Each week our own Coach JL will break down a play, stripping it down and showing how the X’s and O’s truly matter to our sport. If you’d like a play to be given the Coach JL treatment, let us know in the comments. You don't need to know all the details of the game to enjoy watching it. However, it's my goal to educate our NFLDU readers to a point where they are capable of recognizing some key details by the start of the 2012 season. The game becomes so much more interesting when you can identify an offense or defense before the ball is snapped. You will know what the strength and weakness of formations, personnel groupings, runs, passes and that will add a whole new dimension to the game. One of these little things is a technique numbering system. In today's play you will see two defensive ends line up in a 5 technique, a defensive tackle in a 3 technique and another defensive tackle in a 1 technique. If a defense uses multiple fronts these numbers change, it is a way to identify a position and it also tells a player where to line up. A true 1 tech is usually the bigger defensive tackle and the 3 tech is the more athletic defensive lineman. Playing with 2 safeties high means that you will have less defenders in the box to stop the run. In other words, the offense has more blockers than there are defenders in the box. So, two safeties high means you have a light box and are weaker against the run but stronger against the pass! Here's a handy diagram to show you the dimensions of 'the box':
The SituationNow, lets see how one team is burned by a deceptive run play. The Cowboys have the ball on the -9 yard line, left hash, 1st and 10, 1st quarter, 9.48 on the clock. The game is still scoreless. Cowboys line up in I formation, regular personnel on the field, 2 Wr, 1 Te, 2Rb but the TE (Witten) is detached, Romo is under Center. The Rams have base defensive personnel on the field to match the Cowboys. The defense plays a variation of the Tampa 2 defense and are expecting a pass play.
The ResultThe Cowboys run the Lead Draw play. With this play they show a pass look but run the ball. As you can see on the snap of the ball the center and left guard double straight away on the 1tech. The right guard and both tackles pass set, you will see them kick back towards the QB. The defensive lineman respond to that with rushing up the field by doing so they run themselves out of the play. http://youtu.be/mmuW7qqh2Qg You will see #82 Witten and #24 Fiammetta executing 2 great blocks on both the Sam (strong-side) and Mike (middle) linebackers. In this play DeMarco Murray shows that he can find daylight, make a safety look stupid with a great move and has excellent speed. Little bonus is the the escort that #88 Dex Bryant is giving Murray. What do you think? Can Bryant run a bit? Be good! JL
WHAT PLAY NEXT? IT’S UP TO YOU!
Have a play from last season you’d like diagnosed by our resident Coach? Let us know in the comments including a clip from youtube for reference. If Coach likes it you’ll see it in the very next edition, published every Sunday afternoon.
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