Cosell’s Coaching Tape: Week Eight 11/3/09 Notes


  • Falcons opened the game in their nickel package with Jackson the third corner aligned as the “Sam” LB against the Saints “12” personnel package and “I” formation with TE Thomas as FB: Bell 5 yds
  • Thomas a tough inside runner with more power and physicality than his size would indicate; Also has good lateral agility and elusiveness, which was in evidence on 22 yd TD
  • Saints first TD drive was 10 plays + 80 yards: On each of the 10 plays, they aligned in a different formation – Saints a multiple and multi-dimensional offense
  • Biermann fumble recovery TD resulted from S DeCoud blitzing; The reason DeCoud waited was he had TE Thomas, aligned in the backfield, in man coverage in the Falcons “man free” scheme – DeCoud saw Thomas initially stay in to pass protect and then attacked Brees, Brees did not account for DeCoud as a blitzer
  • Hill played a lot of snaps at LCB for the Falcons, He played in place of Grimes – Grimes primarily played in the second half
  • TE Thomas primarily played at FB when the Saints utilized 2 back sets; Eckel also got some snaps at FB
  • An effective way to try and break down the Saints pass protections is with zone blitz concepts designed to attack LG Nicks and LT Bushrod; Both are big and not particularly quick laterally, and the zone blitz concepts allows defenses to attack them with quicker LBs and DBs – Have to collapse the pocket quickly for it to have an impact
  • Shockey 27 yds on second quarter TD drive came out of a 3×1 set with Shockey aligned as #3 in the inside slot; Falcons zone blitz concept put DE Anderson on Shockey, That was the result of the 3×1 set
  • Saints offense very balanced, both from a personnel and formation standpoint and in terms of play calling – They are not a high percentage pass offense, They are just incredibly efficient throwing the ball
  • Brees compensates for an average pass protecting Saints OL; He has such a refined sense of timing and pocket movement – The Saints OL is also a main reason HC Payton stays balanced with his play calling
  • Falcons zone blitz concepts predominantly attacked Nicks and Bushrod, Brees was able to compensate for protection breakdowns with timing and accuracy
  • Brees consistently accurate, At the end of the day that is his most defining attribute
  • Saints first half play breakdown: 19 called passes, 16 called runs
  • Falcons were able to generate a more consistent pass rush in the second half with their DL
  • Colston a perfect fit for Payton’s offense and Brees: A big body with great hands and limited separation ability who benefits from outstanding pass design and the consistently remarkable accuracy of his QB
  • It will be interesting to see what the loss of C Goodwin will mean to the Saints offense, He was replaced by Nesbit


  • Immediate and noticeable difference in Turner: Lighter on his feet, Looser with his movement, Not so stiff in the hips – He looked like a different runner
  • Falcons run game diverse and multi-dimensional in terms of personnel, formations and play calling
  • Harper used as a movable chess piece in the Saints defense, He’s a significant part of the pressure packages
  • Turner 37 yds in the second quarter was the same run as hid 22 yarder on the opening series, with FB Mughelli shifted to a split WR position and Finneran motioned into the backfield as an offset FB
  • Corners Greer and Porter an excellent job understanding the blitz concepts and attacking routes, knowing the ball has to come out fast
  • Greer interception return TD was a classic case of Ryan having no definition of the coverage when he delivered the ball
  • Ryan was erratic and inconsistent in the first half, A little scattershot with his accuracy
  • Saints clearly an aggressive defensive mindset, as evidenced by how much they blitzed in the 2 minute at the end of the half; They did not play soft in prevent coverage, They attacked with pressure
  • Falcons aligned Jenkins at TE on the LOS, This is something they’ve done at times throughout the season to attempt to dictate matchups in the pass game
  • White 68 yd TD came against a Saints zone blitz concept out of a 3 man DL, The coverage was man-based with Greer on White with no safety help over the top
  • There were a couple of Turner runs in which the Saints defense lost contain and did not effectively set the edge, allowing Turner to get to the perimeter – They cannot do that this week against the Panthers Williams and Stewart
  • The Falcons attempted 2 orchestrated big play opportunities, one in each half: They go play action with maximum protection, a 2 receiver route with both receivers running deep – Both times the Saints blitzed and forced Ryan to leave the pocket, Saints clearly had a type on the big play tendency
  • Gonzalez is clearly Ryan’s go-to receiver in critical down and distance situations – The Falcons dictated Gonzalez one-on-one on CB Porter a number of times, including the Porter interception (tipped by Vilma); Falcons clearly felt that was a good matchup
  • Ryan never got into a comfort level in this game, No rhythm or flow to his performance – He was not at his best either physically or mentally


  • I was surprised to how aggressive the Bills played defensively at the start of the game: Blitz pressure, Man coverage concepts – They challenged the Texans offense
  • S Byrd’s first interception came out of “man free” behind a 5 man rush; Great job by DB Wilson: He had TE Dreessen man-to-man, When Dreessen blocked Wilson proactively attacked Schaub, Wilson had a clear lane and forced Schaub to make a hurried throw under pressure
  • Bills challenged the Texans offense with a LBs in gaps at the line of scrimmage, They clearly tried to make it difficult for the OL and Schaub to identify gaps and pressures
  • TE Daniels tore his ACL on the Texans 8th offensive play, It was a non-contact injury
  • S Byrd’s second interception came on a ball that popped out of WR Johnson’s hands on an open in-route; Schaub threw it a little behind Johnson, It was catchable but not a good throw
  • Moats showed excellent downhill burst and acceleration, He did a good job reading the zone blocking scheme and finding an open lane; Excellent quickness in space, Showed good balance and body control
  • MLB Posluszny a little stiff with his lateral movement when forced to stop and re-direct; At his best when he can read and flow using his instincts and awareness
  • Texans offense very methodical in the first half, They did not take any shots down the field in the pass game – Got the sense they were concerned about pass protection, Bills defense showed them a lot of multiple fronts with potential identification issues
  • The loss of Daniels clearly impacted the Texans pass game, It was evident in the coverage concepts the Bills played – Buffalo did an excellent job with combination coverages on Johnson and Walter, There was not a bona fide third option for the Texans
  • Slaton did not get on the field again after his first quarter fumble
  • Jones 36 yds on first drive of the third quarter was great offensive design: It was a conventional post / cross combination, but Jones motioned inside the formation, clearly showing a run look out of the “I” formation; He ran his deep cross from what was basically an inside wing position
  • Rookie DE Maybin did not play many snaps, The snaps he did play he played with great intensity and effort – He’s very small from a body type standpoint for a DE, He has no ass and no lower body, He generates no power and leverage
  • There’s a quickness to Moats’ running, He has some juice to him – He’s very decisive with his downhill cuts
  • Moats 11 yd TD on 1st + 10in the fourth quarter came out of “12” personnel, The Bills matched up with their nickel personnel – Why? Who knows?
  • Texans pass game was not sharp in this game, It did not have a rhythm or flow, A couple of plays here and there but no consistency

Category: Fantasy Guru Daily


One Response

  1. Jonathan says:

    Your Colston comment is exactly what I’ve been trying to tell Saints fans in a routine Colston v. Roddy White debate. Colston is a good receiver with great physical attributes, but he is perfect for the Saints offense and Drew Brees makes him look very good.

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