Kyle Jones's picture

Kyle Jones


Chicago (via Cleveland)

MEMBER SINCE   March 12, 2014

Proud OSU alum with a serious Cleveland sports complex.
I spend way too much time on Twitter.


  • SPORTS MOMENT: It WAS singing Carmen Ohio with Darrion Scott's giant arm wrapped around my shoulders on the field after the 2002 Michigan game...until I got to stand on E. 9th in Cleveland and watch the confetti rain down in June, 2016.
  • NFL TEAM: Cleveland Browns
  • NHL TEAM: Chicago Blackhawks
  • NBA TEAM: Cleveland Cavaliers
  • MLB TEAM: Cleveland Indians
  • SOCCER TEAM: Manchester United

Recent Activity

Comment 16 Sep 2019

It was the same, 2TE set with the 2nd TE in a wing alignment that’s shown in the PA clip. Fields under center in both. Only difference was the TEs were flipped toward the boundary on the play prior, and they ran that direction behind them.

As for Teague, he still looks a bit raw in pass pro, unlike Dobbins who seems very comfortable in these scenarios.

Comment 09 Sep 2019

The LB should fill his run gap, as Shaun Wade will likely be trailing that slot receiver who would be running the slant, while Jordan Fuller should also be there to make a tackle if/when the catch is made. RPOs like the one you described were designed initially to beat these kinds of defenses, but over time, defensive coaches have learned to anticipate such packaged plays and have drilled the defense over and over to handle them.

The real threat these days comes from using the threat of that slant to remove Wade as a potential force defender against an outside run to that side. The never-ending chess match continues.

Comment 09 Sep 2019

This looks very little like the Michigan defense of the past few years under Don Brown. Personnel-wise, there are some similarities, but scheme-wise it's the complete opposite. Brown relies heavily on press-man coverage while mixing in 2-trap, which is a derivative of the old Tampa-2 coverage and isn't commonly taught. On top of those, Brown blitzes on 65-70% of snaps, since both of those coverages can easily be played behind extra pressure.

Conversely, OSU is playing a 3-deep zone-match with some press-man and the occasional blitz mixed in. 

That all said, what separates Brown from his contemporaries is the focus on technique and aggressive attitude. Michigan always has 5-6 guys rallying to the ball and doesn't miss a lot of tackles, and in that sense, it could be that the influence from AA is being brought in by Mattison and Washington.

Comment 09 Sep 2019

I don't think it was all that different, as they still relied heavily on Inside Zone-read, Duo, and Outside Zone handoffs in the run game. The only difference was they ran Duo and Outside Zone from a pistol look more than straight under center, which allows the QB to read the backside edge. That resulted in more keepers for Fields (which he looked quite comfortable doing). There was definitely more of a spread feel, though, to your point. I think that had more to do with the opponent, though, as Cincy was very stout up the middle last year, and teams like UCF gave them trouble by spreading the field and getting the ball to speedy players in space. That's why we saw more quick outs and WR screens. 

The biggest takeaway for me was how good Fields looked. He seemed calm and comfortable all day, even when pressured. He made very few mistakes as a passer and threw some absolute darts. Day called out the touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson, as he was rolling to his left and still put it right through a small window, but he was completing deep outs to the opposite side of the field without any hesitation or trouble, showing a combination of accuracy and arm strength. As a runner, he made a few cuts upfield that probably didn't get celebrated because of how big he is, they didn't look quite as fast, but he left a couple defenders in the dust and still showed the smarts to slide or get out of bounds before taking a hit. The only thing people were upset about was the 4th down run he didn't pick up, but I actually think that was on Wyatt Davis, who was pulling on the play and missed the end he should've kicked out, allowing that guy to wrap up Fields at the line.

Comment 09 Sep 2019

I agree that we may see more coverages this week against a conference opponent, but Hafley admitted that they showed a lot more this week than last, especially on third downs. This week we saw zone blitzes with 3 deep-3 under zone coverage, and straight press-man coverage in addition to the Match-3 coverage in those passing situations. The constant theme was 1-high safety looks, though. It's been surprising how little we've seen from 2-deep looks, especially since we saw it in the Spring Game, but that may still be to come.

The one thing that has been a bit overlooked, in my opinion, is the use of different personnel. Though they're consistently running the same schemes, the defense has done a good job of substituting to match the offense:

  • Against 11 (1 RB, 1 TE), they've used the base 4-3 with Wade in as a slot corner
  • Against 12 or 21, White has subbed in as the slot defender (Bullet)
  • Against 10 (4 WR), both White and Wade have been on the field, usually with Harrison and Werner as the 2 LBs
  • Against 22 (heavy) like we saw when UC was backed up to their own goal line, all 4 'starting' LBs come on the field in a 4-4-3 alignment (Fuller is the only safety)

This allows the defense to match whatever they expect from the offense, but keeps everything pretty similar for the other 9-10 guys regardless of who is playing as the slot defender.

Comment 09 Sep 2019

You're correct on the idea that Fuller should be there to help. If the offense runs 4 verticals, as many have mentioned here, the 3-deep coverage would essentially turn into Cover-4, as Wade would run with #2 to his side all the way deep, allowing Fuller to pick up #2 weak after the LB initially disrupts that route (you can see Harrison do so in the first video). So, in this instance, the corners would run with the outside receivers while Wade and Fuller would take the inside receivers, meaning Fuller isn't splitting the difference as would happen in a traditional, Cover 3 spot-drop zone.

Comment 04 Sep 2019

I believe you mean this one:

I got more into Wilson's schematic heritage here:

...and his play-calling at IU here:

Comment 03 Sep 2019

I saw almost none of the Oklahoma State scheme in this week's game plan, which isn't a big surprise. As far as I understand it, Yurcich is there to be a QB coach primarily, helping execute the scheme set forth by Day as the play-caller.

What impressed me was how much more polished Fields looks as a passer, compared to just a few months ago during the Spring Game. When his first read was there, the ball came out quickly and accurately, without hesitation. That wasn't happening in April. There's still room for improvement, however, as Justin looked a little lost when that first read wasn't there, so that's where Yurcich can make the most impact.

Comment 28 Aug 2019

I’ve heard some coaches say this is why they prefer playing press-man on early downs, as it is more likely to result in an incomplete pass instead of a more conservative zone scheme which is focused on forcing a check down and limiting yards after the catch. If there is an incompletion on 1st down, then the defense can substitute into the 5 DB look on 2nd without any issue.

Comment 28 Aug 2019

You got it. If the back releases to the field, the MIKE will follow him in coverage, leaving the WILL to spy the QB or play a ‘Rat’ underneath zone. If the back releases to the boundary, then those roles are reversed. If he stays in to block, the LBs may have a blitz check called where one rushes the QB while the other drops.

Comment 28 Aug 2019

So I think the idea of having ‘your best 11’ on the field lacks the context needed in today’s game. Given how advanced offenses are, they can easily manipulate any look, so the key is being multiple. Turf Borland is an outstanding run defender, but clearly has limitations against the pass. The opposite can be said for a number of DBs. The key for the defense is to anticipate what the offense will do, THEN put the best 11 on the field to neutralize that look.

Comment 28 Aug 2019

I think there will be some of this, but not a ton. Okudah’s quote about Cover 3 is more about 3-Match, not the zone drop scheme I showed in the Dollar example. Mattison has typically only called 3-Match (aka Rip/Liz) behind blitzes, however, and Hafley has said he prefers 2-deep, Quarters looks instead of single-high match, so I don’t expect it to be a bread-and-butter scheme like it is at Alabama or Georgia on early downs. 

Comment 15 Jul 2019

Here are the full red zone stats from last season:

Wisconsin was solid, ranking 23rd in TD rate inside the 20. However, the best team in this regard was UCF (whose offense is nearly identical to OSU's) while Washington State (4th) and Clemson (6th) show that bigtime spread teams can still get it done close to the goal-line. Navy and Air Force are also extremely efficient inside the red zone, and while most people think of their style as physical because of all the running, the flexbone is really the ultimate finesse system. Pure smashmouth football doesn't seem to be the key to success down in short yardage, but rather showing multiple threats and executing.