By: James Johnson
Alright, so with the Falcons game coming up I went back to at the last preseason game of the Jags in which they played the Eagles. Once again like last week, I took a couple plays after watching the game on DVR and broke them down. This week we’ll take a look at the two scores in the first half by Blackmon and Todman, then we’ll also take a look at a couple big defensive plays as the DL did a pretty good job providing pressure on Michael Vick.
Blackmon’s score on the first drive.
The talented 1st round pick of 2012 strikes again this preseason. As you all know he looked phenomenal in his debut against the Jets as he was a handful for Dee Milliner. He picked up where he left off in the game against the Eagles with a score in the first drive. Let’s take a look at what exactly happen in the play as Chad Henne found Blackmon in the end-zone.
Lets take a look at the formation first. We have a “trips right” (don’t know the NFL term) shotgun formation with Shorts at the bottom of the slide, Brown inside of Shorts ,and Blackmon is the inner-most WR. Jordan Shipley is on the opposite side a alone. Like most, I knew something was up when I saw Blackmon in the slot.
The route patterns on this side include a curl route (Shorts), a roughly 10-yard dig route (Brown), and a post to the outside (Blackmon). There also is a single high safety in the upper right corner of the slide who the WR’s a aware of.
I can’t exactly tell what kind of coverage the Eagles are running here ,but I think the corner may be responsible for any curl route, and the nickel may have the flats. The safety has the deepest man on this side of the field being that there is only one WR one the other side of the formation (Shipley, likely in man with the other CB ).
You couldn’t see this visually unless you go back and watch it yourselves, but the corner on Shorts halts for a split second when Shorts makes the cut in his curl route which is why I believe he was responsible for the curl route in this coverage. It’s possible he could’ve had deep thirds however. The nickelback jams Brown as he goes to the inside, however he doesn’t follow Brown to the inside which is why I think he’s in zone (responsible for the flats). As he jams Brown, Blackmon goes by the nickelback and linebacker untouched with a full head of steam. All he now has to do is beat the safety to his mark who already appears out of position to stop Blackmon.
Todman’s 63 yarder TD.
Man was this play beautiful to watch on DVR! If you want to know what a zone-blocking scheme is all about, well this play sums it up. As I explained last week with Robinson, this scheme has to have runners with good vision and can change directions quickly. Todman shows both as I break this cut down.
First of a props to the OL here as they did a flawless job blocking the Eagles defenders out! One of the things you’ll notice about this zone-blocking scheme is the two, and three man wall’s it creates at times. This slide is a prime example as Todman is lead by a trio of lineman in Monroe, Brewster, Nwaneri (who is pulling from the other side), AND FB Will Ta’ufo’ou. In the mist of this Luke Joeckel (circled) cut-blocks the DE on the backside of the play which as you’ll see is a key block as the play unfolds. By play design, Joeckel’s block can then allow Todman to take the backdoor in this play to gain more yardage. If you all recall in my breakdown of him this was something I noted he did well at Texas A&M in their zone-blocking scheme and it appears he will be just fine making the transition to RT.
The MLB then cuts Todman of on the left side, but as I mentioned last week with the Robinson cut, this scheme requires runners that have good vision and can change directions at the drop of a dime. Todman showcases both by cutting to the backside of the play where there is no one to stop him (now you see why I said that Joeckel’s cut-block was key.)
I’ll be the first to critique Justin Blackmon off the field, but the last on the field. One thing people often don’t talk about his effort when he doesn’t have the ball. To me, Blackmon is just as good as he is with the ball, as he is without it. Here he showcases that as he blocks this DB out the frame with a ridiculous amount of effort, I’m mean really, he blocked this guy out like he was blocking for the president!
Roy Miller’s Sack on Vick on the second play of the game.
The Jags defensive line surprisingly came out of the gate getting pressure as opposed to last week. Yeah, there was times where he got out the pocket for a nice gain, but this is Micheal Vick we’re talking about. As Dave Bennett our guest on Gridiron Season said, “Vick can still run in the 4.3’s at the age of 33”, so it’s a given he’ll make some plays here and there on any defense. However, for the most part the Jags minimized his impact as a runner. Below is the second play from scrimmage as something rare happens. NT Roy Miller actually came away with a sack! Now, this comes as a surprise because NT’s hardly ever get a chance to sack the QB. As I’ve said before his job is simply to be stout in the run game, and occupy double-teams.
So to begin things, the Jags have in their starting four in (from the bottom DL to the top) Alualu at the 5-tech, Marks at the 3-tech, Miller at the 1-tech and Babin at the Leo position.
Babin and Marks didn’t quite have good games last week, but turned it around this week. As you can see Babin is the fastest off the snap and engages with the tackle. Also if you notice the left guard and tackle engage with Marks, which is a big mistake.
The reason I said that it was a mistake to double Marks is simple. If you look above Marks getting double-teamed then puts the center in a bad position. He’s now one-on-one with the most powerful lineman on the field in NT Roy Miller. Meanwhile, Babin (above Vick) puts a sick spin-move on the tackle to get loose.
Vick, being the QB he’s is, eludes from Babin, but still has Miller on his tracks. Not to mention Marks has gotten loose too.
It’s not long before Vick is tracked down by Miller, also credit Marks and Babin for creating pressure.
Vicks interception A result of pressure from Marks.
In this play the Jags don’t particularly sack Vick, but the get some good pressure on him to cause an interception. In this play, starting from the DL on the bottom: we have Egboh as the 5-tech, Marks above him at the 3-tech, Miller as the 1-tech, and Branch the top defensive lineman on the screen as the LEO.
As I said above, don’t get used to Roy Miller getting sacks as that’s not his primary job in this defense. His job as we all know as a NT it’s to occupy double teams which does here. That then puts the other defensive lineman in one-on-one situations with the rest of the OL. Miller does just that as he is met by the guard and center.
Marks doesn’t allow the guard to re-anchor and almost gets to Vick. Vick as a result has to throw off of his back foot with a horrible pass to DeSean Jackson.
Vicks pass of course sails and is nowhere near his target and rookie cornerback Dwanyne Gratz is waiting for a fairly easy pick.
Gratz secures the ball to the ground and comes away with his second pick of the preseason.
Alright there you have it! Hope you all enjoyed yet another breakdown by IES. For those of you who want to keep track of my thoughts throughout the season, you can simply find me on Twitter under @J_1010XL. Also if you haven’t checked out me and Phil’s last podcast with Eric Dye of the Falcons Tailgate show check that out here. You can find both Phil and our guest Eric on Twitter as well under @Philthefilipino and @Stadiumvoice.