Cosell’s Coaching Tape: 10/27/09 Notes


  • Giants defensive tendency is to play 2 deep to spread formations with 3 and 4 WRs, I think that’s a predictable tendency
  • When the Giants went with dime personnel, the 2 extra corners were Dockery and Johnson
  • Giants played a lot of “2 man” coverage in longer yardage situations, An excellent coverage against the Cards receivers since they do not have the speed to run away from man coverage
  • Wells ran downhill with power, Showed lateral quickness and change of direction – Looked like a quality NFL back
  • Giants played a lot of man coverage concepts, whether it was “2 man” or “man free”; That’s a good tactic to protect their safeties, since they just have areas to cover and do not have to match up – Also effective against the Cards since they do not run hardly at all out of shotgun and Warner won’t leave the pocket
  • Wells got more snaps in this game than in any previous game, probably because Hightower fumbled in the first quarter
  • Giants went “cover zero” on 3rd + 10 on the Cards second quarter TD drive: Hightower 13 yds – A big play in the game
  • Wells 13 yd TD was a great example of his lateral agility and explosiveness, He made the unblocked CB Thomas miss at the line of scrimmage – That’s a defining feature to be a big time NFL feature back
  • Giants have struggled all season with 3×1 sets, when the #3 receiver in the inside slot is a WR: Fitzgerald 26 yds on first 3rd quarter TD drive, 2 deep zone concept (again a predominant tendency), Dockery made a mistake carrying the #2 slot receiver Boldin inside as if it were man coverage; Fitzgerald 27 yds on the same series, also versus 2 deep; Giants had dime personnel on the field
  • A wide open Fitzgerald dropped a TD on a deep pass from Rolle out of the “Wildcat” formation – Now defenses have to prepare for Rolle throwing the ball
  • Thomas did a good job as an inside pass defender in the Giants dime package; Understands zone coverage concepts, and reads the QB well
  • Giants did not blitz very much, and they did not generate any consistent pressure on Warner with their 4 man DL
  • Cards ran the ball with some effectiveness as the game progressed; Wells ahs the skill set to be a week-to-week feature back, but he has shown a glaring tendency to fumble too much


  • First play the Bears played the Bengals strong tendency to run strong side (the Bengals had 6 OL on the field), and brought S Afalava into the box at the snap while rotating the other safety Manning into the deep middle; Bengals went play action and Palmer hit Ochoconco on a deep dig, a great route versus “cover 3”
  • One thing that always stands out about Palmer is his willingness to look down the gun barrel, He’s oblivious to pressure
  • Benson not a stout pass protector versus blitz, especially versus linebackers
  • I was very surprised the Bears played a 2 deep zone (and rushed only 4) on 3rd + 3 on the Bengals first series; 3rd + 3 is a man-to-man down and distance situation: Challenge the offense, Don’t give Palmer voids in which to deliver the ball – Henry 17 yds
  • At his best, Palmer is as good an anticipation thrower as there is in the NFL
  • Benson 23 yds on first series came out of an unbalanced OL with LT Whitworth aligned at TE on the right; Bears defense did not make the alignment adjustment, They were outflanked to the 3 OL side
  • Benson looked quick, Ran with lateral quickness and explosiveness, Showed the ability to get to the perimeter and win to the edge
  • Bears played a lot of 2 deep in normal down and distance situations when the Bengals had run personnel on the field, sometimes even 6 OL; They did not get their safeties involved in the run and were consistently burned – A persistent problem was that they got outflanked in the run game, They did not set the edge
  • Bengals clearly had a defined sense of the Bears defense, Palmer outstanding at the line of scrimmage getting the Bengals into the right play based on the Bears look
  • Bears played more 8 in the box, single high safety as the game progressed but they still could not effectively shut down the Bengals run game
  • Bears also increased their blitz frequency but the corresponding coverage by the corners on the outside was soft, and Palmer had defined routes to go with the ball
  • The only Bears defender that kept showing up on film was LB Briggs
  • Got the sense that the Bears coverage schemes, especially in long yardage situations, were predictable – A lot of “cover 2” with a 4 man rush
  • Bears DL was consistently moved in the run game, They got very little penetration
  • One thing that again stood out was Palmer’s movement, He continues to move outside the pocket better and more efficiently than at any time in his career – He’s throwing the ball with accuracy on the move
  • Bengals getting more multi-dimensional with the run game; Strong tendency to run to the strong side, Benson 26 yds in the second half was a designed cutback run away from the strong side


  • Crabtree attacks the ball, Strong and powerful hands, A big body who plays big; Not an explosive mover but a smooth route runner with deceptive speed
  • Every play of the 49ers first second half series was out of conventional sets with Smith under center
  • Davis 29 yd TD was 3 vertical routes versus “cover 3”; Davis crossed the formation on his vertical route, That distorted the recognition process for the Texans defense, SS Pollard struggles with pass recognition and reaction
  • RT Sims looked very slow, Lacked any kind of lateral movement
  • Gore excellent short area burst and acceleration, Lateral quickness and change of direction, Not a vertically explosive back
  • What immediately stood out about Smith was his limited arm strength; To be consistently successful he will have to throw with precise timing and rhythm, and accuracy – He did that against the Texans, but keep in mind they did not game plan against him
  • With Crabtree and Morgan the 49ers have 2 big bodies that can physically defeat press coverage
  • Davis is primarily a straight line route runner with excellent vertical speed, A strong tendency to raise his shoulders and give away his lateral breaks
  • Another positive about Crabtree was his innate ability to come back to the QB out of his inside breaks, That’s one sign of a professional receiver
  • Smith very comfortable in the shotgun – That raises the question for the 49ers: How will they play offense with Smith? Will they stay conventional with Smith under center with the power run game as the focus? Or will they incorporate more spread principles with Smith in the shotgun, like the Patriots?
  • The bigger problem for the 49ers is their OL, They consistently struggled with pass protection in this game – Difficult to play a shotgun spread offense with an OL that struggles to protect, although the quick throws do help camouflage the flaws
  • Davis 23 yd TD in the fourth quarter was a great throw by Smith, Smith in the shotgun out of an empty set, Davis the #3 inside slot receiver in a 3×2 set
  • Smith a limited passer in terms of arm strength, That limits the route combinations and the overall ability of a pass game to attack and break down the defense


  • Eagles first play was Westbrook in the “Wildcat”: 3 yds – Another indication the Eagles have no real offensive staple, nothing they fall back on when their offense is out of sync; They just grab bag plays, looking for a big play
  • I did not understand the Redskins decision to play zone coverage on 3rd + 2 on the Eagles opening drive: Celek 6 yds – Zone provides voids, 3rd + 2 is a man-to-man coverage situation
  • FS Landry was the player beaten on the Jackson 67 yd reverse TD, He reacted too far inside – Great effort by Maclin blocking Rogers down the field
  • Maclin must get much tougher with the ball in his hands after the catch, He has run-after-the-catch ability but he gives himself up too quickly – He still has not transitioned to the NFL game when it comes to running with the ball in his hands
  • McNabb’s lack of consistent accuracy continued to be a problem, Prevents the Eagles from sustaining offense – Overall, McNabb had a poor game; He did not see things quickly, He was slow to process information
  • Rookie RB McCoy looks hesitant and indecisive with his running, more so in the run game than in the screen game; Right now he is not as quick and laterally explosive as he was in college
  • McNabb not a manipulator of coverage from the pocket, The design of the route combination must beat the coverage for McNabb to be effective – From the pocket, McNabb is primarily a paint-by-numbers QB
  • Vick does not have the same burst and explosiveness he used to have, The Eagles are just wasting snaps putting him on the field at this point
  • A 6 yd check down completion to McCoy midway through the second quarter was the play that showed the Eagles coaching staff they could get Jackson deep – The 57 yd TD to Jackson was the same personnel and formation versus the same Redskins coverage as the earlier check down to McCoy: It was a 2 receiver route with 8 man protection on 3rd + 23; I did not understand the Redskins coverage concept in that situation
  • LT Peters continued to struggle with pass protection, He’s very sloppy with his technique and footwork, He does not play to his athletic ability
  • Eagles OL right now is a liability, They are not very good as a unit
  • Redskins defense was much quicker and faster than the Eagles offense, which looked slow with no rhythm or flow
  • Overall, this was a bad offensive performance by the Eagles; They could not run the ball and their passing game was totally out of synch – McNabb was terrible

Category: Fantasy Guru Daily


One Response

  1. Davidbfree says:

    “Overall, this was a bad offensive performance by the Eagles; They could not run the ball and their passing game was totally out of synch – McNabb was terrible”

    Thank you, you confirmed that I at least know as much or more than some of these so called analysts who said Mcnabb was “OK”, but struggled in the second half. He was OK?? I thought he was awful, the entire game, period.

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