Blaine Gabbert Preseason Game 3 In-Depth Breakdown

Written by Eric Stoner on August 31, 2011

Third Drive






– 12 Personnel (3×1), Wing motions across formation pre-snap to create (2×2) distribution


– Bills in Cover 1 pre-snap. LCB lined up in press-man, RCB lined up in off-man. Safeties at staggered depth and reciprocate their depth/responsibility when Wing motions.


– TE and Z receiver both run quick outs synced up with 3-step drop. Gabbert identifies the Z is running a quick out against off-man coverage. Should be an easy completion for short gain, because Z receiver drops pass.





– 3rd and 9


– 11 personnel, (2×2), Shotgun


– Bills in Cover 3 pre-snap. LCB playing off and facing QB. Nickel lined up w/inside leverage on slot WR. RCB playing 5 yards off. Safeties at staggered depth.


– Rollout w/waggle protection. Gabbert doesn’t like what he sees and scrambles upfield for a 7 yard gain. I can’t see the routes, but it’s good that he’s not forcing a throw for the sake of it when backed up against his own goal line.



Fourth Drive





– 21 personnel, Pro set


– Bills with 2 deep safeties and man coverage underneath. LCB playing press-man, RCB playing off-man.


– PA pass, Z runs a streak, X runs skinny post. FB breaks left off on playaction, RB settles up just past line of scrimmage. Bad play against Cover 2 Man.


– Throws the streak into double coverage. Can’t see entirety of the route, but Z gets past the coverage. Ball is overthrown due to overstriding before release.





Here are a couple more pictures showcasing the overstride on his deep throw to Shorts. His weight is unevenly distributed because his extended base. Note how his hips are rolled up and how far back his shoulders are tilted. The second photo shows how the overstride affects the release – the ball is released behind the QBs head instead of near his ear, leading to too much arc and an overthrown ball.





– 3rd and 9


– 11 personnel, (3×1), Shotgun


– Bills in Cover 1 pre-snap. LCB and Nickel lined up in press-man. RCB lined up in off-man. Safeties at staggered depth.


– 5 step drop from shotgun. At first, does a good job of “crushing pebbles” (keeping the feet moving while scanning for a target) after the drop is completed. Feels slight pressure coming off blindside edge. Instead of stepping up into the pocket, he flushes laterally into the direction of pressure. Before reaching the sideline, he attempts a throw across his body that is intercepted.






This is what the pocket looked like at the breakdown point. There’s a threat off the edge, but he has room to step up while keeping his eyes downfield. Instead, he drops his head to look at the rush and bails laterally – making pursuit for the defenders much easier. If he feels pressure and the need to run, he needs to escape through the “front door” of the defense and get upfield – similar to what he did at the end of the third drive. It may not result in a first down, but it’s a much safer play – especially when you’re on your own 20 yard line.


This play is awfully familiar to the pick-six he threw to lose his final bowl game against Iowa, video of which you can find here.


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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