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Inside the Play: Carnell Williams First Down

Welcome to another addition of Inside the Play where we take an in-depth look at one or two plays from the previous weeks game. This week we will look at a first-down run by Carnell Williams in the First Quarter of play. Niko graciously spends time every week taking a play from the game, slowing it down, using the reverse and has now added to the aesthetics of it. Be sure to thank Niko for putting these together. Now, on to the play.

The slow-mo video can be found inside of the thread due to it's size and it's intrusiveness to the site.













First, let's look at the formations and sets. The Buccaneers are in an I-Formation with the strongside initially being to the left, Lucky, however you want to call it. Remember the play calls are not designed to go to a "hole" rather to a zone (inside-zone, outside-zone or stretch). This will be an inside zone play and we will get into that in a few minutes. After reading this you should be fairly versed in the Inside-Zone-Run.

The Redskins are lined up in a standard 4-3 but do some interesting things before the snap. First,  the Sam LB (Orakpo) shows a blitz after John Gilmore motions. Second, do you see the FS or SS (Landry, Horton)? No. Most S are 10-12 off the ball. They are at least 15 yards off of the ball and most likely 18. I am not sure why they are respecting the deep ball that much with a new QB in there. However, if you watch (still pre-snap) you will see all of the DB's shift. Landry comes up to play the CB, Deangelo Hall will blitz (or at least react quickly). They roll into a likely Cover 3 Cloud. This means that the SCB will be responsible for either blitzing or covering the flat while the S rolls into that 1/3 of the field. If you don't fully understand Cover 3, say so in the comment section and I will try to help you (no shame in asking and nobody will make fun of you, we like to educate). Also, Rocky McIntosh gets closer to the LOS to shade Gilmore which is likely indicating either he has read run or that he wants to jam Gilmore.

So, back to the Inside-Zone. This simply means that the RB's first read will be the inside guy on the double team. The 'playside Double Team' consists of Sean Mahan and Davin Joseph on this play blocking Cornelius Griffin. Again, they do NOT dictate the hole. Griffin dictates the hole here when he crashes down towards Winslow. This immediatly tells me that there is supposed to be a stunt. My guess is Patrick Daniels misses his assignment here. He is undisciplined and assumes they are running at him. You can see him stutter initially (:38-:39) like he was about to stunt and then just goes back to his initial position. The other thing that tips me off that Daniels missed his assignment is that London Fletcher doesn't fill that gap. Fletchers' first step is towards the gap where Daniels is occupying (McIntosh would have outside responsibility and Griffin would be forcing that play outside if Daniels is where he is supposed to be).

Carnell Williams does exactly what he is supposed to. He is not following his FB (which the defense seems to be reacting to) but correctly reads that Mahan has sealed Griffin and there is a giant hole between him and the rushing Haynesworth. Speaking of Albert Haynesworth, he makes an excellent move on Zuttah. Zuttah misses (which at first I thought he was going to move on to the next level and intentionally let Haynesworth go) Albert but tries to stay with him. Williams shows his burst of speed as Haynesworth would have had 50% of RB's in the league dead in the backfield. Watching this play at first I thought it would be blown up. Trueblood does a nice job of getting to the second level and allowing Gilmore to initiate contact with P. Daniels. This leaves Carnell one man to beat which is Fletcher (who is an elite MLB). Fletcher is out of position and this allows Williams to side-step him a bit, use a stiff arm and move on to the third level of the defense. Reed Doughtry makes a nice play to save a touchdown but the result of the play is still 16 yards and a FIRST DOWN.

Also, Antonio Bryant misses the block on Doughtry here. Had he continued to work towards the middle of the field instead of going up field, he makes a block that spurs Williams on to another 5 yards at least.