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  1. #1

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    Default Redskins-Ravens, 1st-half (amateur) film breakdown

    **Disclaimer: I make no claim to be a football “expert” - these are simply my observations from watching the plays several times each. **

    Being the diligent fan I am, I decided to break down the film play-by-play in the first half (okay, being the bored fan I am). Here are some of my observations:

    QB Battle:
    Rex took 4 series to heat up; his first 3 were not good. He failed to recognize pressure, threw the ball away too quickly when there was no pressure, and made some questionable throws. Yes, he made some nice ones also, but was very inconsistent. That 4th series though, he looked like Peyton Manning! This dude has a switch that flips on and off - when its on, he's a fantastic QB. When its off...ugly!

    Example: 3rd & long situation on Rexy's second series. This is a play that boggles your mind with Rex; shotgun formation, the blitz is picked up exceptionally with 77 & 66 driving the blitzers out of the play, and Rex has plenty of time. Hightower sneaks out into the flat and is WIDE open, but Rex opts for a piss-poor throw on a crossing pattern to Moss, who is blanketed by Suggs. Seemed to me that Rex felt pressure that wasn't there, and rushed his decision – IMO this is his biggest weakness. He could have held onto the ball for another second and found a better option.

    Another example of bad Rex is on 1st & 10 on his second series. Brown is beaten badly on this play, but Rex gets the quick slant off. He sets his feet, steps into the throw, has time, and badly misses a streaking Gaffney. Jaws describes the play as a “head-scratcher throw.” I believe he allowed the pressure to effect the toss.

    Contrast these with his 4th series, where he was knocking the wings off a gnat at 20 yards! He made 4 pinpoint, ELITE throws on this drive, including the TD strike to Moss that he dropped. Also a great job of recognizing a broken coverage and hitting Moss a couple plays later for the easy TD.

    Rex also needs to do a better job of recognizing the blitz - 3rd & 8 on Rex's first series: Shotgun formation. Overload blitz from the Ravens - Hightower does a good job picking up one blitzer, Fred Davis another, but unfortunately there are 3. Rex never even sees the 3rd guy (or any of them, to be honest), and gets pummeled. Armstrong points out the blitz before the play, Rex either ignores him or doesn't see him. Rex's other mistake is looking to the right side all day, another reason he never sees the hit. He has got to recognize the blitz better, or he's going to be coughing the ball up a lot more.

    The other funny thing about Rex – I've noted before his tendency to throw from his back foot or not set before he throws – I think he's actually a better QB when he does this. Several times in this game he set, stepped into the throw, and threw an ugly-duckling. In his “hot” series, he had a little “hop” before he threw the ball and hit about 5 perfect throws in a row. Very strange!

    John Beck didn't really have much time to make his mark, but a 3-play, 70-yard TD drive ain't bad. It was 2s on 2s in the 2nd half, but his scoring drive was very pretty. He had two big-time tosses to Terrence Austin; one of which was under-pressure to keep a drive alive.

    Beck did have some poor moments - the most glaring was the McNabb impression on 3rd down to Moss. 5 step drop on 3rd & 4, has Moss on the quick slant. He did not set his feet, and threw off his back foot - this is why the throw was poor. Beck knew it too. The first play of this drive was not good for Beck either - he rolled out, but off of a very poor play action (seemed almost like a busted play) - held the ball for 5 seconds; appeared to want to go deep around the 4-second mark, but pulled the ball down. Then, BAM sacked. Needs to throw the ball away in this situation.

    RB:
    Hightower is the next superstar Shanahan ZBS RB. Its often hyperbole when people say "oh player X is a perfect fit in system Y," but in this case its 100% truth. He is made for this system, and will have a big year. The only dark shadow is his fumbling issues; if he can keep those in check, he'll do very very well.

    OL: OL had some good moments and some bad moments also - some looked dominant one play, poor the next. I think this is a cohesion thing, and they will get better with time. Hopefully.

    Example: 2nd & 14, 3 WR set. Jamal Brown dominates Johnson on this play, but Chris Chester is blasted backwards by a blitzing Ray Ray which disrupts the timing of Hightower's run. It also causes Hightower to slip, and he can only get back to the original LOS.

    Excellent play, Hightower's TD run: Paulsen has a great block on Johnson, & Steiger takes out two DL (possibly on DL & one LB) with a cut block. The real star of this play is Silverback, who pancakes Ray Ray. 52 looked like a chump! This block allows Hightower to get into space, and out run Zbikowski to the end zone.

    Chris Chester - I'm am starting to agree with Ryman that we overpaid this guy. He has done some good things, but also has some really bad moments also.

    Steiger: This kid is good, and you can tell he's been in the Shanahan system for awhile. I think he's our best interior lineman.

    Montgomery: Not bad, pretty average. Some have said he's no better than Rabach, but I disagree. A trash can would have been an upgrade over Rabach.

    Brown & Williams: Silverback still has some growing up to do, but shows flashes of brilliance (like his domination of Ray Lewis). Brown was also up and down, but shows flashes of brilliance like his domination of #95 Johnson. Both were beaten badly a couple times also. I think these two will be nice bookends, once the OL has time to gel and they get some more practice in.

    TE:
    Fred Davis appears to have worked really hard on his blocking, both run blocking and pass-pro. He has definitely improved in this area. He still gets blown up a bit, and stands too high, but he is effective in getting between the defender and the ball carrier. Its not ideal, but he can block for a couple seconds, long enough for Hightower to zip past.

    I'm not sure why Paulsen doesn't get on the field more with the 1s. Kid blocks really well, and can also catch the ball. I think he definitely has earned a spot on the final 53; he really impressed me.

    Defense:
    Rocky looks lost at times in this defense, but Fox is not much better. He overpursues too often, and is inconsistent with his tackling. On the first play after the pick-6, Rice got a 18-yard gain because Rocky & Fox overpursued way too much. Doughty has a bead on him, but gets shaken out of his jockstrap and ended up being able to only get one arm on him, and he predictably blew by. These types of plays is where we miss Fletcher and Landry big time.

    The big men (DL) were up and down. For the most part, the starting DL did their jobs absorbing the OL so the LBs could swarm and make plays. Cofield gets blown back more than I would like, but takes on double teams pretty well. He can also get pressure when required. The DL I was most impressed with (besides Jenkins, sigh) was Darion Scott, who came in after Jenkins went down. He looks to be a player.

    After watching a half of football with our best vs. a very good team, I think the weaknesses that are most glaring are at safety (if Landry misses significant time, its gonna be hard to stop people) and ILB (will be much better with Fletcher back). On offense, the pieces are there. Just need one of Rex or Beck to step up and take the reins. I would grade Rex slightly higher for this game (b/c Beck's best drive was against 2nd-stringers).
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  2. #2
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    Good job Jaimie. Frustrating to see Rex so good at times and so bad others. He really does need to learn pocket presence. Is this coachable? I think a few drills designed to work on this would benefit him. Maybe a Marco Polo style of drill?
    Last edited by Elephant; 08-28-11 at 03:29 PM.
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elephant View Post
    Good job Jaimie. Frustrating to see Rex so good at times and so bad others. He really does need to learn to feel pocket presence. Is this coachable? I think a few drills designed to work on this would benefit him. Maybe a Marco Polo style of drill?
    Maybe a Zorn type drill where people are throwing pads at him, lol.
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  4. #4
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    what has always bothered me about guys like chester is that they can run really fast but running fast isnt something you ask your Oline to do, even in zbs, nifty feet are better and some big men have nifty feet. Chester just seems too weak in run blocking and he doesnt help himself with outstanding technique and considering his "athleticism" he isnt explosive. as for TW I almost wonder if an elite LT prospect falls to us, do we take him and move TW to RT? because he is a beast at runblocking but doesnt seem to be an elite LT, a very solid very good one yes, elite? no.

    I couldnt agree more on hightower, if he can hang on to the ball he will beast it in this system, and Helu looks like a keeper too. Royster is a solid guy but has no second gear.

    I have to say Rex annoys me, sometimes he looks all world and then he looks all garbage lol

    I have to say, pretty solid job on the film, its not as esoteric as people think, an informed educated fan who pays attention, may not have the advantages of broken down film and scouting reports, but we can see things pretty accurately, nice work.
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    I'll be keeping an eye on Evan mathis, I really wanted us to sign him.
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    Thanks, Ryman! Lofty praise! I have an actual play-by-play film breakdown that I started typing up, but got too lazy to do the whole thing, lol. Maybe I'll do that tonight.
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    I almost think they should start Beck and rotate in Grossman in 2-minute situations. He was excellent on Thursday before the half. Has that ever happened in the NFL before? lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanky Livingston View Post
    I almost think they should start Beck and rotate in Grossman in 2-minute situations. He was excellent on Thursday before the half. Has that ever happened in the NFL before? lol
    It's funny, I've been thinking that for years. Seems to me that if you have two QBs on the roster who have different talents, why not use their talents accordingly? People said for years that running backs had to get 25-30 touches a game to get into a rythmn and be successful; we have more platoon RB situations than ever before now.

    I like the idea Lanky, though I'm not sure anyone in the NFL has enough courage to withstand the scrutiny if the idea fails.
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    Grossman's drive at the end of the half was Peyton-like; he looked elite and made some big-time throws. The rest of his drives? More Leaf than Manning. Ugly.
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  10. #10
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    btw the best QBs have what we call an internal clock, they almost sense pressure and where it will come from, this is a combination of experience , preparation and some intuition and skill. Grossman doesnt have it at all and I think it makes him nervous and he gets gunshy when that happens.
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  11. #11

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    [sarcasm]Wow. Is that technical football talk Ryman? Can QBs with an 'internal clock' wake up and make it to work on time even without a wake up call?[/sarcasm]

    I'm really not a Grossman apologist, it just sounds that way. He didn't start well, but after the first couple of series heated up and made some beautiful throws. He also didn't throw it up for grabs - which Beck gets a pass for, while RG would've been gutted if he'd thrown that pick. Btw LL, I've noticed the same oddity about Rex (that he tends to play better sandlot style and that when he is more technically correct, he seems less accurate/efficient) LL. Btw - if we're going to bash Rex for not sensing the pressure, make sure you make note of several instances when a defender was bearing down on him at speed and with ill intent, and Grossman hung in there and completed a nice pass. I don't think he's shy about risking a big hit. In some instances, we may be mistaking blindness for guts.

    I was very impressed with Beck even with the pick. He looked very comfortable out there, and I think if the coaches go with him, we can win with him.

    If they weren't relatively comparable in talent, we wouldn't be where we are right now. I can't see us rotating QBs intentionally - ever. I think it would stunt the development of the offense, especially when we've got so many new faces. You have to pick a guy and ride him until he gets hurt, or gives you good reason to give someone else a try.
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    if you watch , all the great QB's have a sense of the rush, they often hold the ball until the last possible second letting guys come open, they dont consciously countdown, but they do obviously have that internal clock that tells them " throw the ball now or you are screwed" lol

    Thats actually one of the reasons we did so well last season early on, a QB reads patterns in the defence, if A is where he is supposed to be then B is where should be and that means C should be open if the defence is playing sound., Most defences play sound because its too risky to play unsound, so in his mind the QB makes his reads and when his internal clock says throw, often they throw without even making that third read. we played unsound and confused some people early on but once teams had film and prepped for it, you saw the difference that Vick (who is not a great QB ) took advantage of.
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  13. #13
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    I never assume anymore.
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    Well, we all appreciate you taking the time to educate us, brother.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boone View Post
    I'm really not a Grossman apologist, it just sounds that way. He didn't start well, but after the first couple of series heated up and made some beautiful throws. He also didn't throw it up for grabs - which Beck gets a pass for, while RG would've been gutted if he'd thrown that pick. Btw LL, I've noticed the same oddity about Rex (that he tends to play better sandlot style and that when he is more technically correct, he seems less accurate/efficient) LL. Btw - if we're going to bash Rex for not sensing the pressure, make sure you make note of several instances when a defender was bearing down on him at speed and with ill intent, and Grossman hung in there and completed a nice pass. I don't think he's shy about risking a big hit. In some instances, we may be mistaking blindness for guts.
    I did not intend to give Beck a pass for his INT - he isn't accurate on the long ball, and that is a problem. I think we're all sick of Jason Campbellitis of overthrowing a wide-open receiver by 10 yards; we're all ready to see an accurate long ball. If his ball to Armstrong was accurate, we're not talking about Hightower's beautiful 37-yard TD run, we're talking about Beck's 70-yard TD strike.

    Grossman has his flaws, which you've highlighted nicely. I guess you can never really tell if he is standing in the pocket waiting to take the hit, or just can't sense the pressure, but to me it seems morel likely to be the latter. If you watch Tom Brady (the master of this), he does the same thing Grossman does, but seems to just take a small step in the direction that gets him out of trouble, and buys himself a second or so longer to make the play. If Rexy is indeed just being ballsy and waiting for the hit, that's equally bad IMO. Taking a huge hit as a QB = fumbles or INTs.

    I was very impressed with Beck even with the pick. He looked very comfortable out there, and I think if the coaches go with him, we can win with him.

    If they weren't relatively comparable in talent, we wouldn't be where we are right now. I can't see us rotating QBs intentionally - ever. I think it would stunt the development of the offense, especially when we've got so many new faces. You have to pick a guy and ride him until he gets hurt, or gives you good reason to give someone else a try.
    This is true - they are comparable, and that means we're going to have to deal with one set of flaws or the other. If we go with Rex, we're gonna have to deal with fumbles and INTs, and if we go with Beck, we're going to have to deal with inaccurate long balls and a lot of "what-ifs."

    I was a Beck guy, but now I might be leaning more towards Rex. That 4th drive was perfection!
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  16. #16
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    OM, and Boone, little things that I assumed everyone knew and took for granted, like how skillsets affect how a player transitions into different positions in different schemes, were obviously not as obvious as I assumed, so I tend to assume now that what I consider to be basics, may not necessarily be so.

    Lanky, Campbell was actually not a bad long ball thrower, however he rarely had the time for anything more than 3 step drops and rushed his deep throws. I would also say that a lack of anything resembling a deep threat aside from moss really hurt him as well. he had a cannon arm but his touch did need work.

    What absolutely kills me about Grossman is that potentially if the light ever went on, he could be an elite QB, Beck will never be elite but is consistent and in this system could be very solid with flash moments, but not an elite guy.
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    Seriously Ryman? You don't think the folks posting here are familiar with the concept of a QB's internal clock? Or that individual player skillsets impact their transition from system to system? Give us a little more credit bro.

    As to Jason Campbell....yes, he suffered from a lack of OL support, and didn't have a particularly deep WR corps to lean on either. But he did get protection now and again. And WR's did run free downfield now and again. And more often than you'd like to see from your #1, those open guys went either unseen or outright missed. Jason has a great arm...and he throws a damn pretty ball...but I'd have a tough time categorizing him as anything more than an average NFL passer. Accuracy was never a strong suit.

    Grossman? Love what I'm seeing this preseason in terms of attacking the intermediate and deep middle. Like that he's brought some swagger and sometimes sweet decision-making to the table. Still holding my breath every time the first read isn't there, however, and he starts looking around, and looking around, and the big mean men in different colored jerseys approach him with evil intent. Ball security, Rex. Por favor.
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    OM, I would have assumed it until I posted about the transition to the 3-4 and saw how many people had absolutely no clue. So Now I don't assume, I KNOW that several of you have a huge amount of knowledge, I even read some of your blogs, but some people don't.
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    Dude, you have GOT to get over that - its a difference of opinion, not a simple football fact like a QB's internal clock.
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  20. #20
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    if most people had the same knowledge as me they wouldnt make incorrect assumptions and wrong arguments. nuff said, and yes that was me keeping it cool lol
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