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Slow it Down: Confused Defense

This week Inside the Play (courtesy of Niko) brings you a defensive failure. I do want to warn you this can be nauseating in slow-motion. This week we have some music to keep you from being bored! **The video will be inside of the thread due to its size and intrusiveness to the website. Enjoy* 

 Pre-Play: The very first split second of the play is cut-off, so I am not sure if there were stunts, an audible (which I would assume there wasn't) or what have you. However, you can still tell what formation they ended up in. The Eagles are in a standard I-Formation with Brent Celek (TE) to the Right. Desean Jackson is up top with Jeremy Maclin on the strong-side. LeSean McCoy is in the backfield along with Leonard Weaver.

The Bucs are in their base 4-3 defense. Tanard Jackson is cheating torwards the LOS (most athletic FS will do this often). Ronde Barber is up top covering Jackson.

Play: It's Play-Action. As you know, the goal is to freeze the S and LB's. Jackson runs what seems to be a post route while It looks like Celek and Maclin are running some sort of Wheel and Corner route, however whatever it was, was ran poorly. As they McNabb is making the play fake to McCoy it gives Weaver enough time to get to the 2nd level. From here he runs directly at the Mike and the runs straight for the sideline.

The Bucs act like they have never seen this before. First, watch Geno Hayes. He completely bites on the play action and realizes Weaver just ran right by him. If you watch the slo-mo enough you will get enjoyment from the move he makes to recover. However, look at the pocket. It was a 5 step-drop play and the closest DL to McNabb is Wilkerson...4 YARDS FROM HIM. The Defensive Line got completely manhandled here. Tanard Jackson gets a great jam on Weaver but then sees Jackson behind him. It def. looks like the Bucs are in man coverage so I am not sure why he reacts the way he does. This could be the result of absence from the team and not building a good on-the field rhythm with the other DBs. Because he pulls off of Weaver (which seems to clearly be Hayes man due to his reaction) Weaver now has a huge cushion and is wide open. McNabb wisely finds Weaver.

Because the WR ran everyone off of the sideline Weaver has only Hayes to beat. Hayes recovers well and covers a lot of ground, takes a good angle and makes a great effort after his missed assignment, but it's not enough. You will also clearly see a block in the back on Tanard Jackson, away from the play (which didn't impede Jackson from making a play, but regardless, it's still a penalty).

I am not sure how old all of the readers are. My guess is you vary in age. If you are in high school or younger playing football, watch Weavers fundamentals. He makes a crisp break to the sideline and gets their as quickly as possible. When he pulls the ball in, he makes sure it will be on his outside arm. If he keeps it inside, Geno Hayes has an excellent chance to create a fumble. He also doesn't leave his feet trying to "reach" for the end-zone. The second he leaves his feet he loses all power. He stays low and allows Hayes to tackle him into the end-zone. Very fundamentally sound.


The result is a 20 yard Touchdown to a FB who had 2 receptions for 14 yards coming into the game.