Cosell’s Coaching Tape: Week Eight 11/2/09 Notes


  • The no huddle was a significant feature of the Ravens offensive game plan, but they still substituted based on down and distance, which then allowed the Broncos to match up from a personnel standpoint
  • Broncos do a lot with Dumervil; They moved him around the defense not only from side to side, but he also aligned at times at MLB in the nickel package
  • Ravens base offensive personnel in their “21” package had Rice as the feature back and McClain as the FB
  • In the 3 step and 5 step drop pass game, plus shotgun in which the ball was designed to come out quickly, the Ravens had LT Gaither block Dumervil one-on-one – That matchup favored the Ravens all game
  • Rookie CB Smith was the Broncos nickel corner, aligned inside over the slot; Williams also played nickel corner, and he was targeted by the Ravens on Washington’s 3rd + 5 catch in the third quarter
  • The no huddle was effective for the Ravens, There were a number of plays in which the Broncos defense was not set
  • The Ravens began the second half with “11” personnel, a change-up form the first half when “21” was the primary personnel package
  • Ravens extensive use of no huddle from their 3 WR personnel package simplified the Broncos defense; Broncos went to more 4 DL fronts as their reaction to the 3 WR no huddle – That could well have been the Broncos default front in response to the no huddle
  • WR Washington a significant part of this game as the slot receiver, Ravens clearly liked their matchup with Washington against either Smith or Williams – A number of big third down catches
  • Rice a tough inside runner for his size, He was the feature back in the Ravens “21” personnel sets
  • Tackles Oher and Gaither had excellent games, Dumervil was not a factor as a pass rusher – OC Cameron called a great game: His utilization of 3 and 5 step drops, and the extensive use of shotgun allowed for one-on-one matchups with Oher and Gaither and minimized the Broncos pass rush


  • Weaver 41 yd TD came out of “12” personnel, with Weaver the only back; McNabb a “check with me” at the line of scrimmage to change the side of the run to the left against the bubble in the Giants “over” front – Eagles a great job winning in the pre snap phase of the play
  • Celek 17 yd TD came out of a 3×1 set, They dictated the matchup of Celek on S Johnson, Eagles felt that matchup favored them – Again this speaks to the coverage liabilities of the Giants safeties
  • Weaver as the single back in a balanced 2 TE set was a staple personnel package and formation for the Eagles in this game
  • Giants defense a much more aggressive approach in this game: More blitz concepts, More single high safety, More man coverage schemes – They challenged the Eagles offense, They definitely played proactively
  • McNabb very accurate in this game, He threw the ball well – The problem is that you never know what you are going to get with McNabb week-to-week in terms of accuracy
  • Giants primarily played their dime personnel to the Eagles 3 WR personnel, S Johnson was essentially a LB in this package
  • Jackson 54 yd TD came with McNabb in the shotgun, A 3×1 set to the left with Jackson split and 2 TEs to his side; Giants zone exchange concept with a 4 man rush and 2 deep safeties – Jackson inside stem attacked S Brown, That was untenable for the Giants; Jackson deep corner route easily beats Brown
  • Giants did not generate any consistent pressure on McNabb, either with their DL or with blitz
  • Eagles had a tendency on the Giants DL front when they aligned in a balanced 2 TE set with Weaver the single back; Weaver 41 yd TD and 17 yds came in that situation
  • McCoy 66 yd TD on 3rd + 1: Eagles 3 WR versus Giants dime personnel, Tight bunch right with Jackson reverse action impacted safeties Johnson and Brown and removed them from the run front
  • The fact that the Giants defense was well defined for McNabb early in the down (the 3 step drop phase and the quick 5 step drop in the shotgun) allowed him to be comfortable mentally, and that allowed him to be comfortable physically – It also allowed a better Eagles receiving corps to defeat a below average Giants coverage secondary
  • Eagles faced just two 3rd + 6+ down and distance situations in the entire game; That was a major reason McNabb was so efficient in this game, He was rarely behind the down
  • Eagles excellent schematic feel for Giants defense, McNabb sharp mentally and he threw the ball with velocity and accuracy, McNabb was decisive and aware early in the down – One of the best games McNabb has played
  • Eagles a big play offense, not a sustaining offense – McNabb must play at a high level for the Eagles offense to have any chance, You cannot count on 41 yd and 66 yd TD runs every week


  • Jacobs was hesitant and indecisive, He showed a disturbing tendency to stop his feet in the backfield – Jacobs is all about generating downhill momentum, He did not run to his power, Too many hits in his upright body?
  • Samuel interception was a great read: Off coverage position matched against split TE Beckum, Manning came back late to what is really a 3 step drop throw, Samuel read both Manning and the route – Manning came back late in the down to an early in the down route, A mistake
  • Samuel at his best playing off coverage with outside technique, and reading both the route and the QB – He’s an outside-in corner
  • Eagles clearly committed to defending the Giants short to intermediate pass game, The corners consistently jumped routes, They were not concerned about getting beat over the top
  • DE Babin really looked athletic, He moved more like a LB playing DE
  • Eagles LBs an excellent job attacking downhill in the run game, They did not wait and react – They were active and disruptive
  • Manning was not very comfortable in the pocket, He played a little fast, He missed some downfield opportunities by getting rid of the ball too quickly
  • Eagles did not blitz with their usual high frequency, A more coverage based approach and their coverage was outstanding
  • Eagles matched up to the Giants “21” personnel on a 2nd + 7 in the second quarter with 5 DL, 3 LB and only 3 DB; This is normally a short yardage personnel package, Eagles clearly not worried about the Giants passing game – Manning an inaccurate pass to a wide open Boss, who had easily beaten LB Clemons on a corner route
  • Eagles predominantly played with 8 in the box, single high safety on 1st + 10
  • Nicks showed the ability to catch the ball with hands extended away from his body, A big physical receiver who plays to his size
  • Giants did not have a receiver in this game who the Eagles felt could beat them over the top, That dictated the Eagles coverage schemes
  • Eagles defense was better than the Giants offense in this game, Giants receivers could not get open, Manning often had no defined throws
  • What really stood out about the Eagles defense was how decisive their movements were, They played fast with great play recognition and discipline
  • DE Cole had a terrific game, There were many plays in which he was dominant
  • Giants offense did not look like they played with as much snap as the Eagles defense, The Eagles defense played quicker and faster than the Giants offense
  • Manning certainly does not project dynamism in the way he moves, and that becomes increasingly noticeable when the Giants are losing


  • Manning misfired on a couple of open deep throws early in the game, Both would have been big plays and probably TDs
  • 49ers a high percentage of blitz through the first quarter, Game plan was clearly to challenge Manning and the Colts offense
  • NT Franklin stood out on film as a force against the run, Showed great ability to play off blocks and move down the line of scrimmage
  • 49ers defense played with great play recognition and discipline; They had a great feel for the Colts route combinations based on receiver distribution and location – 49ers a lot of “quarters” coverage concepts, which make it easier to account for vertical routes with DBs as opposed to LBs
  • 49ers predominant pressure concept was zone blitz; As the game progressed, Manning and the Colts offense developed a rhythm in attacking it and breaking it down
  • Colts totally gave up on the running game from the second quarter through the third quarter
  • What was really interesting was how often the Colts kept Clark in as a pass protector; I think that was a function of the 49ers 3-4 and their zone blitz concepts, The Colts with Manning have had trouble in the past with pressure from 3-4 defenses
  • 49ers clearly coach their linebackers to read the QB and not the receivers routes; They stare back at the QB as they drop with very little awareness of route combinations – Manning had success beating the LBs in the passing game
  • Addai TD pass to Wayne was a great play call; It exposed one of the biggest myths in the NFL: You do not need to establish the run to either utilize play action passing or deception off the run game
  • Overall, Manning did not have one of his sharpest passing games in terms of accuracy; The 49ers defense also did some good things schematically to take away some of the Colts staple routes
  • 49ers defense played very well overall, It was a team concept with predominant zone coverage schemes as opposed to outstanding individual play
  • From a percentage standpoint, it did not seem that Manning targeted Garcon that much; Garcon made a huge 32 yd catch on 3rd + 20 in the third quarter on an unbelievable throw by Manning, but watching the tape I did not get the feeling that Garcon was a significant part of the pass game as much as the other receivers


  • On the Dolphins first series, Hartline from the slot ran right by CB Strickland on a go route; Henne overthrew Hartline, The play had a chance to be a TD
  • Jets matched up at times to the Dolphins “22” personnel (2 backs and 2 TE) with 4-4 personnel – That still did not bring Gholston on the field; The Jets have essentially made it clear that Gholston has no role other than as a spot backup
  • Jets clearly game planned for the “Wildcat” in this matchup – The first time the Dolphins ran it, on their third series, the Jets did 2 things they had not done in the first matchup: They constricted their secondary, playing them much closer to the line of scrimmage, and they blitzed OLB Pace (positioned wider than in his usual OLB alignment) from the side Williams motioned to; The result was a 1 yd gain by Williams
  • Brow attempted a pass out of the “Wildcat” on 3rd + 9 on their third series, It was incomplete
  • Henne not real confident in what he is seeing, He didn’t pull the trigger on a number of throws that were there and that he looked right at – He’s not getting a clear picture
  • One thing Henne is very good at is setting up the screen, He makes it look like a conventional drop back pass before he breaks down and throws the screen: Williams 28 yd screen in the second quarter
  • Dolphins utilized “22” personnel as a significant part of their offense
  • The Jets increased their blitz frequency as the game progressed, They got Henne playing fast, He often hurried himself and played frenetically
  • Jets clearly more aggressive playing the “Wildcat”, They attacked it with blitz and they challenged it with more defenders closer to the line of scrimmage
  • Right now the Dolphins do not have an NFL passing game: It’s a combination of inexperience at both QB and receiver, an average pass protecting OL, and the coaching staff’s resulting unwillingness to call NFL route combinations
  • The Dolphins offense at this point is deception more than anything, They have no drop back pass game that’s effective
  • RG Thomas looked slow and plodding with his footwork in pass protection in this game, He was responsible for 2 sacks of Henne in the second half
  • Dolphins “Wildcat” breakdown: 7 snaps for 6 yards, including a 9 yd sack of Brown when he attempted to pass; There were 2 called passes out of the “Wildcat, an incompletion and the Brown sack

Category: Fantasy Guru Daily


4 Responses

  1. Stretch says:

    G.Cosell your analysis makes my decision alot easier. You quoted that “From a percentage standpoint, it did not seem that Manning targeted Garcon that much”.

    I hope C.Johnson plays this week against Seattle which appears closer than last week. I’m definitely starting E.Royal over P.Garcon.

    I will keep my fingers crossed.

    Greg, once again keep it coming.

  2. [...] • Fantasy football championships are built in the film room, so let’s check in on Greg Cosell of NFL Films and see what he’s got cooking from the week that was. [Fantasy Guru] [...]

  3. Al says:

    “It exposed one of the biggest myths in the NFL: You do not need to establish the run to either utilize play action passing or deception off the run game”

    Actually, the play right before Addai’s touchdown pass, the Colts ran the exact same stretch play with Addai (albeit to the right, as opposed to the halfback pass which was to the left) and then they followed up that run play with a play that looked exactly the same but turned out to be halfback pass. The Niners D read run, which was caused via the deception of seeing what they thought was the identical play from one play earlier (albeit to the opposite side), and this allowed the Colts to fool the Niners.

  4. Joe says:


    “Establish the run” means a consistent use of it to force the defense to respect it. The Colts read the Niners aggressive reaction to the first stretch play and called the halfback pass. It’s the same thing as using a trap or belly run: use the offensive line and backs’ motion to cause false steps by linemen and backers and then reverse direction to the side of the field that is now left open by the aggressive pursuit.

    It was definitely deception, but it had nothing to do with “establishing the run” because clearly the Colts never did — 2.9 ypc.

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