Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bucs Films Review: Carolina Panthers #2 Week 13

After a two week hiatus we are back this week with The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good

Antonio Bryant: This guy made all kinds of circus catches all day and you just had to wonder what the season might have been like had he not hurt his knee in training camp. I have no illusions that we would be in the playoff hunt right now, but THAT guy is a game changer without question. He would have made a difference.

The Offensive Line minus Jeremy Trueblood: For the most part these guys really played well on Sunday. They gave up 2 sacks but kept Freeman clean for the better part of the game. They really physically took it to the Panthers on the run game also. Now if only we called more runs....

Maurice Stovall: You would have to be blind not to see that Stovall has been an upgrade over Michael Clayton. I never want guys to get hurt, but I sincerely hope that Stovall has shown the coaches enough now so that whenever Clayton gets back Stovall continues to start. A wide receiver is paid to make catches and Stovall does that better than Clayton, hands down, end of argument.

Cadillac Williams: In one of his best performances of the year Caddy had 92 yards on just 17 carries and was a physical presence all day long. Again, if only he had more carries...

Chris Pressley: That young guy can really block. I think its time to see a backfield with him and Earnest Graham in it, especially close to the goalline.

* I would like to recognize a defensive player as having a good game, especially since as a unit they played relatively well. But I just couldn't find anybody on defense who did enough to be recognized as having a good game. They all did some things good and they all did some things bad. It is what it is.

The Bad

Greg Olsen: I was lightweight considering putting Offensive Coordinator Olsen in the Ugly category but I showed some mercy this time. But his play calling for much of the day was suspect at best. Any time you have both of your running backs running well and your team ends up with whopping 5.4 yard average from the running back position but you decide to only run the ball 22 times, something is fucking wrong. Especially fucking wrong when you end up throwing the ball twice as many times, on the road and only down at most 10 points. I had a feeling this kind of bullshit would happen though once Josh Freeman was named the starter. Because the perception is that the coaching staff will rise and fall with Freeman's performance the pressure is there to showcase him so to speak. The problem of course is that he is still a rookie and he is still going to be prone to making mistakes.

It's precisely for that reason that you run the ball, particularly in the redzone, to take pressure off the guy. What you DON'T do is line up in shotgun on first down at the 20 or closer and try to chunk the ball around. For anybody reading this that ever wants to go into coaching, pay close attention to what I am about to say. If you want your redzone percentage to be close to 100% RUN THE GOT DAMN BALL IN THE REDZONE! And it wasn't just that we didn't run the ball, it was also that our power 0/counter play to our right with Jeremy Zuttah pulling play side was friggin killing the Panthers all day. Hell I am not sure that we got less than 3 yards on that play all day. Yet we get close to the endzone and instead of running the play that evidently the Panthers just can't stop, we keep running slants and having Freeman throw into traffic where he tends to have problems as any rookie quarterback would.

One final note. We have two guys who catch the ball on offense who are 6 ft 5 or better. You mean to tell me that out of all our trips in the redzone we can't throw a fade to Stovall or Jerramy Stevens even once? Hell if we aren't throwing Stevens the ball on fade routes close to the endzone, I am not sure at all why we even have his non blocking ass on the team. Real Talk.

Chris Hovan: My critique is here.

Connor Barth: Doesn't take long for a kicker to go from looking like a savior to looking like a goat. I am not the world's biggest fan of kickers any damn way and Barth HAS to make those two he missed on Sunday. They weren't chip shots but they weren't long shots either. That bad karma we have from cutting Matt Bryant seems to be lingering for the whole season. I really hope it doesn't bite us in the ass big time when we play the team he just signed with, Atlanta, in a couple of weeks.

The Ugly

Jeremy Trueblood: The guy is a LOSER!

Josh Freeman: Yeah I could make a lot of excuses for the kids but I am not going to. Five interceptions is unacceptable on any level of football. Four interceptions in the redzone basically kills your team. Its funny because as I was replaying the game again I heard avowed Freeman Fluffer and otherwise great guy, John Lynch, say after the first interception that basically it was no big deal because Freeman would bounce back and it wouldn't affect him the rest of the game. I don't know if he jinxed the guy or what but Lynch for damn sure ended up with egg on his face by the end of the game. To be sure it wasn't all bad. A few of those passes to Antonio Bryant were just sick and he made a couple more really good runs off scrambles. But it seems that he gets locked in on the guy he wants to throw the ball to presnap and really doesn't deviate from that much even when other reads are open. Again, that's what rookies do. But that is something he is going to have to get better with if we stand any shot of winning any of these last few games.

Well that's it for now. I do have a bonus for you this week though. I am playing around using my white board and I decided to diagram a counter play the Panthers ran on our defense several times on Sunday to illustrate where Geno Hayes SHOULD have been to make the play.

On this play we are in an under defense and its in the 2nd quarter. If you need a reference point, its right before Geno gets his interception. The Sam linebacker (Quincy Black) is up on the line in front of the guy on the line in the bunch set as he should be. The defensive end (Tim Crowder) was in a 5 technique, outside shoulder of the offensive tackle. The tackle to that side (Chris Hovan) is lined up on the outside shade of the center. The tackle backside (Ryan Sims) is in a 3 technique outside shade of the guard and the backside end (Jimmy Wilkerson) in a wide 5 technique outside of the offensive tackle. The middle linebacker (Barrett Ruud) is lined up in the B gap strong and the Will linebacker (Geno Hayes) is lined up in the A gap weak. Now it appears that the strong safety (Sabby Piscitelli) is supposed to be in the box but I personally would have liked to see him with a wider alignment against that bunch set and about a yard or two closer to the line of scrimmage.

As you look at the blocking scheme here is what should happen on this play. The Sam LB should spill the offensive guard's block, meaning go inside of it to make the running back have to bounce outside. The defensive end to that side should fight the double. The defensive tackle to that side should play back into the playside guard and maintain his gap in case the ball cuts back. The backside defensive tackle should play the center's block and stay in the gap for cutback. The backside defensive end should get upfield to check bootleg then run to the ball.

The Mike linebacker should spill the tight ends's block coming out of the bunch. And the Strong Safety should play over the top of the wide receivers block trying to keep his outside arm free. And then we come to Hayes, the Will linebacker.

Once he sees the guard to his side pull he has to know that he has to get over the top to the other side of the formation. He basically has to pull just like the guard once he reads run because the guard is effectively creating another hole to the other side. The thing of it is, its not necessarily that Hayes would end up making the tackle, however if he gets over the top one of two things SHOULD happen. Either he should make the tackle, or he should take up that wide receiver's block leaving Sabby unblocked to make the tackle. Either way, if he gets over the top, Johnathan Stewart doesn't get 28 yards. If you look on the diagram the green line is where he should have gone and the red line is where he actually went, trying to shoot the gap and make the play in the backfield. That's what I mean when I say he plays too much on instinct and not enough of his playbook.

Now I know most people focused on the fact that Ronde Barber whiffed on the tackle attempt, and truly that was not a good look. You would definitely like to see Ronde make that tackle, but even though he didn't he still made the smart play. Ronde is one of those guys who always knows where his help is. And for that reason he took his shot at Stewart's outside leg, knowing that if he cut back that there should be help there to make the tackle. Because Hayes never got over the top, that help never came and Stewart was out of the gate.

I hope you like this chalk talk segment, if people give me positive feedback I will try to do more of this in these final few games.

Update: I found this link to the highlights (or in this case lowlights) of the game. The running play in question is the third one in the series.


  1. Keep the chalk talk and everything else coming.

  2. great job, mr. white. I always enjoy your real talk and direct approach.

    The X and O sections are especially good.

    Take care.

  3. Nice work man, i can see you being hard on hayes cause i think you feel he has the talent to be good, but just needs to become more disciplined to get there. Might want to link to the actual play that coordinates with the chalk talk so us ham n eggers can see how the chalk talk translates to live action. Buddhaboy

  4. I really enjoyed this article. This is the first time I have been to this site. Needless to say, it's on my favorite list.

  5. Thanks for the compliments.


    I actually think Hayes has the potential to be great. But its the little details that separate the good players from the great ones and I don't think he has realized that yet. Derrick Brooks was already a good player when he arrived in Tampa Bay. What made him a great player was his extra time watching film, studying his playbook and asking tons of questions. And above all being a perfectionist himself.

    As for a link to the play I will look around for one but bear with me, I am still getting used to this whole blogging thing lol.

    @Anonymous Thanks for coming by and I hope you will come back again. You can always leave a name or a psuedonym so I can have an idea of who you are even if you want to protect your anonymity.

    Just as a heads up, I am toying with the idea of doing a Vlog after this weeks game but I will let everyone know early next week.

  6. Great Blog Steve. Many of us...wait, make that all of us reading want to see you coaching on the Bucs' Defense. I know they would be a much better team with you there again. They might even win again...soon. With all the dark days of late from 1 Buc, you are the shining star for us that helps keep the faith. Thanks for all you do for us with your blog. God Bless.

  7. Absolutely killer article Steve. Please do more of these, us Buc fans are hungry for knowledge.

  8. @BigMacAttack and @Jimbo

    Thanks guys, I am just glad peoiple like to hear what I have to say.

  9. Your articles have been some of the most enjoyable Bucs commentary I've read in a long time. Thank you for your effort and please keep up the good work.

  10. Hey mate just wanted to say your blog is by far the best around. i have always been interested in trench play but no body ever breaks it down so until now i have only guessed at the techinical side. So to finally find a site that does this and does it about my bucs is great

    At some point (it might be a good offseason post) can you break down the diffrent stances/techniques. because I've heard people speak about them but no one explains what they are, for example before the draft i heard Tyson Jackson was a great 5 techique DE but no one explained what that was.

    Also do you no of anybody who has a similar site to this but o-line related

    Just to make it easier to reply to me I've posted in your live chats under the name Ant/Anthony