REAR ENTRIES: Figuring It Out
October 04, 2012 at 09:36am by Scott • 1 Comment »
BARTH GETS PROPS: If you had to pick an MVP for the first quarter of the season, you’d have to give strong consideration to Connor Barth, which might make some of the guys who actually make contact on every play a little upset, but it’s the truth. Placekicking is an all or nothing game. If he had missed a couple key field goals, no one would have a problem making him the goat of the first quarter, so he should also get the credit when he is doing well. This article is about Barth’s preparation and kicking process and gives more attention to the position than it gets in a full season. Here’s the best part of it:
“I’m not an expert on kicking,” said Schiano. “I know just enough to be dangerous. But I also know enough to stay away from him and let him keep doing what he’s doing.”
Exactly. Let him have the mustache and the yoga and the goat’s blood (I may have imagined that last one) and get out of his way.
TRUEBLOOD INACTIVE: It’s not often you see a five-year starter inactive when healthy, but that’s what’s happening to Jeremy Trueblood now. Demar Dotson is entrenched as the starter at right tackle and Trueblood wasn’t even active as a backup. He explains why.
“I’m a right tackle,” Trueblood said. “That’s just what it is. I’ve never played anything else. (Schiano) told me straight up. He said, ‘The other guy (Jamon Meredith) can play guard and tackle, so you’re inactive.’ I can’t question a man’s decision.”
No, I guess he can’t. And Trueblood is being a good teammate about it. I looked at the roster and the only backup linemen they had active were Meredith and Cody Wallace, who plays both guard and center. So Schiano’s lineup makes sense as long as Meredith is also the superior guard to Wallace. If Meredith gets hurt, they’ll definitely activate Trueblood to start the following week. But Trueblood is very likely looking at his last season in Tampa. And that’s a shame because I’ve still got a whole file full of false start jokes.
STEVE WHITE BREAKDOWN: Ask and ye shall receive. After wondering how the breakdown in the last drive of the Redskins game happened and who was to blame, Steve White laid it all out very neatly (with photos!) in a blog entry. On the tight end pass, he shows what happens but can’t tell who the guilty party is. But on the quarterback run up the middle, he makes it more clear even if in the end he still clams he doesn’t know who is right or wrong.
Remember again that with a zone blitz that the blitzer comes from one side and the defensive line slants in the opposite direction. Well the defensive linemen all slanted to the right this time but there was no blitzer coming from their left (red line).
Instead Ronde (again blue arrow)came up and appeared to be blitzing from the right (orange line) which is the same direction the defensive linemen were slanting towards.
Complicating matters further is that the right defensive end (red arrow) dropped (red line) as a curl/flat defender as he would if the blitz was supposed to come to the left. So even if Ronde was just coming up to cover the running back as he eventually did, there was no need for him to be there in coverage.
So at least the scheme indicates that Ronde should have come from the other side. Now, Ronde is a 16-year veteran and knows how and where to blitz, but he’s also new to this scheme and new to his safety position. So maybe he just screwed up. It happens. White also takes a second to lay a little blame on the coaches for the call. Not much, but he does mention it.
I don’t know how much the Bucs practice two minute drill during the week but the only blitzes you run during such a critical time of the game are the ones the players have shown you they know in their sleep. There is no excuse for this happening not once, but twice, at the end of the game.
If the blitz had worked and RGIII was sacked on that play, the call would have been brilliant and we’d all be praising Schiano for maintaining his aggression even through the last second. As it is, people are calling him too aggressive and pounding him for blitzing too much. But we’ve seen lots of examples where defenses sit back soft and the quarterback just picks them apart underneath. The Redskins only needed a field goal and they had plenty of time to get there (and that clock management bullshit is totally on Schiano) so he wanted to put the game in his hands and live or die on his own terms. And this time he died by them. But I at least respect going down swinging and I think others do as well.
But make no mistake, that kind of feeling doesn’t last long if you don’t get a few wins using that strategy. It’s a short step from aggressive to foolish.