Like many I have awaiting some specific, up-to-date information about what we should expect to see from Flip’s offense this season. We finally got a nugget from Terry’s Talkin’ this week:
1. They have been throwing a lot of swing passes to receivers in motion, which appears to be a significant part of DeFilippo’s offense. That also might help the backs catch more passes.
Using this quote I went back to the lab to look for pass concepts that integrated WR/RB motion at the snap of the ball. Before diving into the play I want to ensure that everyone is clear that we are looking at motion as the ball is snapped, not motion-and-reset.
Motion (both “slo-mo” and “jet”) as the ball is snapped is used for a variety of reasons. It can create angles to run inside-breaking-routes like a shallow cross, it can reduce the distance a WR needs to cover if his route will take him across the field, it can help the WR release “clean” at the LOS by helping him avoid jams and collisions within the 5 yard “hands on” zone, it gives the WR a small “spring” as he works to full speed in his route, it creates great angle for “cracks” on LB’s, etc.
The play we are about to look at is very similar conceptually to Shanahan’s PA “Flood” concepts we saw last year, so parts will look familiar. The two components of the play that caught my eye was the creative use of WR motion to “flood” the field away from the play action and the use of a “swap” by bringing the underneath route from across the formation.
After devoting my previous three “Previewing Flip’s Offense” post to pass concepts I want to pivot and look at the run game. We’ll look at some IZ, OZ, power, and counter over the course of our run-game analysis, but I want to kick this off with a play that merges the “old school” Iso with the “new school” “wham” block.
Ohio State fans will immediately recognize the “wham” block as it became a go-to concept in the Buckeye’s running game during their national championship run. Focus on the TE (#81 aligned on the inside leg of the right tackle) as he “whams” the RDE:
Mark Richt has run a highly successful shallow cross series since his days as Florida State’s offensive coordinator in the mid-late 90’s. He brought the play to Georgia and continues to run it to this day. I love the play concept; I REALLY hope Flip brings it with him.
Here’s a diagram of the play straight from FSU’s playbook:
Click here for a look at some All 22 film of the concept. You’ll also see Richt’s Y-Corner, Y-Stick, and Sail concepts.
Over the course of the 2014 season the Raiders often threw out of a “bunch” alignment in the read zone. I thought this play was interesting because it illustrates a very creative way to defeat a common Cover 4 (Quarters) “check” to a bunch formation, the “box” call.
A “box” call is a 4 over 3 coverage. The “box” check is a pattern-matching zone in which each defender begins the play with a zone that converts to man as the WR’s distribute. The DB’s must read the WR’s release at the LOS and decide if they are releasing inside/outside, and man-it from there.
Here is good illustration of the “box” alignment from JamesLightFootball.com (Jim’s site is a “must check” every day for my fellow film junkies):
If an offensive player doesn’t enter the defender’s zone, he will “zone off” and look to bracket anything close.
At this point we all know that the Raider’s offense ran a fairly WCO-ish scheme, with LOTS of ball going to the RB/FB out of the backfield. We’ll look at some common short/intermediate route concepts the offense utilized last year, as well as their base running game (IZ/OZ, power, and the counter), but today I want to breakdown my favorite vertical concepts the switch combo. I choose this particular play for two reasons: I’m a switch route fan boi and the play design is very clever as all 4 routes work together to achieve multiple goals against multiple defensive shells. Not a single route is “wasted”.
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The single greatest question about Cal (and possible Browns’ target) quarterback Jared Goff revolves around his college offense, Sonny Dyke’s “Bear Raid” system. With few success stories to point to over the previous two decades, the ability of an Airraid college quarterback to effectively run an ‘NFL’ progression-based offense should certainly be a major consideration when Cleveland’s new front office evaluates potential quarterback fits.
What’s the difference between a read and progression? Is there a single accepted definition or will we find shades of gray? Let’s start by examining two plays from the 2014 season to differentiate between “progression” reads and “coverage” reads.
Before going any further you should read this outstanding article by Chris Brown of SmartFootball.com explaining the key differences, as well as strengths and weaknesses, of progression and coverage reads. He does a great job of explaining the concepts. Keep in mind that progression reads are often associated with “pro” style offenses and coverage reads are often generally associated with “college” offenses such as the Spread/Airraid.
If you don’t want to read the article (really you SHOULD read it; Chris does phenomenal film work) I’ll quickly rehash what is said. Progression reads are sequential (1st option, 2nd option, 3rd option……) while coverage reads generally focus on the action of a single defender (the action of a Cover 2 squat corner determines where the ball goes when running the popular “Smash” concept).
Progression reads generally require more intensive verbiage and emphasis on the timing of the routes with the QB’s drop. In addition progression reads generally have MANY more site adjustments then coverage reads.
Progression reads do not often utilize “mirrored” route concepts, or two-man route concepts to both sides of the field (slant/flat for example). When you hear about “half-field reads”, the offense is generally running a mirrored concept to each side of the field. Pre-snap the QB will choose which side of the field to target based on a variety of factors including coverage shell, defender’s leverage and depth, spacing (field/boundary), personnel match-ups, etc.
Often times the coaches’ box will determine where the ball is going after scanning the defense at the LOS. This is one of the primary reasons many offenses hurry to the LOS. The offensive coaches want to scan the defense, looking for play opportunities based on coverage, alignment, depth, and match-ups.
My goal is to bring Cleveland Brown’s fans a detailed look at the schemes, plays, and techniques we see every Sunday from our beloved football team!
This blog is a work in progress. I’ll update the appearance and layout as I have time, but my main focus is to educate (and also learn from) those who want to “get up on the chalkboard” and look at the X’s and O’s of the game!
Check back soon for film breakdowns and chalk talk!