The 4th and 9 play as an example of Route Issues

The 4th and 9 play as an example of Route Issues

LuCane
For what it's worth, I created all of this last night because I noticed some really nice things James Coley did with personnel groupings and design. Most of that was early in the game, however.

We have some problems with our route combinations and that's the point of this thread. I'm taking a single play that was called in the heat of the moment (I concede) and using it to further discussion about our issues with play design. Also, I've been on Golden for likely setting a poor tone of conservatism. I have to be fair, though: the way we attacked the field here was a head-scratcher, to say the least.

Here's the play in an image, as I broke down yesterday through text on this board:

Coley Way.jpg

Formation:
3 by 1 = Walford comes in motion across the formation and you have Walford, Dorsett and Coley to the far sideline. Herb Waters is the lone WR to the bottom of the screen. Already, I question what we're doing here because Herb is not our biggest speed threat and is least likely to garner significant attention from the Safety toward the bottom of the screen. If I'm playing Safety, this indicates to me that it's likely a pre-conceived pass to the right side of the field, so the field just got cut in half.

Route Combination(s):
Long time ago, we called the combination Walford-Dorsett used a "Flood" pattern. It's not the typical layered flood pattern you'll see where Walford would flare at 4-6, Dorsett would run an out at 10-12 and Coley (outside) would run a 9 route (vertical). That's usually done against Cover 3 and forces a decision on whether or not to sit by the CB. It looks more like this:



Instead, what we saw is a basic out pattern by Walford and a post over him by Dorsett.

- Herb at the bottom of the screen ran a quick in. Funny enough, you can see both outside corners literally have their backs turned to face their respective sidelines and force WRs outside. Exaggerated inside leverage by the Corners, and Herb literally ran right into his defender.
- Coley ran a weak sit down route to the sticks. Same coverage on him as described for Herb above.
- The route combination in the middle of the field is troubling for many reasons:

1. You have FSU's most disruptive DB (Ramsey) singling Dorsett AND showing it. What's more, he has significant help over the top from the Safety who literally never moved or was never threatened (as he would have by a Stacy Coley vertical route, for example).
2. If the idea is to clear the area for Walford, who is being obviously man'd up as his defender comes across the formation with him, why are you running him into a crowd? Walford is a good TE who will play in the NFL, but he's not the quickest guy out there, so he'd need a straight line (seam) pattern or a crossing route where he can gain steam. Further, again, why is Stacy Coley sitting down to that side of the field?

It's easy to critique after the fact, I realize, but that's what message boards are for and this was a questionable design from jump. Also, it'd be unfair for me to critique without offering what I'd have done:

My Way.jpg

Formation:
Balanced 4WR, motion Walford across and back to indicate, as it did, underneath man coverage.

Route Combination(s):

- First of all, if you're going to use Stacy Coley as a decoy, use his speed instead of sitting down as if he were Brandon Marshall. I'd have him at the bottom of the screen. I'd send him vertical.

- Second of all, as mentioned I'd motion Walford across and back to a balanced 2 by 2, 4WR set from the middle of the field. I'd send him on a seam or post. He'd take his underneath man coverage and the Safety on that side would have to stay over him and Coley.

- Most importantly, your best player during the game and most attention is going to go to #4. We even had fans in the stands saying the last play (even on 3rd and 9) would go to Dorsett. Use him. Leave him at the top of the screen in the slot. Send him vertical to the top corner. He'll take Ramsey and the attention of the Safety at the top of the screen.

- Place Herb Waters, who is sure-handed and good after the catch, at the very top of the screen. Jab step out and slant/cross the field at 6-8 yards. With obvious inside leverage, CB would have to switch his hips to chase him across the field.
- But, wait, what about the LB in the middle of the field? He's shadowing Duke Johnson. Duke chipping on a relatively quick-hitting play was, ultimately, pointless, but that's hindsight. Instead, we'd know he'd have attention, so send him into the bottom flats.

This wouldn't be a complicated read by Kaaya and I realize FSU would be bringing heat, so it's not a slow developing play (quick read in the flats, quick read across the middle on an intermediate cross):

He's essentially reading toward middle of the field (left, where Walford is) first. Based on what that combination of defenders does, and you have immediate vertical routes so it'll quickly show, you read Duke 1 on 1 in the flats and come back across to the middle of the field to Herb Waters who has had the field cleared for him by Dorsett.

But, who knows. At least we get to discuss it and see what it may or may not mean for us going forward.
 

Comments (72)

Lu, thanks for the insight. I'm still rustled, the more I read this board, the more rustled I get.
 
you are awesome man! - this is what I wish this board was filled with instead of non-stop repetitive bickering
 
I have one question. This is a play where we called a timeout, then FSU called a time out after Walford motioned across the line. Do you think coley adjusted after FSU's timeout? Or did he run the same play. We'll probably never know, but I think we came out in the same formation and ran the same motion both times. It didn't seem like a good omen at the time...
 
Informative, thorough, balanced, pretty much everything this board stands against. Negged!

#flythebanner
#nothingisGolden'sfault
 
Coley is still growing imo, loved his plays in the beginning but when FSU adjusted he had trouble adjusting to what they did
 
I have one question. This is a play where we called a timeout, then FSU called a time out after Walford motioned across the line. Do you think coley adjusted after FSU's timeout? Or did he run the same play. We'll probably never know, but I think we came out in the same formation and ran the same motion both times. It didn't seem like a good omen at the time...

I talked about that last night. No idea if we had the same call, but it was the same formation and alignment/motion. I think Coley got worked by his former boss. Whether he changed or not is a guess, but Jimbo saw something that allowed him to blanket our attempt. His best defender of the night was on our best player of the night. His Safeties literally did not move from their depth or alignment. No bueno.
 
LuCane, many thanks for the analysis. As somebody who never played football, your diagrams made things much easier for me to understand.
 
They had Warlord and Dorsett targeted the entire second half and they clamped down on them on the last play. I personally would have liked to have seen Warlord do the out that he did but pivot hard and cut back to the inside and let Andrews bite on the out. Would have thrown it to him and let him make the play.

Other than that, it would have been nice to see more options on that play to force the defense to actually think. Instead we threw out there a 2 man pattern with 4 guys defending it.
 
Amazing post Lu.

The staff is very very green.

Al Golden has never coached in a game like this before, not even as an assistant. It shows.

To me, a flood in that situation is a bad idea, especially since they were in man under.
 
They had Warlord and Dorsett targeted the entire second half and they clamped down on them on the last play. I personally would have liked to have seen Warlord do the out that he did but pivot hard and cut back to the inside and let Andrews bite on the out. Would have thrown it to him and let him make the play.

Other than that, it would have been nice to see more options on that play to force the defense to actually think. Instead we threw out there a 2 man pattern with 4 guys defending it.

This is the reality of our staff. I haven't seen a game yet in 4 years where we out x and o a team after halftime. I called this all week. This would be the game. Adjustments at halftime.
 
While this was James Coleys best game as our oc (by far imo, the first half was masterfully called), this perfectly shows my gripe with him. There are times when it seems like he over thinks things and ends up making things harder then they need to be. That hitch out combo with Coley and Walford is absolutely idiotic. Those 2 are being used in a way that isn't necessarily the best for them and even if Kaaya wanted to go there that route combo crowds everyone together. Also, and this could be blamed on Kaaya as well but, why would you try and attack Jalen Ramsey at the most critical part of the game? That play looked like it was designed to go to Dorsett. Ramsey on your primary + man under= check to something else.

Imo Lu is spot on in what they should have done. Only thing I'd do is go for Walford. Motion him to show man under and just let him work the middle of the field. No reason to complicate things at that moment, stick to your bread and butter.
 
I guess the moral of this is that our staff has potential (or else we wouldn't be in the game vs. a more talented team), but isn't quite there yet just like our team as a whole (i.e. Dobard fumble, missed kicks, missed tackles, batted balls, pass rush, etc.)
 
While this was James Coleys best game as our oc (by far imo, the first half was masterfully called), this perfectly shows my gripe with him. There are times when it seems like he over thinks things and ends up making things harder then they need to be. That hitch out combo with Coley and Walford is absolutely idiotic. Those 2 are being used in a way that isn't necessarily the best for them and even if Kaaya wanted to go there that route combo crowds everyone together. Also, and this could be blamed on Kaaya as well but, why would you try and attack Jalen Ramsey at the most critical part of the game? That play looked like it was designed to go to Dorsett. Ramsey on your primary + man under= check to something else.

Imo Lu is spot on in what they should have done. Only thing I'd do is go for Walford. Motion him to show man under and just let him work the middle of the field. No reason to complicate things at that moment, stick to your bread and butter.

Right now, 90% of the time, Kaaya is a rhythm passer. It's completely understandable. He's 19 and seeing a lot of things for the first time. We're really lucky he's as smooth as he is and has so many tools in place that, if the play design is strong, he'll simply execute it. In the future, I'd expect him to improvise on that play a bit. For now, I'm going to wonder for a while why we didn't adjust to their coverages in the second half and allowed them to dictate to us. I was waiting for Tucker in the flats pretty much the entire second half. It never came.

Some people think "aggressive" and immediately go to see whether we passed the ball or if we passed the ball downfield. I say "aggressive" and I'm talking about dictating to the defense. It doesn't have to be stretching them vertically. It means keep countering and stay in control of the flow. Hit the flats and stretch them out horizontally. Kill those LBs who were so vulnerable. I'll give Coley credit on one play that stood out in my mind: somewhere in the second half, we setup a play for Yearby to seemingly chip and release. He was *wide fucking open*, but the ball got batted down. That's credit to Coley and inexperience on Kaaya.
 
Honestly, In this situation, I would've like to see some sort of isolation for Herb Waters. Think about it, he had man coverage at the bottom of the screen with little safety help. We could have easily motioned Walford to the left and run him right in the middle of the defense to take the safety away and then have Waters run and in and up. Have Kaaya start by looking at Walford and then turn to Waters and throw it up for the win. Throwing at Ramsey gave us no chance IMO.
 
I guess the moral of this is that our staff has potential (or else we wouldn't be in the game vs. a more talented team), but isn't quite there yet just like our team as a whole (i.e. Dobard fumble, missed kicks, missed tackles, batted balls, pass rush, etc.)

Are you serious with this? smh this is unbearable
 

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