Leftwich was brilliant yesterday and he’s been great the last few weeks.
Outside of maybe 4 plays (the 2nd and 2 Empty Call, the Play-Action Zone against this front, especially w/ Larsen in, that led to the Sack, and 2 * RZ play calls), I absolutely loved the approach yesterday. Leftwich gameplanned beautifully and was situationally and sequentially on point.
On top of Leftwich’s play-calling, the Run Blocking was great on a large number of snaps. The TD was all OL domination. RBs left a HUGE amount of yardage on the field last night. Fournette Forced 1 Missed Tackle. There were about 7 rushes between Fournette and Vaughn where we should have gotten a lot more than we did but the RB went down on 1st contact (which was 2nd or 3rd level).
Going to break that down.
On Defense, I’m going to take a closer look at the front 4 Pass Rush because we got nothing done there. I don’t know if it was due to a focus on maintaining rush lane integrity to prevent the scramble (if it was…oops?), or if they were devoting extra assets to protection in key situations, or if guys just weren’t winning. But it wasn’t good.
And…of course…all the Off Coverage. I just don’t understand why you draft these CBs to play Off Coverage constantly. You don’t draft Dean to play pedal or bail in Off. When the bulk of his snaps put him in that situation, I have to wonder (again…and again…and again), just what the hell is going on. Same goes for Davis (who is a much better Off player than Dean…but still only an average Off CB). SMB (as of now) isn’t good in Off or Press.
Agreed @Nobody. O-line looked solid. I think Rojo would’ve killed it last night. He rarely goes down with first contact, and is better at making people miss. All the off coverage drives me insane.. We sucked in the red zone yesterday. Play calling could’ve definitely been better down there.
Unless you have fantastic Zone personnel + brilliant coaching/play-calling for it and counters off of it (see 49ers and Shanahan), don’t play Zone against teams that feature (a) aggressive fronts with (b) great upfield penetrators (particularly at the iDL positions and particularly when one or two of your iOL are a bit “ploddy” with their Zone footwork). Its not Rocket Surgery.
I think on defense we were definitely trying to keep those gaps and not let Heine get out of the pocket it was only when held the ball for 5sec plus where the dline overcommitted and left their lanes, like the td rush he had.
Off coverage is weird they need to get up in those wrs face and dare Brees to throw deep. I think enough times he’s gonna short arm a throw and we get an easy pick. Their biggest mismatch that always kills us is cook on those slants in cutting routes. Edwards Bunting need to step up and stop him LVD has no chance. Coaching needs to get right is personnel and down and distance and tendencies to get the right guys in case of the run/pass mismatch throughout the game. We really don’t want LVD man on cook
When we sit in zone Saints like to set up those levels that force our lbs look what’s in front of them where another guy form across the field is crossing behind em. Linebackers mid level zone guys need to be aware of those guys on the far side of the field crossing and feel if someone’s coming behind em. If they catch brees something goods happening
The soft zones just continue to be an issue. I just do not see what the heck the Bowles sees. It’s not working. Get the corners up tighter and make the throwing windows smaller. I will say this, if we had White last night, I think a lot of those runs by Heinicke would have gone for a lot less. White is a flyer sideline to sideline. Minter is a good solid LB, but he just doesn’t have the speed to get to the sideline like White. Hopefully, they’ll do a lot of green dog with White on Brees and play tight on the receivers. Make him throw it long with pressure in his face by contesting all the short throws. Make him beat us with deeper passes, where he’s not as good, instead of the short easy stuff he burns us with.
(only) 14/33 Passing on 1st down. Two of these were the non-orthodox runs (well-called and well-executed) to Miller and Brown so 14/31. You can also tack a small amount of this to situational football. But we’re still south of even 50 % Passing on 1st down. Can’t do this against the Saints. Too much EPA lost and 50 % Success Rate on 1st down (as we were against the Skins) puts too much pressure on 2nd down. We need to be upwards of 55-60 % Passing and Success Rate on 1st down next game.
14/43 or 32.6 % (fantastic)
2ND AND 3 OR LESS RUN/PASS RATIO
4/5 Runs (and all successful). This is a running down, not a shot down. Just get the 1st down.
* Jet motion play-fake.
* Plenty of the Gap running game w/ Counters and Power O (pull players at those Edge players).
* A few Traps against Sweat/Young unblocked and then backside pull player cleaning them up.
* Deep Comebacks, Skinny Post, Fade Stop against Cover 3 Zone CBs.
* 2* Endaround/Reverse.
* A fake WR Tunnel Screen w/ a Wheel off of it.
* A lot of pre-snap motion (beyond the orthodox Slot Short Motion to Wing) in the gameplan to assist coverage read.
* Shotgun play-action.
Year 1 in Zona and NYJ, he’s more aggressive and running more Man.
As the time piles on it’s the same story; less aggression and a progression of more and more Off Zone.
And his teams get progressively worse in Pass D.
Which is funny/not funny, since the Todd Bowles = Great DC argument is generally about how aggressive his defenses are. So many coaches love to TALK about aggressive defense, but fail to stick with it after getting burnt a few times.
Alright, key 1st Quarter plays on both sides of the ball.
DRIVE 1 BUCS
1ST & 10 AT WAS 35(13:22)
(13:22) (Shotgun) T.Brady pass deep middle to C.Godwin to WAS 18 for 17 yards (R.Darby).
11 P, Strong Right, Stack Right, Wide Left. Brown Jet Motion from Stack Right and Fake Jet Sweep Action. They roll from 2 Deep to Cover 1 Man Free (Hole under FS).
6 Man Prot as Gronk stays in. Brown Swing Left and Fournette Swing Right. Godwin 10 yard Skinny Post over Fournette and Mike 15 yard Deep Out over Brown.
The Hole support in the middle will do no work, because there aren’t any in-cutting routes to help on there. Brady looks left to hold the FS and goes straight to Godwin who wins on the Skinny Post.
They run a 3 player Stunt but the extra man helps this and Gronk picks up the 1T looping around the other iDL and Sweat. Marpet is uncovered, so he helps Smith with Young and he’s shut down. Balls out quickly though so it doesn’t matter.
1ST & 10 AT WAS 25(11:49)
(11:49) (Shotgun) A.Gibson right end to WAS 21 for -4 yards (S.Barrett).
Strong Right Counter (RG and C Pull after Suh is Down Blocked). This play actually was going to win pretty big if it weren’t for Barrett’s play here. TE tries to Seal Barrett inside to get the RG and C outside of him and out in front (they do, but he makes the play before Gibson can break contain). Barrett clears his pads with a Slap > Pull of the TE’s right arm to throw off his base and then he shoots the C gap hard and prevents Gibson from getting outside of him. Play is forced back inside to the cavalry and Barrett completes the tackle for a huge loss.
Big play and it was almost out the gate.
2ND & 14 AT WAS 21(11:09)
(11:09) (Shotgun) T.Heinicke pass incomplete deep middle to C.Sims.
They’re 12 P, but they’re in Empty, Balanced TE, Doubles Left, Gibson Stacked Wing Right under In-Line TE. We’re Match Quarters from Base (because of their personnel grouping).
This looks somewhat similar to the multi-vert call by DK that cost us against MQ last week.
Again, Winfield has a Drive route by #3 w/ a vert by #2 outside of it (he’s got to Match #3, but bracket #2 until #3 declares vert at 12 yards). Whitehead plays the Skinny Post by #2 as badly as SMB played his vert last week (but the ball went to #3 last week). Whitehead (like SMB last week) is playing this waaaaaay too soft and waaay too far inside leverage (like he’s expecting Winfield just to do all the work here…these guys defending #2 have to understand that Winfield has to match #3 on a vert and can’t just keep bracketing #2). #3 is several yards inside of him, gets on top of him, and actually beats him deep as well. Its a pretty straight-forward pitch-and-catch that should have been a huge play. Sims just doesn’t catch it.
After this incompletion, you’re looking at 3rd and forever and we hold.
After an initially promising Drive 2 stalls out for us, their Drive 2 hits a huge play that flips field position, but then we get the Turnover.
DRIVE 2 WASH
3RD & 6 AT WAS 18(06:26)
(6:26) (Shotgun) T.Heinicke pass deep right to C.Sims to TB 46 for 36 yards (M.Edwards).
They’re 3×1 and we’re blitzing Cockrell off the Bunch, sending Whitehead (rolled up over A gap) and dropping Barrett. We’re playing Match Quarters on the Single side and either 2 Read or MQ over the Bunch. Regardless, instead of matching the vert by #1, Davis turns him loose to the Deep Safety (Stewart). Neither Stewart nor SMB are playing 2 Zone (and it would be weird to be Quarters over a Single but 2 Zone over the 3 said) rules here so it must be that its MQ or 2 Read and Davis just busted.
However…cue the cavalry…
2ND & 11 AT TB 47(05:02)
(5:02) (Shotgun) T.Heinicke pass short left intended for T.McLaurin INTERCEPTED by S.Murphy-Bunting (K.Minter) at TB 42. S.Murphy-Bunting to TB 42 for no gain (T.McLaurin).
They’re 3×1 (Trips Left). We’re playing 3 Zone but we’re bringing Minter 2nd level and dropping Barrett.
This is a fantastic effort by Minter. This isn’t remotely a free-run. He’s got to work his way through two layers. He tightens his profile and squeezes through A gap between RG and C (good job by Gholston who is 1T here, occupies C w/ feint left so he can only get 1 hand on White while JPP, 3T other side, feints crossing the RG’s face into the A gap in order to occupy him for Minter’s actual rush).
Minter then beats the RB (who stepped up and squared up well) w/ just plain physicality here, gets in the throwing lane (because the ball is coming out quickly) and creates the deflection without getting a Hands to the Face penalty (which happens too often here).
Great call by Bowles here, great execution by JPP > Minter > Gholston, great individual play by Minter. SMB corrals the duck with another solid effort and saves Dean. Really terrible and soft coverage here by a boundary CB in 3 Zone. He’s almost 8 yards cushion and immediately pedaling at the snap despite no threat vertically. Its a 6 yard Hitch and the ball is coming out immediately. SMB is Curl/Flat and he has to take the Curl inside the boundary WR. When the ball is coming out…Dean is unattached from the boundary WR by EIGHT YARDS! 8!
This is what I mean by soft Off Coverage that isn’t competitive. This looks like VH3 playing Mike Smith’s Cover 3 Zone defense. This is not NFL-competitive. If Minter doesn’t get this deflection its the easiest pitch-and-catch for 6 yards imaginable in the NFL (literally no resistance) and then RAC for at least 3-4 more (assuming Dean makes the tackle).
Brady with a couple of big throws after we force the Turnover.
3RD & 10 AT TB 42(04:49)
(4:49) (Shotgun) T.Brady pass short right to S.Miller to WAS 43 for 15 yards (R.Darby).
We’re 3×1 (Trips Left) and they’re 3 Buzz after showing 2 Deep at the snap. Brady looks left at the snap (though he isn’t going there because he would have thrown CG’s Hitch there which is wide open). He’s just getting post-snap information to confirm coverage and/or trying to manipulate a defender. He goes back to Miller’s Deep Out on the boundary (its basically 1v1 out there against this route). Miller gives a little bend inside before he sticks his foot in the ground to the Out. This causes a little bit of labored transition for the Bail CB and Brady puts it on time and on the money (completely indefensible) for a 15 yard Out in a big situation.
3RD & 3 AT WAS 36(02:58)
(2:58) T.Brady pass deep right to A.Brown for 36 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
We’re 11 P w/ Bunch Right (Gronk in-line and CG and AB right there). They’re in a Tampa 2 Zone inverted look (rotate a defender to High Hole and rotate a tight DB over the Bunch to Deep Half). We run a 7 Man Protection after Play-Action (I love that we go PA here on 3rd and 3…I’d like the run more on 3rd and 3). BL has a 2 Zone-killer on here. Godwin bends outside then back to the Skinny Post. AB goes hard outside release like and Arrow and then up the sideline. The Flat defender is also involved in the roll here. The whole thing is a train-wreck for the defense designed. The Flat defender can’t play outside leverage > he can’t reroute AB > then he fails to go with him after AB outleverages him and turns it upfield! This w/ Godwin’s Skinny Post occupying that Deep Half defender so there is no way he’s getting to AB.
WFT likes to roll to Deep Half and there is ample evidence of it getting them in trouble on top (with exactly this sort of route combination). BL calls it up timely. We execute it. 6.
This is what I mean by soft Off Coverage that isn’t competitive. This looks like VH3 playing Mike Smith’s Cover 3 Zone defense. This is not NFL-competitive.
I just don’t get it.
What is Bowles seeing here?
Does he not know what his players strengths are, or is he simply being stubborn?
My take on the all the Off Zone broadly at this point is that Bowles is just old-school when it comes to stopping the run. Off Zone lets DBs insert against and support the run more easily. And most of the coverages we play help the primary run support Safety insert.
So my guess, philosophically is that Bowles just wants to stop the run and either (a) create a negative play that stalls a drive, (b) create a negative play that ends a drive, or (c) play RZ defense and force 3 if it comes to that.
Doesn’t match our CB personnel, but that is what it looks like. And it won’t work against the Saints (as we’ve seen now that we’re 0-4 under this current regime).
5 minute TD answer that cuts into the 1st few minutes of Q2.
1ST & 10 AT WAS 25(02:51)
(2:51) (Shotgun) T.Heinicke pass short right to L.Thomas pushed ob at WAS 49 for 24 yards (C.Davis).
3×1 (Trips Left after motion from Split Backfield over there) vs 3 Zone Blitz (Minter). Minter does a great job evading the uncovered C (who does a terrible job w/ awareness here even though Minter comes from the right B gap to cross both A gaps) to immediately flush Heinicke right. Barrett is working a Long Arm Speed to Power against the RT, but can’t adjust quickly enough and prevent the pocket escape. After Barrett has lost contain here, Heinicke continues his sprint right to the sideline until someone uncovers (which is going to happen eventually).
Bowles has a winner here. Barrett has to make this play but really great individual play by Heinicke.
1ST & 10 AT WAS 49(02:16)
(2:16) (Shotgun) T.Heinicke pass deep middle to T.McLaurin to TB 33 for 18 yards (C.Davis).
They’re 12 P, Unbalanced Left, Wide Right/Left. We’re 3 Zone behind and dropping Barrett into the right Flat. 4 guys up front (JPP, Nacho, Suh, Gholston) get absolutely nothing done in Pass Rush. Davis is playing Press Bail on the left boundary and SMB is Off Bail on the other side.
17 yard Dig to Davis and LVD (Seam/Hook that side w/ Davis) just doesn’t get enough depth. Its not terrible, but we really need about 2 more yards extra depth here (8 yard landmark isn’t enough…needs 10-11, particularly against this formation). Davis is actually really good here (would like him to stay a liiiiittle more attached…but this is pretty damn good) through almost the entirety of the route. His footwork is clean and he keeps his leverage and attachment all the way through the stem and post-stem. He loses attachment a hair after the in-cut. If LVD was deeper, this throw is much more difficult.
Pass Rush loss and minor details.
2ND & 8 AT TB 31(01:01)
(1:01) (Shotgun) T.Heinicke scrambles right end ran ob at TB 21 for 10 yards (A.Winfield).
Off 3 Zone Blitz w/ Bowles dialing up a winner. Minter is free off the left side 2nd level. He just leaves his feet at Heinicke’s pump fake and Heinicke (again) breaks contain to his right. This time that Doubles side has a pair of verts that pull Zone defenders and take their eyes off the QB (SMB is Flat that side so he has to match the 2nd vert). Plenty of green out there to run.
3RD & 8 AT TB 19(14:56)
(14:56) (Shotgun) T.Heinicke pass short left to S.Sims ran ob at TB 9 for 10 yards [N.Suh].
2×2 w/ a pair of Stacks (Stack Left is Tight and TE stays in to protect). Its a 0 blitz, but we’re in Off Coverage. No route disruption (because he’s 8 yards off the ball) and Dean is flat-footed against the 10 yard Out coming at him. He’s not even close to attached post-stem. Heinicke just heaves it to a spot and Sims runs under it.
Again, Dean is not a good Off Coverage player. All of that enormous frame requires uncoling and accelerating aftering he squats and it doesn’t happen efficiently or quickly. He’s not a change-of-direction player. NFL-level receivers coming at him with an 8 yard cushion and then giving him anything that isn’t a Hitch/Corner/Go/Post is going to give him trouble. If its 90 degrees, he’s not going to be attached. 0 blitz and ball out immediately or no.
3 Runs later and its 6.
Only a 9-7 Score after a pretty great 1st Q for us.
1ST & 10 AT TB 39(12:58)
(12:58) A.Brown left end to WAS 39 for 22 yards (C.Holcomb).
We’re Bunch Right w/ Brate Wing and we fake a Gap Toss Sweep that way (w/ Godwin and Wirfs executing a Pin & Pull to amplify the rouse) but the Pitch is really going to Brown on an Endaround the other way. Brate is leading Brown from his Wing position on the other side and the Edge that side is unblocked and takes himself entirely out of the play chasing down the pitch down the LoS to steeply before he realizes whats happening. DSmith climbs and seals the WLB inside and Mike does a good job with the CB out there.
Brown finishes it off with burst + 6 YAC.
1ST & 10 AT WAS 27(10:09)
(10:09) J.Haeg reported in as eligible. T.Brady pass deep left to C.Godwin for 27 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
After another 1st down we go for the throat. 12 P, Unbalanced Left, Godwin Short Motion to Wide Stack Right (w/ Mike). Play Action Power O Weak and 7 man protection vs Cover 1 Man Blitz. Godwin is running a Drive route w/ Mike running a Fade (and exchanged releases). Brady gives a quick look to Mike to manipulate the Safety away from the Drive. Godwin’s Drive gets inside of the CB. Brady dime = TD.
1ST & 10 AT WAS 25(10:03)
(10:03) (Shotgun) T.Heinicke pass short right to C.Sims to WAS 30 for 5 yards (C.Davis).
Quick Hitch vs Off Coverage. Play loss.
3RD & 5 AT WAS 30(09:23)
(9:23) (Shotgun) T.Heinicke pass short middle to C.Sims to WAS 35 for 5 yards (J.Dean).
Press Man Slant win vs Dean who is just bad here in all ways (these are the kinds of snaps that I saw too much of in his NCAA tape). He’s inside leverage so he’s set up to win. Sims gives him a hard outside feint and Dean gets caught in no-man’s land. He doesn’t attack and reroute up top (without lunging). Then he’s flat-footed and his butt gets high as he attempts to mirrors against that initial release. Patience is important, but you can’t be so inactive with your feet and then get high. The cat-and-mouse contact game then ends as he attempts to get into Sims’ pads with his left hand for the Jam (to ensure that Dean doesn’t get beat back to the inside). However, Sims is ready and he immediately counters, perfectly timing Dean’s strike with a slap to that arm’s inside shoulder pad. This loss up top exacerbates the growing loss downstairs and Sims is easily across Dean’s face and back inside to the Slant for the necessary 5 and the 1st down.
Dean has 3 problems in Press Coverage. This exact snap. Snaps where he’s overeager and lunges in his Jam. Snaps like last week where he holds against these exact same in-cuts after a hard outside release (but give me those snaps all day long please…they don’t get called plenty).
1ST & 10 AT WAS 35(08:42)
(8:42) (Shotgun) A.Gibson left end pushed ob at WAS 46 for 11 yards (A.Winfield).
Boy there is a lot on this snap that sucks and that would be changed entirely if Vea was in there.
13 P, Balanced, w/ the 3rd TE lined up as FB Offset Right I. They run a Counter Lead Left.
The playside 5T + 3T + backside 1T all lose inside on the seal. Vea would just run right through the Center and Spill 1 or more of the Pullers before they get out of the backfield and force the RB to declare way wide. Here its just losses galore.
THEN, JPP (7T play-side) jumps INSIDE of the Pullers…not only not spilling them, but basically escorting them outside of his containment.
THEN Minter misses the tackle (had a chance to make the play because one of the pullers misses him – he’s the 1st man through).
THEN SMB plays this terribly. He’s Off on that boundary over the TE (he has no WR to contend with). He peddles back, diagnoses late (despite all the down blocks and pull steps…this is as obvious a Counter as it gets), then is flat-footed for a moment rather than attacking, THEN he attacks from the inside-out to ensure he loses Force and the ball gets outside of him! Just a cluster of bad play.
2ND & 6 AT 50(07:46)
(7:46) (Shotgun) T.Heinicke pass short right to T.McLaurin to TB 42 for 8 yards (C.Davis).
Quick Hitch vs Off Zone.
3RD & 9 AT TB 41(06:21)
(6:21) (Shotgun) T.Heinicke pass incomplete short middle to C.Sims (C.Davis).
After SMB should have given up a 20 yard play to a Drive route in Off Zone (Drop) and a good play collectively in fits in the Run Game, we get another Off Zone Snap here.
This time Davis plays the Slant fantastically, gather steps * 2 > click-and-close to get downhill right into the catch window with perfect timing to generate the PBU.
1ST & 10 AT TB 25(04:58)
(4:58) T.Brady pass short left to L.Fournette to TB 47 for 22 yards (J.Reaves).
11 P Strong Right, Doulbles Left, Play-action RB Screen Left vs 3 Zone. One thing I really like about this play call is the Slot’s action/route here (Miller). He’s coming in motion across the formation. This alone puts the Flat/Slot Coverage player in a situation where they need to be thinking to work hard away from the play (the Screen is under them) to not get outleveraged by any Arrow/Quickout/Vert/Wheel by Miller. This is key. Secondarily, the route is actually a Wheel route under Mike’s Vert. Whether the defender here (and this a KEY defender in dealing with a Screen) is in Zone and covering the Flat or manning up Miller, the combination of this creates an urgency to turn your back to the play immediately and match Miller. It works and its a huge part of this equation (as well as fantastic Quick Set and then space-play here from both Jensen and Marpet – 2 guys erased).
Great call. Great design.
1ST & 10 AT TB 47(04:13)
(4:13) T.Brady pass deep right to C.Brate to WAS 34 for 19 yards (C.Holcomb).
12 P, Gronk in-line left and Brate Wing Right w/ Mike Split just outside of that and Godwin same on other side. They’re running 3 Zone w/ a Tampa 2 wrinkle as the MLB is running High Hole. We’re play-action w/ Mike running a look to the Deep Out and Up (pretty much a Go) w/ Brate on a Deep Out under that and Fournette releasing to the Flat under Brate. They actually have a pretty good play-call on initially, but the 6 man protection gives time for the relevant zones to stretch to breaking. The MLB running the High Hole doesn’t stay with Brate (he pulls up and ends up covering grass – Godwin’s Deep Dig would have been running to him late) and the Flat route forces the Curl/Flat defender that side to suck up a few steps (so Brate springs wide open). Gronk is single against Chase Young and really dominates here in Pass Pro. Wirfs dominates Kerrigan. Cappa has some struggles against the 1T, but Brady shifts right no problem as Cappa continues to work to mirror and ride him out through the back of the pocket. Brady puts the dime on Brate’s Deep out.
2ND & 7 AT WAS 31(02:56)
(2:56) T.Brady pass short middle to C.Brate to WAS 7 for 24 yards (K.Fuller).
Exact same formation as above. This time we Play-action Outside Zone right. Typically I love Outside Zone Play-Action and a quick throw, but against teams with very good iDL Pass Rushers and backside chasedown Edge players, its typically trouble. That is the case here as Young beats Gronk on a Speedrush and Cappa loses to the 3T on a Spin countermove back to the middle. We beat their Tampa 2 Zone however because Brady is just too damn good here. Its a Mille concept w/ Mike on a Post over Cam’s Dig. Brady throws Cam’s Dig open before the Pressure gets to him for a big catch-and-run.
Drive stalls due to (a) a pretty soft run by Fournette on a well-blocked play (you need to get more than 2 out of this…2 yards is the absolute minimum here as its all OL work), (b) a Godwin TD Drop, and (c) a great play by the MLB who barely forces Gronk out of the back of the endzone on a would be TD throw. But we get the 3.
Viewing 37 reply threads
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
PewterReport.com prides itself on being the most complete, comprehensive news source covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and delivering inside scoop on the team found nowhere else.