Cosell’s Coaching Tape: Week Thirteen 12/7/09 Notes



  • Sapp again started at CB in place of the injured Winfield
  • What was immediately evident was the Cards gave DE Allen a lot to think about: On 5 and 7 step drops, they always had a second body to his side, whether it was a TE or a back
  • Cards did not match up LT Bridges on Allen one-on-one; Depending on the Vikings DL alignment, there were times LG Wells helped Bridges on Allen
  • The hat on the Cards OL was worn by RT Brown, He often was matched one-on-one with Edwards and Robison as a result of the focus on Allen
  • Allen was the Vikings nickel corner, aligned over the slot – In the Cards 3 WR sets, that was predominantly Boldin
  • When the Cards went 4 WR personnel with Doucet, the Vikings matched up with dime personnel: Paymah was the fourth corner, He played on the outside with Sapp and Allen on the inside
  • Warner timing and accuracy, plus pocket toughness is unmatched; Few QBs look down the gun barrel and make accurate throws like Warner
  • Hightower made some outstanding blocks versus blitz, Recognition and physicality
  • Boldin 39 yd TD was a great example of Warner speed of decision making: Immediate recognition of pressure and coverage, and a great throw to Boldin matched one-on-one with Griffin; Unbelievable understanding of where to place the ball
  • Cards OL did an excellent job in pass protection throughout the game, not only in terms of individual matchups but also blitz recognition and execution: Fitzgerald 34 yd TD was a zone blitz, RG Lutui and RT Brown great recognition, Gave Warner time to find Fitzgerald matched on S Williams
  • Cards offense kept the Vikings defense off balance throughout the game with personnel, formations and play calling
  • Cards more confident as the game progressed, More use of 4 WR personnel
  • Warner clean in the pocket all game, Some was scheme and play calling and some was Warner’s precise sense of timing and rhythm
  • Vikings defense was reactive all game, They were on their heels
  • Cards TE Patrick and Becht did an excellent job blocking in the run game


  • Vikings clearly have evolved into a predominant 3 WR personnel offense with Harvin
  • Vikings less emphasis on the running game: This is Favre’s offense, not Peterson’s
  • Cards match Rodgers-Cromartie man-to-man on his side of the field, even when the overall coverage call is zone – More coverage disguise and flexibility based on the talents of Rodgers-Cromartie
  • Cards more dime than nickel: Ware and Adams were the 5th and 6th DB
  • Vikings no commitment or rhythm to the running game
  • Cards 3-4 personnel in normal down and distance situations but they played with 1 gap techniques, It was 4-3 front mechanics with 3-4 personnel
  • Cards did a lot with their both their fronts and their coverages, Multiple looks that clearly created some hesitation and doubt in Favre, Favre did not throw with a lot of conviction
  • Cards changed their coverage looks from the 3 step to the 5 step phase, That slowed Favre’s speed of decision making, He looked more reactive than proactive
  • Vikings a passing team with a lot of toys on the perimeter, and “Joker” receivers in Harvin and Shiancoe – Peterson has become an afterthought in this offense
  • Cards played with great play recognition and discipline; Great understanding of Vikings offense based on personnel and formations
  • Favre’s first interception was a give-up throw, He had no defined picture of the coverage
  • It’s evident that Harvin is the new toy, and the Vikings are pushing the ball to him at the expense of Peterson – Favre has become too focused on Harvin
  • Cards DL was quicker than the Vikings OL, Vikings OL is a slow and not especially athletic unit
  • McKinnie is a below average NFL LT, He’s a very soft player with no physicality and toughness
  • DL Dockett great initial quickness and explosion off the ball, An outstanding one-gap penetrator
  • Favre’s second interception was a forced throw to Harvin on a short seam with Adams in coverage, 3 man rush with 8 in coverage
  • Cards defense played with great overall discipline, especially with their coverage schemes; They were willing to single up their corners McFadden and Rodgers-Cromartie on the outside against Rice and Berrian when they were split wide outside the numbers, and the Vikings did not make any plays on the perimeter
  • Cards defense really understood how to play the Vikings passing game, based on concepts and route combinations; Vikings never developed a feel for the Cards coverage schemes


  • Washington dropped a great throw deep throw by Young, It would have been a TD
  • Colts defense very fast, That allowed them to use a wide array of stunts that rely on speed versus Young
  • Colts effective using 5 man pressures, and with 5 man rushes, you can dictate the scramble lane for Young – The key when you rush 5 against Young is to make sure you don’t give him a quick throw in the 3 step or 5 step drop phase
  • Colts with their 5 man pressure schemes invited Young to run up the middle, They wanted him to break down and run, They baited him
  • The key for Young to improve as an NFL QB is to consistently play further into the down from the pocket, Learn to play from the first option through the second to the third – The earlier in the down he abandons the progression, the less he will improve
  • Young has shown the ability to throw the ball to the outside well, Titans get a lot of “cover 3” looks because of Johnson so the sideline comebacks are there
  • The Colts played with gap discipline and technique in the run game against Johnson; They did not stunt, or slant and scrape to defend Johnson – They played straight up and relied on their speed and quickness to prevent explosive plays
  • Johnson both patient and explosive, He forces the defense to play longer
  • Colts played consecutive snaps of “cover zero” in the fourth quarter, on 3rd + 8 and 4th + 5 – Colts defense very aggressive overall in the game
  • Brackett and Session stood out on film, Brackett more consistent with instincts and awareness while Session more explosive and dynamic
  • Young 43 pass attempts in this game, That’s clearly more than the Titans would like but it would not surprise me to see them throw the ball more by choice as the season progresses, Young is a comfortable looking player and Britt has emerged as a difficult cover


  • Garcon 36 yds on 3rd + 6 on first series: Colts empty 3×2 set with Manning in shotgun versus Titans nickel, “man free” coverage; Fuller on Clark, and Griffin on Collie – Vanden Bosch was aligned at DT, Tackles Ugoh and Diem one-on-one blocks
  • Titans matched up to the Colts offense with their nickel personnel, even when the Colts were in “22” personnel (2 backs and 2 TE)
  • Titans clearly game planned a lot of stunting on the inside against the interior of the Colts OL, Felt they could break down the protection on the inside
  • Manning speed of decision making and timing off the charts
  • Vanden Bosch at times aligned on the inside at DT in long yardage situations, with Hayes, Ford and Kearse rotating at DE – A quick pass rushing Titans DL
  • Colts put the burden on their tackles Ugoh and Diem to block one-on-one, For the most part they were up to the challenge – Manning’s speed of decision making, his exceptional internal clock and his timing and accuracy compensate for, and camouflage an average pass blocking OL
  • Titans matched Finnegan on Wayne, It wasn’t always man coverage but he aligned over Wayne on almost every snap
  • Manning did not target Wayne much in this game, Finnegan played a lot of press coverage and Manning clearly felt he had better options in this game
  • In the first half, the Titans rushed only their 4 DL on very snap; Not one blitz – I believe this was because the Colts pass game was 3 step and 5c step drop based, and the ball would be out of Manning’s hands
  • Titans blitzed on the first play of the second half: Addai 4 yds
  • Addai quick feet and laterally explosive, He creates space for himself in a confined area – Plus he has some power and strength
  • Colts more a methodical, ball control passing offense than an explosive pass offense; They don’t attack the inside vertical seams the way they did 3,4 years ago when Harrison was still in his prime
  • LB Thornton does not recognize plays quickly or decisively, His poor play recognition impacts his reaction time and often causes him to initially move in the wrong direction
  • Colts have evolved into a ball possession offense, They eat a lot of clock and they score touchdowns – This approach really helps the Colts defense
  • Titans did not generate consistent pressure on Manning, but the Colts ran very few 7 step drop route combinations – Once again, the Colts pass offense played to the limitations of their OL


  • Haynesworth a dominant DT, Great initial quickness and explosion for a man that size
  • Meachem much more involved in the Saints passing game now, Played more snaps and targeted more by Brees
  • Redskins front seven fast and active, They flow to the ball extremely well
  • At times in long yardage situations Haynesworth aligned at DE, and Orakpo at DT; The Redskins have done this throughout the season
  • Colston 40 yd TD in the second quarter: Saints 3×2 empty set, Redskins 3 man rush with 8 man “Tampa 2” behind it – Landry focused on Colston and anticipated the throw when Colston showed his in break, Can’t do that when you’re the deepest defender, Can’t react until the ball is thrown
  • Redskins did a good job in the first half breaking down the Saints pass protections, and speeding up Brees just a little bit
  • Redskins very multiple with their defensive fronts, Caused some confusion for the Saints protection schemes
  • Redskins front seven dominated the Saints OL in the run game, Saints developed no rhythm and continuity running the ball, Saints did not convert three 3rd + 1 runs through the third quarter
  • Saints tightened their formations in the second half as a counter to all the Redskins pressures and “green dog” concepts (when a man-to-man coverage defender rushes when his man stays in to block)
  • Redskins defense played the entire game challenging the Saints offense, and winning; In the 2 minutes at the end of the game, they played soft with no aggression – The psychology of negativity and blame
  • Meachem 53 yd TD in the final minute in the fourth quarter: Redskins played “quarters” to Meachem’s side; Meachem plus split made his vertical route Smoot’s responsibility, not Landry’s – TD was more Smoot’s breakdown

Category: Fantasy Guru Daily


2 Responses

  1. Jonathan says:

    I like the last note about Smoot’s breakdown, looked apparent that it was Landry getting beat a 2nd time.

  2. Al Scherer says:

    Thanks for the comments on the Vikings offense. I’ve notice for weeks that Favre has made himself the focal point of that team and I think that will cost them come playoff time.

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