|—||Cosell’s Take: 3-4 and 4-3 concepts more about personnel than defensive fronts | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports|
That’s what the college game has brought to the NFL — the idea that deception on the offensive side of the ball is a legitimate and highly effective means of breaking down defenses. It’s a multi-dimensional expansion of the basic play action concept that for years was executed with the quarterback under center, and more recently, out of the shotgun. The objective with play action (or more accurately at times, run action) was to create a false read for the defense, primarily at the second level. The linebacker reads run, takes a step or two forward to aggressively play his run responsibility, then is out of position to get to his coverage assignment in time. Very few regard it this way, but play/run action, at its core, is about deception.
Great stuff here with beautiful All-22 screen grabs.
The Patriots have a ferocious front seven. It’s allowed Belichick (and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia) to predominantly use two-deep safety concepts throughout the season. However, that front seven did not do well against Baltimore in Week 3. For whatever reason, New England’s linebackers were reactionary and undisciplined that night. The question is: how spooked is Belichick by that Week 3 film? Does he believe his linebackers just had a bad night? Or does he believe the Ravens run game is capable of ruining his team’s season? (Belichick surely remembers the 2009 Wild Card Weekend, when the Ravens went into Foxboro and rushed for 234 yards on 52 attempts.)
Good X and O stuff as always from Chris Brown…
Nick Saban, currently the head coach at Alabama, was the defensive coordinator under Bill Belichick when the two were with the Cleveland Browns in the early 1990s. While speaking to high school coaches at a recent clinic, Saban summed up the early problems of traditional spot-dropping zone coverage: “Well, when Marino’s throwing it, that old break on the ball shit don’t work.”
The answer that Saban, Belichick, and many others developed was “pattern-match” coverage — essentially man coverage that uses zone principles to identify the matchups. As Saban explained at the 2010 Coach of the Year Clinics Football Manual clinic:
You can play coverages in three ways. You can play zone, man, or pattern-match man. Pattern-match man is a coverage that plays the pattern after the pattern distribution. That means you pick up in man coverage after the receivers make their initial breaks and cuts. We number receivers from the outside going inside. If the number-one receiver crosses with the number-two receiver, we do not pick up the man coverage until they define where they are going.
Seems like there are more and more X-and-O articles popping up these days and it’s always a treat when they’re about the Pats.
Today here are two really interesting ones with diagrams!
First we have Matt Bowen from National Football Post breaking down the Brady to Hernando game winning touchdown (link here).
Second we have Chris Forsberg from ESPN Boston breaking down how effective play action was against the Steelers in 2010 (link here).
Must read alert! Thanks to Frenz for catching this great and insightful article from Alen Dumonjic, the X and O guru we interviewed here on the blog last week.
I’ve had many email exchanges with Alen since we connected a couple weeks ago, and this post shows how in depth his knowledge is. If you want to learn about real football I suggest you read it, and then read it again. Great stuff.