Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Blast From The Past And A Quick Scouting Report

Back in the day a staple of our defense was Over Stick. Its a simple line stunt where the defensive end to the weakside shoots inside to the B gap on the snap. In the event that its a pass the nosetackle gets off the ball in the A gap, reads the pass block and then loops around for contain. The nose could usually afford to be a little late because most of the time the weakside of the defense would be to the quarterback's blind side. And if it isn't a pass the nosetackle just plays his normal technique.

See, simple!

But as simple as the call is, it gave the defense many potential advantages.

For one it gave the weakside defensive end the chance to get in the backfield and create some havoc. If a team tries to go play action pass then there's a chance that defensive end can get some really quick pressure on the quarterback. If there is a trap it gives the defensive end the chance to push the offensive tackle down inside so they can't get up to the linebacker before they get under the pulling guard or fullback. It also helps can help the Will linebacker by allowing him to be slower on running plays strong just in case a team tries to sneak a bootleg or a reverse in.

On the flip side you don't really give up much by calling Over Stick.

So why did the Bucs ever stop calling Over Stick?

Well this guy by the name of Simeon Rice came over in free agency and he wasn't a big fan of Over Stick. And when a guy who averages 10+ sacks a season speaks, people tend to listen.

But now I think is as good a time as any to bring it back. Teams have already seen the strong side defensive line stunts but they haven't seen the Buccaneers do much stunting on the weakside unless we were blitzing. So there is no reason to believe that the Saints offensive line would be ready for it.

But for me honestly the motivation has a lot to do with Stylez G. White. Because he plays right end it would usually be him running the Stick call. So far this year Stylez has all but refused to make any inside pass rush moves and its really hurting his game. This would pretty much force him to come inside and give the offensive tackle more to think about. It would also afford him the opportunity to get quick pressure on Drew Brees who doesn't tend to hold on to the ball very long nor take very deep drops. And the Saints are in fact a team that likes to run a lot of misdirection plays and reverses. Over Stick would allow Geno Hayes to hold his water a little bit and not get caught out of position.

And while Stylez is primarily the guy I think the call will help the most, whomever is in at defensive end on the weakside will have an opportunity to make plays with this call.

If you ask me it really is a no brainer about putting it back into the playbook, but hell what do I know?

Now as far as the Saints' offensive line, I had the opportunity to watch their game against the Panthers several times and I picked up on a couple of things I would like to share.

- The right tackle, Jon Stinchcomb, is a guy who likes to take a wide pass set rather than a deep one. His deal is getting his punch in on you and trying to make you widen right off the snap and or run right into him. The way to attack him is to run the hoop on him and don't stop. Running into him is what he wants so just be prepared to work a hands move off the snap and burn the corner because he is not good and recovering on quick speed rushers. The key is as I said running the hoop with your hips turned into the quarterback while you turn the corner. If you just run straight up the field with your hips parallel to the line of scrimmage then he is going to push you out and away from Brees, but if you can keep those hips turned in then its going to be harder for him to move you off your track.

He is also susceptible to a quick spin right off the line because he wants to use his punch so bad and because he opens up the B gap inside of him right off the snap. Those two moves will win all day quite honestly and there is no need to try to do much else.

- The two guards, Carl Nicks and Jahari Evans, are almost mirror images of each other. Both are really big guys. Both like to try to stun rushers at the line of scrimmage. And both are maulers in the run game.

To rush them you HAVE to stay on an edge. I'm sure our defensive tackles are strong, but its hard as hell to bull rush 350+. The good news is because they are quick setters most of the time, edge rushes can beat them right away. The also aren't necessarily all that good at blocking movement. So making a quick and decisive inside move also has a good chance of success.

In the run game its going to be imperative this week for guys to rip off their blocks inside. Evans and Nicks will get their hands on you and then throw you on the ground and the refs rarely call it. The one way to make it more obvious is to actually try to rip off the block and get to the ball. Then when you fall the jersey tug is a lot more noticeable.

- The center is Johnathan Goodwin and while he is big he is more of a finesse guy. He will wide reach a nosetackle and on double teams he seems to hesitate for a count to allow the nosetackle to get into him right before a guard comes and cleans them up. If ever there was a week to play a lot of G technique with the nosetackle over the guard instead of the center I would say its this one. But I also still believe that the G technique should be played with the inside hand down and the inside foot back but so far no one has tried it.

- The left tackle is Jermon Bushrod and he's good but you can definitely beat him like a drum with the right pass rush plan. What he does is get depth off the snap and tries to keep his shoulder's square to the line of scrimmage, then when you finally get to him he turns his shoulders and tries to ride you by the quarterback.

Because he doesn't turn his shoulders early and he gets depth off the snap a quick spin isn't really advisable on the right side. Maybe a quick rip or arm over inside where you can recover if you don't beat him clean, but if you try a quick spin he is in all likely hood going to own you.

The key to beating him on the edge is to get into him sooner rather than later and then quickly get off of him with a rip. He is already getting back pretty good on the snap and if you can go directly at him you should get to him before he has a chance to set up. You push him back a step or two and then rip off and you are right at the level Drew Brees likes on his five step drops. If you, however, try to run up the field and then bull rush him he will have set up by then and when you rip off you will end up behind Brees most of the time.

The other move is to use his set against him. Go speed rush around the corner and then right the level of the quarterback when you feel him trying to ride you by you plant hard and spin inside. At the point where he turns his shoulders he opens the door for the spin move. The fact that he wants to ride you by the quarterback means he is going to have a lot of his weight leaning forward. The first couple of times you do it he may well fall down.

Of course Drew Brees likes to get the ball out of his hands quick so even when guys win their one on ones it doesn't mean they will get sacks. But if they have a good rush plan we can get a lot of hits on Drew Brees this week. After watching their offensive line against the Panthers I don't see any reason why the Bucs can't go out there and dominate them. But they won't do it if they end up just running down the middle of the O Line.


  1. Steve - are you in touch with any of the Bucs current D-linemen? It'd be great if someone there just listened. 4 sacks in 4 games and blanked out in three of them.

  2. I'll be watching to see if I see any of this on Sunday. Always good to have something new to watch for. Thanks for the good info and scouting on our next opponent.

  3. Great scouting breakdown Mr. White, I hope our D linemen (especially Styles) read your posts. He's not getting coached up to go inside? I don’t get it. That’s why breaking down past games is good (I really look forward to that), but this scouting will give everyone marks to look for throughout the game. Any chance of some type of “coaches" film for us? I'm not sure it’s possible, but I would like to see video clips of our past/upcoming opponents and proper technique that would work against their weaknesses? Thanks for the read, its great insight