Blaine Gabbert Preseason Game 3 In-Depth Breakdown

Written by Eric Stoner on August 31, 2011


Play by play breakdown and analysis of Blaine Gabbert’s third game in a Jaguars uniform. Be sure to check out the breakdowns of Game One and Game Two as well.


The personnel numbering refers to how many tight ends and runningbacks are on the field. The first number corresponds with how many runningbacks are in the package, the second number refers to how many tight ends are in the package.


First Drive





– 11 personnel, (2×2)


– Bills in Cover 1/Man Free pre-snap. Safeties at staggered depth. LCB and Nickel playing press-man, RCB playing off-man.


– 7 step drop. Gets good depth on first five steps, gathers himself with the last two.


– Feels pressure and tries to step up instead of bailing out laterally. LDE reacts by spinning inside. RT doesn’t power step to seal it off, and LDE picks up the sack.





– No huddle


– 11 personnel, (2×2), shotgun


– Bills in Cover 3 pre-snap. Safeties at staggered depth. Outside CBs playing way off and are facing QB.


– Z and X run 10 yard stops. TE and slot WR run seams.


– This passing concept can absolutely abuse Cover 3 if run properly. Ideally, you’re looking to hit one of the seam passes, as the deep safety must split the difference between the two and react to the QBs throw. The stops will generally be open, too, because the outside CBs will bail to cover their deep 3rd zone.


– Pre-determines to go to slot WR running the seam. Good job recognizing WR has inside leverage on Nickel and tries to lead him inside. Leads him a bit too much though.


– When you attack the seams with one deep safety, you must keep him honest by using your eyes. As you can tell, by staring down the slot WR, the deep safety begins to cheat and float over to that side of the field, essentially forming double coverage with underneath and over the top leverage on the slot WR, while leaving the TE seam wide open. Must learn to use his eyes better to look the safety off.




– 3rd and 17


– 11 personnel, (3×1), TE Flexed as inside slot, Shotgun


– Bills in Cover 2 pre-snap. Safeties at even depth, splitting the field in half. Outside CBs lined 5 yards off with outside leverage to funnel WRs inside.


– X runs dig, TE (inside slot) runs a corner, RB and outside slot run a shallow cross, Z runs off coverage deep.


– Play designed to bind WLB both laterally and horizontally. Flood his area with 3 WRs and make him choose. Due to down and distance and lack of an inside receiver to his side, he should be bailing, gaining depth, and locating the X receiver and getting in the throwing lane. Instead, he plays shallow and reacts up to the shallow cross, opening up the dig route behind him.


– Good read and throws the dig route with velocity. WR drops the ball. Holding penalty tacked on as well.



Second Drive






– 21 Personnel, Pro set


– Bills in Cover 1 pre-snap. CBs lined up in press-man. Safeties at staggered depth.


– PA pass. Could do a better job selling the play-fake. Good job recognizing X receiver gains inside leverage against CB on skinny post. Hits WR in stride for a big gain.




Here’s what I mean by doing a better job selling the play-fake: he’s not extending himself to the running back, he’s staring at the route he wants to go to before the fake is completed. Not a huge issue, as he’s just a rookie and shouldn’t be expected to have comfort in knowing where the receiver will be, but he needs work in the play action game – especially in this offense. Chalk it up to his pitch and catch shotgun college offense.




– 11 Personnel, (3×1), Trips Bunch


– Bills in Cover 3 pre-snap. SS in the box to trips side. Outside CBs playing off and facing QB.


– Play-action w/bootleg. Does a much better job at selling the playfake (turning back to defense, showing them the ball, etc).


– Flood concept to the wide side of the field off the bootleg. SS and WLB bite on the playfake. Throws the open flat route for an easy gain, WR gains some YAC for a first down.


– Throws on the run off his back foot. Not a big deal when going for the short pass, but he has time to set his feet and throw – which will be necessary if he wants to go attack the defense deep.





– Redzone (12 yard line)


– 11 personnel, (3×1), TE split out as Z, shotgun


– Bills in Cover 1 pre-snap. LCB in press man against TE/Z. SS in off-man against outside slot WR. SLB playing w/slight inside leverage against inside slot WR. RCB playing off-man against X.


– 3 step drop. Gabbert does good job of identifying RB being matched up against a LB on an orbit route. LB misses when attempting to bat down pass and safety misses tackle. Touchdown. Good read/pass.





– Redzone (3 yard line – 2 pt conversion)


– Middle screen to RB. Good job at selling the dropback pass and inviting the defense upfield to open up the screen.




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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