Cosell’s Coaching Tape: Week Eleven 11/27/09 Notes

STEELERS OFFENSE V. CHIEFS DEFENSE

  • LB Johnson played in the nickel, He did not start and he hasn’t all season; Daniels was the nickel corner
  • Gilberry and Magee played on the DL in the nickel, First round pick Jackson did not play in the nickel
  • RB Moore had problems with blitz pick up; The Chiefs clearly attacked him with pressure and forced him to block, and he was physically beaten on a number of occasions
  • Chiefs a DL and LB rotation in the nickel: At times Dorsey and Edwards played DL, and Walters played LB
  • Mendenhall ran downhill with power and a physical presence, He’s a strong and powerful runner with burst and acceleration
  • Roethlisberger much more effective late in the down than early in the down, He’s more reactive and improvisational than proactive and disciplined
  • Johnson was a dynamic playmaker in this game: He was active, fast, and explosive in his movement; Very effective as a blitzer
  • Foster replaced an injured Kemoeatu at LG in the third quarter
  • Steelers clearly no commitment to the running game
  • Roethlisberger made some great plays in this game avoiding and escaping pressure, and then completing passes; That’s still the best part of his game, which is why there are still some inconsistencies to his play
  • Hali back side pressure was the reason for Studebaker end zone interception, Roethlisberger had Ward wide open but Hali hit Roethlisberger’s arm on the delivery and the ball fluttered to Studebaker
  • Chiefs clearly picked up their blitz tempo and frequency about the middle of the third quarter – Chiefs predominantly blitzed out of their nickel package, and LB Johnson and S Brown were primary blitzers in the overload concept
  • Steelers struggled with the Chiefs blitz, The same problems they had last season have cropped up the last couple of weeks: Poor blitz recognition and execution, Too many free rushers at Roethlisberger
  • Despite Roethlisberger’s number, there was little rhythm to the Steelers pass game; It was mostly random and improvisational, Can’t develop any real consistency like that

CHARGERS OFFENSE V. BRONCOS DEFENSE

  • Tomlinson 21 yds on first series came out of unbalanced line with RT Clary at TE on the left, Unbalanced line was play side, Very well blocked out of straight “I” with Hester as the FB
  • Laws was the Broncos nickel corner, He played inside over the slot
  • Naanee 2 yd TD was an unbelievable throw by Rivers – Featured the 3 traits you must have in the red zone, particularly inside the 10 yard line: Speed of decision making, Willingness to make stick throws into tight windows, and precision accuracy
  • Chargers utilized the “Wildcat” with Tomlinson taking the direct snap
  • Through the first quarter and a half, what really stood out was the outstanding job LT McNeil did on Dumervil in pass protection – That changed as the game progressed, Dumervil began to handle McNeil with power and leverage
  • Norv Turner did a great job dictating matchups in the pass game with personnel and formations; Gates allows the Chargers to do so much
  • Broncos matched Bailey on Jackson, regardless of what side Jackson aligned – Broncos a lot of man coverage concepts, and a lot of press
  • What was interesting was Jackson’s 23 yds came on 3rd + 1, Chargers went shotgun with 3 WR and minus splits; Broncos matched up man-to-man but they had Goodman on Jackson, Chargers clearly knew they’d get that matchup based on down and distance and formation – Back shoulder fade to Jackson
  • Chargers receivers are a matchup nightmare; Combine their size and hands with Rivers’ accuracy and it’s a real problem for secondaries, especially in man coverage
  • Other than Tomlinson’s 21 yds on first series, Chargers run game had no sustaining quality
  • Rookie McBath replaced Dawkins in the second quarter; McBath again flashed, He played at the same tempo and with the same energy as Dawkins – He will be an excellent NFL safety
  • Jackson ran right by Bailey on a go route in the third quarter, Rivers just overthrew him
  • This was a patient, methodical performance by the Chargers offense: Balanced play calling, A commitment to running the ball, A controlled passing game
  • Tomlinson looked quick and he was more decisive with his reads and cuts, He developed a rhythm as the game progressed – What he lacks is the explosion out of his lateral cuts, He no longer has that dynamic burst to create space out of confined areas
  • Chargers run game wore down the Broncos defense as the game progressed; Broncos played the run well through the first half, but they struggled in the second half
  • Rivers a complete QB: He can make all the throws, including the tougher intermediate and downfield ones, plus he’s efficient and smart – He can play any kind of game, one that demands more game management like this win over the Broncos or one that demands a lot of passing

CARDS OFFENSE V. RAMS DEFENSE

  • Warner excellent at subtly manipulating coverage from the pocket with his head, his eyes, his shoulders; No dramatic movements, he’s just crafty and clever and very composed in the pocket
  • Wells showed more as a pass protector versus blitz: Willingness, aggression, better technique
  • Rams aggressive with zone blitz pressure concepts, both with overloads from the outside and “fire x” schemes from the inside – They had success breaking down the Cards pass protections
  • Cards very multiple with personnel and formations: You don’t see the same formation twice in the first 15 plays; They might show you 25-30 different formations a game
  • MLB Laurinaitis a high energy player, Lacks top athleticism and change of direction; Not quite what you want athletically at the position
  • Rams a dime defensive team, They bring in S Dahl and CB King; Laurinaitis is the only LB on the field
  • Wells very good on the edge for a big man, Burst and acceleration with a physical presence
  • Cards offense very balanced in terms of personnel, formations and play calling – This is not just a spread pass offense, It looks much more like a traditional NFL offense with 2 back and “I” formation a significant part of what they do
  • Cards put a lot of mental pressure on defenses due to receiver distribution and location: 2×2 sets, 3×1 sets, 3×2 empty sets with different receivers in different positions
  • No QB maintains downfield focus in the face of a collapsing pocket better than Warner; Fitzgerald 11 yd TD was a great example
  • Warner made big plays in the pass game against the Rams zone blitz, Warner outstanding beating clean blitzers who are unblocked; Pocket toughness and great awareness and vision: Boldin 38 yds in the second quarter was a great example

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