Cosell’s Coaching Tape: Week Sixteen 12/28/09 Notes

TITANS OFFENSE V. CHARGERS DEFENSE

  • Cromartie no interest in run support, No physicality to his game at all
  • Chargers matched up to Titans “22” personnel with Gregory replacing Cromartie, Jammer the only true corner on the field
  • Oliver continued to replace Ellison at safety in the Chargers nickel package, He’s a better pass defender – Ellison is a glorified LB much more effective in run support
  • Young did not account for back side LB Siler on Siler interception, An inexperienced mistake; Plus the throw was inaccurate
  • Young had receivers open on his 3rd + 5 fumble, There was no need for him to leave the pocket and run
  • Overall Young did not look comfortable in this game, He played a little fast with a lack of poise at times
  • Young much more comfortable and more effective throwing the ball to the outside than between the numbers
  • Young took a step back in this game, He abandoned the pocket too early on several plays; There were other plays in which he had a clean pocket and moved into pressure
  • Chargers front 3 and front 4 played well, They were physical and at times dominated the Titans OL
  • Young’s second interception was a combination of a lack of coverage awareness and an inaccurate throw
  • Titans offense and Young not at the point where they can play from behind throughout the game

CHARGERS OFFENSE V. TITANS DEFENSE

  • McRath and Allred started at OLB for the Titans
  • Titans more creative with their fronts and more aggressive with blitz early in the game, especially in 3rd + long situations; Clearly did not feel they could just line up and play against the Chargers pass game
  • Titans got their safeties involved in the run game early
  • Rivers underthrew a wide open Jackson on a deep post in the first quarter; CB Harper continued to be a liability in coverage, Jackson ran right by him
  • Rivers as tough in the pocket as any QB in the NFL, He’s oblivious to pressure, Unbelievable downfield focus
  • Tolbert a very versatile FB: Lead blocks, Catches the ball, Has quick feet as a runner
  • Tomlinson still showed short area quickness but his balance and body control just not what it was
  • LT McNeil struggled at times in pass protection, He showed a tendency to bend at the waist and lose balance and body control
  • Titans at times featured a 5-1-5 package with Tulloch the only LB in long yardage situations
  • Chargers exploited the Titans blitz in the second half, Titans rushed 5 and played “man free” behind it; Chargers picked up the blitzes and made plays down the field against the man coverage: Gates 32 yds versus LB McRath, Floyd 22 yds on 3rd + 7 versus Finnegan (Titans dime package)
  • Rivers in total command, An excellent passer and a very quick decision maker

RAVENS OFFENSE V. STEELERS DEFENSE

  • Ravens opened the game with 6 OL personnel, It’s become a staple of their offense – In this game Chester was the 6th OL
  • Oher started at LT in place of the inactive Gaither, and Cousins started at RT
  • Flacco’s interception on the first series was the result of Woodley blowing up RT Cousins, Woodley saved a big play since Washington was wide open down the seam
  • Steelers played some dime packages in 3rd + long situations
  • Washington 27 yds on 1st + 10 came out of an unbalanced OL with 3 WR personnel, Steelers matched up with base 3-4 personnel and had S Carter on Washington – Washington wheel route from slot
  • Ravens threw the ball out of 6 OL personnel, It was not just a running personnel package – Heap 30 yd TD came out of 6 OL
  • There were many plays in which the Ravens OL whipped the Steelers front seven in the run game, Don’t see that too often – Ravens clearly took a physical approach and sustained offense with the run
  • Cousins had a difficult time in pass protection with Woodley, That was evident throughout the game – He could not handle Woodley one-on-one
  • Ravens split Heap wide on a number of plays, including the 7 yd TD in the third quarter
  • Moll replaced Cousins at RT in the third quarter, but Cousins returned in the fourth quarter
  • Rice a tough physical inside runner, Strong legs and thighs, Runs through tackles
  • Hood played meaningful snaps for the Steelers in the nickel package in the fourth quarter, Had a big sack against LT Oher on 3rd + 9
  • Cousins was beaten quickly and badly by Woodley for sacks on the Ravens final 2 plays: 3rd + 7 and 4th + 11; The second one resulted in a fumble recovered by Hood – Surprised they singled him up on Woodley on those critical plays given that Cousins had struggled with Woodley all game
  • Steelers pass defense much better in this game, No explosive plays down the field although the Mason drop in the end zone might have changed the outcome of the game, The Mason drop was a great call executed well as opposed to a breakdown in coverage

EAGLES OFFENSE V. BRONCOS DEFENSE

  • McNabb go route to Jackson versus Bailey on the first play of the game, Jackson had a step but Bailey was right there, Had to be a perfect throw for a completion – McNabb just overthrew it, Bottom line is Bailey can still run
  • Law again inactive, Carter again was the nickel corner over the slot
  • Eagles went no huddle on their first possession to establish a tempo and rhythm for their offense, It was not a hurry up since they substituted with different personnel
  • Broncos a high percentage of press man coverage
  • Eagle utilized Westbrook as a “Joker”, aligning him all over the formation; They limited his touches but not his versatility
  • LT Peters had a tough first series; He was beaten by both Ayers and Dumervil, the Dumervil sack resulting in a McNabb fumble and Broncos recovery – On the Dumervil sack, Peters was late off the ball
  • Eagles have a nice bunch package with Jackson the outside receiver in the bunch, They get to it a variety of ways (shifting and motion) and run different plays out of it – McCoy 39 yd screen came out of this concept
  • When Jackson got hurt in the first quarter, Cole moved to C and Jean-Gilles came in at RG
  • Jackson 2 yd TD came out of the bunch concept, Broncos went “cover zero” blitz and the natural rub element that complemented Jackson’s shallow cross got him wide open quickly – A great call by the Eagles
  • McNabb some excellent throws in the face of pressure in the first half: Jackson 2 yd TD, Celek 31 yds
  • Celek 34 yds on second quarter TD drive: Celek beat Bailey man-to-man, Great throw by McNabb under duress – Plus McNabb threw with anticipation and touch
  • Celek 47 yd TD was another great example of the Eagles bunch concept breaking down the defense, Jackson motion to the outside alignment in the bunch and his resulting shallow cross caused coverage confusion for the Broncos – Celek was Dawkins man in coverage but Dawkins reacted to Jackson’s cross, No one ran with Celek
  • Bailey matched up to Jackson all over the formation, even when he was in the slot, and he did an excellent job
  • McNabb threw the ball very well in the first half, He has been a much more consistent QB this season
  • Maclin looked more decisive and faster than in any game this season, He’s an explosive receiver with great burst and acceleration
  • McNabb had an erratic stretch in the third quarter into the fourth quarter; His TD pass to Avant was lucky, It should have been intercepted by Hill, McNabb clearly did not account for Hill
  • The few times the Broncos played with dime personnel Smith was the 6th DB
  • Broncos much more aggressive attacking gaps in the second half, especially aligning defenders in both “A” gaps and dictating pass protections; The Eagles had some problems for a number of possessions
  • Broncos press man coverage also caused the Eagles problems in the second half, Receivers were not getting open quickly and defining throws for McNabb
  • In the second half the Broncos front seven handled the Eagles OL with Cole at C and Jean-Gilles at RG
  • Maclin 27 yds on game winning FG drive was an unbelievable throw and catch, It was a textbook catch from a fundamental standpoint, That’s why you practice

TEXANS OFFENSE V. DOLPHINS DEFENSE

  • What continued to stand out about the Texans offense is the utilization of Johnson all over the formation; They shift him, they motion him, they align him in different positions
  • Foster was the feature back for the Texans
  • Texans offense very multiple in terms of personnel and formations, They utilize shifting and motion consistently
  • Moses sack came off a 3 step drop in which Schaub did not throw the ball, Texans had FB Leach blocking Moses
  • Jones moves well for a tall receiver, Good quickness in and out of breaks, The feet of a smaller receiver
  • Davis has excellent athletic ability and very good movement skills, but he has consistently struggled in coverage this season – Anxious to see him next season
  • Johnson 10 yd TD came on 4th + 1 in the first quarter: Motion of Foster out of the backfield removed help over the top on Johnson, matched one-on-one in the slot on nickel corner Jones – Johnson on Jones was a mismatch that favored the Texans
  • Dolphins LBs had a difficult time in coverage, They were outflanked too easily by backs and TE Dreessen: Moats 16 yds on 2nd + 16 on first TD drive, Dreessen 21 yds on second TD drive
  • Dolphins matched Smith on Johnson, I was surprised given that Smith is not a quick twitch athlete with change of direction and lateral movement; I guess they felt it was a size matchup, since Smith is 6’3” and 215 pounds
  • Dreessen good movement skills, Can work in the short to intermediate areas effectively and pose problems for linebackers – He was a big factor against the Dolphins
  • Jones 44 yd TD was a function of the lack of a pass rush, Schaub was clean in the pocket for 5 seconds before he pulled the trigger; What made this even worse was that the Dolphins rushed 5 – Johnson’s motion dictated a coverage switch, with Smith matched on Jones; Jones adjusted his route, and Smith lost track of him
  • Foster 17 yd TD came out of “21” personnel, The Dolphins matched up with 4-3 personnel; The Dolphins slanted their DL away from the run and scraped their LBs to play side – It was easy for the Texans to stretch the front side and seal the back side, which is the principle of the zone run game
  • Foster was fluid and smooth for a 220 pound back, Has the look of a back who could be effective in a zone blocking scheme like the Texans; He’s not a laterally explosive runner but he has one cut downhill ability
  • Foster has similarities to Ryan Grant, but he’s a little more thickly built and he might be smoother and more fluid; He’s a methodical runner, not a dynamic one
  • Once again the Dolphins played a lot of 4-3 fronts versus base offensive personnel
  • Schaub just missed a huge play to Johnson on their first play of the second half: Johnson easily beat Smith on a crossing route with a lot of field in front of him, but Schaub threw it a little behind him – It was complete but Johnson had to slow down and reach back for the ball
  • Schaub had Johnson for a big play and possibly a TD on a seam route  in the third quarter; Johnson used his speed to run by Smith but Schaub made the wrong throw, It was too flat and too far inside and should have been intercepted
  • Dolphins played with a safety over the top of Johnson on just about every snap in which he was aligned outside; He was never singled covered by Smith when he was aligned outside the numbers
  • Overall the Texans OL controlled the line of scrimmage against the Dolphins front seven, plus the Dolphins generated no consistent pass rush on Schaub

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