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Member since 25 January 2013 | Blog

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Comment 24 Apr 2014

I don't agree with your argument that Michigan ran too many formations last season.  Formations are cheaper to add than plays in terms of time spent to learn.  Also, all of the college offensive coordinators that I have been around script their first 10-12 plays to make sure that they show all of the formations they intend to use for that game.  They do this so they can see how the defense is aligning to each of their formations in order to determine what formations are most advantageous to use going forward in the game.  In fact, Michigan State used more than 8 different formations on their opening drive vs. our Buckeyes in the BTen title game.  Were they overloading their players too?

Michigan's offense was bad last season, there is no doubt.  However, I do not believe that too many formations/schemes were the issue.   

Comment 28 Mar 2014

Good writeup and analysis mostly.  However, I strongly disagree with the analysis of the Penn State clip.  It is stated that Schutt makes a great play and then because Shazier pressed his gap too quickly he left an opening to the back side of the play.

In reality, Schutt was too aggressive and overpenetrated, giving the running back an easy read and giving the rest of the OSU run defense more space to defend along the line of scrimmage.  Shazier was actually perfect in how he pressed his gap.  The backside of the defense was compromised because Bennett got put on the ground and Spence allowed himself to be driven 2-3 yards off the ball which opened even more space along the LOS.  This breakdown was not on Shazier in the least.

Comment 25 Mar 2014

"Popularized by Jimmy Johnson at the University of Miami, a 4-3 over front shifts in the opposite direction as the under. The defensive line moves a half gap towards the call, with the linebackers shifting away to compensate. Also known as a stack alignment, the defensive linemen cover up most offensive linemen, allowing all three linebackers room to roam and flow to the football."

The 4-3 over and 4-3 Stack are actually separate defensive fronts with different responsibilities for the linebackers.  The 4-3 over descends from the Eagle front, which used the Pod flipping that you talked about.  This is the defense Penn State ran for years under JoePa.  The 4-3 Stack is what Jimmy Johnson popularized and what Michigan State bases out of.  These defenses are similar in that they both have 4 DL and 3LBs but there are key differences in how they are executed in practice.

Comment 12 Mar 2014

I did not state that the scheme was too complicated.  I merely stated that the scheme was way more complicated than what was presented here.  For example, many of the rules presented here change into something different vs. 3x1, vs no WR, vs. Motion, etc.  I did not state this fact to attack your article, just to respond to other comments that were shocked by how easy and simple the coverage seemed.

Comment 12 Mar 2014

To me it looks like a 6 man blitz with Cover 0 behind it.  They crash the DEs down hard inside and then bring the OLBs off the edge for Braxton.  MLB has pass responsibility for Hyde and when he sees run he can flow freely to the play.  This is a blitz for the zone read, that is obviously what they were expecting. 

Comment 12 Mar 2014

"Ross makes it sound easy"

- It is way more complicated than what is here.  Ross only gives one set of rules for the players...in reality they have multiple checks to every type of surface (TE+WR, 2 WRs, 3 WRs, TE+2WR, 0WRs, etc) that they will see in a game.  So they have to diagnose the formation to get lined up, diagnose the surface for their check, adjust to any shifts/motions, and then execute their assignment that may have changed 0.2 seconds before the ball was snapped.  So imagine you had to figure out a calculus problem in a limited amount of time but the problem morphed into a new one just when you were starting to devise a strategy for solving the original.

Comment 10 Feb 2014

For all intents and purposes he already has.  Later in the year he was lining up inside most of the time and would only rotate outside on certain occasions.

Comment 22 Jun 2013

Kid has solid arm strength, good speed, and a tough running style.  Average cutting ability, looks like it takes him an extra half step to get a solid change of direction.  His hips are great in the pocket but his throwing mechanics and follow through need some work.

When he does everything mechanically correct with his body weight he can throw darts. (1:00 and 2:38 in the highlight tape)

Sometimes his body weight drifts off to the side instead of propelling the ball down the field.  This leads to a drop in velocity giving good defenders more time to close.  Go watch youtube highlights of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, even Braxton Miller.  When they have time to set their feet they are driving their body down the field with their back foot, not drifting off to the side.  (Watch Collier's throws at 1:13 and 1:24 to see this drifting leading to a velocity drop.  It's a slight difference and means next to nothing in high school but it's one of the differences between average and great in college.)

Everything from the waist up seems to be good when he is running or throwing.  He may still be growing into his boy so the hiccups in his lower body mechanics may go away as he gets more coordinated naturally.

Lets also remember that this is a Junior highlight tape.  This kid will have a couple of years of improvement/coaching before he sees the field as a Buckeye.  He is not there yet, but with the right mindset, he could definitely develop into something special.