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  1. Falcons done had me in a little bit of sour mood lately, but it's Thursday. The haze is starting to clear and I'm ready to talk about something positive. The final touchdown from Sunday's game was a thing of beauty from a design perspective. As a lot of you know, the Colts run a ton of Cover-2, and just about every variety there is from the cover-2 with the hard flats, the cover-2 soft squat, cover-2 sink where it plays almost like quarters, etc. They really are about that life. One of my favorite ways to attack Cover-2 is with the smash concept. SMASH - now what is the smash concept? It's basically some variation of this right here. The outside receiver will run a hitch, or a quick out, the inside #2 receiver will run a 7 route. He'll stress the deep half safety with a vertical route, then flag it to the pylon away from him, right into the void between the safety and corner. The great thing about this is there are alway positive yards to be had, even if you don't get to the 7 route, and if it's read properly, the defense is always wrong. Doesn't matter if they know it's coming or not. 2nd and Goal - I thought we would see this Sunday, and boom, right when we needed it in the 4th quarter, here it came. The Colts are in their Red 2, which is a redzone variation of their standard Cover-2. Instead of getting a jam on the receivers and then letting them have all that space to the safety, the corners are in a soft squat which means they're gonna fade a bit at the snap, get some depth and try to constrict that window between them and the safety. Another difference here between this and standard Cover-2 is the middle linebacker isn't going to look to drop to his landmark at the snap. Instead he's going to read #3, and the inside #2 to not let them get anything too easy underneath at the goalline, like a little hook. In normal cover-2 or Tampa, he's going to open his hips and match the vertical route by the #2 receiver. If there is no vertical route, he'll drop to a depth or about 15 yards or so, turning it into essentially a 3 deep coverage. Here, in this variation, the Red 2, actually plays a lot like quarters. This is what Dirk answers with. We're gonna run hooks to the bottom of the screen into the holes of the Red 2 at different depths with Hooper and Ridley. To the top of the screen we've got Julio inside playing #2, and Sanu outside playing #1. The tight formation is the brilliance of it because as the routes deploy they're going to create extra space for the 7 route. Also, it makes a jam by the corners (if there is one coming) almost impossible. Julio is on the 7 to the end zone, and Sanu is running a little 3 route. QB READS - the read here is as simple as it gets. You can teach this to a middle-schooler. Matt is going to read the outside cornerback on the smash side. If the corner sits and takes Sanu on the 3 route, Matt will throw the 7 to Julio in the end zone. If the corner sinks to try to take away the 7, Matt will throw the 3 to Sanu. Not much more complicated than that. At that snap, this is what we get. Matt's eyes don't even go to the hook side. Against any type of Cover-2, that smash is where you wanna go. Here, he's locked in on the corner. Julio does a brilliant job of selling the vertical route into the seam to stress the safety. The corner has his eyes on Matt, but he's in a bind. He has to make a choice to take Julio or Sanu. Looking at the play in real time, the corner never does commit to one route or the other. He tries to split the difference. I think he just got caught in an "oh s***" no man's land and couldn't make a decision. Don't blame him there. Either way, his feet stopped and that's all Matt needs. Julio is already breaking to the void -- or the honey hole as that space is called (I have no idea why), but Julio is breaking to all that blue turf and you see the safety on his horse doesn't have a chance. And here, you can see, it's just wide open. Now the corner showed great hustle to get back into the play to contest, I mean if you're teaching it, it's pretty impressive he makes any kind of play on that ball. Against a lesser receiver that's a pass breakup. Alas, we don't have a lesser receiver. We got Julio. Great read my Matt, but if I'm nitpicking, it's not the best throw. He put it up nice and high so Julio could go get it, but I'd like to see it a bit deeper into the back of the end zone if you're gonna put that much touch on it. But great play call. Great execution.