatched by the Dolphins front seven
  • Chargers backup RG Dombrowski, starting in place of the injured Vasquez, struggled in pass protection
  • Floyd 47 yds and Jackson 55 yds in the second half both came on 1st + 10 out of “21” personnel (2 backs + 1 TE); Both came against clearly anticipated “quarters” coverage
  • Chargers run game very limited: OL not very good, Sproles more of a space player than a between-the-tackles grinder
  • Overall, the Chargers offense was erratic and inconsistent; Rivers hit 2 big plays in the passing game which were well designed against anticipated defenses in which he made unbelievable throws, but for the most part there was no rhythm to the offense


  • The first play of the game the Falcons had Finneran aligned in the backfield in an offset FB position: The play was designed for him, and he caught a 13 yd pass in the flat – They came back to this formation with Finneran as an offset FB in the second quarter: Finneran 10 yard catch off Ryan designed movement
  • Patriots opened the game in a 3-4 front: The down 3 were Warren, Wilfork and Green
  • In the Patriots 4 man line, Wright was the addition on the DL, and Woods played ROLB
  • Falcons utilize a lot of minus splits with their WRs (inside the numbers) in their pass game; Also use a lot of bunch formation concepts – Both are more difficult to match up man-to-man from a defensive standpoint
  • Patriots utilize a number of different personnel groupings defensively
  • Patriots a predominant zone coverage team, and there are voids in their secondary
  • What really stood out was that the Patriots defense is not a challenging, aggressive defense; They are more of an execution defense relying on players playing disciplined and mistake-free – It’s a defense that can be attacked, especially in the passing game
  • Falcons offense was not really shut down by the Patriots defense, They just get the opportunity to run enough plays (Falcons only had 45 offensive plays)
  • Turner is a high volume runner who thrives on carries, and he was not able to get enough carries in this game
  • The inability of the Falcons defense to stop the Patriots offense was the main reason the Falcons offense could not develop any rhythm or consistency; OC Mularkey runs a high volume offense with a lot of shifts and motions, and a lot of formations, and he was not able to get deep into his playbook because the Falcons simply did not have enough plays


  • Coles route running very choppy, It took him too long to come out of his breaks – He does not have the same lateral quickness and movement he had a number of years ago
  • Bengals had a big play beautifully set up at the end of the first quarter, with Coles wide open on the deep cross off Palmer play action; C Cook was beaten quickly by NT Hampton, who sacked Palmer before he had a chance to deliver the deeper route – The Bengals had broken down the Steelers defense
  • No defense in the NFL is as consistently disciplined as the Steelers, especially when it comes to the understanding and reading of route combinations and progressions; Their underneath defenders do an outstanding locating receivers, and not just staring at the QB
  • There were times Palmer played fast, throwing the ball before he had to; He did not have any rhythm through much of the first half – He was clearly not comfortable in the pocket, I don’t think he trusts his OL
  • Benson patience and vision, Presses the hole as well as any back in the NFL, An excellent cutback runner – A sustaining runner, Lacks vertical explosiveness
  • It’s clear that Benson is the foundation of the Bengals offense; Their offense runs through him – They are a run-first offense
  • Palmer developing some trust and confidence in rookie WR Caldwell, Caldwell works the middle of the field effectively
  • Bengals a very patient offense, They did not panic against the Steelers when they got behind; They stayed with the running game, and that minimized the frequency and effectiveness of the Steelers blitz
  • Steelers pressure packages were not a big factor, especially on the Bengals GW TD drive
  • Caldwell is clearly the Bengals third WR, ahead of Henry; Henry only got snaps in this game when the Bengals went 4 wide


  • Parker looked quicker and a little more explosive than he had in the season’s first 2 games
  • Steelers OL much more cohesive in this game, They worked together much more efficiently
  • What’s really impressed me about rookie WR Wallace is his understanding of route running; He’s not just a dynamic vertical threat
  • Wallace ran by Joseph on his 51 yd catch in the second quarter: It was amazing, You never see a WR run by a bailed corner in the NFL; Joseph was 10 yd off Wallace at the snap of the ball
  • Rookie LB Maualuga a little undisciplined: A strong physical player who can run but clearly lacks recognition skills at this point
  • Joseph 30 yd interception return TD: Bengals great example of zone exchange concept, They rushed only 3 against the Steelers empty set and got LB Johnson in clean – Roethlisberger threw it as if Holmes would adjust his route to a “hot”, Parker aligned in the slot also made no route adjustment
  • Nickel LB Johnson again stood out: Very athletic and active
  • Steelers a lot of 3 WR personnel packages in the second half, They obviously felt they had an advantage against the Bengals nickel package – Bengals nickel had S Crocker aligned over the slot and backup S Ndukwe the 5th DB
  • Bengals secondary has a difficult time matching up to the Steelers wide receivers, especially with the addition of Wallace; Neither Joseph nor Hall is a press corner, so they allow free access and the speed of Holmes and Wallace is problematic for the Bengals corners
  • Steelers went “heavy”, with 6 OL, when they got the ball with 14:51 left in the fourth quarter and a 20-9 lead: Two consecutive runs gained 3 yards – Very surprising
  • Steelers clearly tried to put this game away playing power football: The use of “heavy” personnel, or 2 TE personnel, and they ran the ball – They were not effective running the ball in the fourth quarter


  • What stands out with Brees every time I watch him is ball location, He places the ball away from the defender – That really helps a receiver like Colston, who does not create a lot of separation against man-to-man coverage
  • Brees tremendous precision with his execution of fundamentals, Understands and consistently executes the subtle disciplines of the position: Colston 32 yds on “sluggo”
  • Bills matched up predominantly with their nickel package, regardless of the Saints personnel: S Whitner played as a LB, and rookie Byrd was the third safety – Bills really thin at LB, Probably felt this was their best personnel to match up
  • The left side of the Saints OL (Bushrod/Streif at LT, and Nicks at LG) struggle with pass protection, and stunts; The Jets will attack that side of the OL with their pressure packages
  • Payton very good at aligning receivers in atypical positions: Shockey and Bush are his movable chess pieces
  • Bushrod can’t play LT, He’s a definite liability
  • Brees sacked in the second quarter: Bills 3 man DL, Zone blitz concept with one blitzer coming off the slot; Shockey in the backfield did not recognize the blitz, Lack of awareness and understanding
  • Streif replaced Bushrod at LT in the second half
  • Saints utilized more 2 TE personnel packages than I would have thought, even when the game was within one score; I wonder if the windy weather conditions dictated more of a running game than a passing game
  • Rookie DE Maybin did not play many snaps in this game, but there were a few plays in which he showed quickness and explosiveness as a pass rusher – Maybin needs room and space to function, Very little strength when engaged immediately by the OT
  • Saints offense very methodical and measured in this game, Very balanced mix of run and pass
  • Saints pass game did not execute very well versus the few Bills blitz schemes
  • The only times the Bills matched up with 4-3 personnel was when the Saints aligned with “22” personnel; Buggs was the third LB
  • Saints very patient with the run game, Got the sense they wore down the Bills defense over the course of the second half


  • Jaguars clearly a 3-4 defense: Ingram and Groves played OLB, with Harvey down as a DE in the base front
  • In their nickel package, the Jaguars aligned with 4 DL; S Nelson played nickel corner in this game, with Alexander coming in at S
  • Slaton struggled with pass protection in this game, He was physically overmatched at times
  • CB Cox rarely bad technique on Jones 18 yd TD: Jaguars played “man free”, and Cox immediately gave up the inside from his press position
  • LB Groves little awareness of routes and route combinations when he drops into coverage
  • My sense through the first half was that the Jaguars increased their blitz frequency to try to compensate for their inability to pressure the QB with a 4 man rush
  • Schaub did not throw the ball real well, It didn’t come out real well, Not much velocity on his intermediate throws
  • S Considine got hurt in the second quarter, replaced by Alexander; In the nickel package, Russell came in and played S
  • Slaton not running well, Tentative and uncertain, Not explosive in the hole as he was last season
  • Schaub is a between-the-numbers passer, He does not throw the ball to the outside very well
  • Jaguars not a challenging defense: They clearly upped their blitz tempo in this game, but they did not get home very often; Their coverage schemes were predominantly zone based, and there are voids that can be attacked
  • The move of Nelson to nickel corner is one step as the Jaguars look to defend the back end better – The Jaguars defense is clearly a major work in progress, They’re trying to find out the best roles for players like Groves and Harvey

Category: Fantasy Guru Daily


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