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Okay, been meaning to get this one for a while.  About a month or so ago after our first game I made a thread pointing out how Matt missed a couple of gimmies that could have changed the outcome by not going through his pre-snap reads and I think what I was saying might have went over a few folks' head.  Well as I suspected, he quickly got the problem ironed out and has been playing light's out the past few games.  And when I say "lights out", I mean he's putting up another MVP caliber season that I fear is going to waste.  But that's neither here nor there today.  I wanna talk about the good.

 

PRE-SNAP READ (PSR): first off, what is a pre-snap read?  Glad you asked.  It's exactly what it sounds like.  The QB steps to the line and he's going to get a read on the defense before the ball is snapped.  He's looking for every little clue that's going to if not completely give away the exact coverage, narrow it down to one or two possibilities.  Now every QB, every system has its own "ritual" if you will, but generall speaking QB breaks the huddle, ideally with around 16-15 seconds on the playclock.  He's wants to get everyone lined up so he can take his time looking over the defensive alignment.

He's looking at the safeties.  This is a big one because corners can lie, linebackers can lie but safeties will tell you the truth.  Their alignment will usually give away the coverage.  Are there two high safeties, or one high?  Two high, it's cover-2, man under, or quarters.  One high, it's cover-1, or cover-3.  Are there two high safeties but they are both sitting really shallow, like under 10 yards?  That's an oh **** moment.  That's cover-0.  You know the defense is bringing the house and the ball's gotta come out quick.

What's the depth of the safeties and width?  If there are two safeties sitting at around 10-12 yards and they are split kind of wide of the hash, then that's some sort of Cover-2.  Are there two safeties sitting a little more shallow, say around 10 yards and they're tucked in a little tighter than normal, sort of hovering over the #2 receiver, that's quarters.

Then you move to your corners.  Are they pressed or playing off?  Are they looking at the QB or the receiver -- that's a big clue man or zone.  If they're looking at the QB almost 100% zone.  Is one pressed and the other playing off?  That's a clue that you're gonna get some sort of split field coverage like Cover-6.  If you are in a 3 receiver set what's the slot corner doing?  Is he directly over the slot receiver or is he cheating over close to the LOS?  If he is and the safety to that side is sitting shallow and playing closer to the LOS than normal, that's a slot corner blitz.

What's the linebacker's doing?  Are they aligned over their normal gaps or are they maybe stepped over kind of funny?  That could tip a blitz, etc.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea.  Every single snap of the game the QB is taking seconds right before the snap to gather as much information as possible.  And that information is going to tell him where his first look is on the play.  Every play has a progression, 1 to 2, to 3.  But who the first look is on the play is determined by the PSR.  That's the point I think a few people were missing on the thread I'm referring to.

Now I want to first take a look at what it looks like when it's done wrong.

This play right here the Eagles are in Cover-0.  No doubt about it, the alignment of the safeties gives it away.  Instead of taking Sanu right there in the slot who was uncovered, Matt forces the ball to Julio on a 7 route.  Wrong read.  This is the stuff that keeps points off the board and gets you beat.  The PSR should have taken him to Sanu as the first look.

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Now here's what it looks like when it's done right.  I'm gonna throw up a couple of plays... not all in order but (I think) but bear with me.

Play #1 - 1st quarter, we're looking at 2nd and 4.  You can't see it from the tv copy but it looks like the Bucs were in 3-Cloud (could have also been Cover-6) with a safety over the top to help the underneath corner on Julio to the top of the screen.  Good anticipation on this call because we aren't even gonna keep Julio on that side and make it easy for the D.  Julio motions across the formation, turning it from a trips look to a trey y-flex.

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As you can see, the corner does not follow Julio, confirming that this is zone.

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And here's our new formation.  Now what have we learned that we can add to our PSR info?  Corner stayed to the top of the screen and didn't follow Julio so we know it's zone.  Julio is uncovered in that #3 position and the safety to his side of the formation is still sitting at 12 plus yards so a pressure is unlikely.  So we've narrowed the defense down to a zone, most likely a split field coverage based off the corner and safety.  Matt pretty much knows right now what side of the field he's going to read first.

Quick look at the routes we got Julio running sticks, Sanu clearing out the underneath stuff on a vertical, Ridley a speed out.  To the top of the screen Hooper running a hook, Coleman leaking out to the flat.

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And here we go.  Safetys bail and the flat defender follows Coleman, which makes it look to me like the may have checked the coverage to Mable, but whatever the case that's curl/flat concept to that side of the field.  Bucs have no chance.  As soon as the flat defender follows Coleman the ball comes out right now to Hooper.  Hooper didn't quite get deep enough so it's 3rd and 1, but you can see the principles at work.  2nd and 4 just gone get the easy throw.  Pass rush has no chance.  Matt stays clean.

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Play #2 - This play was actually an RPO believe it or not.  Yes, we do run RPO's and we have been running them for quite a long time.  This time Matt holds the count to get the Bucs to show their hand.  The Bucs jump into their shell and show pressure off the edge.  Matt's on it and sees it the whole way.  Didn't hear him call "Can" here which is our version of killing the first play and going to the second.  

This was 1st and 15 after a 12 men in the huddle penalty.  Matt sees pressure look and the corner playing almost 10 yards off Julio and decides to throw it out quick.  *Note, you can tell the RPO based off the run action of the line.  Everyone is run blocking, even Sanu.  Great run after the catch by Julio.

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Another tidbit, this pressure off the edge is something that Pittsburgh got us with a couple of times last week.  I was upset that we didn't have an answer.  Couple of times the Steelers brought it they did a beautiful job of disguising it.  They literally didn't show it until it was too late in the clock to make an adjustment.  Knew we'd see it again this week and I'm glad Sark and company had an answer.  Bucs don't have a great pass rush so you had to know they were going to mix in a good amount of pressures.

Note how much time is left on the playclock.  There was a nice flow to the offense this week.  They were getting in and out of the huddle with a nice crisp pace to give Matt time to work.

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Play #3 - here is the very next play and guess what?  Yep.  Another RPO.  Teco motions in, for the corner is still playing way off.  Matt gets the ball and gets it out to Calvin on the speed out.  Beautiful football.

This isn't the type of stuff that's going to make a highlight reel, but this is high level quarterback play.  This is winning football.  Mike Smith wants to keep playing the corners off and giving you easy completions, take 'em.  This is what Matt wasn't doing in week one against the Eagles.

Note the PSR once again.  Coleman is out wide and the linebacker is #54 is hovering over Calvin.  Teco motions into Matt, linebackers walks back in-line, but the corner doesn't press up.  Matt knows he's got Calvin all day.

Matt reads #54's alignment.  Knows he can't make a play on the ball.  Easy first down.  But once again the motion clarifies the PSR.

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Play #4 - 3rd and long.  Tampa is showing pressure with all the gaps mugged up.  But once again, PSR.  The safeties tell you the truth.  The deep safety is standing back there at 13 yards.  That not a normal pressure look.  That's a look a defense give you when They're faking a pressure.  Matt can tell by the alignment of the safeties and the fact that Hoop is uncovered that there are only 4 coming.  In other words he knows it's not Cover-0 with everyone coming and he's got a 6 man protection so he knows he's got time.  

 

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This is what you get when you have a smart veteran QB.  He knows what's coming.  He knows where he's protected so he doesn't have to rush.  The guy playing mike bails into a Tampa-2 look to close the middle of the field.  Hooper sits it right down just pass the sticks.  Easy completion for the conversion... and a great block by Coleman to come across the formation and keep Matt clean.

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Play #5 - last one.  Once again, motion will tip the coverage.  Sanu comes across the formation.  #29 follows.  This signals man coverage all the way, but we're not quite done gathering information.

 

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Take a look at the safety to the top.  Look how shallow he's playing.  It's 3rd and 7 and he's playing in front of the yellow line at about 6 and a half yards.  That's a tip this is a pressure all day, and probably a big one.  

Take a look at the rest of the D.  Look at the corners.  The corner to the top and the corner to the bottom are pressed up and in the face of the receivers.  They aren't looking at the Qb at all.  So what do we know so far.  3rd and 7, a prime blitz down when you haven't been getting there with 4.  We got corners pressed up in a man look and a safety playing shallow, meaning he's in man on the TE or RB... meaning they're bringing pressure.

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Now usually, this means the ball has to come out quick, but we've got a veteran QB who ain't prone to flinching.  Once again, he knows where he is protected at.  This time we have a 7 man protection with Hooper and Coleman staying in to block.  I think Matt knew where he was going the whole way with Julio out there on Grimes, who never had a chance.

Matt knows the 7 man protection will give him time to hold the ball for Julio to run that double move vs. the first gif I posted from the Eagle game where it was only a 6 man protection vs. 7.

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Btw, this route is called a Blaze Out in Shanny's playbook.  This is the same route Julio scored on last season against Tampa.  I just wanted to throw it up because it's sooo pretty.  A receiver Julio's size should not be able to run this route so sharply.  

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Edited by PeytonMannings Forehead
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Lawrence Taylor said that half the time he didn't know his own assignments.  **** a  presnap read, he would just get into the backfield,  even on plays where he was suppose to drop into coverage.  " If I sacked the quarterback, it didn't matter if I dropped back into coverage. "

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Edited by slickgadawg
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Just so I'm clear with your nomenclature (especially Play #4), what you call a scan (from Coleman) is actually a read.  Matt may move backs around for protection (based on his read), but you can best believe, a back is ALWAYS reading (pre and post snap).  TBH, everyone out there "reads."  Your line will call out people too!

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5 minutes ago, Andrews_31 said:

Just so I'm clear with your nomenclature (especially Play #4), what you call a scan (from Coleman) is actually a read.  Matt may move backs around for protection (based on his read), but you can best believe, a back is ALWAYS reading (pre and post snap).  TBH, everyone out there "reads."  Your line will call out people too!

Yes he is in a scan protection. That means he’s scanning inside first then out looking for threats, which is how it usually goes when a back is in protection vs. if he was in a check/ release where he makes a quick check to see if the LB he is responsible for is blitzing then releases out into the pattern.

Of course there’s a lot more responsibities all based on the line call but that’s the general ones.

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Just now, PeytonMannings Forehead said:

Yes he is in a scan protection. That means he’s scanning inside first then out looking for threats, which is how it usually goes when a back is in protection vs. if he was in a check/ release where he makes a quick check to see if the LB he is responsible for is blitzing then releases out into the pattern.

Of course there’s a lot more responsibities all based on the line call but that’s the general ones.

You're not getting what I'm saying, that's still a read.  He has to figure out who to pick up (prioritize), when to break off (if no one comes) and get Matt's attention.  That's how we were taught is all I'm saying.

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5 minutes ago, Andrews_31 said:

You're not getting what I'm saying, that's still a read.  He has to figure out who to pick up (prioritize), when to break off (if no one comes) and get Matt's attention.  That's how we were taught is all I'm saying.

Well... yeah. Of course he has to read. Was there an implication in my posts that he didn’t? My bad if that wasn’t clear. 

Just keeping that part in broad strokes as line protections and rb responsibities are so comprehensive they need their own thread.

yes a scan is still a read.

Edited by PeytonMannings Forehead
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22 hours ago, lostnmexico said:

We don't always agree but i do enjoy the video breakdown posts.  Good Post amigo. And Matt is indeed balling out right now.  Lets hope the trend continues on Monday night.  I want to go full Hip Hop on the Gents and Introduce them to the object of eminem's affection:

50!

You aren’t fooling anyone Mexico....we all know you’re just being sweet to PMF so he’ll do one of these jewels on T-Mobile Taylor. 

To save him the work, LSU Dad already did the work for you. 

 

Sorry PMF.....but listen for the scream at the end. :)

 

P.S. I love your work.

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Just now, PeytonMannings Forehead said:

Well... yeah. Of course he has to read. Was there an implication in my posts that he didn’t? My bad if that wasn’t clear. 

Just keeping that part in broad strokes as line protections and rb responsibities are so comprehensive they need their own thread.

No, not at all!  :lol:  It's mostly me, that I will admit, hanging on to the stone ages when I was a RB.  Another thing that confuses me now is when they talk about "vision," and I have to remind myself that, unlike back in the old days when every boy that was a RB, from Pop-Warner thru HS, ALL of the teams would run the same offense the HS ran, and for me, that was a wishbone.  Everything had slowed down so much (it was automatic), we didn't have to react, we could "read" pre and post snap, and on the run!  Vision to me (RB) is reacting because the game hasn't slowed down enough for you to "think" your way through it!  But that's just me!  :lol:  I enjoy discussions like this.

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7 minutes ago, B_Lo_Touchdowns said:

@PeytonMannings Forehead Question??? The deep ball Matt under threw to Julio that was defended by Grimes, did Julio kick it in 3rd gear too late causing the underthrow. Seems like he started to separate after the ball was already in the air.

I had a really good view of that play from my seat and Matt just flat out underthrew it. And it wasn’t great ball placement either. He left it short and inside. A go-route like that you’re supposed to put over the outside shoulder of the receiver.

That’s been the only disheartening part of Matt’s play this season because he’s been lights out everywhere else... even on that same route to Ridley, but for whatever reason he hasn’t been able to connect with Julio deep. 

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59 minutes ago, slickgadawg said:

Lawrence Taylor said that half the time he didn't know his own assignments.  **** a  presnap read, he would just get into the backfield,  even on plays where he was suppose to drop into coverage.  " If I sacked the quarterback, it didn't matter if I dropped back into coverage. "

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Deion Sanders was the same way. In Dallas he would refuse to watch film saying he's got it covered cause he's Deion.

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3 hours ago, PeytonMannings Forehead said:

Btw, this route is called a Blaze Out in Shanny's playbook.  This is the same route Julio scored on last season against Tampa.  I just wanted to throw it up because it's sooo pretty.  A receiver Julio's size should not be able to run this route so sharply.  

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Love the quick fake to the inside at the line to make Grimes think he kept him from getting inside to fully sell the double move inside later in his stem. Just a beautiful route start to finish with a pretty grab while concentrating on his tight rope run.

Edited by Wjcorner
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