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All-22 Grades for Bills/Rams (The Athletic)


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1 hour ago, jletha said:

Re James Cook run here is the photo.

 

The blocking looks like he should take the red path to the outside, but he cut it up the blue path where he fumbled.

 

 

James cook run.jpg


 

You might be correct at that exact moment, but as the All-22 photos posted a few posts later show - a split second later the Tackle starts to get outside leverage on Brown and the Keys call for him to read that block and cut off Brown.  
 

There was space, but I think he actually made the correct read as they forced him back inside.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Rochesterfan said:


 

You might be correct at that exact moment, but as the All-22 photos posted a few posts later show - a split second later the Tackle starts to get outside leverage on Brown and the Keys call for him to read that block and cut off Brown.  
 

There was space, but I think he actually made the correct read as they forced him back inside.

 

That play is designed as a cutback play. That is the first read. Sure if everything stays inside he should attack Spencer's outside shoulder but as you pointed out the dtackle goes there (which is what the Bills want him to do) and Cook's primary read is to cut that back up inside. Didn't work out but I don't have any issue with the read he made. 

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38 minutes ago, KDIGGZ said:

Elam looked lost out there in zone coverage. I remember a few plays where it was like why is Kupp so wode open and then here comes Elam into the screen from 10 yards away. Then there was that play where Elam got absolutely trucked by the smallest WR on the Rams. I think we will be seeing more Benford in week 2


 

Maybe, but that is not what I saw really.  Elam did not have coverage of Kupp more than once or maybe a second time in the entire game.

 

He is not anywhere near as comfortable as Benford in zone, but that was known going in.  Just like once White returns and if the Bills decide to play more man - Elam will way outshine Benford in that setting.

 

Elam was not great, but he also wasn’t terrible and got 30 snaps where he was never a Stafford focal point.

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18 minutes ago, GunnerBill said:

 

Elam only had the coverage assignment on 1 of Kupp's 13 catches. FWIW I agree he looks uncomfortable in pure zone looks, when we play the deep shell and he has to identify the route he is carrying and the route he is passing off to a safety he is not reading things well enough at this stage. But Kupp being open wasn't on Elam. The one play he had coverage responsibility he actually played it pretty well. We were in a soft zone look and he took away the deep route, let Kupp run the curl underneath and came up and tackled for minimal YAC. It was an 8 yard gain on the final Rams drive. 

 

I broke down the coverage responsibilities for Kupp's 13 catches HERE if you are interested. 

Thanks for bringing this up. When KDIGGZ mentioned Elam coming from 10 yds away, it kinda sounds like when someone blames Edmunds for making a tackle down field, even when it wasn't his responsibility.  

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7 minutes ago, GunnerBill said:

 

That play is designed as a cutback play. That is the first read. Sure if everything stays inside he should attack Spencer's outside shoulder but as you pointed out the dtackle goes there (which is what the Bills want him to do) and Cook's primary read is to cut that back up inside. Didn't work out but I don't have any issue with the read he made. 


 

Agreed - I do have a major issue with the result - Cook has to read that play and protect the ball when players are coming from all sides, but Cook never had a fumbling problem at Georgia - so I will chalk this up to a learning experience.

 

Can I also say that for as much as Bates struggled - I think he handled Donald on this play by keeping him inside and allowing the hole to be there.  I think Donald helped by going inside, but Bates did not let him get back outside to the hole.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, GunnerBill said:

 

That play is designed as a cutback play. That is the first read. Sure if everything stays inside he should attack Spencer's outside shoulder but as you pointed out the dtackle goes there (which is what the Bills want him to do) and Cook's primary read is to cut that back up inside. Didn't work out but I don't have any issue with the read he made. 


 

The only thing I will disagree with is that I think ideally they want to hit that outside of Brown.  Knox and Gilliam double team outside with Gilliam peeling off to take the lone DB.  Gilliam was leading that rush to the outside of Brown.
 

Davis is settling in to keep the inside DB from getting to that outside hole.  The block is actually right in the middle of the hole inside Brown.  The LB on Brown makes a great play by stacking outside - which based on keys has Cook read to the inside shoulder of Brown, but the LB maintained leverage to fall inside and help make the play.

 

I think Cook read the play correctly, but he lacks a bit of nuance.  I think Devin on that play is a touch more patient and gives a look like he is cutting inside to try and help Brown (as the LB would begin to move inside allowing more leverage) and then Devin peels off to the outside.  That would also have given Gilliam another step to slide off his block and set up the last DB.


I give big props to the block by Knox - taking his guy way outside and Gilliam coming through to assist Knox and widen the potential hole.  The entire play was well blocked, but the defense found a way to make a play.

 

I will be a touch critical of the fumble, but Cook is a totally different runner and the timing was not quite right.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, KDIGGZ said:

Elam looked lost out there in zone coverage. I remember a few plays where it was like why is Kupp so wode open and then here comes Elam into the screen from 10 yards away. Then there was that play where Elam got absolutely trucked by the smallest WR on the Rams. I think we will be seeing more Benford in week 2

Kupp gets into the cover 2 holes better than most. Elam didn't really look lost, he was playing the underneath zone coverage assigned. What he at times didn't do was recognize and close the gap quickly enough. It was potentially equally as much the fault of the over the top zone  coverage man to come up sooner.

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48 minutes ago, Rochesterfan said:


 

You might be correct at that exact moment, but as the All-22 photos posted a few posts later show - a split second later the Tackle starts to get outside leverage on Brown and the Keys call for him to read that block and cut off Brown.  
 

There was space, but I think he actually made the correct read as they forced him back inside.

 

 

I am not a tape guy,  I was only trying to add the context to what was posted from Joe's article that Cook was his own worst enemy. I have no idea what the read was.

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3 hours ago, jletha said:

Re James Cook run here is the photo.

 

The blocking looks like he should take the red path to the outside, but he cut it up the blue path where he fumbled.

 

 

James cook run.jpg

 

Based on that picture it is hard to say why he cut inside - maybe just first carry nerves. 

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4 hours ago, Rochesterfan said:

The only thing I will disagree with is that I think ideally they want to hit that outside of Brown.  Knox and Gilliam double team outside with Gilliam peeling off to take the lone DB.  Gilliam was leading that rush to the outside of Brown.
 

Davis is settling in to keep the inside DB from getting to that outside hole.  The block is actually right in the middle of the hole inside Brown.  The LB on Brown makes a great play by stacking outside - which based on keys has Cook read to the inside shoulder of Brown, but the LB maintained leverage to fall inside and help make the play.

 

I think Cook read the play correctly, but he lacks a bit of nuance.  I think Devin on that play is a touch more patient and gives a look like he is cutting inside to try and help Brown (as the LB would begin to move inside allowing more leverage) and then Devin peels off to the outside.  That would also have given Gilliam another step to slide off his block and set up the last DB.


I give big props to the block by Knox - taking his guy way outside and Gilliam coming through to assist Knox and widen the potential hole.  The entire play was well blocked, but the defense found a way to make a play.

 

I will be a touch critical of the fumble, but Cook is a totally different runner and the timing was not quite right.

 

Good analysis, and I think ideally Gilliam might peal off and help Brown; Cover1's analysis of the run game pointed out another place where Gilliam was unable to release from his first block and take on the second assignment quickly enough.

 

I agree that Cook probably read it correctly as it was, but you analyzed the first intent of the play correctly.

 

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2 hours ago, Beast said:

Weird that three offensive linemen received the lowest grades when the team didn’t punt.

I have nothing against the offensive line play, but I think it's obvious that Buffalo anticipated that the Rams would have a strong pass rush, especially with Aaron Donald.  The quick hit passing game was their way of scheming against it.  It worked like a charm.

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That's a really bad read by Cook on the fumble.

 

First, he doesn't follow his lead block that makes it clean to the hole...

 

A hole that's outside - you'd think a guy with his skill set would be itching to hit that edge and get wide - I like that he wasn't shy about cutting it back into the middle - but man that's just a bad read. 

 

Don't be surprised if Cook is a scratch Monday.  I like him and think he's going to be fine but of all the ways to make a mistake not following the block to a massive hole then fumbling is not what you want to do.     

 

Barkley just destroyed that Titans D behind a mess of an oline.  I'm expecting Singletary to be one of the key players of this game.  

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Elam seemed a bit slower to react to the ball coming out and needed to have a little more awareness of down and distance on late downs. This zone-heavy look didn’t favor Elam at Florida, as he was at his best in man-to-man coverage. Elam’s best football could be ahead of him when White returns and the Bills feel more comfortable with a more even split between zone and man.

Serious question, not my first time seeing this but made me think of it.... and serious question, no sarcasm. In a league that is almost all zone, whats the advantage in drafting a man 2 man high like this? sure its great to have a guy that can do it situationally, but you dont draft 1st rd for situational ball. 

 

is it 100% his physical attributes and the belief we can coach him up? or do we see the % of man to man continuing to push closer and closer to even?

 

honestly im pretty sure i know the answer but wondering if im missing something

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1 minute ago, BillsShredder83 said:

Serious question, not my first time seeing this but made me think of it.... and serious question, no sarcasm. In a league that is almost all zone, whats the advantage in drafting a man 2 man high like this? sure its great to have a guy that can do it situationally, but you dont draft 1st rd for situational ball. 

 

is it 100% his physical attributes and the belief we can coach him up? or do we see the % of man to man continuing to push closer and closer to even?

 

honestly im pretty sure i know the answer but wondering if im missing something

 

I think part of the Bills assessment of last season was that Levi Wallace and Dane Jackson simply could not offer them a reasonable option of playing press man.  They can get better and better and better at off-ball coverage but Wallace didn't have the speed  and I think Jackson lacks the size, to jam a receiver on the line and recover if they're beaten

 

So they wanted to draft a guy they thought had the physical traits to be able to play press man and and the smarts/work ethic to coach up as a zone corner.

 

The Bills did play a surprising amount of man coverage last season, especially before Tre Day got hurt.  But of course part of that was we couldn't get home with 4, so we needed 5 or 6 guys to pressure the QB.

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5 hours ago, BillsShredder83 said:

Serious question, not my first time seeing this but made me think of it.... and serious question, no sarcasm. In a league that is almost all zone, whats the advantage in drafting a man 2 man high like this? sure its great to have a guy that can do it situationally, but you dont draft 1st rd for situational ball. 

 

is it 100% his physical attributes and the belief we can coach him up? or do we see the % of man to man continuing to push closer and closer to even?

 

honestly im pretty sure i know the answer but wondering if im missing something

 

Some context from yesterday's The Athletic:

 

"While it’s true the Bills play zone most of the time, so does almost every other team in the NFL. As they have added defensive talent since the start of the McDermott era, the Bills evolved into calling man coverage at the 11th-highest rate from 2019 through 2021, according to TruMedia and Pro Football Focus.

 

(However against the Rams) Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and a revamped defensive line ran zone coverage a whopping 92.4 percent of the game. It was a 32.1 percent increase from the Bills’ regular season zone rate in 2021 (60.3%)."

 

As far as your concerns about drafting a situational player in the first round, the Bills obviously don't view Elam as a situational player. They view him as a player who will excel in the 40% of man coverage snaps and a player with elite traits who they can coach up to excel in zone schemes. Most Bills fans view McFrazier as "defensive back whisperers" who have a long track record of taking "average talent" and moulding that talent into productive secondaries.

 

As a first rounder the Bills expect to develop Elam into a starting shutdown corner who can excel in zone as well as "travel" with opponents top receivers and win that matchup.

 

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