I initially wanted my first post to be about Manning and the offense because I'm such a fan of the Hall of Fame QB. Maybe in the near future, who knows. Then I figured I'd post about the Broncos inept running game. But at the time, if I would've mentioned the other Peyton, I might have gotten laughed off this site and asked never too return(I still think he would be good for Denver but I'll save that arguments for comments). In both instances I feel I would be 'Preaching to the Choir' per say. We know Manning is good, we know the running game can be better. But as I commented today about the Chiefs game against the Eagles, a light bulb went off. I think there's a way to get Trindon involved and negate the weakness on the blindside. Spread em out!
I got a friend who just recently started coaching High School football(he's the Offensive Coordinator). He pretty much adopted Chip Kelly's philosophy/schemes and is trying to incorporate them with the athletic talent his team has, but is in a battle with the head coach whose philosophy is more ground and pound. He gripes all the time about how the line they have cant keep the QB upright, nor get enough push to generate a consistent threat in the running game. He told me, "I have a D-1 caliber QB, that hands the ball off all day because our line cant block". When I asked what he would do in terms of a remedy he said, "I would spread em out". I figured, how would that work to protect the QB when they cant block anyway. You shouldn't take blockers off the field, you should add them. Didn't make sense. When he elaborated the picture became clearer. "If you spread em out, they have to match up. If they don't, pick em apart all day. Its not like they want a LB matched up on a receiver. And if they blitz, throw the hot route. Regardless I want ball out quick, and the defense on their heals reacting oppose to attacking". Rec'd.
Last night as I'm watching the game, the Chiefs were in a 3rd and 15. The Eagles defense to that point had looked pretty good but it was early. If I can recall they were in 5 wide, and the Eagles matched up defensively. I don't think they went man across the board, but they did have their safeties with their heals on the 1st down marker. They ran a play to Donnie Avery that was like a crossing route, with the other 4 available receivers going up the field to block. The commentator pointed out, "That was like a screen play down field" with the receiver getting a simple, easy pass in space DOWN the field(may I reiterate on 3rd and 15). They ran a similar play out of a bunch with I think 4 receivers, and maybe a TE with the results being a 41 yard gain. Donnie Avery lit up the Eagles defense to the tune of 140+ on 7 catches.
Last week I noticed on Trindon's punt return for a TD, his strength is similar to Welker's. Their ability to accelerate, and decelerate is almost unmatched, Trindon just has the top end speed to go with it. He's not laterally quick side to side like a McCoy juke, or even a Welker route, but he can stop on a dime and hit top speed to another direction in the blink of an eye. The coaching staff readily admitted he's not a seasoned routed runner, nor does he have outstanding hands. But they also admit, you get this kid in space, and its magic. If Trindon sees any time on O, its likely to be for a seam route, or a screen route. Nothing complicated, just get him in space.
Its a copy cat league, and Denver has adopted the "Nascar" philosophy and ran with it. I hope the same goes for this play. Because to me it's more than just a 5 wide drag route play, its defensive manipulation. You see something favorable, you can changed the personnel and formation to fit where you have an advantage. So by no means am I saying abandon the run, or take Julius off the field, or run 5 wide the entire quarter(though it would work). But make no mistake, if Peyton Manning, comes to the line, with FIVE wide outs(or Julius), those safeties are dropping back. I don't think a team would dare run a single high, or Cover 3 on this line up(so they can only Cover 2 or go Man). The corners wont blitz for fear of leaving open a hot route. There wont be more than TWO LB's on the field(sorry 3-4, Ware, and Hali) because heaven knows Manning will go right after him. Especially if they blitz/rush him. Everyone suggest conventional to mask Clady's injury. Less Welker/Decker, more TE's. I say go unconventional. Spread em Out!
P.S. If you leave Julius in, you can motion him to the blindside and have him throw blocks before he runs routes a la Suggs(game 1 vs Ravens). I call that an IHOP!