Blaine Gabbert Preseason Game 4 In-Depth Breakdown

Written by Eric Stoner on September 9, 2011



Third Drive






– 11 personnel, (3×1), TE flexed as Slot, Shotgun


– Rams in Cover 2 pre-snap. Safeties at equal depth and backing up pre-snap. Nickel CB splitting difference between flexed TE and slot WR


– Z and X both run fades. TE and slot WR both run stops. Slot WR gains width to stretch out SLB and put him in a bind.


– 1 step pitch and catch. SLB in a bind – 2 on 1 situation between TE and slot WR. WR gets some YAC and a first down. Good read, throw, catch.





Can’t see alignment pre-snap due to broadcast sideline interview. Result of the play is a dropped WR screen.





– 11 personnel, (2×2), Shotgun


– Rams stay in their base D and showing Cover 3 pre-snap. WLB walks out to two WR side. SS comes down into the box pre-snap.


– Looks like the RB may have aligned to the wrong side. Gabbert executes a play-action fake, but the runningback just passblocks to his right.


– Gabbert does a good job of noticing that the MLB is covering grass – he starts his drop, but fails to continue gaining depth and into the throwing lane.


– Slot WR runs a perfect deep cross – under the WLB, behind the MLB, and continuing to get deeper as he goes laterally across the field. Gabbert throws a good ball, but it’s dropped for what should be a significant gain. Luckily, the DB hits the WR late and gets called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.





– 11 personnel, (2×2), Shotgun


– Rams stay in their base D and showing Cover 2 pre-snap. Safeties at equal depth. LCB and RCB 5 yards off WR, maintaining outside leverage. WLB splits difference between offensive tackle and slot WR.


– X receiver runs a fade, Slot WR runs a post, TE and Z receivers run ins at different depths.


– Throw is high over the middle and not in the vicinity of a receiver. It looks like he was trying to throw a post, but that’s just a guess. Probable miscommunication, with the wrong receiver ran a post or he mixed up who was running it.





– 3rd and 10


– 11 personnel, (2×2), Shotgun


– Rams giving Cover 3 look pre-snap. Safeties at staggered depth. CBs playing zone technique – not too far off, though. Nickel CB splitting difference between tackle and slot WR. Post-snap, they play Cover 4. Both safeties and outside CBs bail.


– Z receiver runs a drag, TE runs a dig. Slot WR runs a deep out, X receiver runs a streak.


– This is probably my favorite play of his so far this preseason. In games before, he would have just thrown the underneath drag once it came open. Instead, he waits and steps up into the pocket. The LCB hesitates for a split second when slot WR running an out across his face, and the X receiver comes open on the streak late. He steps into the pocket, is patient in letting the deep throw get open, and delivers the ball while taking a hit.





– 11 personnel, (2×2), Shotgun


– Rams showing Cover 2 w/man coverage underneath pre-snap. CBs all facing the WRs head up. Safeties at equal depth.


– SLB responsible for TE, WLB responsible for runningback. WLB bites on playfake and chooses to help nickel CB ride slot receiver down the seam. Gabbert looks first for the slot seam – good job recognizing double coverage on the slot means nobody is covering the RB leaks out into the flat after play fake and is uncovered.





– 12 personnel, (3×1), TE+Wing


– Can’t tell Rams’ alignment pre-snap – broadcast late in capturing it.


– Waggle protection (QB sets up behind the tackle as opposed to the center). Z receiver runs a quick flat pass. TE runs a corner route. Wing stays in to block.


– Looks to throw the flat pass and has it open for a second. Wing whiffs on his block – Gabbert hit on release and ball flutters. Jags get a defensive pass interference penalty on the play.



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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