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Film Rewind: Why Was The Tight End So Wide Open?


NateDogg1215
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This is an article from DLED from AJC Sports. Im not a particular fan of his writing but i thought this was pretty good.

http://www.ajc.com/w...d-so-wide-open/

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

It was one of the burning questions that didn’t get properly or thoroughly answered in the aftermath of the Falcons’ dismissal from the playoffs.

Against Seattle and San Francisco, defensive coordinator Mike Nolan’s scheme seemingly left to the tight end wide open as they were abused in both games by Seattle’s Zach Miller and San Francisco’s Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker.

We asked Coach Mike Smith about it after both games, but he didn’t want to reveal the scheme or publicly throw a couple of his players under the proverbial football 18-wheeler.

Smith had this to say when asked if using his resources to stop the read-option led to the tight end being wide open in the playoffs:

“I’m not going to talk about our strategy. ...The last two weeks, the tight end was the position that had the most production. We’ve got a plan. We go in with a plan saying that we have to make these things happen and when you do you create a situation where you may not have as much emphasis on something else.”

So, it’s up to us to figure out what happened. Good thing they have Game Rewind on NFL.com with the Coaches all-22 film.

Here’s a breakdown of the seven passes that the 49ers caught for 150 yards and one touchdown:

49ers play 1: 3 down-10-Atlanta 42, 9:08 second quarter: Davis started on the right side and ran a shallow crossing route. Free safety Thomas DeCoud was in man coverage, but lost some valuable ground as he had to run around strong safety William Moore. Davis caught the 7-yard route at the 35. DeCoud missed a tackle at the 25. Davis picked up 20 yards after the catch before being tackled by Chris Hope and William Moore. (27-yard gain. Diagram 1 above)

49ers play 2: 1-10-San Fran 19: Davis caught the pass at the 31. He was 6 yards behind Weatherspoon and 8 yards in front of DeCoud. Linebacker. There was a big void in the zone. Davis and picked up 12 yards after the catch. (24-yard gain was nullified by a holding penalty. Diagram 2 and 3 to the left.)

49ers play 3: 2-16-SF 12, 5:12 second quarter: Davis is flanked out to the left. Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson gave him a 7-yard cushion. He ran a curl route and caught the ball at the 22-yard line. DeCoud missed a tackle and Davis ran for 9 more yards before Robinson made the tackle. (19-yard gain. Diagram 4 and 5 to the left.)

49ers play 4: 1-4-A29, 2:28 second quarter: San Francisco offensive coordinator Greg Roman slipped Davis into the backfield as he lined up as the fullback. He ran out to the flat and when he realized that no one came out with him, he turned his route up field in a void in the zone defense behind linebacker Stephen Nicholas and in front of cornerback Asante Samuel. (25-yard gain. Diagram 6.)

49ers play 5: 1-Goal-A4, 2:00 second quarter: On the next play after the 2:00 warning, the Falcons still seem perplexed about what to do about Davis. The 49ers lined up in a power formation with three tight ends. Davis was on the right and Walker was flanked next to him. The athletic Davis blocked down on defensive end Cliff Matthews, made a spin move and raced out to the flat. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick faked the ball to running back Frank Gore to the left and rolled out to his right. Nicholas let Davis go and went after Kaepernick, who flipped the ball to the wide open Davis for the touchdown. (4-yard gain, touchdown. Diagram 7.)

49ers play 6: 2-10-A42, 12:14 third quarter: Walker was lined up in the backfield on the left and went in motion to the right. He stopped at the hash marks. On the snap, he went straight up the field and got inside of Weatherspoon and angled his way down to the 22 yard line. (20-yard gain. Diagram 8.)

49ers play 7: 1-10-SF47, 7:38 third quarter: Davis is lined up tight left. Defensive end Jonathan Babineaux gives him a bump before he rushes the passer and Nicholas tries to jam Davis, who slides out to the numbers and then motors past Nicholas. The Falcons tried to hold up Davis, but couldn’t run with him. He found the void behind Nicholas and in front of DeCoud. “That’s a mismatch,” Fox analyst Troy Aikman said. (31-yard gain. Diagram 9 and 10.)

BLAME GAME: 1. DeCoud, 2. Penalty, 3. DeCoud, 4. Nicholas, 5. Nicholas, 6. Weatherspoon and 7. Nicholas.

CONCLUSIONS: Looks like the Falcons under estimated the unique speed of Davis. He was too fast for their linebackers (ran a 4:38 in the 40 at the combine) and too big for their safeties (6-3, 250). Also, the Falcons were so concerned about the run (read-option), that they let Davis run just about where ever he wanted. He was met with little resistance except for on the 31-yard gainer when they tried to bum him with a defensive end and a linebacker. “The linebackers are not getting underneath those throws,” Fox analyst Troy Aikman concluded.

49ers_Exhibit_1.jpg

49ers play 1: 3 down-10-Atlanta 42, 9:08 second quarter: Davis started on the right side and ran a shallow crossing route. Free safety Thomas DeCoud was in man coverage, but lost some valuable ground as he had to run around strong safety William Moore. Davis caught the 7-yard route at the 35. DeCoud missed a tackle at the 25. Davis picked up 20 yards after the catch before being tackled by Chris Hope and William Moore. (27-yard gain. Diagram 1 above)

49ers_Exhibit_2.jpg

49ers play 2: 1-10-San Fran 19: Davis caught the pass at the 31. He was 6 yards behind Weatherspoon and 8 yards in front of DeCoud. Linebacker. There was a big void in the zone. Davis and picked up 12 yards after the catch. (24-yard gain was nullified by a holding penalty. Diagram 2 and 3 to the left.)

49ers_Exhibit_3.jpg

49ers play 3: 2-16-SF 12, 5:12 second quarter: Davis is flanked out to the left. Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson gave him a 7-yard cushion. He ran a curl route and caught the ball at the 22-yard line. DeCoud missed a tackle and Davis ran for 9 more yards before Robinson made the tackle. (19-yard gain. Diagram 4 and 5 to the left.)

49ers_Exhibit_4.jpg

49ers play 3: 2-16-SF 12, 5:12 second quarter: Davis is flanked out to the left. Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson gave him a 7-yard cushion. He ran a curl route and caught the ball at the 22-yard line. DeCoud missed a tackle and Davis ran for 9 more yards before Robinson made the tackle. (19-yard gain. Diagram 4 and 5 to the left.)

49ers_Exhibit_5.jpg

Diagram 5

Edited by NateDogg1215
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49ERS_Exhibit_6.jpg

49ers play 4: 1-4-A29, 2:28 second quarter: San Francisco offensive coordinator Greg Roman slipped Davis into the backfield as he lined up as the fullback. He ran out to the flat and when he realized that no one came out with him, he turned his route up field in a void in the zone defense behind linebacker Stephen Nicholas and in front of cornerback Asante Samuel. (25-yard gain. Diagram 6.)

Edited by NateDogg1215
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49ers_Exhibit_7.jpg

49ers play 5: 1-Goal-A4, 2:00 second quarter: On the next play after the 2:00 warning, the Falcons still seem perplexed about what to do about Davis. The 49ers lined up in a power formation with three tight ends. Davis was on the right and Walker was flanked next to him. The athletic Davis blocked down on defensive end Cliff Matthews, made a spin move and raced out to the flat. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick faked the ball to running back Frank Gore to the left and rolled out to his right. Nicholas let Davis go and went after Kaepernick, who flipped the ball to the wide open Davis for the touchdown. (4-yard gain, touchdown. Diagram 7.)

Edited by NateDogg1215
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49ers_Exhibit_8.jpg

49ers play 6: 2-10-A42, 12:14 third quarter: Walker was lined up in the backfield on the left and went in motion to the right. He stopped at the hash marks. On the snap, he went straight up the field and got inside of Weatherspoon and angled his way down to the 22 yard line. (20-yard gain. Diagram 8.)

Edited by NateDogg1215
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49ers_Exhibit_9.jpg

49ers play 7: 1-10-SF47, 7:38 third quarter: Davis is lined up tight left. Defensive end Jonathan Babineaux gives him a bump before he rushes the passer and Nicholas tries to jam Davis, who slides out to the numbers and then motors past Nicholas. The Falcons tried to hold up Davis, but couldn’t run with him. He found the void behind Nicholas and in front of DeCoud. “That’s a mismatch,” Fox analyst Troy Aikman said. (31-yard gain. Diagram 9 and 10.)

49ers_Exhibit_10.jpg

49ers play 7: 1-10-SF47, 7:38 third quarter: Davis is lined up tight left. Defensive end Jonathan Babineaux gives him a bump before he rushes the passer and Nicholas tries to jam Davis, who slides out to the numbers and then motors past Nicholas. The Falcons tried to hold up Davis, but couldn’t run with him. He found the void behind Nicholas and in front of DeCoud. “That’s a mismatch,” Fox analyst Troy Aikman said. (31-yard gain. Diagram 9 and 10.)

Edited by NateDogg1215
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SF game 126 yards to the TEs 1st in yards Falcons lost

Seattle 142 yards to the TE 1st in yards Falcons should have lost

Tampa 50 yards 2nd in yards Falcons lost TE was tied for the most yards per catch 3 for 16.7 yards also by far his best game of the year for the TE. Luke Stocker almost twice as many yards in this game as any other this year.

Saints 146 1st in yards Falcons lost

1st Carolina Game TE 89 yards almost twice as much as any WR and Falcons should have lost.

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SF game 126 yards to the TEs 1st in yards Falcons lost

Seattle 142 yards to the TE 1st in yards Falcons should have lost

Tampa 50 yards 2nd in yards Falcons lost TE was tied for the most yards per catch 3 for 16.7 yards also by far his best game of the year for the TE. Luke Stocker almost twice as many yards in this game as any other this year.

Saints 146 1st in yards Falcons lost

1st Carolina Game TE 89 yards almost twice as much as any WR and Falcons should have lost.

I think you forgot the Oakland game..TE had a good game too...and they almost lost

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Yea defending the read option was the culprit in SEA and SF games, but how do you explain Graham raping us like he did ? no read option to worry about there .... sad.png

Match coverages. Simplest terms, it's a type of zone that turns into man. Instead of dropping to a spot at the snap, defenders key on receivers and read their releases. If your #1 comes to you, you take him man to man and carry him until he leaves your zone. If your #1 does something else, then you key on your #2.

The Falcons always struggled with this. It was particularly ugly against the Saints. You'd see a guy properly read his first key but carry him too far and not properly pass him off, so you'd see two defenders running with one receiver while a second guy had an ugly void to work in. A lot of times, this was Graham in that intermediate area.

And just a tidbit of technical info. This isn't a straight 3-4 front. It's a common mistake made by commentators. It's a double eagle, or bear (depending on coaching) front. It can be run with either 3-4 or 4-3 personel. It's run stopping front that 4-3 teams like to go to when they want to stop the run because it lets the linebackers run free. It used to be real popular by coaches a lower levels to defend the option.

Can't tell if it's an Okie, or Over Bear, but that's what it is.

49ers_Exhibit_2.jpg

Edited by PeytonMannings Forehead
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Match coverages. Simplest terms, it's a type of zone that turns into man. Instead of dropping to a spot at the snap, defenders key on receivers and read their releases. If your #1 comes to you, you take him man to man and carry him until he leaves your zone. If your #1 does something else, then you key on your #2.

The Falcons always struggled with this. It was particularly ugly against the Saints. You'd see a guy properly read his first key but carry him too far and not properly pass him off, so you'd see two defenders running with one receiver while a second guy had an ugly void to work in. A lot of times, this was Graham in that intermediate area.

And just a tidbit of technical info. This isn't a straight 3-4 front. It's a common mistake made by commentators. It's a double eagle, or bear (depending on coaching) front. It can be run with either 3-4 or 4-3 personel. It's run stopping front that 4-3 teams like to go to when they want to stop the run because it lets the linebackers run free. It used to be real popular by coaches a lower levels to defend the option.

Can't tell if it's an Okie, or Over Bear, but that's what it is.

49ers_Exhibit_2.jpg

Good post oh celebral one......as for the highlighted part, that is why there is no excuse for our performance vs. the run,and the only reason I can come up with is our front 7 is soft, much as i hate to admit ...it aint all scheme to blame, thats for sure....alot of has to do with failure to kick azz and enforce our will, pure and simple ....when you break it all down, it still comes down to whipping the man in front of you .....

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Our DTs simply don't cut it. We built to have penetrating DTs to shoot gaps with linebackers that could shed the block and clean up if need be, but instead we have penetrating DTs that don't really penetrate and LBs that can't consistently shed blocks. Lofton was excellent at sheding blocks and cutting through traffic to make the tackle, which is something we lacked this year.

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So was it scheme or LB cover ability/talent?

To me it all starts with the Dline. The Dlines inability to stop the run required the support from the LBs which left a lot of intermidiate routes open for the TE. If we had a well balanced disciplined Dline..(pass rush/ run stop) This game would have been over by half time. Our weaknesses on defense through out the season, bit us in the azz in the final game!

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I think you forgot the Oakland game..TE had a good game too...and they almost lost

Oakland had 74 between the 2 TEs so they as well had a good time from them. But in that game the D never showed up at all. Oakland had 474 total yards 325 passing 149 yards rushing. So I did not include it as that was just a total bad game from the D.

Correction a bad game from the whole team. If you go back and look they took that game off all across the board.

Edited by high impact
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