Wow, I am both relieved and proud to have written a complimentary article to Andy Benoit, a football writer I have long respected, that makes a lot of the same points about the Pats and man coverage that I made in my piece. It’s times like this I almost feel like I know what I’m talking about when it comes to x’s and o’s.
Love when Matt Chatham busts out the diagrams.
Good stuff from one of the best out there, Doug Farrar. Really the terms “slot corner” and “slot recevier” have changed and are more play-to-play than player-to-player.
Admit it — if I say “slot receiver,” you probably think of Wes Welker, and why wouldn’t you? Welker has redefined the position as it’s grown in importance throughout the NFL with his uncanny command of option routes and short-area concepts. But there’s more to the slot role than a bunch of seven-yard slants these days. Victor Cruz of the New York Giants has become a new kind of speed slot receiver, putting safeties to the test with elite speed up the seam. Other teams have followed that paradigm, but the really interesting thing about the slot position these days is how many teams are taking their star receivers and putting them inside to create matchups that are nearly impossible for defenses to win.
Good tweet from Matt Chatham showing how the Pats sold out against the pass and let the Broncos take what they could on the ground. Forcing continued execution and not allowing any big plays is “bend, don’t break” at its finest.
Good stuff from Doug Kyed breaking down the Pats 3-4 evolution post-Wilfork. We’ll probably see mostly sub-package this weekend and that will raise some questions.
Likely will be Hightower with Fletcher/Harmon/Collins/Ryan as the Money spot. I’d bet this is where BB gets creative. Maybe something like this:
Though I think Arrington might be the best bet on Welker since he has a lot of experience against him in practice. The trick-down of that then has Talib on Demaryius and then either Harmon or Ryan on Decker.
What about Julius Thomas? Who’s best on him? Collins? Hightower? Even Harmon or Gregory? Will be interesting to see how BB matches up, and I’m sure he’ll have some kind of twist we’re not expecting.
Interesting stuff about why the “walk about” is always tough to dissect. Makes sense why we see a lot of quick snaps against the Ryan’s to offset the effectiveness of it.
I asked Greg why these line sets and specific pressure concepts can throw off any quarterback –- even one as alert and proven as Brady. “It’s really common sense, if you think about it,” Greg said. “Tom Brady sets the protection at the line of scrimmage, and here’s how you set the protections -– you have to choose the five players the offensive linemen are going to block. And then, when you get to six and seven rushers, backs and tight ends become responsible for them. When there’s no defensive linemen, and nobody with their hands on the ground –- they’re kind of milling around in undefined amorphous positions –- who do you designate as the five defensive players to be blocked by the five offensive linemen? “So now, Brady comes to the line, and he sees seven or eight people [at least] standing up. How does he set the protection? How does the offensive line know who to block?”