Cosell’s Coaching Tape: Week Fifteen 12/24/09 Notes

PANTHERS OFFENSE V. VIKINGS DEFENSE

v Moore continued to be wild high with his throws, He’s a very erratic passer with poor throwing mechanics

v Leber and Greenway were the Vikings nickel LBs, Sapp was the nickel corner over the slot

v Right now MLB Brinkley is a little hesitant and indecisive; At times he’s a lateral mover not a downhill player, at other times he works the trash well and makes tackles – There is an explosiveness to his movement

v Moore not a real confident passer at this point; That shows up in the fact that he had a tendency to be a little late with his throws, waiting to see receivers break open rather than anticipating

v Brinkley was attacked and beaten on the Hoover 1 yd TD catch, Run / pass conflict on play action at the goal line

v Martin and Moore were both used as the Panthers 3rd WR, but the Panthers did not use 3 WR personnel very often

v Panthers offense very basic and straightforward in its use of personnel and formations, Not a difficult offense to defend conceptually

v Moore average arm strength, Did not show the ability to drive the ball down the field on intermediate and vertical routes; Does not transfer his weight well and throw with torque

v What I really struggle with regarding Moore is his lack of pocket toughness, He did not stand firm in the pocket in the face of pressure, A tendency to fall away from his throws with bodies around him

v Stewart a naturally powerful runner with balance and body control, Showed burst and acceleration to get to the perimeter – I think Stewart is ultimately a more complete runner than Williams

v Smith 42 yd TD came on 3rd + 26, That can happen if you’re the Vikings defense: Vikings played an inverted coverage scheme in which Winfield was the over the top defender and S Williams was the underneath defender; Winfield under no circumstance can let Smith get behind him, and he did

v Stewart’s 23 yds in the fourth quarter was very telling, It came out “22” personnel with 9 Vikings defenders in the box: P. Williams was physically handled and driven off the line of scrimmage right back into Brinkley; Leber lost back side contain and Stewart cut back all the way

v Panthers offense was methodical and somewhat efficient, They could play that way because of their own defense – Moore was erratic, Stewart has elite back attributes

EAGLES OFFENSE V. 49ERS DEFENSE

v Weaver fits the Eagles offense very well: He’s a versatile back with multi-dimensional skills who’s effective in 1 back and 2 back sets as both a runner and a receiver

v Jackson 19 yd TD came out of balanced “12” versus 49ers “quarters” coverage; Impact of McNabb movement on coverage discipline, Willis left his zone to attack McNabb

v Weaver also an excellent lead blocker: He lead blocks as if he was the runner, working well through traffic to get to his second level LB

v McNabb was not very comfortable early in the game, A little frenetic and fast; He left a big play on the field on the second series by not pulling the trigger on a wide open deep cross to Jackson

v Interesting call by the Eagles to go for it on 4th + 1 from their own 29 yard line late in the first quarter, Weaver no gain

v 49ers a lot of independent movement before the snap out of their nickel package, often with no box defender with his hand on the ground; They try to distort identification of rushers  by the QB and the OL

v 49ers utilized Brooks both as an OLB in the base 3-4 and as a DE in the nickel and dime packages

v Brown was the 49ers nickel corner in this game, He played on the outside with Bly moved inside over the slot – In the dime package, Roman was the third safety

v Jackson 39 yds in the second quarter a great example of the Eagles utilization of Jackson: He motioned out of the backfield to a bunch right formation, and then ran a drag underneath with a rub element that broke down the coverage

v McNabb interception at the end of the first half was not a poor decision, It was a just a late throw – He was throwing off the safety and he waited too long before pulling the trigger

v McNabb second interception was a tough throw across his body, It’s a throw McNabb can make; Jackson was open running away from the coverage but McNabb threw the ball too far inside – An inaccurate throw

v McNabb overthrew a wide open Jackson on a deep post in the third quarter; Great route versus “quarters” coverage, which the 49ers played a lot of, so my guess is the Eagles anticipated the coverage, which made sense given the play was out of 2 back personnel, which gave them 7 man protection

v Eagles 4 consecutive runs to finish 4th quarter TD drive that put them ahead 27-13; One thing that clearly has stood out in recent weeks has been the Eagles willingness to run the ball in the fourth quarter

v Continued to be impressed by Weaver’s quick feet and lateral agility as a runner

v A significant difference I see in McNabb this season has been his willingness to make stick throws into tighter windows, something he has rarely done in his NFL career; He’s a better QB because of it, In fact McNabb has for the most part thrown the ball very well this season

49ERS OFFENSE V. EAGLES DEFENSE

v Hanson was the Eagles nickel corner aligned inside over the slot; Jordan and Witherspoon were the nickel LBs, White also played snaps at LB in the nickel

v Eagles primarily a nickel defense; Can be attacked with 3×1 sets with the inside slot receiver since you get him matched on a LB – 49ers did that on the first series with Davis

v Davis a great athlete for a TE, He’s a terrific seam and vertical route runner – He struggles at this point to catch the ball with his hands facing the QB

v When the Eagles played dime personnel, Patterson was the fourth corner

v 49ers offensive focus was spread with Smith in the shotgun; As the game progressed, they utilized more 2 back sets with FB Norris with Smith under center

v When the 49ers had Davis and Walker on the field with Gore and 2 WRs, the Eagles matched up with their nickel package; They clearly treated Davis as a WR, and that personnel group as a passing package

v Mikell interception was a great scheme by the Eagles versus 49ers 3×1 set: Zone pressure concept with DE Parker running down the seam with Davis, the inside slot receiver; Mikell from the single receiver side raced over the top of Davis – Smith clearly did not account for Mikell

v Eagles utilize a defensive personnel package that features 5 DL in normal down and distance situations; It guarantees one-on-one matchups with the OL

v When the Eagles played their base 4-3, Trotter, Fokou and Witherspoon were the LBs; Eagles played base 4-3 when the 49ers had 2 backs on the field

v 49ers receivers did a poor job recognizing when they were hot versus the Eagles blitzes; Smith recognized them but the receivers (Crabtree and Davis) were unaware on a number of plays

v Eagles clearly had a type on the 49ers protection schemes, especially the 2 man OL side; Their zone blitz pressures consistently broke down the 49ers protections, and got rushers in clean

v Samuel interception was another great example of his route recognition and anticipation, It came out of “2 man” coverage but he dropped off his receiver and jumped the out route by Davis – Samuel baited Smith

v I don’t believe Smith is a good enough passer for the 49ers to run a shotgun spread offense as their foundation – Gore must be the foundation of the 49ers offense, with the passing game working off run personnel and run formations with an emphasis on play action and designed movement

v Morgan 12 yd TD came on a defensive mistake by the Eagles, They did not properly account for the 49ers 3×1 set

v Gore a terrific between-the-tackles runner, He gets skinny to get through small cracks at the point of attack maybe better than any back in the NFL

v DT Patterson had a terrific game: Great inside quickness, plus he did an excellent job splitting double teams

v 49ers looked in this game like they had not prepared for the Eagles blitzes, Too many protection breakdowns and clean rushers – It was almost embarrassing at times

v Eagles defense very multiples with pressures and coverages, They put a tremendous mental burden on the offense

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