Why the Cardinals’ Offense is Unimaginative and Under-Prepared

 Imagine what kind of pressure it would put on the defense if the
Cardinals ran RPOs (run/pass options) with David Johnson (and Chase Edmonds when
he’s in the game). On a key third down Youth
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 , Josh Rosen could run with the ball to move
the chains (on a slide) if the end crashes down...but most of all, Rosen can
fake the handoff and then pass into the open areas behind the linebackers. The
Vikings and Eagles did this very well last year with Keenum and Wentz/Foles.Why
have a FB on the roster and not use him? So—-OC Mike McCoy is not keeping the
LBers honest with RPOs—-he isn’t even running head-on iso blocks with a FG on
them. Thus, the opposing linebackers might as well be playing in tuxedos. It’s
Prom Night versus the Cardinals.You have to make life difficult for linebackers
in the NFL. if you don’t—-chances are you are going to lose.Like Mark Schlereth
said---the Cardinals were just running DJ into a stone wall. It’s maddening.If
you move DJ around like the queen on a chessboard---the defense has to become
acutely aware of where he is at all times and adjust their coverages and run
defenses on the fly. But how often is DJ on the move in McCoy’s offense?
Throwing to DJ only twice in the game is not only unthinkable—-it is
irresponsible.Would it be so hard for Wilks and McCoy come to the conclusion
that a 4-5 yard pass to DJ is better than a 2 yard run just for the sake of
running the ball?Isn’t the whole point of having David Johnson on your team to
find ways to get him the ball in space?When you watch the best offenses—-they
PASS to set up the RUN---they don’t run to set up the pass. Plus, defending the
pass gasses the defensive line and linebackers way more than defending the run,
so by the 4th quarter you can run the ball better because you’ve (a) backed the
defense off and (b) you’ve steadily worn them down.The Cardinals’ offense is
playing as tight as a drum. The calls are predictable and they play right into
the hands and the strengths of the defense. To play fast on offense you have to
take the training wheels off and you have to play loose and with passion. Look
at DJ---he looks like he’s playing in a straightjacket half the time because the
defense is keying on him and loading the box and the Cardinals’ OC still runs
the ball (without a FB in front of him to take out the first threat). In this
offense, DJ is basically giving the defenders target practice.When the Cardinals
started throwing on 1st downs they misfired too often---which then put them in
2nd and 10s---and it seemed that every 2nd and 10, McCoy called a run between
the tackles, which then set up a series of 3rd and 7s---and several of the 3rd
and 7 passes were high risk WR or RB screens that were easy for the defense to
defend within the 7 yard box because the catches were at or behind the line of
scrimmage.If you misfire on 1st down, take another shot on 2nd down. The
Patriots once opened a game with 19 straight pass plays—-and they backed the
defense off so far that by the end of the game, the Pats ended up with well over
100 yards rushing. As an OC you have to have answers for 3rd and 7s and 3rd and
10s---that’s where mismatches come into play. That’s what Kurt Warner was a
genius at---knowing all week long what the WR, TE Cheap Sam
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 , RB mismatches were, so that when he saw them he
could audible right into them. Often they were for #3 and #4 WRs like Steve
Breaston and Jerhemy Urban. Carson Palmer did that a lot on 3rd downs with Jaron
Brown.Essentially it all comes down to one simple principal---you take whatever
the defense is giving you.But you have to have that worked out before the
game---that is—-if you have studied your opponent well and if you know their
matchup and scheme tendencies. The last couple of years it looked like BA was
less prepared for each opponent as he was the first couple of years---he then
confirmed that by saying “we do what we do.” It looks like McCoy mantra is the
same thing---week after week he is doing what he does without showing a keen
understanding of where the defenses are weakest.And then—-there are in-game
adjustments that should be automatic---but Mike McCoy doesn’t seem to be making
such adjustments. Like in the Bears. game, RCB Prince Amukamara was injured and
yet McCoy didn’t pick on the new CB. Even worse, in the Seahawks game, it was
all the more frustrating that McCoy got even more conservative after Earl Thomas
got hurt. Those are opportunities a good OC takes advantage of.On the play sheet
an OC should have sections for down and distance calls---and sections for which
pass plays attack the perimeter (short, intermediate, deep) and the middle
(short, intermediate and deep)---so, when he sees a starting CB, LB or FS go out
of the game, bingo http://www.cardinalsfootballauthentics.com/andy-lee-jersey-authentic ,
he looks on his sheet and decides how to exploit the substitute.Being creative
on offense is not as difficult as some think. You run misdirections to turn the
defense around, just as in basketball you want to swing the ball from side to
side and then exploit an opening. You run your offense based on the numbers—-if
the defense is loading the box, the numbers are in the defense’s favor, but it
leaves them more vulnerable to the pass. This is where defenses try to confuse
QBs by giving a loaded box look when they are really going to back players off
into coverage.But, by sending a man in motion—-you can get a solid on read on
whether the defense is playing zone or man—-if they chase the receiver across
the formation, it’s man—-if they don't chase then chances are you get an
immediate cover mismatch even if the defense is disguising man coverage.
Then—-there are always the gadget plays. The Eagles won the Super Bowl thanks in
part to their “Philly Special.” There are all kinds of flea flicker options—-and
throwback passes off sweeps or backward laterals (like the Giants ran yesterday
with OBJ passing a wide open throwback TD to Saquon Barkley). One of the
philosophies that BA had down pat is—-taking deep shots and running gadget plays
keep the defense honest—-even if you don’t complete them, it backs the defense
off a little and gives you more room to operate.Same way in basketball—-versus a
full court man-to man deny-every-pass defense—-if you do not pose a deep
threat—-all the defense has to do is defend half the court—-and with quick
athletes it’s twice as easy to defend half the court than every inch of the full
court.This is what the 2018 Cardinals are doing—-they are playing in the half
court—-they are running far too many plays that allow the defense to be ultra
aggressive in a 20-25 yard box—-the Cardinals’ one big play this week came on a
first play bomb. But, by the 3rd and 4th quarters the 49ers’ defense was playing
way up without any fear of getting beat deep.This is why it actually can be
smart to take downfield shots late in games, rather than play ultra
conservatively down the stretch.This was how BA taught the team how to win—-by
being aggressive when the situation traditionally calls for being
conservative.Cards Camp 2018: 3 notes from Wednesday’s Arizona Cardinals
training camp The Arizona Cardinals are closing in on game one of the preseason
and the information is coming in at a breakneck pace.They had one of their last
open practices today and here was some of the information that came out of
it.NFL Network was onsite, so check out the clips at NFL.comKurt Warner was one
of the crew on hand today.His opinion is one to listen to when it comes to
quarterbacks and he’s definitely going to have a take on Josh Rosen, more so
than that of Sam Bradford.The Diche is back http://www.cardinalsfootballauthentics.com/corey-peters-jersey-authentic ,
but Josh Bynes sitsThere was a bit of concern yesterday when Robert Nkemdiche
sat out practice, but the reality is this is a much more physical Cards Camp
than we have seen in the last five seasons. That means rest days for players as
much as veteran’s days off.They need to keep key players fresh, and Nkemdiche
has been one of the most dominant players in camp.He took a day off, did some
cardio and is back the next day. In the same way, we see Josh Bynes get a day
off to recover from the brutality that has been Cards Camp 2018.Josh Rosen is
going to be goodAll camp all we have heard from players, media and fans has been
how good Josh Rosen looks.Moreover, all we have heard from inside the facility
is how good and how smart Josh Rosen is.Rosen is going to be special, even if
it’s not in 2018.Bonus Note:Kurt Warner, still a Cardinals fan.
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