Cosell’s Coaching Tape: 10/26/09 Notes


  • Cowboys opened the game with “22” personnel, Austin the only WR – Falcons DL slanted, and immediately exposed the slow-footed and un-athletic Cowboys OL
  • Falcons again slanted on the second play: DE Bierman beat RT Colombo to the inside and tackled Barber for -1 yds
  • Interesting that on the first 3rd + long on the first series the Falcons rushed 3 and dropped 8 (out of 3-3-5 personnel); The Falcons did it again on the second 3rd + long of the game, on the Cowboys second series – The Cowboys did not get a first down on either play: An incomplete pass, and a Romo scramble
  • Williams 16 yds on quick slant on second quarter FG drive came out of “13” personnel (1 back and 3 TEs), That dictated single high safety coverage
  • Austin 59 yd TD came on 1st + 10 out of “21”, straight “I” formation, Austin slot right with Williams split wide – Falcons zone blitz with CB Houston blitzing from closed side with LB Peterson; S Coleman sat too low and did not retreat to his deep third
  • Romo again showed the ability to manipulate the coverage with eye discipline and shoulder rolls, That’s a strength of his when he has time in the pocket: Choice 23 yds on 3rd + 8 in the second quarter was a great example
  • RG Davis a liability at this point, Lacks lateral movement skills, Bends at the waist in pass protection – Overall, the Cowboys OL is big, strong and un-athletic
  • Romo very accurate in this game, He’s been erratic with that throughout the season but he was sharp against the Falcons – Romo was the difference against the Falcons
  • Cowboys backs did an excellent job with blitz pickup, The Falcons used nickel back Jackson as a significant part of their zone blitz concepts and both Jones and Barber jacked him up on a couple of occasions
  • Austin showed great ability to throttled down and come out of his breaks with quickness and acceleration; Excellent change of direction with very few steps
  • Choice made a mistake on Romo sack in the third quarter: Falcons went with “cover zero” behind an all-out blitz, Choice had to read inside-out but he focused outside allowing S DeCoud to get in clean through the “B” gap
  • Jones showed some physicality running inside – Interesting that Choice did not get many snaps and he did not carry the ball
  • Austin 22 yd TD came against “man free” coverage, Austin matched against CB Grimes – Great throw by Romo to Austin’s outside shoulder
  • Cowboys success running out of an unbalanced line in the third quarter, with RT Colombo at TE on the left and Witten at RT: Barber 7 and 13 yds on consecutive runs, both to the strong side with the 3 OL
  • Falcons played more man coverage in the second half because they needed to try to create big plays and turnovers; They are not a good man-to-man team, Grimes in particular struggled – They also blitzed with more frequency, predominantly zone blitz concepts, but they did not get home
  • Romo clearly comfortable throwing to Austin, Got the sense he’s developing a better chemistry with Austin that he’s had with Witten – This will be interesting to track in coming weeks, as will how defenses match up to Austin


  • Evans started at LB in place of the injured and inactive Fujita
  • Dolphins initial use of the “Wildcat” in this game had Henne on the field split wide outside the numbers; Also it was evident that FS Sharper stayed deep to guard against a possible pass by Brown
  • Williams explosive short area acceleration on 68 yd TD
  • On the first 3 snaps Henne was not in the game in the “Wildcat”, the Saints attacked with both corners blitzing; The corner to the side that Williams went in motion was especially aggressive, since he had safety help  – It was an effective tactic
  • White in the shotgun on the first play of the second quarter: Dolphins ran the option to the wide side of the field, Vilma unblocked ran down White for a 3 yard loss – Funny how White did not look that fast against NFL athletes
  • When Henne was in the shotgun in long yardage situations, the Dolphins strong tendency was to flank him with 2 backs – Protection first: Camarillo 24 yds on second quarter FG drive versus Saints blitz, Williams block on blitzing LB Mitchell
  • Dolphins clearly had more success running out of the “Wildcat” when Henne was on the field split wide, The Saints did not corner blitz with Henne on the field
  • SS Harper very effective as an add-in defender in the run game, Attacks downhill with aggression and control
  • First 3rd + long of the second half the Dolphins go empty with Henne under center, They did not think protection first – Vilma blitzed from the outside and got in clean, A hurried throw under duress by Henne resulted in Sharper 42 yd interception return TD
  • Saints really picked up their blitz frequency in the second half, and the Dolphins did not handle it well
  • Dolphins very limited offense out of conventional sets, both run and pass; They really struggle to run the ball with Henne under center, and their pass game features an inexperienced QB behind an average pass protecting OL and an average group of receivers – Without deception, the Dolphins has very little
  • Saints blitzed the “Wildcat” with Henne on the field for the first time in third quarter on a 3rd + 2, and they stopped Brown for 1 yd
  • Dunbar played OLB for the Saints in the second half in place of Evans: Injured?
  • Dolphins still clearly protecting Henne, A very limited passing game
  • Henne badly underthrew Ginn in the fourth quarter on a deep post, It had a chance since Ginn ran by Porter – Henne a good arm, but not a great arm; Throws the ball better between the numbers than he does to the outside
  • The Saints blitzed on 4th + 13 with 2:06 left in the fourth quarter and a 6 point lead: Nickel corner Gay got in clean, Undefined throw by Henne with pressure in his face, Porter 54 interception return TD
  • The “Wildcat” breakdown: 16-35, 2.2 yds per play – The “Wildcat” was not a significant factor in this game


  • Brees first interception was a miscommunication between Brees and Henderson: Brees threw a corner route and Henderson broke the route inside – Don’t normally see that with the Saints passing game
  • Saints had trouble with the Dolphins blitz schemes through the first half, Brees was clearly playing at a faster tempo and he wasn’t as precise as he normally is
  • Torbor interception came on 3rd + 5 out of “cover zero” behind all-out pressure; Ball was tipped at the LOS by a blitzing Wilson, who got in clean
  • Saints tackles Stinchcomb and Bushrod can be attacked and exploited with pressure, Force them to think and react quickly – They both struggled versus the Dolphins from a scheme standpoint and with individual matchups
  • Bush not very good as a pass protector in the backfield, Bell blew up Bush in a one-on-one matchup in the second quarter
  • Against the Saints pass game, you want to create one-on-one matchups with their tackles Bushrod and Stinchcomb; Make them individually hold up in pass protection – The old adage of make the weak link play
  • Dolphins kept blitzing, even in the 2 minute at the end of the first half – Even though Brees was completing passes, he clearly was playing a little faster, not his normal comfortable tempo
  • Dolphins matched up nickel corner Jones on Colston when he was in the slot
  • Jones third quarter interception came out of “cover zero”, Jones matched one-on-one on Colston in the inside slot; Great throw by Brees, Jones took the ball away from Colston
  • Taylor sack and forced fumble came out a 3 man rush on 3rd + 17, Taylor beat RT Stinchcomb and ran down Brees
  • Saints calmed down the Dolphins defense in the third quarter by running the ball out of base personnel packages – Great job by HC Payton understanding that the Dolphins had his pass game out of sync, that Brees was playing a little fast and that he needed to change the tempo of his offense and force the Dolphins to dig in and play physical football
  • Shockey 66 yds came out of “21” personnel and was the first play after a Saints TD drive that featured a heavy dose of running out of base personnel; Dolphins matched up with a 4-3 (not their base 3-4) and had S Bell in the box – Great manipulation of the single high safety by Brees
  • S Bell is a significant liability in pass coverage, He looks and moves like a LB on film
  • Saints predominantly stayed with base personnel beginning with their drive at 5:53 of the third quarter (27 of 28 plays on 4 consecutive scoring drives): 17 of those 28 plays were runs, for 109 yds
  • Dolphins front seven did not shut down the Saints run, They were consistently moved on those final 4 possessions
  • Dolphins safeties Bell and Wilson are liabilities in pass coverage


  • Cards 3-4 defense is more of a 4-3 in concept: Gap penetration more than 2 gap; Dockett is the best player on the front seven and he is a quickness explosion player, so they play to his strengths
  • Manning a little skittish in the pocket right from the start, Did not look comfortable, Was playing a little fast
  • Rodgers-Cromartie interception showed both his speed and the confidence the Cards have in him to play man-to-man; He had no safety help over the top on Hixon’s deep post – Manning’s throw should have taken Hixon across the field so he could run away from Rodgers-Cromartie
  • Cards defense was active, They looked fast on film
  • Jacobs 25 yds was an outside zone run out of the straight “I” formation that came against a “fire x” inside blitz: The perfect run call against the defense
  • Manning not as firm in the pocket in this game as he has been throughout the season
  • I felt watching on tape that Jacobs was running well, with power and authority, and the Giants did not give him a chance to maintain that rhythm
  • Rodgers-Cromartie is a phenomenal body athlete for the corner position; It’s all about concentration, focus and technique – He has the physical skills to be a dominant NFL corner
  • Wilson interception in the third quarter came on a tipped pass by Campbell – Clearly not Manning’s fault
  • No rhythm to the Giants offense, In my opinion they are alternating backs too much – They are not driven by the run game right now the way they were last season, They are not dictating the tempo and pace of games with their offense
  • Giants pass protection not consistently firm against the Cards blitz packages, It was the second week in a row the Giants struggled with blitz – Both Bradshaw and Jacobs have made mental mistakes in blitz pickup
  • McFadden can be attacked with vertical routes, Lacks great turn and run change of direction and speed
  • Manningham dropped a TD on a perfectly thrown ball by Manning in the fourth quarter; Manningham beat McFadden on a “sluggo”, Again McFadden’s lack of recovery speed showed up
  • S Wilson played a good game, Was used in a variety of ways and played with recognition and instincts


  • Jets split TE Keller wide in the first quarter, and he ran a go route against LB Howard; Sanchez overthrew the pass, but Howard looked faster than Keller
  • Sanchez throwing with little confidence right now, He’s scattershot with his throws – He’s not comfortable in the pocket right now
  • Jets continued to utilize 6 OL as a significant part of their offense, Clearly a conservative approach to minimize the impact Sanchez has on the game at this point
  • Rookie RB Greene powerful legs, Short area burst and acceleration, Not laterally or vertically explosive but strong and physical with tackle-breaking ability, Balance and body control, Showed the ability to change direction with quickness – A sustaining runner with a knack for shedding tackles
  • Jones did an excellent job getting through small cracks at the point of attack
  • Raiders run defense started out strong but it was clear they got worn down as the game progressed, Too many snaps and no help from their offense to make it a competitive game
  • Jets were able to hide Sanchez in this game, Their passing game was extremely limited in design, It didn’t need to be any more than that
  • LB Alston did not play well, In this game he did not look like an NFL caliber starter
  • By the second half the Raiders DL was getting moved easily in the run game – Plus the linebackers were moving laterally instead of attacking downhill against the Jets predominant zone based run game
  • FB Richardson an excellent job as a lead blocker in this game, A lot of 2 back sets
  • Clowney 35 yd TD was one-on-one on the outside, A single high safety coverage, An easily defined throw for Sanchez with timing and rhythm, Slightly underthrown
  • This couldn’t have been a better game for the Jets and Sanchez, Sanchez still clearly an uncomfortable player

Category: Fantasy Guru Daily


2 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    Excellent analysis that can’t be found at any other website!

  2. Stretch says:

    I look forward to every Tuesday to read Cosell’s Coaches Tape. This week is no different. The input you have on Arizona DST “Cards defense was active, They looked fast on film.” Is all I need to start them against woeful J.Delhomme.

    G.Cosell this info along is why I’m a subcriber. Keep it coming.

Leave a Reply