Cosell’s Coaching Tape: Week One 9/15/10 Notes

Greg Cosell is back with more from Week One, and this time his raw, unedited notes focus on some individual players who had noteworthy performances in the season opener. Is Darren McFadden improving? Find out now:


  • Very stiff and upright, Tight hips with little flexibility
  • Ran hard with consistent effort
  • Much more decisive and efficient running “power” and “counter” than running zone, Does not have great vision or short area acceleration
  • More of a methodical and measured runner than an explosive runner
  • 10 yd run in the 4th quarter was McFadden’s best run in the NFL: Lateral quickness and agility, Created space in a confined – An NFL run
  • McFadden had three 13 yd runs, 2 were delay draws (one out of the shotgun) and on the third he came from the outside of bunch on a reverse concept
  • Overall McFadden looked quicker and more decisive as a runner, He ran hard but not with power


  • First 3rd + long Redskins had McNabb in the shotgun flanked by 2 blockers (Cooley and Portis) but they still allowed rookie LT Williams to blockers one-on-one; Williams did an excellent job on a 7 step drop depth, pushing Ware wide
  • Brooking played in the Cowboys nickel defense, along with James
  • First two 3rd + longs Redskins matched up Williams one-on-one with Ware with no help
  • Cowboys a 4-3 defense not a 3-4: Ware always aligns on the open side of the formation, They play “under” fronts with a “3 technique” and NT Ratliff aligned in a gap – Ware is really an “under” DE
  • Cowboys a lot of 2 deep shell coverage concepts, primarily “quarters” and ¼ ¼ ½ – They did play some “man free”
  • Redskins threw the ball predominantly out of 2 back on 1st + 10
  • When Ware drops into coverage, which is rare, the Cowboys almost always blitz from the other side
  • Cowboys high percentage blitzing out of their nickel in long yardage situations
  • Cowboys “man free” on Redskins first 1st down pass of the 2nd half: Moss 16 yds out of bunch
  • McNabb does not throw crossing routes very well, Struggles with his accuracy on throws where the receiver is running laterally
  • Cowboys defense high percentage blitz inside the 10 yd line
  • Redskina a lot of TE motion across the formation to Ware’s side, Get a body in front of him
  • Portis an excellent pass protector: Willing and physical as opposed to technique
  • Cowboys a lot more man coverage concepts in the 4th quarter when they were losing
  • McNabb has poor footwork in the pocket, Balance issues which causes erratic accuracy
  • McNabb 2 big completions on last 4th quarter drive versus “man free” coverage


  • Gay the Steelers nickel corner aligned over the slot
  • Woodley and Timmons both aligned as OLB on the same side a part of the Steelers nickel package
  • Harrison at times aligned at ILB in the nickel package, Blew up RG Dahl on 1st quarter sack – He also dropped into coverage from ILB position
  • Timmons now a movable chess piece in the nickel package
  • Steelers 1 defender in a 3 point stance is the predominant front look of the nickel package
  • Falcons used some empty sets versus Steelers defense, Spread them out and clean up the picture for Ryan – 3 step timing
  • Falcons pass game featured predominantly 3 step drops and designed big play opportunities off 7 step drops with max pro – Very little 5 step drop pass game and intermediate routes
  • Steelers a predominant single high safety coverage defense, 2 deep shell coverages are not that frequent
  • Steelers excellent at “fire x” blitz concept, almost always play “cover 3” behind it; If you can protect against “fire x”, you can defeat the coverage with deep digs
  • Ryan a very refined sense of timing and anticipation, Very few mental mistakes
  • Steelers great pre snap disguise on Polamalu interception; Ryan had thrown a lot of out routes to White throughout the game, and the Steelers played that game tendency – Polamalu and the corner exchanged responsibilities


  • Interception of game’s first play came against “quarters” coverage, Great play by Clements reading the route combination and falling off Branch’s go route to play the out by Carlson
  • 49ers 5 man zone blitz concept showed ¼ ¼ ½ behind it – Did that out of their base 3-4 – Don’t see that often
  • 49ers played dime in 3rd and long yardage situations, with S Smith and CB Brown the 2 extra DB; Clements moved inside over the slot, S Lewis dropped down into a LB position and Brown played LCB
  • LaBoy played both DE in the 4 man line and OLB in the base 3-4; His sack came from the RDE position in the 4 man line – Haralson played both sides as an OLB
  • WR Williams looked quick for a big man, Much better movement than a few years ago when he was slow and lumbering – He aligned both as the “x” and in the slot
  • Clements was beaten on the 35 yd pass to Williams, and Brown was beaten on the Butler 13 yd TD – Both plays had double moves
  • Seahawks split Carlson wide, outside the numbers; They did this out of “12” personnel – 49ers played both man and zone to that formation: Consecutive plays in the 3rd quarter, Carlson 13 yds versus zone and Williams 17 yds versus man with Spencer aligned over Williams in the slot
  • 49ers played a lot of “quarters” versus the Seahawks, Clearly a staple defense
  • 49ers played some “Tampa 2” in long yardage situations
  • Spencer beaten on the Branch 3 yd TD, It was “x” iso and the 49ers blitzed
  • 49ers picked up their blitz and stunt frequency in the 2nd half when they were behind – Didn’t feel they were that multiple in the 1st half
  • 49ers also more multiple with their front alignments in the 2nd half
  • Seahawks moved TE Carlson all over the formation, Moved well with some fluidity  – Looked like a better athlete than I thought

Category: Fantasy Guru Daily


2 Responses

  1. Jonathan says:

    More good stuff. Nice to see someone else that doesn’t think Ryan had a bad game.

  2. Anthony says:

    So would it be fair to say that McFadden is a sell high after the huge week 1? In both redrafts and dynasty?

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