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Something I've always wondered about all you Guru analysts here

Washington Taylor beat Panthers

Fear The Spear

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It's always amazed me how so many of you are able to do this - watch a game on TV, or even live, and come away with an evaluation of a player whose position is highly obscured by all the activity going on in the game.

Let me explain. After a game, someone will offer up a complete analysis of how an Offensive Guard played.
But when it boils down to me attempting to do that, here's the obstacles.

First of all, while I'm watching the play, of course my eye is focused on the ball-carrier.
Secondly, the play is of course, happening extremely fast, too fast for me to even locate the other player, let alone analyze his play.
Thirdly, the camera is also focusing on the ball-carrier, and those close to him, and not the other players' positions, which compounds the difficulty.
Fourthly, positions such as Guard, are often hidden in the trenches, buried between other large bodies, which makes them extremely hard to locate in a video, even identifying their jersey number.
Fifthly, the camera angles certainly do not favor analyzing non-ball carriers to begin with.

So, how do you guys do it ?
Do you first record the game. Then go back and watch it. Then re-play each play over and over again. Then do each play's replay in slow-motion. THEN, have some special program, which allows you to access and utilize each and every camera angle, even the one's that were not used during the televise, or even modify the existing angles on the screen, by panning across 360 degrees with some special computer program. And THEN play THAT in slow-motion over and over ?

Because I'd like to know !!
 

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Burgundy Burner

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Virginia

I'll answer one part of the question from a player's perspective and the other part as per your request.

First, I played FS in high school and while I was not good enough for the next level (got a few offers from NAIA and Div. II schools, but not interested), I feel that my experiences can help a bit. The other day, I talked about how Rambo was not squaring his hips toward the player and forcing the play to the outside. El posted pics from the Pittsburgh game and there is one pic where DHall is pursuing a RB and forcing him to the outside. It is a fundamental tactic that DBs must use in the open field. I learned it early on and as I watched Rambo take bad angles against the Titans and Steelers, I could provide some analysis. Against the Bills, he corrected those mistakes and I'm sure he got an earful from coaches and help from teammates.

Second, as a blogger here, I feel it is my responsibility to know the subject matter and spend time looking at videos, reading articles, and listening to press conferences to gain a greater insight for the blogs. The mock drafts are a popular part of BBQ, but the study of college prospects starts in mid October for me. I try to match team needs with the prospects and when late winter rolls around, there is roughly four months of research to expand upon at that time. In March, the mocks can change due to activity in free agency and adjustments are made. The final mocks by late April reflect just over six months of research.

I won't claim to be an expert, but this is a labor of love for BGO and a love of my favorite team.
 

tshile

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With the caveat that there are quite a few posters here that are significantly better at this than I am... I'm certainly not a guru...

Having played helps... especially since at a young age you play many positions. The people who played in highschool and college would have even more insight into that than the people that played earlier like me. The fundamentals don't change a whole lot through the ranks (hence them being fundamentals ;) ), what changes is athletic ability and how complicated/fast the game gets.

Also, being there helps as well. I know everyone likes to talk about how the at home experience is better than the stadium experience, but that's only true for certain things. Yes, your food and drinks are cheaper, your traveling is less, you can pause/rewind, go the bathroom whenever, etc. But you only get to see what the production crew wants you to see. To give you an example, when Rex Grossman was QB lots of people talked about how horrible the offense was - I was one of the people saying it was rex, not the offense. When you watched the game at the stadium you could see WR's running wide open all over the place almost all the time; Rex just simply couldn't find them, or when he did he couldn't get them the ball. I was one of the people that recognized early the Kyle Shanahan knew what he was doing. The people in the upper level have the best viewpoint for this sort of thing because they can see the play develop. I still miss that about those seats :\

The big thing i've noticed, while watching it with friends and other people, is (like you said) most people watch the ball. I feel like that's the most boring part to follow.
If the RB gets the ball you know what the play is - a run; your eyes should immediately shift to the O line to see where the hole is. I'm someone that sees a holding call before the flag is thrown because of that; I'm also someone that screams things like 'GET HIM YOUNG!' because while my friends are watching Morris in the open field I'm watching Young getting ready to blow up the next would-be-tackler.
If Griffin drops back then you should immediately go to the WR's; you can tell who the ball is going to, no need to watch Griffin, it's going to the open guy. We'll sit there and point at open guys, as if Griffin is taking his queues from us, "That guy, throw it to that guy!"

The ball carrier's movements are, for the most part, predictable for a viewer. Start quickly diagnosing what is going on with the guy with the ball (run, pass, etc) and start moving onto the other guys on the field and you'll start picking up on things much quicker, and new things too. I know that's harder to do on TV.

That said, the read option and Griffin's unbelievable ability makes it much harder to take your eyes off of him... He's not a traditional QB when it comes to that stuff... he's a whole new level of entertainment in that regard.
 

Fear The Spear

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If Griffin drops back then you should immediately go to the WR's; you can tell who the ball is going to, no need to watch Griffin, it's going to the open guy.
Of course, it's only been that way, since RG3 has become QB.
For most of the 20 years prior to him, the ball would usually go to either the un-open receiver, or to the dirt in front of him, or 3 feet above his head, or to the other team :p
 

SilentThreat

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While i'm watching a game... there is a level of fluidity that is happening, and when that fluidity is broken, my eyes are drawn to it. Jason and Mike always give me crap because i see things they dont realize they are seeing, ie, i can usually call a penalty or blown assignment out before anyone else can. I played in HS but that's minimally responsible. Most of it is like tshile said, i'm looking at where the play is going, not where the play currently is.
 

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