2012 Denver Broncos Season Review: Covering the TE Part 3

Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

We're almost to the finish line MHR!

If you've missed this series thus far, I am taking an in depth look at how our Broncos did covering the TE over the course of 2012. Take some time to go back to Part 1 and Part 2 if necessary.

Every time a TE was targeted, the play will be analyzed here. I will give you the player in coverage, how they were covering (zone or man---this is only indicative of how that specific defender was covering and has no bearing on the coverage scheme at large), the result, and a brief explanation. Without further adieu, here are games 9-12 of the regular season.

@ Carolina

TE

Coverage

Down

Result

Analysis

G. Olsen

T. Carter

(Zone)

2-8

26 yd rec

Two man route with Steve Smith taking the coverage deep and Olsen running a deep out. Harris initially looks like he's staying with Olsen and comes off him to take the deep route. Carter goes deep as well. After seeing a few more plays I realize Chris Harris is actually playing safety, this is on Carter for leaving the right sideline open.

G. Olsen

C. Harris

(Zone)

2-7

16 yd rec

Zone across the board, Harris is playing safety they are in Cover 2. Olsen finds a soft spot in the zone and Harris reacts a little bit late.

G. Olsen

W. Woodyard

(Zone)

1-5

5 yd TD rec

Playfake, Woodyard gets his head stuck in backfield, Olsen comes back across the formation on a screen, wide open TD.

G. Olsen

C. Harris

(Zone)

3-18

8 yd rec

Broncos are playing Cover 3, Olsen starts in the backfield. Once he realizes there is no rush he goes into the flat. Harris redirected his man downfield but gets his back turned to the QB---in fairness to him everyone is protecting deep. Who cares if Olsen gets a catch in the flat, they all have the speed to keep it from becoming a first down play.

G. Olsen

D. Trevathan

(Zone)

1-10

Incomplete

Danny gets a hand on the outside shoulder and recognizes the route instantly (short out). Danny deflects the ball incomplete.

G. Olsen

T. Carter

(Zone)

2-6

4 yd rec

Carter is playing zone in the left flat, has good recognition and stops the play for a short gain.

G. Olsen

M. Adams

(Zone)

1-10

13 yd rec

Adams is the deep safety and gets caught in no man's land with Olsen finding the soft spot in the zone.

G. Olsen

W. Woodyard

(Man)

1-10

8 yd rec

Woodyard is just a step slower and goes for the tip but whiffs. 5 yd out.

G. Olsen

Busted

1-10

18 yd rec

Von Jams Olsen on the snap but then releases him as if he is playing zone. Problem is the safety and outside corners signal cover 3.

G. Olsen

R. Moore

(Man)

2-goal

5 yd TD rec

Broncos blitz, Moore shows outside leverage and Olsen runs a quick cross. Moore sees the play right away but is just at such a disadvantage due to the blitz. To his credit he almost stops Olsen short of the goalline.

G. Barnidge

C. Harris

(Zone)

1-10

8 yd rec

Again, this is more a product of scheme than player, zone protecting deep.

I am actually encouraged by what I see here. We all know how much Del Rio likes to man up, but this just shows his awareness for the game. You don't play man against a QB like Newton because you end up with defenders' backs to the QB which is when his rushing ability is most dangerous. It was really weird seeing Harris play safety at the beginning of the game, not sure if they were trying something new or if someone got dinged up (did not see evidence of that in play by play). My guess is they were trying something new as you will usually see a backup like Leonard come into the game for injury. Ugly game statistically, but when you realize the Broncos D shut everything else down you can be ok with letting the TE get some numbers.

vs. San Diego

TE

Coverage

Down

Result

Analysis

A. Gates

W. Woodyard

(Zone)

2-9

13 yd rec

Just a good call against our coverage. Woodyard has the flat and the area between the hash and numbers where Gates squats. You seeing a theme here? TE's are killing us in zone coverage.

A. Gates

W.Woodyard (zone) Chris Harris (Man) bracket

2-10

Incomplete

Harris takes Gates from the get go. Woodyard is sitting in zone over the middle. The pressure gets there and forces Rivers to throw into ground. It's a throwaway, if he tries to complete it Broncos would have an INT.

L. Green

W.Woodyard/T. Carter

(Zone)

3-13

12 yd rec

This is another case of the Broncos protecting deep. Neither player did anything wrong. Woodyard dropped deep middle like in a Tampa 2 type scheme and Carter was protecting the 1st down marker on the right side. Green ran an intermediate crossing route. Good tackling kept it from being a 1st down.

L. Green

D. Bruton

(Zone)

3-11

9 yd gain

Bruton is sitting in zone and recognizes the route immediately, flies to the ball and wraps up for a good stop.

A. Gates

C. Harris

(Man)

3-6

Incomplete

Beautiful recognition, breaks on the ball and deflects it incomplete.

R. McMichael

R. Ayers

(Zone)

2-10

Incomplete

McMichael runs a crossing route into two linebackers playing zone. Ayers drops into coverage from the right side (standing up at end) right from the snap. Rivers throws it away.

A. Gates

None

2-8

4 yd rec

This is a screen. Gates blocks Doom momentarily than disengages. To Doom's credit though he gets caught, he makes the tackle downfield after only a 4 yd gain.

L. Green

C. Bailey

(Zone)

1-10

4 yd rec

End of the game, the Broncos are playing deep zone, Green catches one in the flat and is forced out of bounds by Champ.

Solid game by the defense overall on TE. One thing I'm noticing is more coverage of them by Chris Harris. Also in the last two games, Mike Adams has not been called on much. The reason being our safeties seem to be playing more deep and the TE patters have mostly been crossers or short/intermediate outs. This is a tactical error on opposing offenses, they are not stretching the seams with verticles and a TE.

@ Kansas City

TE

Coverage

Down

Result

Analysis

T. Moeaki

W. Woodyard

(Zone)

3-4

19 yd rec

Bad play by Wes. He sits in zone while Moeaki runs a quick out. Everyone else blitzed or bailed in man. He has to know there is no one in the flat to cover it.

T. Moeaki

None

(Blitz)

3-10

21 yd rec

Broncos run an overload to the left side of the offense where Moeaki is lined up. On the outside Carter has man coverage and his man runs a square in. Moeaki runs a short curl and the traffic keeps the LB in the middle of the field from getting over for the stop. If at all possible, this is why you throw to the vacated area when the defense blitzes.

Gotta love the Chiefs and checkdown Charlie. These are the only two TE targets to analyze in the whole game bwahahahaha!

@ Oakland

TE

Coverage

Down

Result

Analysis

B. Myers

C. Bailey

(Man)

1-10

Bailey INT

Myers tries to run a double move, then cuts up the seam. Champ doesn't bite and Palmer throws it anyway. Easy INT.

B. Myers

DJ Williams

(Zone)

1-10

7 yd rec

DJ is playing zone in the middle. Myers runs a short curl to his left. He is slow to react.

The Raiders run more three receiver sets and Palmer hardly ever targets the TE's with as many times as he throws the ball. This is DJ's first target to date and he was a bit rusty.

I usually provide an overall chart with individual numbers and numbers by position group. As the data is becoming quite a bit at this point, I will hold off until the final post. There you have it MHR, shoot me any questions in the comments!

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