Wednesday Night Open Thread

 Hits and misses from the early
part of the Arizona Cardinals season Happy Wednesday night one and all.The
Arizona Cardinals are the leader in the clubhouse for the first overall pick in
the 2019 NFL Draft Cheap
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, but we are only at the quarter poll.That
means, we have 13 long weeks to go to figure out the Nick Bosa versus Ed Oliver
debate, if we get there.However, let’s take a quick run through of what’s going
on with the Cardinals and RotB.Our extremely talented writer, Karan Gill has had
to step down.Karan was doing the Lord’s work of film breakdown, but he was
gobbled up by a larger site who had an opportunity through school for him.I
still heavily recommend following along with Karan in his career, he is a bright
young man and fantastic football mind.The Sam Bradford debacle was one that
should have been avoided, and it falls on the coaching staff for allowing it to
take place for three weeks, I’ll expand on this later on this season, but the
gist: If a player is coming off a lost season, has no rapport within a team and
has never worked with a staff, you should make him play as much as possible, not
as little as possible.The evil of Mike McCoy’s offense continues to haunt
talented players.Remember, one of the biggest knocks on McCoy in Denver was the
volume and complexity of his playbook.It has reared its ugly head in Arizona,
stumping talent like David Johnson, as well as the young receivers.Old school
coaches really seem to struggle with this.The move back to Andre Smith is one to
watch. If you like PFF grades, no offensive lineman has been better for AZ than
John Wetzel.Robert Nkemdiche has been a revelation in 2018.For all the problems
of the first four weeks of the Steve Wilks era ,
Diche, Patrick Peterson and Josh Bynes have grasped the concepts of the defense
and flourished.Wide receivers that could make sense at the top of round two for
the Cardinals in 2019 that I have watched:N’Keal Harry, ASUAnthony Johnson,
BuffaloJ.J. Arcega-Whiteside, StanfordQuick Hits:The rain has been lovely the
last couple of days, but it better clear up because it is finally football
season for my boys on Saturday.Chad Williams work with Josh Rosen is one of the
most important and underrated storylines of the rest of 2018.You know the Suns
are back in the news when there are arguments on The Twitter about whether he
had a double/double. Hope that carries into the season.The best football game of
the season is going to be the Chiefs at the Rams on Monday Night Football on
11/19.There is not a single game I am more looking forward to this season.Enjoy
your night everyone. Here’s the
film. am going to analyze the first
3 plays of the video, then analyze the TD on the last play of the 1st half at
the 2:56 mark (fast forward).Play 1: Situation: 0-0 game, Rams’ ball, 2nd and 11
from Rams’ 18 yard line.Rams’ Formation: Strong Left (TE 89 Higbee, FL 18 Kupp),
shotgun, RB Gurley RIGHT (weak side) of QB GoffCardinals’ Defense: 4 man front,
3 under (Baker, Bynes, Benwikere), 4 deep—-in a ZONE look, because RCB Jamar
Taylor isn’t in position to play man defense on the flanker. If it was man to
man Cheap
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, Bene Benwikere would have covered Gurley
off the snap, instead he plays the hook zone.Play Call: Quick out pass to Gurley
to the weak side.Result: 7 yard gain by Gurley on an easy wide open throw and
catch, which gets the Rams out of a 2nd and 11 hole deep in their territory,
early in0-0 game.Cardinals’ breakdown? Who is supposed to be covering the flat?
Benwikere plays the hook zone, so if anything it should be Patrick Peterson on a
roll up, with FS Bethea filling in over the top.How the Rams and Sean McVay were
smart: They lined up in a strong left formation which typically would key the
defense to roll its zone coverage to the left—-but by off-setting Gurley to the
right, they felt they could get him wide open with the belief that the LCB
Peterson would stay in his deep third and leave the flat open. They were
correct.Note: Peterson reacts quickly and makes the tackle, but the Rams’ plan
worked to perfection.Play 2:Situation: 0-0 game, 1st and 10, Rams’ ball on their
31 yard line.Formation: Strong Right (TE 89, FL 18), 1 RB behind QB (direct
snap), twin WRs left.Cardinals’ Defense: 4 man front, 4 under, 3 deep (Note: the
Cardinals were showing a a 44 look a number of times in this game).Play Call: 36
Off-Tackle Right. (36 = 3—-RB through the 6 Hole—the T/TE gap) QB—1, FB—-2,
RB—-3....holes from left to right 7—5—3—1—0—2—4—6—8Result: 5 yard gain by
Gurley.Cardinals’ Breakdown? DE Benson Mayowa gets kicked out too wide by RT Rob
Havenstein.LB/S Antoine Bethea should have filled the hole sooner Youth
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, but when he gets blocked by TE Higbee,
Bethea at least does a good job of forcing Gurley back into the help (good job
of contain after Mayowa lost it).The irony is that the tackle is made by DT
Corey Peters who was blown backward on a double team but then reacts to the
flow, scrapes down the line and finishes up on Gurley. It turns out to be a
heckuva play by Peters, otherwise this could have been a big chunk yard play for
the Rams. Play 3:Situation: 0-0 Rams have ball in the Red Zone.Formation: Strong
Right (TE Higbee and LF Kupp), Gurley single RB.Cardinals’ Defense: another 44
look, 4 man front, 4 under, 3 deep.Play Call: 36 Off-Tackle with bounce-out
option to GurleyResult: 12 yard TD by Todd Gurley.Cardinals’ Breakdown?TE Higbee
bunny hops to draw DE Chandler Jones inside, and Jones rides down with Higbee.
The bunny hops suggests the Rams wanted to entice Jones to close down inside.FL
Kupp sticks a strong block on LB/S Bethea and seals Bethea to the inside. Bethea
does not get off the block, and has lost his job of contain.RB Gurley sees that
Jones has collapsed inside to shout down the off-tackle hole, so he bounces
outside, throws an inside-out move on CB Patrick Peterson, which Peterson
overplays and then tries his best to recover from, but Gurley gets to the pylon
faster as Peterson makes a tackle. (Note: if you keep watching the tape there is
play later of the exact same call where Peterson plays it perfectly by funneling
Gurley back inside to the help and then Peterson assists in the tackle. This
shows how PP21 is adjusting. Kudos to Peterson.Play 4: FAST FORWARD to
2:56Situation: 11-0 Rams under 10 second left in the first half, 4th and goal
from the 1 yard line.Formation: Strong Right (TE Higbee, FL Kupp), single RB
Gurley Youth Gabe
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, Goff over center.Cardinals’ Defense: Modified
goaline defense with both DTs in A gaps and LB Bynes and S Benwikere shading the
inside of the B gaps. NO MLB!Note: Steve Wilks had just called time out after
seeing the Rams’ formation.Play Call: 32 Dive (Right A gap) to GurleyResult:
Gurley 1 yard TD untouched. Cardinals’ Breakdown?* It’s an easy audible at the
line of scrimmage for Goff—-all he really needs to call is a QB sneak to his
right for an easy TD, but he calls the dive for Gurley just to be safe.DT
Nkemdiche gets easily dowblocked by RG Blythe Austin who has the perfect angle
on him—-in my way of thinking, Nkmediche was supposed to shoot that gap and
create inside havoc. But the way he took a dive on that play suggests that he
was coached to do that. There is NO MLB, and S Benwikere does not react to the
RG’s down block to fill the A gap (which HAS to be his KEY on the play) and
instead he gets easily blocked by T Rob Havenstein. Thus, Gurley is able to
strut right through the hole untouched.Note: it is mind-boggling that Wilks, in
this critical situation (after wisely calling a timeout), called for this highly
unusual and gift-wrapped goaline alignment—-made even worse by having a small
safety(Benwikere) be the closest defender to the hole. Even if Benwikere got to
the hole as one would hope that he was supposed to, the bigger, stronger Gurley
would likely have run him over.Comment—-there are things to teach and build on
here—-it’s not all bad (some players are doing their jobs and the Cardinals
under Wilks are trying to play physical)—-but, as we can see, when a crucial
player breaks down and misses his key or his assignment, the pendulum swings
widely in Gurley’s and the Rams’ favor. This is exactly what Steve Wilks is
talking about when he talks about “gap integrity.”
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