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X& O question about "they're going to target CB 'X' "

Racer : 1/12/2019 11:07 am
We hear it quite a bit over the course of the season when a team is forced to play a weak link in the defensive backfield.

Hearing it a lot in the last week on SiriusNFL about Eli Apple and the Eagles tomorrow. I realize they're also looking for flags because of his tendency to be grabby.

Can you guys that played/coached explain why, if a team can gameplan to roll coverage against a particular offensive threat, that we never hear about teams giving help or, especially on key downs, more or less baiting an offense on an important 3rd down when the tendencies and the targets that day says they're more than likely going to that area of the field?

Have never seen a team credited for doing it with all of the film study shows and videos that are available, so I'm making a possibly false assumption that it doesn't happen much.
Good Question  
tmanic21 : 1/12/2019 1:49 pm : link
Good question, and it all depends on where the weak link is and what he is being asked to do. There are many aspects of the Saints D that are not being talked about, and in general I think you'd have to say the media doesnt talk D because they dont understand it and frankly many dont wanna read about it. As a content creator, editors push us to talk about the offense, because that is what sells.

So in this case the link is the CB, and on the outside there is just only so many ways u can bait the offense to throwing that way (think thats where ur question was going). You mentioned rolling coverage, well if he is grabby at the top of routes and lets say the offense wants to ruin a copper route (Post with outside stem to look like a corner route first), then yes you can rotate a safety over top and either play 2 man, 2 read, traditional Cover 2, etc. But how many ways are there really to bait that offense there? Honestly not that many. You have stumbled on why corners are so highly paid in the NFL, and also why corners who can play press coverage into MEG (Man Everywhere HE Goes) are so valuable. Its not the same "shutdown corner" where nothing gets completed to his side, but a CB who can provide plaster coverage early in enough in the down. Remember if pressure isnt there in 2.6 or 2.7 seconds, then the issue isnt really the DB play at that point.

Ive veered from the point a little, but I guess my answer is for CBs there is just limits for the baiting. Real "baiting" type plays would be Cover 2 Trap where the CB looks like hes playing 1 coverage and then he is looking to trap out routes from 2 and 3 WR (Numbers of WRs correspond to their position from the outside moving in to the middle of the field). This was seen in the first interception in the national championship that Tua through. Another example is down in the RZ, where Cover 2 often Converts to what is called Red 2 coverage and that outside squatting CB can "slow bail" as we say and read the QB and releases of 1 and 2. This occurred in Manning's interception in the RZ by a really good play by Awuzie, reading the out route and disregarding the underneath route as Manning did not verify his coverage. Other options for baiting involve blitzing that CB, running zone behind it (3x3 structure) or man (prob a safety from over the top again, or walling off from underneath).

A final point too maybe why defense coverages struggle in being truly elaborate, is frankly is this league of quick game and spread elements they simply do not have the time. Moving defensive coverages takes time, and if its moving to a landmark (often what Spags did), its very easy for the offense to take advantage of. If its moving and reading the releases of WR's in distribution (pattern match), one has a better chance but still the defense has to read/react to what they are seeing. I hope this answers at least part of the question and any follow ups please let me know. Cheers
I heard the boom....  
Racer : 1/13/2019 11:40 am : link
as that response hit Mach 1 somewhere over my head. Seriously, I do get it as youíd be rolling the dice on exactly what route concept was coming, how the WR converts based on what he sees etc so itís more on the player than the call.

In your response thereís confirmation that itís very often C2 and NOT in the center of the field where the CB can flash their instincts and preparation level.

Probably have to read this a few more times to pick out all the great stuff in there. Thanks!
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