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Film Session: Breaking Down the Jaguars Defense

Written by Eric Stoner on September 15, 2012

Jags D

It’s up at Big Cat Country this week.

Announcers and analysts often talk about coaches “scripting” out their first 10-15 plays, but fail to elaborate why. It has everything to do with “tendencies” – distinct playcalling or decision-making patterns that can be tracked through detailed playcharting. It’s how you figure out whether a team will run or pass out of a certain formation, what their go-to play is on 3rd and medium, or what protection the offense is likely to use with a particular personnel grouping so you can get a blitz with a free rusher. Conversely, offenses can pick up on what fronts, run fits, sub-packages, and coverages a defense will use against certain formations and personnel groupings. Figuring out these tendencies is what coaches spend all their time breaking down film and charting plays for.

Read the entire thing.

Week 1 Player Review: Dontari Poe

Written by Andrew Parsons on September 12, 2012

poe

It’s not hard to let the mind wonder about former Memphis, and current Chiefs DT Dontari Poe. We’re talking about a 6’4, 350 pound man (read: freak) that’s putting up 45 reps of 225 and running sub 5 forty yard dashes. I considered myself to be squarely in the “Pro-Poe” camp throughout the draft process, but it’d also be unfair to say that there were no concerns. If you were in love with Dontari, it likely wasn’t entirely based upon his play. Much of the time at Memphis, Poe was rather underwhelming, especially considering his level of competition. There were certainly a lot of things that needed to be adjusted technique wise in order for him to be a productive football player. However, I felt as if he showcased some natural skills that made him very much worthy of where he was drafted. These feelings weren’t solely due to his (read more…)

Tim Flanders: Clark Kent In Cleats

Written by Jimmy O'Brien on August 25, 2012

grizkat

Before this gets any further, no, he’s not Barry Sanders.  Despite the similar build, identical number, and rhyming last names, Tim Flanders lacks Sanders’ explosiveness, breakaway speed, and lower body power.  Still, that doesn’t keep the Sam Houston State fanbase and players from calling Flanders “Clark Kent,” for his mild mannered off-field demeanor, coupled with his superhuman efforts between the sidelines.  Recognized by teammates as the most humble player on the squad, Flanders routinely plays the part of the superhero who needs no medal, thanks, or adulation.  Without fanfare, he was the Southland Conference’s 2011 Player Of The Year, and second team All American, while setting conference single season records for rushing yards (1644), points (144), and touchdowns (24).

Faster than a speeding bullet could aptly describe Sam Houston State’s meteoric rise up the FCS ranks since Flanders’ arrival in the East Texas Piney Woods.  The (read more…)

Guest Post: 2009 NFL Draft Review

Written by Will Spencer on August 21, 2012

Matthew Stafford

Originally posted at NFL Draft Geek.

Once again, we are clearly shown by the 2009 NFL Draft, just how much of an uncertainty the NFL Draft really is. Everybody thinks they are getting a superstar with their 1st round pick, but the truth is, only about 17% of 1st Round Picks make multiple Pro-Bowls. This year stuck right to that mold, as currently, only 6 of the 32 1st Round Picks have made the Pro-Bowl (18%). Four out of the first 7 Picks were total busts, but the “Bust Rate” (F) wasn’t too terrible (25%) Compared to a usual average of 30%. The “Hit Rate” (B or Higher) was actually pretty high, at 46%. However, the real problem with this draft class proved to be a severe lack of depth, with very few “Gems” found in the later rounds. After Round One, you can (read more…)

Player Review and Outlook: Tyron Smith

Written by Andrew Parsons on August 13, 2012

tyron_smith_video_feature

In 2011, Tyron Smith started all 16 games for the Dallas Cowboys at the RT position, which he played at USC. The fact that he played RT in college was seen as a source of concern to some. Others pointed to the fact that he was reportedly only 280 pounds during his time at USC. Due to this, people questioned his run blocking ability, his strength, and his ability to add weight to his frame. He was also just 20, and despite starting for 2 years, he was looked at as raw.

 

Tyron Smith appeared destined to be a Late 1st, or Early 2nd round pick, mainly based on his tremendous upside. However, his post season weigh in of 307 pounds, combined with his monster Pro Day vaulted him into top 15 talks. While watching him as a college player, you could tell that he was more than (read more…)

Film Session: Ryan Mallett, Because Mechanics

Written by Eric Stoner on August 12, 2012

Mallett

Most of you know Ryan Mallett’s story: highly touted pocket passer transfers from Michigan to Arkansas after the Wolverines bring in Rich Rodriguez and his spread offense.  Puts up pretty prolific passing numbers in the SEC.  Drug rumors off the field and bad decisions under pressure on the field kill his draft stock and he falls to the third round – to the New England Patriots, a team that knows how to develop quarterbacks over the long term.

While studying Mallett’s week one preseason debut, I noticed something contradictory in his game.  For a big, slow-footed quarterback, he is surprisingly adept at moving and re-setting in the pocket, as well as playing in confined spaces.  This goes back to his college days, actually.  While Mallett’s decision-making under pressure was really questionable during his college career, from a skillset standpoint, he always displayed the arm talent to make throws with bodies (read more…)

Looking At Aldon Smith’s Rookie Success

Written by Andrew Parsons on August 8, 2012

Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers

Aldon Smith declared for the 2011 NFL Draft after a sub-par Red Shirt Sophomore year. His sack numbers went way down, and a lot of people in the draft community seemed to be a bit ambivalent towards him as a prospect. Assuredly, he was greatly affected by a fractured fibula injury, but watching him play his RS SO year didn’t make him seem like he’d be an upper echelon pass rusher in the NFL, especially right off the bat. In addition to Smith’s down year, his combine numbers weren’t of the same caliber of other “freak” athletes either. Another thing was that it always appeared to me as  Smith looked better rushing from the inside, and had a lot of his production come from the DT spot. This was one of many reasons to question how Smith would fare in the NFL.

Recently, I’ve been watching (read more…)

Film Session: How the Kansas City Defense Got the Best of Aaron Rodgers

Written by Eric Stoner on August 7, 2012

Tamba Is Hungry

This post is a test run.  I’m hoping for this to be a weekly feature in the future.

Kansas City was the first and only loss the Green Bay Packers suffered in the regular season.  Rodgers’ numbers in that game: 17-35 (48.6%) for 235 yards (6.7 YPA), 1 TD and 0 INTs.  He was also sacked 4 times and fumbled once.  For comparison’s sake, Rodgers’ previous season lows in completion percentage and YPA were 56.9% (his only other game below 60%) and 7.8(!!!!), respectively.

Note: The Packers were also plagued by drops in this game.  According to ProFootballFocus.com’s Re-Focused Game Breakdown: “if you factor in the five drops, two throw aways and a spike, he was accurate on 68.8% of his passes.”

In order to slow down a passing game like Green Bay’s, you have to do a few things.  The first is to acknowledge going into (read more…)

What are the Jets Doing to Stephen Hill?

Written by Andrew Parsons on August 2, 2012

Stephen Hill

In my last article, I opened by talking about how important a fit is to a prospect. This is perhaps most true for the prospects that are raw in certain nuances of their position. These players, who can almost be looked at as pieces of clay, are heavily dependent on the sculptor. On one hand, the sculptor can produce something beautiful, such as Vulca’s Apollo from Veii, and on the other hand, you might get something that looks like it came out of a high school ceramics class. Or even worse, something a toddler mashed together with Play-Doh.

A piece of clay that every offensive coach wants work with is one that is 6’4, 215 pounds, can run a 4.36 40 yard dash, and posts vertical leaps and broad jumps of 39.5 and 133 inches respectively. Of course, we aren’t talking about just a piece of clay at this (read more…)

Lists, Fits, and Intrigue

Written by Andrew Parsons on July 27, 2012

Fits

Every year, so much emphasis is placed on pre-draft lists. From big boards to positional rankings, it’s something everyone does, and it’s something everyone wants to see. Before I go any further, let me just say that I’m not making a case against this exercise. First and foremost, it’s a fun thing to do. Secondly, I don’t think it’s a frivolous pursuit at all. If your objective is to make the rankings as accurate as possible, it forces you to do the proper amount of film study. If your putting your name and your “reputation” to it, I highly doubt you’re just watching one 4 minute cut up. Thus, you really learn a lot about the class by doing these lists. Perhaps more importantly, this pursuit gives you a base to look back on, a base to see your mistakes, and thus, to become a better evaluator of talent later (read more…)

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