Friday, December 3, 2010

Unsolicited Advice

Just finished watching the first Bucs vs Falcons game from earlier this year and the Falcons vs Packers game from last week and I had some thoughts specifically for the defensive linemen.  Not that any of them will ever read this but if they did here's what I would say to them.

- I backs was almost always a run. Weak offset I backfield was usually pass. I'd take that into account presnap.  Meaning if its I backs I'm looking run first and especially looking at the offensive line to see if there are other give aways as to where they are trying to go with the ball.  If its a weak offset I backfield then I'm looking to see if the offensive line is light in their stance and planning my pass rush move.  Nothing wrong with making educated guesses.

- Chip the chipper. In the first game Jason Snelling chipped our defensive ends several times and knocked them down on the way out for a pass. I would suggest that when a defensive end sees him lined up offset to his side on a passing down to go right at him and knock him on his ass. Or at the least chuck the hell out of him. For one it may give you a chance to knock him into the offensive tackle so that you can get a sack. For two Snelling is a big part of the passing game, not only as a receiver but also as a guy who attracts the underneath coverage and opens things up at the intermediate level for Tony Gonzales. Delaying him from getting out into his route will help the pass coverage a lot.

- Roy Miller started with his improved play for the last few weeks with a good showing against Atlanta the first go around. He will need a better performance this time to help get the win. One thing about the Falcons is that they allow their center to single block the nose tackle a lot more than normal. What he tries to do is get the nosetackle to push him upfield rather than expanding, especially when there is a zone running play called. My advice would be for Roy to tighten down his alignment a little bit so that he heavier on the center. And then when the center tries to reach him rather than getting up field he should try to rip off and go laterally to either make the tackle or make the ball bounce back behind him. And Al Woods who backs Miller up should be doing the same thing.

- I think Gerald McCoy can have another dominant game this week. They key in my opinion will be for him to also get heavier on his guard and go with mostly power rushes against the pass. One of the things Atlanta is really good at in the run game is doing a slip block where the guard gets a piece of the undertackle then goes up to the linebacker while the offensive tackle gets inside of the undertackle. If McCoy gets heavier on the guard he can make it harder for him to get up to the linebacker and also harder for the offensive tackle to get inside of him. With Michael Turner the Falcons don't run a lot of wide stuff anyway so getting reached isn't really a big worry this week.

On pass rush I know McCoy has some great finesse moves but the Matt Ryan is a guy who generally tries to get the ball out of his hands quickly. That means you want to try to take the quickest route possible to get to him and that's right through the guards. Now I wouldn't mind him doing some bull rushes and then ripping inside but I don't think this is the week to just make finesse inside moves. Cullen Jenkins made a really good one last week and got good pressure but the thing to notice is that he didn't reach to make the move. Instead he kept his hands tight and insteaad of going for the guard's shoulder he went for his inside hand and got it. McCoy will be able to do that one day but right now he is still reaching for the guard's shoulder which means he is still getting punched in the chest. For the most part I would stick to outside power rushes quite honestly and I think he will dominate the Falcons' offensive line.

- When its a definite passing situation and the Bucs have the occasion to keep four defensive linemen in and let them rush I would go with EX games all day with the left end and left defensive tackle. I wouldn't run any games on the right side because for whatever reason the center tends to slide that way a lot regardless of formation. The EX game allows the end to get away from the chip block while going in and punishing the guard. The key will be the set up by the defensive tackle. They need to either show a bullrush to get the guard to sit down or make a realistic inside move to get the guard to follow them down and allow the end time enough to get inside the offensive tackle. Once they feel the end hitting the guard they can loop around to contain Ryan who while a decent athlete isn't exactly a speed demon.

- Stylez White should make power rushes and inside moves all day long to start the game and then in the second half once the offensive tackle is tired of getting hit under the chin, give him some stutter and go moves to get around the corner. One thing about the Falcons offensive line is that because they run so much zone none of them are especially big. Stylez should tear the left tackle up in the second half, if given the opportunity.

- This is a game where Tim Crowder and Michael Bennett could be huge. In addition to chucking Snelling they are both good bullrushers around the edge. If they can just concentrate on being definitive with that move they will get a lot of pressure. They also should have some opportunities to run natural games behind McCoy if he is getting up field a lot. Kyle Moore actually almost got a sack that way in the first game but Ryan just barely gained a yard before he could bring him down.

- The Falcons like to run that Saints play a lot where they have the tight end run out to the flat to get the end upfield and then send the fullback to kick him out. Atlanta also runs a lot of split belly/split zone type stuff too where the fullback or a backside tight end comes across to cut off the defensive end. It will be major for the ends this week to get inside all of those cut off blocks. If they can do that they will make a ton of tackles and or make the running back have to try to bounce outside to all the help.

- This last suggestion maybe should have been first. One thing I notice from watching several games of Atlanta this year is that their right tackle and right guard are assholes. They cheap shot guys and late hit. They will try to give a guy the business on the ground after the play is over. One time in the first game Roy had shed the center and was about to make the play when the center shot at his knee and started rolling.

My suggestion? Its time to bully the bullies.

I'm not talking about getting kicked out of a game. I'm not even necessarily talking about getting a personal foul. But its time to show the Falcons that there aren't any punks in a Bucs uniform. See a guy trying to clean up a pile? Clean his ass up. See a guy giving your teammate the business on the ground? Snatch his ass up and get in his face.

I know some folks will say that's just what they want you to do but in my experience that's bullshit. Bullies are generally bullies not because they are smart but because nobody has ever stood up to them. Those assholes play like that because they think it makes them look tough. Well you punch a bully in the mouth and they tend to close up shop. Oh and if there's a chance to run that EX game the defensive end should come in and earhole the guard and try to knock his block off.

This is a division game against two teams that don't really like each other anyway. Its time for somebody or somebodies on the defensive line to show that they have some dog in them. I'm not saying start the fight, I'm just saying END IT!

That's all I have for today. Can't wait to see the Bucs shock the world on Sunday!


  1. That's what I'm talking about Steve. I got goosebumps when I read "Bully the Bully." I want to see some earholing, jakelegging, sloberknocking football this Sunday. What do you think the Safety solution should be this week? I wouldn't mind seeing Blount get 25 carries this week. I think we need to set the tempo from the get go by running down hill get their Dline a little winded cause by the 4th Quarter they are not going to want to tackle Blount. Glad you great film review. I was outta town for the first Falcons game and still haven't watched it.

  2. YEAH, THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKIN ABOUT!!!! No pussies down here, D-Line can shine this weekend a play a complete game. GET AFTER IT SUNDAY AND WHUUP THE GUY IN FRONT OF YOU!!!
    Damn, I am jacked up after reading this... I'll be there....Will you? let's roll

  3. Steve, you were sure RIGHT about your prediction of Chicago winning their division !
    I did not think they had it in them to beat Michael Vick and Philly either!
    I have to eat crow here, and give you your Props.

  4. I love it! "Well you punch a bully in the mouth and they tend to close up shop"
    Very true words Steve. "I'm not saying start the fight, I'm just saying END IT!"
    Great read a few questions Steve, what do you mean when you say "center tries to reach him" or "heavier on the center"

  5. When the center can block the dtackle in his playside gap. Heavier on the center generally means line up more on his nose than his shoulder or in the gap.