Redskins Offense vs The Eagles (I)


When we sent out more than 1 tight end, the Eagles responded with a 4-3 and usually inserted a Safety into the box:


In an effort to get the ball out on the perimeter we positioned a Bunch/Triangle set tight to the line:


The Bunch (top of the screen) afforded us quick throws outside and also allowed us to crack down on edge defenders and pull lineman out wide to get them matched up on defensive backs.

We also plugged in Nsekhe (top of the screen) as our 6th offensive lineman on half a dozen snaps:


Otherwise it was variations of our 11 versus their Nickel and a few I-Formations.

Depth Chart (Snap Count in parenthesis):

  • LT: Williams (74)
  • LG: Lauvao (74)
  • C: Long (74)
  • RG: Scherff (74)
  • RT: Moses (74)
  • TE: Davis (72), Paul (14), Nsekhe (6)
  • WR: Garcon (60), Crowder (56), DeSean (50), Grant (20), Ross (9)
  • RB: Thompson (36), Jones (30), Kelley (8)
  • FB: Paul (8), Kelley (1)

With Reed out, the preferred personnel was 11 with Davis and Crowder followed by heavier formations involving Paul (22) and/or Nsekhe (6).

Grades & The Show

O-Line Run Chart:

Player Snaps + Total
Moses 74 7.5 6.5 1
Scherff 74 16.5 5.5 11
Long 74 19 3 16
Lauvao 74 20 6 14
Williams 74 20.5 4 16.5

A dominant day for everyone except Morgan Moses who finished with his lowest score of the season.  His main issue was letting guys get under his pads and disengage at will:

Moses’ 2nd issue was being lined up across Brandon Graham, a guy who PFF ranked the 2nd best defensive end in the league entering this game.  On our 4th drive, Graham set a hard edge against Moses that left Kelley with nowhere to go outside and funneled him into a swarm of bad guys:

Brandon Scherff had a commanding display of combo and second level blocks.  It’s hard to see at this angle but before he takes off to abuse a linebacker for 10 yards, he does a subtle punch to the chest of the lineman positioned inside of him.  That punch stalls the lineman’s momentum and helps Spencer Long reach his block and seal out.  You can see Scherff stall before releasing to the linebacker level, that’s when that quick punch to the chest takes place:

That strength at the line plus the ability to target in space, followed by the effort to dominate a guy 10 yards downfield will get a +2 from me.  He also showed quickness when he was able to get around a blitzing linebacker, seal him out:

and latch onto him through the first down marker.

[AFTER THE JUMP: More breakdowns for the O-line, Tight Ends and Cousins.  Plus a link to the Chart]

Continue reading Redskins Offense vs The Eagles (I)

FFODC Calls It Cravensbacker

Welcome Mbu:  There was some chatter about Pot Roast, Phil Taylor and 3 other defensive lineman being brought in for workouts to replace the departed Kendall Reyes.  This blog’s opinion: ABPR, Anyone But Pot Roast.  If you read the breakdowns last year you already know why.

It was a little confusing as to why we were going to waste a roster spot on a washed up veteran when Ioannidis was grading out neutral as a backup nose tackle.  He’s willing to play a position Baker doesn’t want too and he’s not a liability when inserted into the line up.  Sounds like an upgrade over the other option.  Thankfully no extra fat was added to the roster and instead we signed former Falcon Joey Mbu to the practice squad:

That username though.  Someone actually has a scouting report on him:

According to Pro Football Focus he played 55 of 133 possible snaps over those two games earning a slightly below average grade of -1.6. He played as well as you would expect an undrafted rookie to play. Mbu played the run decently while offering no pass rush. He posted four tackles over those 55 snaps.

So a 6’3 311 pound run stopper with an arm length of 35 inches–almost 2 full inches longer than Reyes.  He fits the mold of a 5 technique meaning, if activated to the main roster, he could back up Francois and moonlight at the other 2 interior positions (nose and 3 tech.)

Continue reading FFODC Calls It Cravensbacker

Redskins Defense Vs The Eagles (I)


The Eagles opened up with 13 (1RB, 3 TE) personnel:


and, for the first time I think ever, we responded with a Nickel defense.  Normally we come out in a 3-4 if there is more than 1 tight end or a fullback is in the game.  This matchup got us a sack as Kerrigan matched up one on one with the tight end closest to the center.

Otherwise it was mainly our Nickel vs their 11 and our 3-4 vs their 12 and 13.  On 3rd and longs we gave a few exotic looks.  A couple of times we went 3(DL)-3(LB)-5(DB):


and a couple of times we showed a 3-2-6, the 3 lineman in this play–which resulted in a sack–were Kerrigan, Murphy and Smith:


On 3rd and 5 we pulled Compton off the field and went into a Dime package (4-1-6) with Terence Garvin at linebacker:


We also had a few plays where we lifted the slot corner off the field in favor of a 3rd safety.

Depth Chart for our Nickel:

  • DE:  Kerrigan and Smith with Murphy off the bench.
  • DT (Nose and 3Tech):  Baker, Hood, with Francois and Ioannidis off the bench
  • ILB:  Foster, Compton with Garvin on some 3rd downs
  • CB:  Norman the whole way.  Breeland shared time with Dunbar on the first drive.  Dunbar had a hard time getting lined up with Whitner on one play and I don’t think we saw much of him after that.
  • Slot CB:  Fuller, sometimes replaced by a 3rd safety.
  • Strong Safety:  Nacho with Whitner off the bench
  • Free Safety:  Blackmon with Whitner off the bench.

In the 3-4, where we replace the slot corner with a 5th defensive lineman, Francois got the start.  I’m going off of memory so if I missed a guy let me know in the comments.  Also you can like, comment in the comments.

The Show:

Where the disembodied head of EA Sports’ Kirk Herbstreit revolves around me and repeatedly chants “He just simply used POWER”:

The Power play reared it’s ugly head again.  In the preview I talked about how the Eagles like to fake like they are going to run Power and throw a bubble screen to the outside.  This time they switched it up and actually ran the Power play, because it’s us, so obviously you have to try.  Instead of passively reading blocks and getting run over, we attacked it with our play side linebacker (Foster in this case) and Safety.  Both guys will aim for the pulling guard and stop this play for a short gain:



Philly ran Power 3 times for 11 yards.  It’s become a non-factor which is something that seemed light years away from happening after the Giants’ game.  Having a safety willing to fill against the run has been the most important addition to this defense for the season.  On a Power play in the 4th quarter, Foster and Whitner did the same thing to the pulling guard, forcing Sproles to bounce outside into Smith and Breeland.

[After the jump:  All-22 video, Counter, Link to the Chart, Grades…and more words!!]

Continue reading Redskins Defense Vs The Eagles (I)

Redskins Offense Vs The Ravens


We lined up in our usual 11 and 12 personnel for most of the game, but we deployed the tight ends a little differently:


We sent Davis deep on this play and he had his guy–a 180 pound defensive back that ran a 4.46 40–beat.  When Davis wasn’t out wide we tucked him inside in our heavier packages:


When multiple tight ends are lined up like above, Davis will always be tucked furthest inside.  He has a bigger body built to take on bigger guys like outside linebackers and defensive ends.  Reed will occasionally take on bigger guys but we position him to normally see linebackers and defensive backs.

Niles Paul, our third tight end, is the only one we moonlight at fullback:


Our Depth Chart for this game:

  • LT: Williams
  • LG: Lauvao
  • C: Long
  • RG: Scherff
  • RT: Moses (backed up by Nsekhe, who came in on drives 6 through 10.)
  • TE: Reed (Davis is second off the bench, Paul is third)
  • FB: Paul

Matt Jones was backed up by Robert Kelley and Chris Thompson.  Garcon and Jackson were the outside guys, Crowder was our starter in the slot.  Rashad Ross backed up the outside guys, Ryan Grant backed up Crowder.

The Show

Continue reading Redskins Offense Vs The Ravens

Redskins Defense Vs The Ravens


(Note:  Cliff Notes are at the end, along with the Chart)

We stayed in a 3-4 for the majority of the game.  Blackmon and Nacho were the safeties with Blackmon lining up to the side with more wide receivers:


and Nacho lining up to the side with more tight ends:


We occasionally lined up with new lines on passing downs, this line consisted of Smith-Murphy-Garvin(linebacker, standing up) and Kerrigan:


Norman and Dunbar were the starters at corner with Toler backing both of them up.  Fuller was our Nickel/Slot cornerback.  Whitner was our “Dime” defensive back, he came in on passing downs to cover tight ends.  Garvin (52) played the role of Su’a Cravens as the linebacker who replaced Foster on passing downs.

The Show

Baltimore spent most of the first drive running it away from our Safety in the box (Blackmon/Nacho) and towards Dunbar’s gap.  Our defensive end had contain while Dunbar had to cover gaps inside:


Dunbar gets to handle an Iso block from the fullback and is out of his element:

They tried to attack Dunbar’s gap again in the 3rd quarter, again the defensive end has contain while Dunbar is playing the gap denoted by the yellow line:


But we adjusted by slanting the line towards the gap:

Continue reading Redskins Defense Vs The Ravens

FFODC Joins Oakland

PFF’s Future #1 LB: Week 3 saw former Redskin and current Raider David Amerson stand atop PFF’s best individual performance rankings.  Yesterday, former Redskin Perry Riley–who just signed Tuesday–stood atop the Raiders’ defensive PFF rankings.  Okay then.  Apparently head coach Jack Del Rio wanted Riley for a while:

I remember Riley blanketing wheel routes out of the backfield and even picking one off versus the Saints.  His speed was unquestioned but his vision was another story.  He had a tendency to lose gap control and gave up chunks of yards.  Maybe former linebacker Jack Del Rio is just the mentor he needs.

Hitner:  Speaking of discarded players finding a new home, Donte Whitner claimed he will be playing with a chip on his shoulder.  I still have to chart the last drive, but so far his role consists of coming in on Dime formations and lining up over the tight end in one-on-one coverage (similar to what DHall occasionally did.)  The article also talks about Garcon adding power to his route running.  Good timing on that write up as Garcon had a day: 5 catches for 56 yards and a touchdown.  His best game since Pittsburgh in week 1.

Finish Strong:  The defense has been lights out in the 2nd half:

In fact, in the past three weeks, the Redskins’ defense has allowed just nine second-half points. In one sequence Sunday, they forced four straight three-and-outs

they held Baltimore to 3 of 15 on 3rd downs (20%) and forced 8 punts.  Steve Smith leaving the game helped out matters, but that is still a huge step up from being the NFL’s worst 3rd down defense.  Side note:  Crockett Gillmore is strong af and gave Kerrigan and Smith all they could handle with his kick out blocking.  Side note #2: also strong, Trent Murphy.

How do they get these up so quick:  PFF had grades for the game posted by 7pm, which…damn.  Francois got the 3rd highest grade for the defense as he continues to have his best games versus zone running teams.  Foster and Fuller top the list with an 88.8 grade.  Foster did shut down a couple of flat routes and was more aggressive versus the run thanks to predictable play calling from a hamstrung offense.  Both Compton and Foster had a few plays diagnosed pre-snap, more about that will be posted tomorrow.

Elsewhere:  Brian Mitchell interviews Jamison Crowder.  Hogs Haven recaps the game.


Casting Call

Aug 7, 2015; Richmond, VA, USA; Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden looks on prior to joint practice with the Houston Texans as part of day eight of training camp at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports
Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Jay Gruden doesn’t quite fit the classic look of a head coach.  His face doesn’t resemble the misery of Belichick, the wise authority of Lewis or the fiery demeanor of Tomlin.  His countenance still has to catch up to the grandeur of his position.

Gruden’s face carries a look of bewilderment that matches what I’ve felt since Snyder got here.  At times he looks like an outsider not yet in the mold of a Washington Redskin–not a “Snyder Guy” who is a refurbished coach trying to install an antiquated scheme–I mean like a Jack Kent Cooke Redskin, a hero built from the ground up.

This is a grown man’s game.  A game of minutiae and detail that needs to be processed in milliseconds while millions watch and judge. To execute and bear that burden requires a tough and resilient mentality. A mentality best encased in a hardened face played by Clint Eastwood.  But it looks as if we got a different kind of leader and he’s the reigning NFC East champion who just out-coached a super bowl winner and a team that was positioned for the playoffs.


Your Moment Of Zen:

FFODC Looks At Baltimore

Against Their Offense:

Football Outsiders has the Ravens ranked 27th in Offense DVOA, so if the Skins are ever going to iron out their issues on defense it better be this week.

Baltimore usually operates out of 11 (1RB, 1TE) personnel:


with an occasional deployment of beefier personnel on early downs:


I’d prefer not to see the latter given our struggles with the interior of our 3-4 defense.  If Baltimore stays true to form and sticks to 11, then Kerrigan/Murphy and Smith should be able to wreak havoc out of our Nickel defense.  Rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley is listed as doubtful which means Preston Smith will be lined up against his replacement, rookie left guard Alex Lewis (72.)  Yes please.

Our underneath zone coverage will be put to the test with Cravens out this weekend.  Thankfully, large chunks of the Ravens’ passing game consists of Joe Flacco–30th in yards per attempt–staring blankly down field before dumping it off to his outlet receivers in the flats.

Baltimore’s run game is mainly inside zone.  This does mean lots of interior double teams but it also means we shouldn’t see as much of the pesky pulling guards like we did against the Giants and Browns.  Ricky-Jean Francois is pretty comfortable at dissolving zone blocks and can do that thing where he blasts into the backfield and disrupts the timing of the play.

Good News:  Preston Smith, Murphy/Kerrigan and Francois should be adding to their TFL totals this week.

Bad News:  Man beast Marshal Yanda and Center Jeremy Zuttah will probably find a favorable double team match up versus Ziggy Hood.  It could lead to some demoralizing yards on the ground.

Against Their Defense:

On defense, the Ravens line up the same way we do: Nickel versus 11 personnel and 3-4 against heavier formations.

Jernigan might be doing a lot of this tomorrow
Jernigan might be doing a lot of this tomorrow

The middle of the line is the strength this defense.  Timmy Jernigan (99) is the star up front, he and nose tackle Brandon Williams (98) are tough to move.  Scherff, Long, and Kouj/Lauvao will have their hands full all game.  Outside runs can help to slow down the Ravens interior and it just so happens outside zone is our bread and butter.  We might be able to find some success inside when rookie backup nose tackle Michael Pierce (78) enters the game.  His mobility is limited and he can be moved with one-on-one blocks–a junior Pot Roast.

On the back end, inside linebacker CJ Mosley (57) could be susceptible to play action, especially out of our heavier formations.  Behind him, cornerback Shareece Wright (24) is struggling.  He got burned against Cleveland and was beat multiple times last week versus Michael Crabtree.  Paging Desean Jackson, we need you to toast this guy real quick.  The only question mark is if Cousins will be willing and able to test the Ravens deep.

Good News:  Any time Desean is lined up across Shareece Wright in Cover 3 or one-on-one, Cousins gets the Rex Grossman F**k It I’m Going DeepTM seal of approval.

Bad News:  They are ranked 4th in Defense DVOA.  Spencer Long might have a bad day.

Elsewhere:  Odds Shark’s computer predicts the Ravens win 28-15.4, which ok I’m sure that’s useful to somebody.  Ravens are favored by 4, over/under is set at 45.5.  Hogs Haven interviews a Ravens’ blog.