Blaine Gabbert Preseason Game 2 In-Depth Breakdown

Written by Eric Stoner on August 28, 2011

Third Drive






– 10 Personnel, (3×1), Shotgun


– Falcons with 2 deep safeties, but at staggered depth. Nickel CB splitting difference between two slot receivers. Outside CBs lined up off and facing QB. Cover 3.


– Z receiver runs deep (runoff), outside slot runs a dig, inside slot runs a drag, X runs an out.


– Good job recognizing that WLB doesn’t gain enough depth in his drop to get in throwing lane against X running out.


– Throws X-out on point, with velocity, and as receiver is breaking. Gabbert does a good job keeping his feet under him and transferring weight appropriately upon delivery. Gain of 10 yards.





– 3rd and 10


– 11 Personnel, (3×1), TE lined up as deep wing on Trips side, Shotgun


– Falcons in Cover 1 pre-snap. RCB and Nickel CB lined up in man-press. LCB lined up in off-man.


– Gabbert takes five step drop. Has plenty of room to step up, but runs out of pocket towards sideline as soon as he completes the drop (pressuring himself). Throws the ball away as he nears the sideline.


Note: This was a huge red flag for me with Gabbert when I watched his Missouri tape. When his first read wassn’t open, he had a tendency to feel “ghost rushers” and bail from the pocket for no reason – often scrambling into pressure. Instead of going through his progressions, he ends up pressuring himself and wasting a play. Occasionally, this led to big gains at Mizzou, but it also resulted in a lot of wasted pass plays for his offense.


Fourth Drive





– 10 Personnel, (3×1), Shotgun


– Falcons with 2 deep safeties pre-snap. Nickel CB splitting difference between two slot receivers. LCB playing up w/body turned towards QB. RCB playing off, but creeps up pre-snap. Cover 2.


– Inside slot receiver runs up the seam. Outside slot runs a flat pattern. Z runs a deep route.


– Nickel and LCB ride the deep threats, opening up the quick flat pass.


– Gabbert does good job stepping up into pocket, allowing RT to ride LDE up the field. Flips his hips to the receiver he’s throwing to. Hits the flat route route with ease.




– 10 Personnel, (3×1), Shotgun


– Falcons 2 deep safeties, but at staggered depth. Nickel CB splitting difference between inside and outside slots. LCB and RCB playing off and turned facing QB. Cover 3.


– 5 step drop. Sees LDE flash off the edge and bails from the pocket to his left. Ends up pressuring himself for no reason and throws the ball away.


– If he simply steps up in the pocket, he’d have all day to throw on this play. He needs to completely eliminate this tendency. Again, a purposeless scramble leads to a wasted play.




– 10 Personnel, (3×1), Shotgun


– Falcons 2 deep safeties pre-snap. CBs playing off with bodies turned to QB. Nickelback playing head up over outside slot WR. Could be a soft Cover 2, but due to down, distance, and time (2nd and 10, :25 left in 2nd), it’s likely Cover 4.


– 5 step drop. Looks to Z quick out immediately. Doesn’t plant off of back foot, but takes a couple of short, choppy steps at the end of his drop. Overstrides on release, leaving him offbalance and altering his release point. Ball ends up sailing.




– 3rd and 10


– 11 Personnel, (3×1), TE Wing to Trips side, Shotgun


– Falcons with 2 deep safeties pre-snap. Nickel CB splitting difference between Wing TE and slot receiver. LCB and RCB outside shade of receivers and facing QB. Cover Two.


– Looks like Z, Slot, and X all run verticals. TE Wing stays in to block. FB leaks out into flat.


– 5 step drop. Tries to attack the Cover 2 “honey hole” between the RCB and S. Overstrides on release and ball sails.


– Gabbert gets clipped from behind after releasing the ball. Could have had an effect on the ball trajectory, but it looks like it his release and follow through were complete before getting hit. Mechanical issue.


Eric Stoner

Eric has been writing for Draft Breakdown for two years now, contributing by writing scouting reports, cutting video, and blogging about college football and the NFL. He was raised by a football coach and, as such, was forced to cut tape and chart personnel at an age that violates California labor law. A legal assistant by day, Eric also writes for Rotoworld NFL Draft and the SB Nation Jaguars Blog, Big Cat Country.

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