Tampa Bay Breakdown
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I only have tomorrow to work on this, so I'll try to get as much done as possible. Hopefully Box will take over then.
For those new to these breakdowns, Box_o_Rocks and I have been doing them since the 2005 season to give the fans here an extra edge following almost each Patriots game. Keep in mind we're going to miss games here and there, and it's nearly impossible to finish a game or even get halfway with the amount of typing that goes into this. So we'll tend to focus on the important, intriguing, and interesting parts of the games. In the preseason, as we're in now, an extra emphasis will be placed on some of the newer players, although we'll checkup on how the familiar faces are faring as well. You'll also see us list personnel on the field during the preseason, something we don't do once the regular season rolls around. These breakdowns used to be virtual books that focused on each and every player's role in as many plays as we could, but since just doing that took up a mammoth chunk of our time, we changed over to a single-paragraph format halfway through last season, but added the drive assessment and grades for the extra analysis.
So, without further ado, here is the first Patriots drive of 2007. This is all I'm going to get to tonight, but I'll start off where I left off tomorrow morning (actually this morning now!). I also included the key to the breakdowns for the new readers:
Color and Highlighting
Green Good for New England. Five or more yards on an offensive play or a first down, two or fewer yards on a defensive play or denying a first down. Underlined for big plays and 3rd down.
Black O.K. for New England. Three or four yards on an offensive or defensive play that doesn’t result in or prohibit a first down (a 4 yard gain on 3rd and 5 would be a red play – not black).
Red Bad for New England. Five or more yards on a defensive play or allowing a first down, two or fewer yards on a offensive play or not getting a first down. Underlined for big plays and 3rd down.
Yellow (highlight...not visible in vB code) Penalty or injury or editor’s choice for an important note.
Kickoff: Andrews from the NE 10, 26 yd. return, Andrews, with G. Williams leading the way, evades a Sanders missed block before being taken down.
Note: WCVB’s feed had the bleeps, the sweeps, and the creeps to begin the game, so bear with me. And then there’s the fact I haven’t done this in 7 months…
Offensive Series #1 Punt
Time: 15:00 remaining in the first quarter
Statistics: 3 plays (1 run, 2 pass), 8 yards (-2 run, 10 pass), time of possession was 3:00
Breakdown: 1 green play (0 run, 1 pass) for 8 yds., 2 red plays (1 run, 1 pass) for 0 yds. (-2 run, 2 pass)
1st and 10 NE 26
Result: Pass, Faulk, quick out, 8 yds.
Analysis: Shotgun 3 WR (Gaffney, Caldwell), Welker right slot, 2 RB (Faulk, Evans) vs. 4-2 nickel CBs off. Caldwell went in motion to behind Welker, then took a short hitch and with Evans going on a quick-out, put the LCB in a 2-on-1 situation. Brady looked to Heath first, and with great protection (despite Neal losing ground inside), turned left and found Faulk underneath the RCB zone. OL: Light, Mankins, Koppen, Neal, Kaczur.
2nd and 2 NE 34
Result: Draw, Morris, right guard, -2 yds.
Analysis: Shotgun 3 WR (Gaffney, Caldwell), Welker right wing, 2 RB (Morris, Evans) vs. 4-2 nickel CBs off, NB showing blitz. Welker apparently was in the left slot and motioned in to the right wing as the NB was showing blitz. Kaczur did a good job of letting the RE swim his way inside, and Evans met the LLB coming in. Neal and Caldwell also did a good job sealing in the second level. Welker lost his outside leverage on the NB, conveniently as Morris bounced the run outside and into the NB’s arms. I’d actually go back and blame this on Evans, who maybe tried to sell the pass for too long before engaging with the LLB. This meant his block wasn’t ready in time for Morris, who was forced outside into somewhere Welker wasn’t anticipating the run to go. OL: Light, Mankins, Koppen, Neal, Kaczur.
3rd and 4 NE 32
Result: Pass, Welker, quick out, 2 yds., pass thrown under pressure.
Analysis: Shotgun 4 WR (Welker, Caldwell), Gaffney left slot, Mills right wing, RB Faulk left vs. 4-2 nickel press, LBs and SS showing blitz. Despite showing blitz, only the RLB actually came in. Morris stood up the RLB easily, but even in this 6-on-5 (C and RG doubled) situation, both Light and Mankins were simultaneously beaten outside by the RE and RDT, respectively, putting pressure right in Brady’s face. Welker came in motion inside and was picked up by the RCB in the Tampa-2 short zone, releasing Gaffney deep to the FS. Even though Brady’s pass was lobbed under pressure, this was a dumb mental mistake by Welker to stay a good yard short of the marker his entire route. Mills was picked up by the SS and Caldwell by the LCB. OL: Light, Mankins, Koppen, Neal, Kaczur.
4th and 2 NE 34
Result: Punt, Baugher, to the TB 24, Jones gets help on backside blocks on Andrews and Rogers, but is caught from behind by Mays, 42 yd. punt, 6 yd. return.
Score: New England 0 – Tampa Bay 0
Despite lining up in the shotgun with multiple receivers on all three plays, it was still a very conservative approach, featuring RB routes on the first play, a draw on the second play, and short, quick routes on the third play. As far as the WRs go: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. It was like the offseason never happened with Caldwell and Gaffney lining up wide (although Welker and Gaffney did switch for the 3rd down play). Neither, working against a non Cover-2 defense the first two plays and the Tampa-2 on the third play, made any impact. The draw play was a complete mess. Evans had to stay back for a second in order to sell the pass, but a lead blocker who starts at the same lateral position as the RB has to begin his movements before the RB, and this did not happen. Poorly drawn play if you ask me, unless Evans stayed back when he wasn’t supposed to.
QB ‘B’ - Welker throw could have been better
WRs ‘C’ - Failed to get open, stay aware of marker
OL ‘B’ - Only mistake was on Welker play
OC ‘B’ - Final two plays were poorly-designed
Re: Tampa Bay Breakdown
Nice analysis. You've got a core group out here that always reads the breakdowns. Shame that Gaffney, Caldwell, and Welker couldn't generate a first down in that series.
Re: Tampa Bay Breakdown
Re: Tampa Bay Breakdown
Good stuff as usual.
Re: Tampa Bay Breakdown
Defensive Series #1 Punt
Time: 12:00 remaining in the first quarter
Statistics: 3 plays (0 run, 3 pass), 4 yards, time of possession was 1:45
Breakdown: 2 green plays (0 run, 2 pass) for 0 yds., 1black play (0 run, 1 pass) for 4 yds.
1st and 10 TB 30
Result: Pass, Williams, swing left, 4 yds.
Analysis: 2 WR split, TE left, FB weak vs. 3-4 LCB press. Even with Vrabel blitzing and the FB and TE in routes, the DL (Green, Wilfork, Warren) got absolutely no pressure. Colvin jammed the TE at the line and then went out to get the RB in the flat. He tried to force him out of bounds, but was left in the dust as Cadillac turned it upfield and had to be pushed out by Harrison and Hobbs. LBs: Colvin, Thomas, Bruschi, Vrabel. DBs: Hobbs, Harrison, Wilson, Gay.
2nd and 6 TB 34
Result: Pass, Smith, play action, Incomplete, crossing route, pass thrown wide under pressure.
Analysis: 2 WR tight, 2 TE split vs. 3-4 CBs off. Thomas showed blitz late, flew past the RG, and forced Garcia to step up in the pocket. Warren was neutralized, Wilfork was doubled and eventually pancaked, but Green broke back downfield against the LT and forced Garcia to get the throw off. Both OLBs jammed the TEs (the RTE stayed in) before going into short zones. Both Bruschi and Vrabel were on the LTE on the crossing route, and Garcia’s pass was more of a throw-away than anything. Besides the RB in the left flat, it appeared the rest of the receivers and coverage were deep. LBs: Colvin, Thomas, Bruschi, Vrabel. DBs: Hobbs, Harrison, Wilson, Gay.
3rd and 6 TB 34
Result: Pass, Hilliard, Incomplete, 10 yard flag, pass overthrown.
Analysis: Shotgun 3 WR slot left, TE left, RB right vs. 3-2 dime, LCB and NB press, LBs and SS showing blitz. Despite the blitz look, Harrison, Thomas, and Bruschi all dropped into zones, leaving the DL (Colvin, Green, Vrabel) to rush 3-on-5. Hobbs backed off just before the snap, but still managed to trail Hilliard on the flag route with Wilson coming down to help. Despite a clean pocket, Garcia overthrew Hilliard badly on what should have been a first down catch. Gay jammed and trailed the RWR with safety help deep (Sanders?). Harrison took the TE. Meriweather stuck with the slot. LBs: Thomas, Bruschi. DBs: Hobbs, Wilson, Harrison, Sanders?, Gay.
4th and 6 TB 34
Result: Punt, Bidwell, to the NE 22, Childress lets the short punt bounce out of bounds, 44 yd. punt, 0 yd. return.
Score: New England 0 – Tampa Bay 0
Good job by the secondary to take Garcia’s first options away on the first two plays. The Seymour-less DL got very little pressure, save for Green hurrying Garcia after Thomas’ finely executed blitz. Hilliard did a good job of finding the hole in what looked to be a RCB zone on 3rd down, but Garcia failed to execute on his end.
DL ‘C+’ - Little pressure
OLBs ‘B’ - Colvin mishap on first play
ILBs ‘A’ - Good Thomas blitz
DC ‘A’ - Vanilla but effective
Re: Tampa Bay Breakdown
Breer's Tale of the Tape:
Re: Tampa Bay Breakdown
Third Quarter 15:00
Notes: Since I’m looking at the back-ups fighting for a Roster or Practice Squad slot I’m going to be more detailed about what I see each doing; as opposed to the summary fashion we went to last season. I won’t be keeping this up during the season.
Kickoff: Gostkowski kickoff out of bounds, penalty, TB ball at the 40.
1st and 10 - ball on the left hash.
O: I formation, TE left, 2 WR split to the numbers on each side. LWR in motion to right flanker*.
D: 3-4 CBs up to the LOS. R-L DL: Santonio Thomas, LeKevin Smith, Kareem Brown; LB: Kyle Bissinger, Oscar Lua, Corey Mays, Justin Rogers; CB: Mike Richardson, Brandon Meriweather; S: Rashad Baker, Willie Andrews.
Result: Run, leftside 7 yds.
Breakdown: Stretch play to the left side, FB leading. Bissinger drove the TE into the backfield, tying up the FB. Santonio pushed the LT into the backfield shutting down the ‘c’ gap. Lua charged the play and was taken outside by the LG, this might have let him get back in the play if the RB kept outside, but just bottled him up with the RB’s cut-back. LeKevin was doubled by the C/RG and his overpursuit allowed them to move him off the LOS and left, this drove him back into Mays who lost sight of the RB in the scrum and allowed himself to be pushed outside where the play had been intended to go. The RT took Kareem and drove him left and upfield about 10 yds. Rogers started pursuing the ball behind his D-line, he did a good job of tracking the RB and was able to cut back with the runner to keep him contained inside and trip him up on his upfield cut. Rashad Baker finished him off as he stumbled forward. Richardson dropped off the line with the motion, but came back up staying outside in containment, then tried to knife through a gap when the RB cut back. Meriweather was blocked outside by his WR, Andrews must have rotated over top after the motion receiver came over.
Notes: Bissinger may not be strong enough yet to play the edge with proper technique, he needed both arms to control the TE. I saw this during the game, he seemed to do a decent job of playing the assignment, but it looked like his technique was ‘weak,’ for lack of a better term.
* I’m using “flanker” to indicate a player 1x1 off the LOS/OT on the OT’s “flank”; for example, the left WR came in motion and set up just outside the RT to block Rogers if he pursued from the backside. The chuck he gave Rogers was ignored as inconsequential, by both Rogers and this observer.
2nd and 3 - ball on the left hash
O: I form., TE right, 2 WR split left - slot WR motioned to right flanker
D: 3-4, Richardson playing off the line with Meriweather tight to the formation around ILB level, presumably the Ss were rotated left. Bissinger was deeper, shaded to the slot. On the motion - Richardson came up, Bissinger slid back inside and and a step off the LOS, Meriweather went to meet the WR.
Result: run, left side for 5 yds
Breakdown: Richardson was blocked outside by the WR after he was run off the LOS. Bissinger read pass and dropped into coverage off the LT setting up in pass protection, he took himself out of the play. Santonio was doubled by the LT/LG. Mays met the FB in the hole and was blocked into the C/LeKevin. LeKevin was stood-up and controlled by the C. The RG chipped LeKevin then played “keep away” with Lua who ran around him away from the play and wound up behind everything. Kareem was ridden down the LOS inside by the RT and bunched up with LeKevin. Rogers and the TE squared off and battled on the backside, drifting to the left towards the play. Meriweather was blocked outside by the WR. Both S were playing deep against the pass. LeKevin was able to make the tackle after the runner’s progress gave him the angle. Santonio fought the double-team upfield literally containing the runner inside.
Note: The Pats seemed to be expecting a pass, both Safeties were deep and Bissinger reacted too quickly to drop into coverage off the LT’s false key.
1st and 10 - left hash
O: 4 wide - 2x2, single back.
D: Pats shifted to a 4-3 with Bissinger down at DE, Mays slid outside to cover the slot as ROLB, Rogers stepped off the line to shade the right slot WR, both corners 8 yds off the LOS with the Ss at 12 yds.
Results: pass to slot left 7 yds.
Analysis: Pats blitzed both OLB, slot left cleared the area with a seam route, allowing the LWR to run a slant underneath off the blitz read, he was brought down by a nice open field tackle from Baker. TB picked up the blitz, sliding the line left and keeping the RB in for Rogers. Bissinger is the only one who stood out, he took the LG downfield then tossed him down when he overbalanced.
2nd and 3 - left hash
O: I form., TE left, 2 wide right - motion: LWR motioned inside behind slot and faked an end around.
D: 3-4, Richardson tight to the form at ILB level, Rogers off the LOS shading the slot WR inside.
Results: run up the middle for 1 yd.
Breakdown: Bissinger held the line against the TE. Santonio threw off the LT and penetrated the backfield before tripping, but he forced the runner to change direction. Lua took on the LG and tossed him off before plugging the right side ‘a’ gap to make the tackle. LeKevin stood the C up, read the play and fought left to close the intended rush lane. Mays met the FB in the right lane and was driven outside. Kareem tried to penetrate the ‘b’ gap and was taken into the backfield and outside by the RG, he made a nice spin move to break contact, but was only good for outside contain at that point. Rogers took on the RT and held his ground helping to fill on the right side.
Analysis: The play was designed to create two rush lanes, one on either side of the C. Mays met the FB in the right lane closing it, the RB targeted the left lane off his read, then Santonio and LeKevin closed it on him. He used a spin move to change direction and keep his balance, by this point the FB had leverage on Mays and was walking him out of the lane. He took that hole for positive yardage before Lua made the tackle - Lua took on the LG and threw him off (good), he did a good job relocating the RB who had originally intended to use the gap(s) Lua was guarding (good locating the RB, very bad on gap control), he made the tackle (good), if Santonio and LeKevin hadn’t made their plays turning the RB back, Lua would have been screened out by the LG because he was slow to read and fill the lane (very naughty).
Note: I’m going to assign grades on this play because it is a good example of what I understand to be the goal of gap control:
Bissinger: B - he controlled the TE and can be seen reading the backfield, nice solid job playing his assignment.
Santonio: A - he beat his man and helped close down the gaps opened by Lua’s error.
Lua: F plus - he made the tackle, but he was late filling his lane allowing the LG to meet him 3 yds off the LOS and screen him from the lane. He was lucky he was screened into the RB’s cutback.
LeKevin: A - he controlled his man, read the play, and helped Santonio close down the RB’s intended rush lane.
Mays - B minus - he plugged the hole against the FB’s lead block closing his lanes, but he failed to control the FB who was able to walk him out of the lane giving the RB a third chance.
Kareem: F - he left his gaps wide open and allowed himself to be taken out of the play.
Rogers: C - he held his ground against the RT, but he was also slow to crowd the LOS and did allow himself to be screened outside.
3rd and 2 - center line
O: TE right, 3 WR - 2 bunched left slot, 1 right - motioned to bunched trips left slot.
D: 4-1 dime, Gemara Williams is in at nickelback and Mel Mitchell at dimeback, Kenny Smith and LeKevin are at DT, Bissinger and Rogers at DE. Mitchell is on MLB Lua’s left hip, both CBs are off the line five yds, Williams is 2 yds off the slot shading him inside.
Results: Sack, loss of 4 yds
Breakdown: Bissinger was doubled by LT/LG, LeKevin was doubled by C/RG, Kenny was picked up by the RT, Mitchell came up to the line to show blitz and was picked up by the TE, Rogers was cut by the RB. Gemara was man on the LOS slot WR, denying him an inside route and running on his inside hip, the deep slot ran a stop & out & go against Richardson who had him on the stop and the out, but was surprised by the go. I know the motion man went deep outside, someone was presumably over top for him.
Analysis: Mitchell came up to the line to show blitz off the motion and screened Lua on a delayed blitz behind Rogers, Mitchell had underneath and QB scramble coverage. Rogers was picked up and cut by the RB, but road the block and was able to bounce back up and make the sack. Richardson shut down the short routes giving Rogers time to recover and make the play. Velly pretty, as the Venezuelans might say.
4th and 6
Results: Punt into the endzone, touchback.
Analysis: Bam made a good decision to let the ball sail into the endzone.
Re: Tampa Bay Breakdown
Grades: I need to assign individual grades due to the learning going on with the players.
Andrews: C plus - he must have been doing his job upfield, but he was barely onscreen at the end of one run. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt since there was only one pass completed, underneath on a 6-man pass rush.
Baker: B - a nice open field tackle, a good hit to finish off another runner, the secondary didn’t give up much and were left on their own a lot by the blitz calls.
Bissinger: C plus - he played his assignments, but bit on a false read, no pressure on the QB. A solid job for a kid with a lot to learn and probably in need of a lot of work in the weight room.
Kareem Brown: F - he’s still playing his one gap, penetrating defense and was out of position and manhandled by the O-line.
Childress: incomplete, good decision letting the punt go for a touchback.
Lua: F - he’s was late to fill rush lanes and tried to play ‘keep away’ with the blockers.
Mays: C - he played his assignments and quickly filled rush lanes forcing RB decisions, but he kept losing the leverage battle with blockers.
Mitchell: incomplete, he looked very good faking the blitz, screening Lua’s blitz, and fending off the TE.
Meriweather: B - he played his assignments and looked good coming up in run support.
Richardson: B - he played his assignments and did a good job in coverage to help Rogers’ sack.
Rogers: B - he played his assignments, showed good ball awareness, and made a couple nice plays.
LeKevin Smith: D plus - he’s still trying too hard, he needs more patience to let the play come to him while he bottles up the middle, when he got it right good things happened (I like what I’m seeing as far as his development).
Kenny Smith: incomplete - one pass play with good hustle, it’s noteworthy that he got the call.
Santonio Thomas: B - he played his assignments and that forced plays to develop for others.
Williams: incomplete - nice coverage on Rogers’ sack.
Re: Tampa Bay Breakdown
Third Quarter 11:59
1st and 10 - center line
O: Shotgun, “T” (2 halfbacks one to each side), 3 WR - 2 bunched right slot, 1 wide left, OT’s set to pass block. R-L OL: O’Callaghan, Elgin, Mruczkowski, Oldenburg, Britt; Gutierrez at QB; Mills to his right, Evans left; Kelvin Kight is in the slot on the LOS, Bam Childress is off the line two yds inside him, either Chris Dunlap or C.J. Jones is lined out wide on the left. Bam motions inside to RG, then back out to flanker with his hand on O’C’s outside hip to let him know there’s a tripping hazard behind him.
D: 4-3 or 4-2 nickel with the SS up at ROLB, the LDE is outside the ‘TE’ slot, with the LDT heads-up over the LT, but angled pointing at the LG’s outside shoulder, the RDT looks to be over the RG’s inside shoulder with the RDE heads-up on the RT. The CBs are playing more than 5 yds of the line - and off the screen. The LBs are set up deep
Results: draw, up the middle for 3 yds.
Breakdown: Britt and O’Callaghan both stepped back in classic pass drops and picked up the DEs. Bam, the little ankle biter, cut the RDE sending him stumbling into O’C. Oldenburg screened the LDT outside. Elgin squared off with the RDT. Mruczkowski went to the next level and blocked a LB. Mills led into the hole behind Mruc and sealed another LB outside with a twofer block driving the LB into the RDT to help Elgin. Kight went upfield to block, but I can’t see who, I suspect he missed his first block on a S since one sliced into the backfield and managed to ankle tackle Evans.
Analysis: Bam wasn’t needed to cut block the DE, O’C had the guy, especially on a draw. Bam, if he hadn’t been on the ground, would have been available to slow the DB who came up so quickly and tripped Evans up. Kight may have missed a block, it’s hard to tell. The O-line did a fine job and Mills threw a pretty block.
2nd and 7 - center line
O: Evans at tailback, TE right, 3 WR - Dunlap wide left, Kight wide right, Bam slot left.
D: 4 man front and poor camera work.
Result: pass Dunlap 17 yds - middle of the field, no idea what route was used with the zoom on the pocket. Replay showed him ‘coming back’ into the middle of the field, but it was a third read or late developing route.
Analysis: TB rushed four, easily handled by the O-line (Oldenburg didn’t have anyone to block) and Rivers (good pass blocking) who held up for a generous four mississippi. Gut had a pretty play action fake to Evans - which may have helped Dunlap get behind the MLB (who bit on the play fake) - it looked like he was in the seam of a zone.
1st and 10 - left hash
O: I form., TE right, 2 WR split to the numbers - it looks like Kight right and Dunlap left with Mills at FB - motion, Kight to right slot.
D: 4-3, NT over left ‘a’ gap, CBs & LBs 6-7 yds deep.
Results: Pass, Kight, incomplete.
Breakdown: O’Callaghan was outrun to the outside by the RDE, but Gut had a lovely pocket to step into allowing O’C to regain the angle and drive the RDE past the pocket, Britt got control of his man early and took him downfield too. Nobody wants to mess with Oldenburg, poor guy, no one to block. Mruczkowski locked up the NT and Elgin was steering the 3-technique just like Driver’s Ed tells you to. Rivers released inside with a shallow crossing route, Kight ran a deep-in, Mills headed to the right flat and Evans took a play fake and came through the line underneath for a stop route, I can’t see Dunlap.
Analysis: Kight was bracketed by two defenders, though Gut threw a nice looking touch pass that was just a tad off the timing - more work together and it’s a big gain. Gut may have fixated on Kight, he had a wide open Evans underneath for close to ten yds.
2nd and 10 - left hash
O: Evans at tailback, TE left, 3 wide - Dunlap wide right, Bam slot right, Kight wide left.
D: 4-2 nickel, NT on Mruc’s right shoulder, 3-tech shaded inside Oldenburg, CBs and LBs 5+ yds off the LOS. SS came up inside Bam looking nonchalant then blitzed.
Results: Evans, left outside zone (stretch) 1 yd.
Breakdown: Mruc went to block the backside LB and missed. Rivers was initially moving the LDE, but lost his leverage allowing him to make the tackle. Britt may have chipped the 3-tech, but it wasn’t much if he did, he appeared to get tangled up in Rivers trying to reach a LB and may have cost River’s control. Oldenburg was a champ getting playside on the 3-tech and bunching him up with the NT who broke free of Elgin. O’Callaghan lost lock on the backside DE who pursued from behind to get a piece of the tackle. The WR went upfield looking for DBs to harass.
3rd and 9 - left hash
O: Shotgun, 4 WR 2x2 - Dunlap wide right, Bam slot, Kight wide left, Mills slot - Evans at tailback, offset to the right.
D: 4-2 nickel, CBs 5-7 yds deep, 2 LB and SS 5-6 yds deep. SS teasing blitz.
Results: Gutierrez scramble for 5 yds.
Breakdown: Evans ‘jacked up’ the RDE on a “chip” where he slammed a shoulder into his chest and spun out of the block into a crossing route underneath, O’C took the play off to gather flowers. Britt did a nice job on the LDE. Elgin steered the RDT outside with Mruc anxiously dancing alongside. Oldenburg was beaten inside by the LDT, flushing Gutierrez who scrambled outside and down the sideline.
4th and 4
Results: Punt, Malone, 54 yd, touchback. Anam and Richardson were the Gunners, both did well against single blockers.
Britt: B - solid performance, no pressures allowed.
Childress: C plus - nothing fancy, assuming he ran the correct routes he did his assignments, he does need more work on blocking.
Dunlap: B minus - assuming he ran the correct routes, he had one long gainer and could also probably benefit from better blocking.
Elgin: B - solid performance, lost his man once, but was saved by Oldenburg.
Evans: B - pretty chip on an unsuspecting DE, got open in pass routes, sold play action, not a slasher who will get the most of this blocking, but works hard.
Gutierrez: B - looked sharp for a rookie, first impression is Cassel’s replacement is onboard.
Kight: C - I couldn’t see his blocking, but he made the effort and had one nice route that was just a smidgeon off timing with Gut, solid effort.
Mills: C plus - blocking and route running in limited action looked good.
Mruczkowski C - he’s a good shadow roster man.
O’Callaghan C plus - no sacks, but did force Gut to step up once, RB help was assigned to him.
Oldenburg C plus - one pressure allowed, but he also had a couple excellent run blocks, I’m seeing a keeper.
Rivers C plus - his blocking looks good, one play where he may have been tangled with Britt, but very promising as a blocker.
Anam, Richardson incomplete, decent effort as Gunners.
Malone D - boomed it when a pooch punt was needed.
Re: Tampa Bay Breakdown
Third Quarter 8:56
1st and 10 - center line
O: I form., TE left. 2 WR right, motion - slot right to slot left.
D: 3-4, Meriweather 7 yds off the line, Richardson was back, but moved up close on the motion. Rashad Moore is in at NT.
Results: run off tackle, left side, no gain.
Breakdown: Santonio was doubled by the LT/TE. Bissinger met the pulling RG on the edge a step into the backfield and stacked him up, which led to the FB doubling him and an even bigger stack when Kyle didn’t give an inch. Rashad was sealed playside by the LG. Backside Kareem drove the RT into the backfield, but never shed the block. Rogers was sealed by the C, but did a nice job shedding the block. Lua knifed in clean behind Thomas and Bissinger, and got a piece of the RB to slow him. Thomas shed the double-team to make the tackle with Mays sliding in at the same time for shared credit on NFL.com. Richardson was blocked by the motion WR and did a decent job of maintaining outside containment while fighting through the block.
Analysis: Bissinger and Thomas made this play, they looked like Vrabel and Seymour over there. Kyle stacked up a double-team in the backfield, just far enough to force the RB to swing further outside where Lua got a piece of him, but didn’t make the tackle. Santonio stacked up a double-team on the line, sent the LT rolling on the ground, and shed the TE to clean-up behind Lua. Mays was right there if he missed and Baker was coming up fast so there was a nice swarm of Patriots’ blue in the area. Thanks to the DE and OLB absorbing 4 blockers, the ILBs both were unblocked and able to slide to the play with little trouble. A+ for Bissinger and S.Thomas. It was just like BB drew it up.
2nd and 10 - left hash
O: Single back, double TE right, 2 WR left, motion - slot left to right.
D: 3-4, Bissinger is 3 yds off the line a long step inside the numbers marking the slot WR. Richardson is 3 yds off the line over the LWR. Baker is 8 yds off just inside the numbers behind Bissinger. Meriweather is in tight a step outside and behind Rogers. Off the motion Richardson moves down on the line over the LWR, Bissinger moves down on the line in tight, and Meriweather slides outside with the motion WR.
Results: TB Timeout.
2nd and 10 - left hash
O: Same formation from before the TO.
D: Same response to TB’s manuevers.
Results: pass to the RB, left flat, 13 yds.
Breakdown: CBs looked to be in man with the S deep. TB sent the flanker on a slide and the TE on a stop at the sticks, the RB wheeled into the left flat behind the WR’s deep route, and slanted back inside into a seam in the LB’s zones. Bissinger dropped with the RB and was in fair coverage, the QB had to time that right to hit the RB at the sticks since Lua was right there and belted him. Mays dropped into the middle - this may have been a Cover-2 the way he headed upfield. Lua was marking the TE and peeking into the backfield, which allowed him to read the throw and get over to help Bissinger. Rogers came off the edge and was picked up by the RG, Kareem was blocked by the RT, Moore by the C, and Santonio doubled by the LG/LT.
Analysis: TB ran a play flooding the shallow zones against the young LBs. There was no pressure on the QB and he fit a nice throw into the seam. The RB did a nice job holding on because Lua was right there to level him.
1st and 10 - left hash
O: I form., TE right, 2 WR left, motion - slot left to slot right.
D: 3-4, Bissinger 4 yds deep over the slot WR, Richardson 5 yds deep over the LWR. Off the motion Bissinger moved down on the LOS. Meriweather and the Ss are off screen.
Results: dump off pass to the TE, 4 yds.
Breakdown: Play action fake, two WRs deep, both RBs into the pattern, the TE stayed in to block. Bissinger’s rush was checked by the LT, but he slowed the FB’s release into the flat. Lua and Mays bit on the play action and were slow to drop into coverage. Lua set up short and Mays went a little deeper before swinging over top of the FB’s route. Santonio was blocked by the LG. Moore drew a double-team from the C/RG. Kareem was blocked by the RT. Rogers jammed the TE - who was trying to block him - then slid outside with the RB who turned left and came down the line off the play action.
Analysis: At 5 mississippi the QB had patted the ball a couple times and stepped up to avoid Brown being pushed by him - good coverage downfield. He wanted to run, but Santonio had shed the LG and come around into the middle behind the blockers moving Rashad outside. He dumped off to the TE on the LOS just as Santonio and Kareem made a sandwich. Lua gets the short zone (speed looks to be an issue) and was there to bring the TE down.
2nd and 6 - center line
O: Single back, 2 TE right, slot right 1x1 outside the down flanker, slot left, motion - slot right to slot duo left.
D: 3-4, Willie Andrews came up tight over the slot right, then backed off on the motion - Richardson was 5 yds off over slot left, but came up a couple yds and slid outside the motion WR with Bissinger stepping out and back over the slot WR.
Results: pass, TE stop route, 5 yds.
Breakdown: Bissinger stayed with the slot WR who took an outside release, Richardson dropped outside off the snap and picked up the same WR - the motion WR slid underneath uncovered. The TE ran a stop in front of Lua, and the Flanker ran a slide with Meriweather in coverage. Baker was overtop of Richardson and Bissinger. Santonio was doubled by the LT/LG, Moore blocked by the C, Kareem by the RT, and Rogers picked up by the RG. The RB released into the left flat.
Analysis: This play seemed designed to pick on Lua with the TE and motion WR both coming into his middle zone. Bissinger and Richardson needed better communication to prevent leaving a WR uncovered.
3rd and 1 - right hash
O: Single back, 3 wide, 2 right, 1 left, TE left.
D: 3-4, ILBs up tight for QB sneek, Rogers shading out towards the slot, Andrews 4 yds deep over RT’s outside shoulder, CBs up on the LOS over the wideouts - Kareem slid in over the RG’s outside shoulder just before the snap.
Results: QB sneek, no gain.
Breakdown: Moore, Lua, and Mays plugged up the middle. Kareem drove the RG into the C. Andrews crashed in and took on the RT blocking down - kept him off one of the big boys. Rogers crashed in off the edge unblocked and wrapped up the QB.
Analysis: TB must have thought they could move Moore and the ILBs, or just wanted to see the play develop. NE was ready for them, the QB might better have audibled into a pitchout.
4th and 1 - right hash
O: I form., 2 TE set, WR split right offscreen with Meriweather.
D: 3-4, Mays up over LG, Lua a yd deep over RG, Andrews on LOS outside Rogers, shifts inside behind Lua before snap.
Results: run, right side, 4 yds.
Analysis: The O-line didn’t generate much of a surge until the TE sealed Rogers inside and the FB doubled him and knocked him back off the LOS. The RB ran behind the FB and slid off his outside hip into the open, where Andrews playing inside out popped from behind the scrum to make the tackle. Rogers was playing too high and lost leverage, which prevented him bracing for the double-team.
1st and 10 - right hash
O: Joined late after a Bill Walsh tribute - I can see a single back, slot left, wide right, and a balanced 2 TE form.
Results: pass, left TE, slant, 7 yds.
Breakdown: Lua rushed on a criss-cross stunt with Moore; he, Moore, and Kareem were all bunched right by the blocking. The LT cut Santonio to clear the pass lane for the slot WR in the “hook” zone, and the RB’s wheel route - Bissinger stayed home to shut down the RB, while Mays and Richardson had the slot in a bracket. Rogers jammed and ran with the right TE on a slide. The left WR ran an "in" pulling Meriweather and the Safeties away from the middle zone - allowing the right TE to run his slant and just settle into the middle of an empty zone.
Analysis: This is where the inexperience and lack of time together hurt the kids, Bissinger had a clear shot to the QB, but he stayed home to protect against the RB’s route. Mays slid outside into the hook zone where he was underneath the slot with Richardson overtop and also could mark the RB. The Safeties and Meriweather all converged on the deeper route and no one filled behind Lua’s pass rush. A better understanding of what each was supposed to be doing might have allowed Bissinger to pressure the QB knowing the RB was covered by Mays zone. Whomever had responsiblity to fill behind Lua missed his cue. Andrews made the tackle.
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