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X’s and O’s Thread


HoofHearted

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After rewatching the last Buffalo TD drive in the 4th quarter, it’s pretty interesting to see the progression of plays and how they stacked up:

 

We saw a mix of Big 12 personnel with Edwards as well as 12 with Morris. Buffalo runs 4 straight duo runs into the Eagles 4 man front. Looks like the Davis motion causes change of strength for the LBs, as they flop with the motion across the center.

 

Guys just do a good just of getting on bodies. The double teams on the stout DTs do just enough to allow for tight running lanes and the OL was getting to the second level cleanly handling the LBs. Make no mistake, they are not moving guys: just stale mates and that was enough. 

 

After 4 straight successful runs, the eagles counter by putting 5 DL on the field (unable to double all of these guys). Our play selection shifted (not sure if called or checked) and ended up running what looks to me like a mid zone concept. We weren’t nearly as successful here and guys just aren’t winning 1v1s. 
 

What was cool to see was how we took advantage of the 5 man front with a quick hitter screen to Diggs. After multiple plays of condensed looks, we stretched the field horizontally, jetting Davis and Dawkins out in a semi-jailbreak look. 
 

Additionally, it’s my belief that the TD was likely a result of such success in the ground game. The Lbs started cheating up and gain to much ground towards the LoS as they make their reads. #53 bites just enough on the mesh to open up the window on the bang to Davis. #24 is caught flat footed and roasted inside, having to cover the entire field from the far hash in man. 
 

A cool series of plays and an interesting back and forth from our offense. 

 

A few things that I’d like to know more about is why they like to condense these WR splits into the slot, and even behind the guard/tackle. What advantage do they feel they gain by bringing more bodies into the box? 
 

Additionally, I am curious as to why we saw so much success this drive with the duo runs out of the 12 big personnel and why we struggled to find similar gains with Kincaid in spread. 
 

Hoping to watch more tmrw. 

@HoofHearted

 

Edited by EmotionallyUnstable
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On 11/16/2023 at 6:31 AM, HoofHearted said:

Just wanted to throw this out there as an outlet for some of you guys to get answers on scheme, specific plays, coaching, etc.

 

What I envision this thread being is a place where you guys can come ask questions and I can help provide answers all in one place instead of a lot of answers being buried 12 pages deep in sporadic threads every week. I’ll try my best to get to everyone’s questions as quickly as I can.

 

What I do not want this thread to devolve into is a gossip/fire whoever/hot take of the week type of deal.

 

I want this to be specifically about learning more about the game so if you’ve got something else, respectfully, take it to another thread. Thanks!

 

Fire away!

Hoof,

 

I (& likely the forum) would be interested in your take on the miscommunication between Josh & Gabe. Who is at fault (if anyone)? Thanks.

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17 hours ago, EmotionallyUnstable said:

After rewatching the last Buffalo TD drive in the 4th quarter, it’s pretty interesting to see the progression of plays and how they stacked up:

 

We saw a mix of Big 12 personnel with Edwards as well as 12 with Morris. Buffalo runs 4 straight duo runs into the Eagles 4 man front. Looks like the Davis motion causes change of strength for the LBs, as they flop with the motion across the center.

 

Guys just do a good just of getting on bodies. The double teams on the stout DTs do just enough to allow for tight running lanes and the OL was getting to the second level cleanly handling the LBs. Make no mistake, they are not moving guys: just stale mates and that was enough. 

 

After 4 straight successful runs, the eagles counter by putting 5 DL on the field (unable to double all of these guys). Our play selection shifted (not sure if called or checked) and ended up running what looks to me like a mid zone concept. We weren’t nearly as successful here and guys just aren’t winning 1v1s. 
 

What was cool to see was how we took advantage of the 5 man front with a quick hitter screen to Diggs. After multiple plays of condensed looks, we stretched the field horizontally, jetting Davis and Dawkins out in a semi-jailbreak look. 
 

Additionally, it’s my belief that the TD was likely a result of such success in the ground game. The Lbs started cheating up and gain to much ground towards the LoS as they make their reads. #53 bites just enough on the mesh to open up the window on the bang to Davis. #24 is caught flat footed and roasted inside, having to cover the entire field from the far hash in man. 
 

A cool series of plays and an interesting back and forth from our offense. 

 

A few things that I’d like to know more about is why they like to condense these WR splits into the slot, and even behind the guard/tackle. What advantage do they feel they gain by bringing more bodies into the box? 
 

Additionally, I am curious as to why we saw so much success this drive with the duo runs out of the 12 big personnel and why we struggled to find similar gains with Kincaid in spread. 
 

Hoping to watch more tmrw. 

@HoofHearted

 

Just for clarification purposes the four plays you are referring to were ISO, Inside Zone, ISO, and ISO in that order and then the fifth play was Mid Zone as you said. The whole concept behind that set is to force a corner into having to be a C gap fitter while also ensuring our backs a 1v1 vs a Corner. Still haven't had time this week to watch the A22 so I don't have an answer for your second question at the moment, but hopefully I'll be able to get to it at some point.

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4 hours ago, HoofHearted said:

Just for clarification purposes the four plays you are referring to were ISO, Inside Zone, ISO, and ISO in that order and then the fifth play was Mid Zone as you said. The whole concept behind that set is to force a corner into having to be a C gap fitter while also ensuring our backs a 1v1 vs a Corner. Still haven't had time this week to watch the A22 so I don't have an answer for your second question at the moment, but hopefully I'll be able to get to it at some point.


Any tips on give aways as to how this is distinguishable between duo and ISO? 
 

From what I saw, it appears we were getting two pairs of double teams working to the stacked backers. What is the iso component here? Is the ISO referring to the WR on the CB? 
 

Appreciate the info!

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19 minutes ago, EmotionallyUnstable said:


Any tips on give aways as to how this is distinguishable between duo and ISO? 
 

From what I saw, it appears we were getting two pairs of double teams working to the stacked backers. What is the iso component here? Is the ISO referring to the WR on the CB? 
 

Appreciate the info!

Tight end will block down on Duo and sniffer will fit outside. If the tight end kicks EMLOS, OL blocks covered to uncovered, and sniffer inserts its ISO

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53 minutes ago, HoofHearted said:

Tight end will block down on Duo and sniffer will fit outside. If the tight end kicks EMLOS, OL blocks covered to uncovered, and sniffer inserts its ISO

So essentially it’s the same play with the difference between terminology based off of the defensive alignment?
 

7T DE would give you a duo but because they brought the safety into the C gap and showed a 9T you’re calling it ISO? Either way you’re getting a 2v2 game with the TE/WR on DE/S.

 

In terms of calling this play, would they even distinguish a difference between the two, and simply use a single call with the defensive front and blocking rules indicating what the TE/WR are doing based on alignment?

 

Interesting…I never thought of it as ISO since my ideas of the play generally consists of a FB or TE being the lead back but in this case it’s a WR

Edited by EmotionallyUnstable
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6 hours ago, HoofHearted said:

Josh. Gabe got inside leverage so he ran to grass like he's suppose to.


Romo said they looked like they were playing man to man. To the field that appeared to be the case, but were the Eagles in C2 match to the boundary? Slay was on Diggs in the slot but passed off the out to the boundary corner to run with Davis.

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16 minutes ago, EmotionallyUnstable said:


Romo said they looked like they were playing man to man. To the field that appeared to be the case, but were the Eagles in C2 match to the boundary? Slay was on Diggs in the slot but passed off the out to the boundary corner to run with Davis.

No, it was just combo coverage. Man with switch rules.

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34 minutes ago, EmotionallyUnstable said:

So essentially it’s the same play with the difference between terminology based off of the defensive alignment?
 

7T DE would give you a duo but because they brought the safety into the C gap and showed a 9T you’re calling it ISO? Either way you’re getting a 2v2 game with the TE/WR on DE/S.

 

In terms of calling this play, would they even distinguish a difference between the two, and simply use a single call with the defensive front and blocking rules indicating what the TE/WR are doing based on alignment?

 

Interesting…I never thought of it as ISO since my ideas of the play generally consists of a FB or TE being the lead back but in this case it’s a WR

It’s different blocking rules, so no. They are two different calls.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'll play resurrectionist on this thread.

 

@HoofHearted & others, wonder if you could kindly do a break down on what the coverage should have been on the "Toney Offside" play?

 

We all saw how open Kelsey was.  It's my impression that Christian Benford was supposed to be covering Kelsey and Toney picked him hard.

1) Is that corrrect or should Cam Lewis/someone else have covered Kelsey when he crossed in front of them?

2) If it should have been Benford, what should Benford have done to avoid getting "boxed out" of the play like he was?

 

Apologize for not the best image quality or sequence, but this is what I'm talking about

0.  Dane Jackson on Toney, but releases to take up Noah Grey.  Kelsey has free release but looks to me like Benford has him

[Edit: that's not Dane Jackson, it's Taron Johnson.   Brain fart on my part]

1.  Lewis on Toney, but Benford right there - is Benford expecting Lewis to leave Toney to him and Lewis cover Kelsey?

2. My best try at catching when Toney turns his back and slams his body into Benford

 

Again, apologize for not better pics

 

And please folks, let's NOT talk about the pre-snap penalty sitch here, I'm hoping to get some insight into what the coverage was on the play and what went wrong to leave Kelsey so open.
 

 

Capture0.jpg

Capture.jpg

Capture2.jpg

Edited by Beck Water
correct player
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13 minutes ago, Beck Water said:

I'll play resurrectionist on this thread.

 

@HoofHearted & others, wonder if you could kindly do a break down on what the coverage should have been on the "Toney Offside" play?

 

We all saw how open Kelsey was.  It's my impression that Christian Benford was supposed to be covering Kelsey and Toney picked him hard.

1) Is that corrrect or should Cam Lewis/someone else have covered Kelsey when he crossed in front of them?

2) If it should have been Benford, what should Benford have done to avoid getting "boxed out" of the play like he was?

 

Apologize for not the best image quality or sequence, but this is what I'm talking about

0.  Dane Jackson on Toney, but releases to take up Noah Grey.  Kelsey has free release but looks to me like Benford has him

1.  Lewis on Toney, but Benford right there - is Benford expecting Lewis to leave Toney to him and Lewis cover Kelsey?

2. My best try at catching when Toney turns his back and slams his body into Benford

 

Again, apologize for not better pics

 

And please folks, let's NOT talk about the pre-snap penalty sitch here, I'm hoping to get some insight into what the coverage was on the play and what went wrong to leave Kelsey so open.
 

 

Capture0.jpg

Capture.jpg

Capture2.jpg

 

I’m not sure what to say other than that is so NOT what it felt like to me at the time. Even watching replays, it didn't look this simple. My eyes are easily deceived in the moment.

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16 hours ago, Beck Water said:

I'll play resurrectionist on this thread.

 

@HoofHearted & others, wonder if you could kindly do a break down on what the coverage should have been on the "Toney Offside" play?

 

We all saw how open Kelsey was.  It's my impression that Christian Benford was supposed to be covering Kelsey and Toney picked him hard.

1) Is that corrrect or should Cam Lewis/someone else have covered Kelsey when he crossed in front of them?

2) If it should have been Benford, what should Benford have done to avoid getting "boxed out" of the play like he was?

 

Apologize for not the best image quality or sequence, but this is what I'm talking about

0.  Dane Jackson on Toney, but releases to take up Noah Grey.  Kelsey has free release but looks to me like Benford has him

1.  Lewis on Toney, but Benford right there - is Benford expecting Lewis to leave Toney to him and Lewis cover Kelsey?

2. My best try at catching when Toney turns his back and slams his body into Benford

 

Again, apologize for not better pics

 

And please folks, let's NOT talk about the pre-snap penalty sitch here, I'm hoping to get some insight into what the coverage was on the play and what went wrong to leave Kelsey so open.
 

 

Capture0.jpg

Capture.jpg

Capture2.jpg

It was Man Free coverage. They were playing a form of combo coverage on the bunch set (Johnson takes first to flat, Cam takes first in/vertical or second out, and Benford takes first out/vertical or second in). This concept is tough because the verticals don't declare at the LoS and so it puts your rules into conflict. You either sink with the verticals and switch them off or sit on them and play them man regardless of what they do at the breakpoint. Cam sits and Benford drifts. McDermott said they got picked in his presser so it leads me to believe they weren't suppose to switch them off once they declared vertical. Benford can't sink and instead needs to just sit on the route and play catch technique, collision, and stay under the pick.

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16 hours ago, Beck Water said:

I'll play resurrectionist on this thread.

 

@HoofHearted & others, wonder if you could kindly do a break down on what the coverage should have been on the "Toney Offside" play?

 

We all saw how open Kelsey was.  It's my impression that Christian Benford was supposed to be covering Kelsey and Toney picked him hard.

1) Is that corrrect or should Cam Lewis/someone else have covered Kelsey when he crossed in front of them?

2) If it should have been Benford, what should Benford have done to avoid getting "boxed out" of the play like he was?

 

Apologize for not the best image quality or sequence, but this is what I'm talking about

0.  Dane Jackson on Toney, but releases to take up Noah Grey.  Kelsey has free release but looks to me like Benford has him

1.  Lewis on Toney, but Benford right there - is Benford expecting Lewis to leave Toney to him and Lewis cover Kelsey?

2. My best try at catching when Toney turns his back and slams his body into Benford

 

Again, apologize for not better pics

 

And please folks, let's NOT talk about the pre-snap penalty sitch here, I'm hoping to get some insight into what the coverage was on the play and what went wrong to leave Kelsey so open.
 

 

Capture0.jpg

Capture.jpg

Capture2.jpg

 

1 - Depends if they wanted to switch pre-snap in that situation.  My assumption is no- man is man.  When they stack like this though you might need to switch in the future if you see a similar look.  

2 - To avoid getting boxed out you try and adjust your depth so you are deeper than lewis when kelce makes his cut.

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29 minutes ago, HoofHearted said:

It was Man Free coverage. They were playing a form of combo coverage on the bunch set (Johnson takes first to flat, Cam takes first in/vertical or second out, and Benford takes first out/vertical or second in). This concept is tough because the verticals don't declare at the LoS and so it puts your rules into conflict. You either sink with the verticals and switch them off or sit on them and play them man regardless of what they do at the breakpoint. Cam sits and Benford drifts. McDermott said they got picked in his presser so it leads me to believe they weren't suppose to switch them off once they declared vertical. Benford can't sink and instead needs to just sit on the route and play catch technique, collision, and stay under the pick.

 

Thanks, that's very clear on the coverage responsibility aspect.  I missed that in McDermott's presser.

 

How I interpret what you wrote is that Benford drifted downfield anticipating that Kelce might go vertical, and he should have stayed closer to Kelce ("sit on the route") and the LOS ("underneath the pick").   Is this correct?

 

If you're willing to explain, though, what does "catch technique" mean?

 

I had the feeling that Reid/Nagy must have studied our coverage carefully and mapped out how to cause confliction.  I can see where Benford would want to give Kelce a cushion to avoid getting blown by if Kelce did go vertical.

I hope McDermott and Co are working overtime on resolving because Sirianni was certainly taking notes and, as Milano put it in plain words about McDaniel and the Dolphins, "they want to make you run into each other"

Edit: OK this may be above and beyond, but you're able to deduce a lot from body position etc - do you think it's possible that there was confusion between the DBs, where Benford expected Lewis to switch while Lewis expected Benford to stay with Kelce?  Benford stays looking at Kelce, which is why I guessed that was still his man.

 

 

Edited by Beck Water
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  • 3 weeks later...

Good Morning!  Bumping this thread in the hope of getting one of our X's and O's guys to talk about this.

(Happy New Year @HoofHearted!)

 

I have questions but it will take me a while and some examples to get to them.

 

In Jim Kubiak's usual column assessing QB play in TBN, he talks about the challenge posed by the Patriots "overload approach" on defense

 

Since it's paywalled and I don't know what the state of TBN's trial subscription may be:

 

Two examples of this he discusses are "phantom rushers" on the edge, forcing the OTs to slide out to account for them, but actually they didn't rush and maintained 6 men in coverage while isolating Morse and the guards against 4 'bull rushers'.
 

Quote

It is clear the Patriots intended to occupy the Bills’ offensive tackles with phantom-rushers as they slid out for the potential blitz. Those defenders didn’t rush, they simply created a need to account for them. This isolated left guard Connor McGovern, center Mitch Morse and rookie right guard O’Cyrus Torrence to protect the powerful bull rushers. It was a smart way to attack Allen. This creative scheme made Allen uncomfortable as there was no pocket for him to step into, and the pressure bore down on him from the inside as New England was prepared for him to flush to the right or left. This also allowed the Patriots to keep six defenders in the secondary.

 

In one screenshot example he gives, Allen had several options open short, but was overlooking them to look downfield

65945228994ec.image.png?resize=624,359
[credit to Kubiak for the screenshot.  This is the play that resulted in a fumble as Allen attempted to escape and improvise]

 

He also talks about the Patriots overloading a section of the offensive line, which if I'm not mistaken is a strategy the Bengals used very successfully against us in the Division round last season, again this season, and possibly also used by Jacksonville?
 

Quote

The Patriots attacked Allen with the strategy of overloading one side of the Bills’ offensive line. Here, they brought three rushers to Allen’s left as the Bills’ five-man protection scheme was sliding to his right. Left tackle Deon Dawkins was in a bind. His job was to secure the inside gap, which he did, but the Patriots also blitzed linebacker Mack Wilson Sr. (No. 3) outside of Dawkins. This scheme would have required the Bills to slide their protection back to the left, but that would have opened up the Bills to a variety of potential blitzes from the side that had more defenders.

 

Quote

Allen was pressured by a free rusher, despite the fact the Bills had five blockers and the Patriots only rushed four. Allen did the only thing he could, throw the ball into the ground before taking a sack. He is learning not to press too hard, and this has made all the difference in the Bills' ability to to win close games.

6594522baee5f.image.png?resize=624,283

[credit to Kubiak for the screenshot]

 

My X's and O's questions are:

1) particularly in the case of the overload blitz where the D creates pressure with 4 or even 3 rushers while maintaining coverage by overloading only one side of the line, are there any OL protection calls which would allow the offense to better handle this?  It seems to be a strategy that has been successful against the Bills offense for some time and since it's a "copy cat league", well....

2) ditto in the case of the 'phantom edge rusher'?

3) In a section I didn't quote, Kubiak says it looked as though the Pats were in Man coverage, but they were actually in a form of "Match" coverage.  What is "Match" coverage and how does it differ from Man?

 

Thanks!

Edited by Beck Water
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10 minutes ago, Beck Water said:

My X's and O's questions are:

1) particularly in the case of the overload blitz where the D creates pressure with 4 or even 3 rushers while maintaining coverage by overloading only one side of the line, are there any OL protection calls which would allow the offense to better handle this?  It seems to be a strategy that has been successful against the Bills offense for some time and since it's a "copy cat league", well....

2) ditto in the case of the 'phantom edge rusher'?

3) In a section I didn't quote, Kubiak says it looked as though the Pats were in Man coverage, but they were actually in a form of "Match" coverage.  What is "Match" coverage and how does it differ from Man?

 

Thanks!

1) Overloads are successful because they almost always guarantee one on ones vs the OL regardless of protection. There's nothing really from a protection standpoint that would be better against these, but the offense should be looking to take advantage of that opposite side because the defense is essentially a guy short. It should create a natural through in the pocket for Josh to exploit, but in addition a large number of these overloads are coming from zone concepts where the defense is dropping DL into coverage. That's where we need to do a better job of seeing and exploiting those match-ups.

 

2) Same thing with the "phantom edge rusher" - they're doing it just to occupy a guy to create 1 on 1's elsewhere. Same advantages for the offense though, if they're just going to sit a guy at the LoS and have him essentially do nothing then there's going to be opportunities in the pass game to take advantage of the fewer numbers in coverage.

 

3) There are match variation of basically every coverage out there these days - so without seeing a specific example I wouldn't be able to tell you.

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