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Let's Talk About: Smash (Anatomy of a Touchdown)


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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.

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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.

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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.IMG_1162

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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 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.

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Edited by PeytonMannings Forehead
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PMF are we too timid early on in games are we in an attack mindset off the bat.I just can’t figure out these slow starts.I swear we have weapons like Ridley Julio Hooper and co I really don’t know why we don’t come out swinging.

Shorten the route combinations up early to get these guys and the chains moving then hit em with a bit of Free behind it once we establish these guys.

I’m actually shocked at how long it takes us to figure these teams out after a week of game planning aswell.

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2 hours ago, kiwifalcon said:

PMF are we too timid early on in games are we in an attack mindset off the bat.I just can’t figure out these slow starts.I swear we have weapons like Ridley Julio Hooper and co I really don’t know why we don’t come out swinging.

Shorten the route combinations up early to get these guys and the chains moving then hit em with a bit of Free behind it once we establish these guys.

I’m actually shocked at how long it takes us to figure these teams out after a week of game planning aswell.

Great point Kiwi and if this offense was was set on a specific identity then they could attack from the onset.  It seems that we have to get down to consider tempo or even just open up the frickin playbook. With the weapons we have I would always be in attack mode!

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I really find it hard to see how we struggle like we do.

Even with a poor oline not saying we have one if the balls out quick and the route combo is shorter it keeps the chains moving and we control the tempo at what and how we want to play.

Once you set them up with something then you hit em with something else we hav the weapons to do this and beat em before they try and adjust back off the pass rush also.

This is what shocks me it’s almost as though we as a team have to take a teams first shot before we wake up sometimes it’s a series sometimes a qtr he’ll last week it was a half.

How can this be possible obviously penalties players doing there jobs is an issue but and I know I’m harping back to the KS 2016 offense these details the small ones are what’s being missed for this offense to kick in gear.

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24 minutes ago, kiwifalcon said:

PMF are we too timid early on in games are we in an attack mindset off the bat.I just can’t figure out these slow starts.I swear we have weapons like Ridley Julio Hooper and co I really don’t know why we don’t come out swinging.

Shorten the route combinations up early to get these guys and the chains moving then hit em with a bit of Free behind it once we establish these guys.

I’m actually shocked at how long it takes us to figure these teams out after a week of game planning aswell.

We do come out swinging. It's been execution problems that have bogged the offense down.

I believe we have the personnel to attack a defense any way we want to. If a team is weak against the rush, then run the ball down their throats. If a team is light in the secondary, then go bombs away. If we can be balanced, then be balanced.

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1 minute ago, No.11 said:

We do come out swinging. It's been execution problems that have bogged the offense down.

I believe we have the personnel to attack a defense any way we want to. If a team is weak against the rush, then run the ball down their throats. If a team is light in the secondary, then go bombs away. If we can be balanced, then be balanced.

100 % but this is where players and coaches need to bare responsibility the executions and small details is what’s missing now wheather that’s been on one of the above mentioned they need to get this soughted or we'll be seeing more of the same.

I still can’t believe we haven’t hung 30 on anyone this year.I look at this offense and think wake me up.

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36 minutes ago, kiwifalcon said:

PMF are we too timid early on in games are we in an attack mindset off the bat.I just can’t figure out these slow starts.I swear we have weapons like Ridley Julio Hooper and co I really don’t know why we don’t come out swinging.

Shorten the route combinations up early to get these guys and the chains moving then hit em with a bit of Free behind it once we establish these guys.

I’m actually shocked at how long it takes us to figure these teams out after a week of game planning aswell.

I can’t call it, man. @blkbigdog35 kinda hit on it, though, and it’s something that’s been bothering me from the jump — I don’t really know what our identity is.

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2 hours ago, blkbigdog35 said:

Great point Kiwi and if this offense was was set on a specific identity then they could attack from the onset.  It seems that we have to get down to consider tempo or even just open up the frickin playbook. With the weapons we have I would always be in attack mode!

Yes sir we got Julio Jones and we have identity issues :doh:Instead we over think it try and spread it around.Hey it’s your turn next play now yours hey it’s third down here Julio get 3rd and whatever draped in double coverage.

Houston we have a problem.

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2 hours ago, PeytonMannings Forehead said:

I can’t call it, man. @blkbigdog35 kinda hit on it, though, and it’s something that’s been bothering me from the jump — I don’t really know what our identity is.

Need run game to compliment our pass game consistently, and we'll take off on offense.

Play with a lead and let the pass rush go/D make plays vs desperate throws. :tiphat:

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11 minutes ago, Ergo Proxy said:

Need run game to compliment our pass game consistently, and we'll take off on offense.

Play with a lead and let the pass rush go/D make plays vs desperate throws. :tiphat:

Most definitely we need the run!  I think they have to mix up with All the RBs.  Some games may require a big bruiser back while some Free and Ito can eat.  However we all know how lethal Matt is when they have play action going.  Running the football physically is a mindset.  Let’s hope DK can call a better game from the start so that the players can EXECUTE effectively!!

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2 hours ago, kiwifalcon said:

100 % but this is where players and coaches need to bare responsibility the executions and small details is what’s missing now

I was watching a breakdown of what Shanny got going on over in SF and thats exactly what they highlighted when going over the film. When it's your playbook that you had a huge hand in developing  you know all the minute details of each play that need to be worked on. Thats why I never really felt the idea of making an OC learn a new playbook, 

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10 minutes ago, Jerz #Quinning said:

I was watching a breakdown of what Shanny got going on over in SF and thats exactly what they highlighted when going over the film. When it's your playbook that you had a huge hand in developing  you know all the minute details of each play that need to be worked on. Thats why I never really felt the idea of making an OC learn a new playbook, 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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4 hours ago, No.11 said:

We do come out swinging. It's been execution problems that have bogged the offense down.

I believe we have the personnel to attack a defense any way we want to. If a team is weak against the rush, then run the ball down their throats. If a team is light in the secondary, then go bombs away. If we can be balanced, then be balanced.

Agreed. It’s why I hate the old adage of establishing the run. If they want to stuff the box and stop the run, make them pay through the air. If they want to drop their safeties outside the box, run it on them. You don’t have to be balanced to win in the NFL. You have to be multiple and be able to exploit the weakness of the defense whether that be running or passing.

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12 minutes ago, Jerz #Quinning said:

I was watching a breakdown of what Shanny got going on over in SF and thats exactly what they highlighted when going over the film. When it's your playbook that you had a huge hand in developing  you know all the minute details of each play that need to be worked on. Thats why I never really felt the idea of making an OC learn a new playbook, 

This is a great point. 

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Here is the thing...unique draw up plays is different coach to coach.

Playbooks have borrowed plays from other books.

Its not “Kyle’s playbook” over up in Flowery Branch.

Its the system that is roughly the same in terminology and concepts, but there obviously are adjustments coordinator to coordinator and it’s also why Dirk and Mularkey went back and studied what the Falcons did in the past few years together way back before the Draft.

Its not black and white. We aren’t an outside zone running team right now and that’s one huge difference.

RPO and PA can still be effective but it’s to be seen how the run game goes now.

It seems the Falcons are more committed to protecting Matt for WHATEVER Dirk wants to dial up. It’s not like certain plays can’t work with our personal if we know how to attack what teams are don’t to us. Dirk knows that stuff. I want to see the run game more than anything. That’ll really open up whatever version of the playbook he has made up and outside of strict gameplans or scripted plays week to week.

Its still the “Falcons offense” but it was never going to be static. Kyle has his playbook and plays. Dirk has his and his own. They even cleaned up the bloated verbiage according to Dirk. That probably helps with no huddle a bit for one and maybe why Kyle didn’t emphasis that.

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Did I hear somewhere this preseason that the depth of the routes will be different? ie not necessarily a 10 yard out but based more on steps? Not sure if that is it or not but if Matts Drops versus how the WR's are coming out of their breaks changing seems like a big timing change. You would think that would be worked out by now but could that cause slow starts depending how a defense plays them

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6 minutes ago, Flyin' In DC said:

Did I hear somewhere this preseason that the depth of the routes will be different? ie not necessarily a 10 yard out but based more on steps? Not sure if that is it or not but if Matts Drops versus how the WR's are coming out of their breaks changing seems like a big timing change. You would think that would be worked out by now but could that cause slow starts depending how a defense plays them

That’s right. Hooper spent extra time with Ryan adjusting to the changes. Ryan is still throwing it to a spot. 

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On 9/26/2019 at 3:11 PM, kiwifalcon said:

PMF are we too timid early on in games are we in an attack mindset off the bat.I just can’t figure out these slow starts.I swear we have weapons like Ridley Julio Hooper and co I really don’t know why we don’t come out swinging.

Shorten the route combinations up early to get these guys and the chains moving then hit em with a bit of Free behind it once we establish these guys.

I’m actually shocked at how long it takes us to figure these teams out after a week of game planning aswell.

Pretty obvious we underestimated the colts. Which as you insinuate, comes back to planning. Which all comes back to coaching. 

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1 hour ago, Vandy said:

Pretty obvious we underestimated the colts. Which as you insinuate, comes back to planning. Which all comes back to coaching. 

I don’t think we underestimated the Colts at all.

Hold on drive 1 out of FG range...beat ourselves. Ryan INT on drive 2...beating ourselves again. FG settles on drive 3 and Matt misses a throw to Hooper.

We got beat with check-downs and penalties. We failed at basics. That’s just failing. Period.

A coach may ultimately be held accountable but these players played bad regardless of the opponent. This wasn’t a Browns 2018 repeat.

The only thing with the offense on drive 1 was 3rd and 5 draw play when I’d rather throw it...or drive 2 was Ryan targeting Stocker.

The rest was golden on offense. Defense just had guys trying to be heroes. That’s actually overplaying.

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9 hours ago, SPITFIRE said:

Playbook is just the expression of the coordinators style, it does not matter as much. I think it was Walsh who said the most important thing is to protect the quarter back. Make sure your offense highlights what the QB can do and throw away the other junk. 

There’s to much over thinking in what needs to be what.

We have Julio Jones he wouldn’t you diagram the offense around this guy.

I can’t believe he isn’t or we don’t go to him as much as we should even if it means others not getting there targets.

If I’m honest I can live and die with the offense being top heavy and Julio being our guy.

Ps I don’t care what defenses look like I’d still be backing my guy.Generational talent we should use him and treat him as such.

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1 hour ago, Ergo Proxy said:

I don’t think we underestimated the Colts at all.

Hold on drive 1 out of FG range...beat ourselves. Ryan INT on drive 2...beating ourselves again. FG settles on drive 3 and Matt misses a throw to Hooper.

We got beat with check-downs and penalties. We failed at basics. That’s just failing. Period.

A coach may ultimately be held accountable but these players played bad regardless of the opponent. This wasn’t a Browns 2018 repeat.

The only thing with the offense on drive 1 was 3rd and 5 draw play when I’d rather throw it...or drive 2 was Ryan targeting Stocker.

The rest was golden on offense. Defense just had guys trying to be heroes. That’s actually overplaying.

Arch said 16 missed tackles. 1.  6. 

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37 minutes ago, kiwifalcon said:

There’s to much over thinking in what needs to be what.

We have Julio Jones he wouldn’t you diagram the offense around this guy.

I can’t believe he isn’t or we don’t go to him as much as we should even if it means others not getting there targets.

If I’m honest I can live and die with the offense being top heavy and Julio being our guy.

Ps I don’t care what defenses look like I’d still be backing my guy.Generational talent we should use him and treat him as such.

Thats just not going to work. Julio is amazing that is true but you cannot build a offense and play design around 1 guy thats just peewee football level stuff. This is the NFL its no longer best athletes win. 

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7 minutes ago, SPITFIRE said:

Thats just not going to work. Julio is amazing that is true but you cannot build a offense and play design around 1 guy thats just peewee football level stuff. This is the NFL its no longer best athletes win. 

Works in many professional sports.

What I’m seeing now is we have too many options and too many mistakes being made.

Sometimes simpler is better.

I still don’t believe they use Julio anywhere near his full potential.

I’d be building it around him and everything else is supplemental make teams fully take him away before going anywhere else.

2 and half years with a team loaded to the brimstone fill of talent and we struggle to score 30 yeah I’ve seen enough I’m going back to my guy and live and die with him than have a look at this clown show that’s going on now that decides to turn up once every 2-3 weeks.

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