Category Archives: Film Study

21

August

Word Of Hobbes: David Bakhtiari Redux

A pretty interesting debate came up during my last post, namely how to grade offensive linemen.  My personal opinion is that grading on the same play limits the variables that influence a offensive lineman’s performance, i.e. getting beat on a long developing play is less damning than on a short play, getting beat on 1st and 5 is different than getting beat on 3rd and 5 etc. etc.  However I can see the other side of the coin that says it’s more important to factor in who the linemen are blocking.  Obviously blocking Erik Walden doesn’t mean as much as blocking Clay Matthews.  I will say I see both sides of the argument and in an effort to analyze left tackle David Bakhtiari more, I’ve decided to run another “Word Of Muth” style article this time showing him giving up a sack in the 2nd preseason game against the St. Louis Rams.

Screen shot 2013-08-20 at 8.07.53 AM

The Packers are just outside the redzone on 3rd and 5 at the Rams 22 and are obviously are looking for the touchdown.  The Packers come out in a 311 package (3WR-1TE-1RB) with tight end Jermichael Finley lined up inline next to left tackle David Bakhtiari and running back Eddie Lacy lined up to the right of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.  As we are again focusing on offensive line play, all that’s really important is that Bakhtiari is lined up against Robert Quinn and Don Barclay is lined up against Chris Long.  While Lacy ultimately chips Chris Long, Finley immediately goes out on his route and therefore is not important to the blocking scheme.

Interestingly, Bakhtiari has chosen to start with a very tall 2-point stance; compare the location of Bakhtiari’s helmet to Barclay’s (they are both listed at 6’4″) to get an idea what I’m talking about.  Obviously the taller a linemen starts, the less power from their legs they are able to generate, so either this is simply a mistake on Bakhtiari or he’s confused/worried about something and has popped his head up to see what’s going on.

Screen shot 2013-08-20 at 8.08.13 AM

With his assignment being Quinn lined up at the wide 9 technique (basically heads up from Jermichael Finley), Bakhtiari knows he has to kick out hard in order to meet Quinn before he gets enough depth to flatten out and head straight for the quarterback.  My initial impression is that Bakhtiari is expecting a full on speed rush, which in my opinion is a logical conclusion; it’s 3rd and 5, Quinn lined up at the wide 9 and has good speed to turn the corner.

20

August

Packers – Rams Video Second Look: Offensive Line

Packers offensive line.There were a few things I noticed while watching the first string offensive line as they were blocking for the rather impressive Eddie Lacy. I mentioned a few in my “First Impressions” post, where I give my initial observations without rewinding. It’s a little game I like to play, a way of testing if my perception of what is happening during the game is accurate or not.

I normally get the answers when I go back and watch the game a second time, this time with the benefit of rewind at will.

Time permitting, I’m going to try to pick one or two of those first impressions and look at them together with you, in video form, every week.

Today’s topic is the offensive line’s run blocking. Although Eddie Lacy had some impressive gains, I was noticing Packers offensive linemen getting pushed into the backfield on several occasions, especially Evan Dietrich Smith and TJ Lang.

In this first video, Lacy breaks off an 8 yard run, but no thanks to Evan Dietrich-Smith (EDS), who can not handle the speed of the gap-shooting DL. Lacy. Matthew Mulligan is also beat badly, and Lacy is confronted with two ST. Louis DL in his path, two yards deep in the backfield. For another running back, this is a loss of a few yards. But thanks to his much-renowned spin move, Lacy gets away from that trouble, breaks a tackle past the line of scrimmage and then plows through a few more defenders for some extra yards. It’s good to have a real running back, isn’t it?

(Note: I slowed the play down in the second part of this video. I also recommend using the pause button to stop the action at various points to get a better idea of what is happening.)

 

12

August

Word of Hobbes: Marshall Newhouse and David Bakhtiari

One of the best football writers out there is Ben Muth; many people claim not to know much about offensive line play, but this man obviously is not one of them.  If you don’t follow or read his stuff, stop reading this article and head over there now,  you’ll thank me later.  In a little bit of a homage, I’ve decided to do a “Word of Hobbes” on the Packers preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals.  I choose Aaron Rodgers’ 50 yard bomb to James Jones not because it was a big play, but because Rodger’s held on to the ball longer than he probably should have, thus forcing the offensive linemen to hold their blocks a lot longer, which exposes technique and athleticism.

Screen shot 2013-08-11 at 8.10.11 AM

The Packers are in a 3-1-1 personnel group (3 WR-1TE-1RB), although since we are looking at offensive tackle play this is largely unimportant; perhaps the most important thing to note about the receivers is that neither the tight end nor the running back are responsible for any blocking assignment, both immediately go out on their routes without chipping or really trying to influence the defensive line.  So for all intents and purposes this is a straight 5 OL vs 4 DL battle. As this is the preseason, you aren’t going to see many complicated stunts or exotic blitzes, so really it’s a 1 on 1 battle with rookie left tackle David Bakhtiari vs. Matt Shaughnessy and right tackle Marshall Newhouse vs. Calais Campbell.  Also keep in mind Newhouse has the bigger issue on his hands as Campbell is a considerably better pass rusher than Shaughnessy and is also huge at 6’8″

Untitled1_0000_Screen shot 2013-08-11 at 8.13.46 AM.png

Immediately after the snap Campbell goes for a swim move, and Newhouse makes matters worse by completely whiffing on his initial punch with his right arm (which you can see is at Campbell’s left arm instead of on his frame).  Shaughnessy on the other hand opts to go with a pure speed pass rush, either hoping to outrun or outturn Bakhtiari to the quarterback.  However Bakhtiari easily matches Shaughnessy with his kick slide.  Also notice how much lower Bakhtiari and how much more his hips are sinked compared to Newhouse, who due to his whiffed punch now is up close with Campbell

Untitled-2a

10

August

Rooting for Johnny Jolly and Rehabilitation

Johnny Jolly vs. Arizona Cardinals

Johnny Jolly displays some playmaking ability against the Arizona Cardinals in preseason action.

I have never had first-hand experiences with drugs or drug abuse. I’m proud to say that not once in my life have I ever used tobacco products, smoked pot, or used illegal drugs. I’m also thankful to say that I am surrounded by family and friends who don’t abuse drugs or alcohol. So on a personal level, I don’t fully understand the struggles that drug addicts in PA, NJ or any state deal with on a daily basis; however, I do know about them. And I understand it’s not an easy battle to fight.

Johnny Jolly’s story is well known among Green Bay Packers fans and most NFL fans. He was drafted by the Packers in 2006 during the sixth round, and it didn’t take long for him to prove that he was a steal at that spot. Unfortunately, he was arrested for codeine possession on July 8, 2008. Charges were dismissed soon after, stemming from the police obtaining new drug measuring equipment, yet they were refiled in December 2009.

Two years after his initial arrest, with Jolly’s trial finally approaching, the NFL suspended him indefinitely. Jolly was arrested again on Match 25, 2011, for possession of and intent to distribute 600 grams of codeine. That November he was sentenced to six years of prison for violation of his probation.

Six months later, Johnny Jolly was granted early release with a1 0-year shock probation, and almost a year later he was granted reinstatement to the NFL. Now, three years after his suspension, he is back with the Green Bay Packers, rehabilitated and fighting for his career.

Fans have responded to his personal and legal problems with a wide mixture of opinion and support. There was plenty of initial frustration with him throwing his life and promising career away simply for drugs and “purple drank.” There was compassion by some for his addiction, because they knew it’s not an easy thing to deal with. There was rejection by those who felt Jolly wasn’t taking responsibility for his actions, especially after the second arrest.

But now there seems to be a lot of growing support for his rehabilitation and a spot on the team.

FIGHTING DRUG ADDICTION

12

July

Packers Undrafted Rookie Scouting Report: Tyrone Walker, WR Illinois State

Player Information:

  • Tyrone Walker, WR Illinois State
  • 5’10”/191 lbs
  • Hometown – Indianapolis, Indiana

Pro Day:

  • 40 yard: 4.59
  • 20 yard: 2.64
  • 10 yard: 1.60
  • Bench: 11
  • Vertical: 39
  • Broad: 129”
  • Shuttle: 4.41
  • 3-cone: 6.99

Introduction:

Walker is the latest player to come out of the Packers farm team, also known as Illinois State but whose road was harder than even his teammates.  He saw defensive end Nate Palmer selected in the 6th round by the Packers and then heard that his quarterback, Matt Brown signed as a priority rookie free agent (i.e. a player that signs immediately after the draft finishes).  Walker however, was only asked to come in as one of 27 try out players looking to snag on of the last spots on the 90-man roster.  Walker apparently showed enough during the tryouts and was signed to a contract and perhaps even more surprising was he recently caught the attention of one of the guys throwing the football.

Outside Analysis:

Draft Insider: Dependable small-school receiver with poor size/speed numbers. Comes back to the ball out of breaks, easily adjusts to errant throws, and makes the reception in stride. Fights with his hands to separate from defenders, displays outstanding hand/eye coordination, and competes to make receptions. Stays in bounds running after the catch and gives effort trying to pick up positive yardage.

Aaron Rodgers: Tyrone reminds me of Antonio Chatman, who not many people know I actually played with. But Deuce had very similar size and agility but he was a good route runner, very good in and out of his breaks. And I see that with Walker. I think he has very good hands, he’s a good route runner and I think he has a chance to be a good player in this league.

Video:

Analysis:

  • Keep in mind this video only shows catches, not drops.
  • Also keep in mind this is from 2011, but Walker increased his production in 2012.
  • Not a burner by any means but definitely quick enough
  • Good awareness, knows what’s going on in coverage and down and distance
  • Often motioned to the slot, probably will make his career at slot initially, runs good intermediate routes and can find the soft spots in coverage.
10

July

Packers Undrafted Rookie Scouting Report: Patrick Lewis, OC Texas A&M

Player Information:

  • Patrick Lewis, OC Texas A&M
  • 6’1”/311 lbs
  • Hometown – Reserve, Louisiana

Pro Day:

  • 40 yard: 5.28
  • 20 yard: 3.04
  • 10 yard: 1.84
  • Bench: 25
  • Vertical: 29
  • Broad: 96”
  • Shuttle: 4.93
  • 3-cone: 8.01

Introduction:

The Packers are in desperate need of center depth; while it seems like the Packers are pretty content to go ahead with Evan Dietrich-Smith as their starting center, they haven’t signed him to a long term deal yet, meaning they still want to see a full year’s worth of play from EDS before fully committing to him.  Behind him isn’t much either, outside of Lewis,  1st year player Garth Gerhart is the only other center, although several other players such as Greg Van Roten might also be in the mix .

Outside Analysis:

TFY Draft Insider:  Short, squat small-area blocker who plays with tremendous quickness. Fires off the snap and works his hands throughout the play. Keeps his knees bent and shows the ability to adjust. Works well with linemates and effectively quarterbacks the offensive line. Displays a good understanding for the position, quick to the second level, and displays skill blocking in motion.

Video:

Analysis:

  • A little hesitant at the second level if there’s no one in front of him
  • Doesn’t have the quickest feet, seems to have limited flexibility as well
  • Has some issues with bulrushes, especially when pass blocking
  • Much better run blocker than pass blocker
  • Can definitely shotgun snap, can he snap the ball in a pro offense?
  • Pro day numbers are pretty underwhelming, especially the bench

 

Packers rationale:  Lewis strikes me as a prototypical camp body.  He won’t get a team killed if he’s forced into action, but it’s unlikely that he’ll ever be the preferred starter.  His physical limitations of poor foot speed and functional strength are likely to be exposed at the pro level to the point where his good technique can no longer compensate.  In particular, with many defenses employing a 3-4 defense with a mammoth 0-technique nose tackle, being able to stop a bull rush as a center is becoming more and more important.  Perhaps the biggest indication of his ability to stick on the team or practice squad will be his ability to play guard (especially considering offensive linemen rarely play on special teams); the Packers typically only keep one interior offensive linemen and while playing guard should be easier to play than center in the Packers offense, it isn’t exactly apples to oranges.

8

July

Packers Undrafted Rookie Scouting Report: Angelo Pease, RB K-State

I had so much fun doing player profiles for the 2013 draft I figured that I should give the undrafted rookies the same treatment; after all, since they are definitely on the Packers roster, why take a closer look going into to training camp.  So far I’ve done video analysis on Pease, Lane Taylor, Tyrone Walker and Patrick Lewis, but I’m open to doing more if commenters have requests, however, since most of these guys are from small schools or relatively unknown, finding quality tape on them has been quite difficult.

Player Information:

  • Angelo Pease, RB K-State
  • 5’10”/211 lbs
  • Hometown – Cairo, Georgia

 

Pro Day:

  • 40 yard: 4.50
  • 20 yard: 2.57
  • 10 yard: 1.62
  • Bench: 25
  • Vertical: 32
  • Broad:113
  • Shuttle: 4.44
  • 3-cone: 7.08

 

Introduction:

While many fans were exuberant when the Packers draft not one but two running backs in the draft in Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin, it was actually the undrafted rookie running back that made a name for himself during the rookie camp.  Angelo Pease even got the notice of head coach Mike McCarthy: “That’s a big time cut.  Frankly I thought it was Eddie Lacy, the way he dropped his weight and hit the hole.  Those are the things we’re looking for.”  Of course, flashing in shorts against a bunch of guys with zero NFL experience has to be taken with a grain of salt, but the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel recently predicted that Pease could land on the practice squad, if not the 53 man roster itself.

Media Analysis:

None.  Talk about under the radar

 

Video:

Analysis:

  • The jump cut is his best move and he loves to use it, even sometimes at the expense of yardage and losing momentum
  • Definitely not a focal point of the offense, only 96 carries in his college career
  • Good blocker given K-States’ spread offense; whether he knows how to pick up the blitz in a west coast offense is a different issue
  • Has experience as a wildcat quarterback, take that for what its worth.  As a former quarterback in high school I’m not surprised he looks a lot more at ease playing quarterback than at running back.