Kyle Jones's picture

Kyle Jones

Staff

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.

Favorites

  • 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 14 Jan 2019

Good question - and it all has to do with the offense's alignment. Against 21 personnel (2 back, 1 TE) with the TE attached, the SAM will line up on the line like a stand-up DE. Against 3 WR sets, though, the SAM walks out over the slot (as Werner and Darron Lee did quite often in the past). Mattison plays a lot of nickel against that kind of personnel, so it's possible that the slot defender becomes a DB more often than not in today's game.

Unlike when Wade was put in as the Nickel corner this past season, that DB won't just be playing the slot WR in man-coverage. Rather, they'll often be an underneath zone defender asked to play the run on many occasions, usually filling as the contain player. So, the question becomes who on the roster has the skill set to play that role? Does White or Fuller drop down in the box with Pryor or Riep filling in as a deep safety? Vice versa? Does one of the corners slide into that role?

Comment 10 Dec 2018

No, against 4 wides they have CBs on the outside and a safety/nickel over each slot with a free safety in the middle of the field. It's honestly not that different than when OSU plays nickel with Wade in the slot. The only different is their nickel, Myles Bryant, is physical enough to stay on the field and help stop the run on every down. This allows them to be much more versatile as they rarely need to substitute. That said, in long passing downs they will play a 3-1-7 sometimes with 3 down linemen, Burr-Kirven and Rapp essentially playing LB, and then sending all kinds of blitzes from those front five knowing there is enough talent behind them to take away anything down the field.

Comment 10 Dec 2018

Don't be fooled into thinking this is a finesse defense at all. Those two OLBs are essentially just stand-up ends next to a pair of space eaters inside. Those big boys in the middle do a great job of gumming up blocking schemes, often forcing the offense to use two blockers to take them on and leaving Burr-Kirven free to run around and make tackles. I'd expect the run game to involve a lot of Jet motion to either beat the interior players to the edges or providing false signals to force the linebackers into mistakes.

Comment 31 Oct 2018

Often, Haskins makes his read before the snap based on the placement of defenders. Since 6 defenders were lined up in the box against only 5 blockers, the MIKE LB had no one to slow him down in the left B-gap and would have likely smothered that handoff once the RB reached the line. 

It's hard to tell exactly what the route combination was to the bottom of the screen (3 WR side), but, as Prince mentioned, Haskins doesn't have the time to make multiple reads on this play. He's supposed to identify the lone WR who appears to have a mismatch to that side and get the ball out immediately after the fake handoff. It's likely that OSU found success with this play earlier and the game and Minnesota was ready for it the second time around. This kind of thing happens, but unfortunately, Prince received all the blame for it, which understandably makes him upset.

As for the notion many have that RPOs offer a run option for the QB, that's not often the case. There were a few versions of the original zone-read that JTB often ran in which he had the option to throw a screen outside after making his run read, but that was essentially a triple-option run with the screen acting like a pitch man. That doesn't work when the QB is throwing from the pocket, as Haskins is doing. Instead, the real issue with OSU's RPO game this season is that they all appear to be pre-snap reads vs post-snap, and Haskins isn't making his read off the movement of a defender and making him wrong no matter what, but rather playing the percentages and handing off or throwing based on where the defense is lined up. 

Comment 23 Oct 2018

There is absolutely no difference in the way an OL executes an RPO vs another run. Getting 3 yds upfield is pretty uncommon right away, especially in the zone schemes OSU often runs. Before climbing to an LB, the OL usually combo blocks a down lineman before one climbs to the backer. There are no issues with 'firing off the ball' as this is not your junior high league where one guy can just push over the other if he wants. 

Comment 16 Oct 2018

This is also how OSU is 3rd in the nation in sacks. The DL is looking to shoot gaps and get in the backfield to make the havoc plays, which means the LBs must do the same, otherwise, there will be open gaps everywhere. This is converse to the Heacock style that asked the DL to occupy blockers and leave the LBs free to make tackles or drop in coverage more conservatively. 

As we've seen in many different forms this season, be it the aggressive, press-man coverage outside or this decision to shoot gaps aggressively, there are always risks to any philosophy. For years, fans freaked out about how many screens and short passes the defense gave up, only to get upset when Schiano switched philosophies to take those away. Now, people don't like it that the LBs are up near the line, which is what allows guys like Chase Young to play with his hair on fire. 

Moral of the story: you can't have it both ways.