Greg Cosell stopped by The Herd today for his weekly master class on football X’s and O’s and the game inside the game. In an age when people are worried about out of control college tuition prices, Cosell gives you a free education every Thursday. It’s the best deal going.
So, shut the film room door, crank up the projector and the All 22 tape, and take some notes.
Today, Colin asked Cosell what the film tells him about the Week 5 performances from around the league.
Some critics say Josh Norman is a system cornerback, others say he’s a lockdown corner. What does the film say on Norman?
He played predominately zone concepts with Carolina. In Washington, he’s being used in zone and man. Against Cleveland, he lined up opposite Terrelle Pryor on every snap. When he played Odell Beckham, he played both, with mixed results. It’s difficult to make a determination on Norman as a lockdown corner, because he’s asked to do different things each week as game plan and scheme dictates.
My view of #JoshNorman‘s game-sealing INT.
— Adam Winkler (@AdamWinkSports) October 2, 2016
Tom Brady threw for over 400 yards and 3 touchdowns in his first week back from suspension. What did the film say about Brady’s return?
It’s not surprising that Brady played well. The biggest takeaway from a scheme perspective was the Patriots effective use of two tight end sets with Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett, who caught 3 touchdowns. Belichick believes that the two tight end look creates matchup problems and dictates defensive deployment. The Bennett/Gronkowski combo is the most effective version of this set since the Pats had Aaron Hernandez paired with Gronkowski.
Who is this mobile QB wearing No. 12 for the Patriots? pic.twitter.com/2MgVEXtfnZ
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 12, 2016
Carson Wentz lost his first NFL game. Was there an erosion in play? What does the film say?
There wasn’t an erosion. It wasn’t his best game. He missed a few things from a mental standpoint. Even on some positive plays, his eyes went to the wrong place too early. He didn’t have a bad game in the sense there’s cause for prolonged concern. He’s still playing extremely well for a rookie. It’s a great piece of learning tape going forward.
The Cowboys keep winning with Dak Prescott, but Colin has been critical that he doesn’t throw the ball down the field. What does the tape say about the Prescott led Cowboys offense?
Prescott is playing well, which doesn’t qualify as a profound statement. The Cowboys have added pressure and stress on opposing defenses with read option and bootleg looks. Those two elements aren’t part of the game plan with Tony Romo under center. Ezekiel Elliott’s 60 yard, untouched touchdown run against the Bengals was a function, to some degree, of the defense being forced to respect Prescott’s mobility.
— The Cowboys Star (@TheCowboysStar) October 10, 2016
Aaron Rodgers second half stats have been below average. Is it Rodgers, or is that the dip in production attributable to the play calling?
The conversation about what’s wrong with Aaron Rodgers has been going on for about a year inside NFL circles. The offense has been up and down, including Rodgers. It’s hard to pin his struggles on play calling and game plan without being in the building, but the film says he hasn’t been the same player for about a year. This is news to some people, but everyone in the NFL has known this for a while.
Stopping a E/N(T) game can be difficult. This is text book right here by Packers LT/LG. But it’s mostly Bakhtiari. He gets 2! Knockdowns pic.twitter.com/sd6YRQOrkQ
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) October 13, 2016
Sam Bradford is undefeated as the Vikings starter. Has he been better than expected? What does the film say?
Bradford has always had a plus physical skill set. He was the consensus #1 pick for a reason. He possesses above average arm talent and pinpoint accuracy. He’s a cautious thrower, but willing to make throws. Right now, he’s doing it with a below average supporting cast and offensive line. Last week, he won without his best weapon in Stefon Diggs. He shows surprising timing and anticipation for an offense that he’s still learning. You could argue that he’s been as impressive as any quarterback in the league, given the circumstances.
— Vikings Barroom (@VikingsBarroom) October 10, 2016
Derek Carr has led the Raiders to a 4-1 start and the offensive line has kept him upright. What does the film show about the Raiders offensive line play so far this season?
This year, Carr has been playing with a better sense of timing, which instantly makes the offensive line better. One thing that helped this past week is that Oakland used a 6th offensive lineman on 27 plays, which provides additional protection. The extra lineman wasn’t added for running plays, but for extra pass protection. Carr has an Aaron Rodgers-like snap quick release, and throws with velocity. His biggest area for improvement is his footwork and lower body mechanics. He’s an impressive thrower.
— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) October 9, 2016
Colin has been critical of the Texans signing Brock Osweiler. He doesn’t have a specific thing he does extremely well. What does the tape say about Osweiler’s struggles so far this year?
Right now Osweiler’s not comfortable. He’s playing to fast, both mentally and physically. Teams are going to blitz him because he’s struggling with pressure. Last week, the score dictated that the Texans rely on the passing game, and right now he’s not capable of succeeding under those circumstances. He’s just not ready. The most surprising thing on tape was that the Vikings played more man-to-man than usual and the Texans wide receivers couldn’t separate.
— Run_Steve_Run (@steve_runquist) October 9, 2016
Stop by next week and see what the film says about the most talked about performances from Week 6.