View Full Version : Inside look at Texans Steelers

11-16-2011, 04:17 PM
Pretty cool stuff here, definitely encourage the read:
A TEXANS GAME PLAN STARTS with blank walls in a dimly lit, windowless bunker inside Reliant Stadium. The room has one desk, three chairs, a computer and a flat-screen TV. All four walls, from floor to ceiling, are covered in whiteboard. On this Monday night, as with every Monday night, Houston quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp uncaps a blue marker and fills the walls with notes for quarterback Matt Schaub about the next opponent, in this case the Steelers. Knapp, who is tall and bulky, with dark hair feathered back in the style of his boss, head coach Gary Kubiak, doesn't begin with X's and O's. In fact, he might never draw X's and O's with his marker. He doesn't need to. The X's and O's are contained in code.

Some of the lingo is standard West Coast offense jargon. "Tiger" is a two-tight-ends, one-back formation; "ZEB" stands for Zebra, a three-receiver set; "EAG " is short for Eagle, a four-receiver look. When noting Steelers blitz packages, Knapp writes in Texans-specific dialect: a SAW is a Sam and Will linebacker blitz; a WAP is a blitz involving the Will and "Plug," the team's term for a weakside, inside 3-4 linebacker.
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PS: We made the cover of ESPN the magazine (with the steelers)

11-16-2011, 04:59 PM
Pretty cool stuff here, definitely encourage the read:


This one was an especially good read.
Pittsburgh is starting its fourth offensive line combo in as many weeks. Guarding Ben Roethlisberger's blind side is backup left tackle Trai Essex, a seven-year vet. By the third quarter, Roethlisberger is fed up with visits from Houston defenders. "We need to talk!" he barks at Essex as they head toward the bench. The quarterback plops down next to all of his linemen and yells, "What's done is done. Sacks are a team negative." When he walks away, the line stays put -- and seems to all game -- as Houston racks up five sacks and eight QB hurries.

11-16-2011, 05:01 PM
Nice reads!

I see that Kubiak haven't changed the terminology since the Broncos days.

This is what I saw in their 2004 playbook:

TIGER formations:
A second TE (the TIGER man) has entered the game instead of the FB
(the standard formation is a one TE, 2-receiver, a FB and a RB).

ZEBRA formations:
A third wide receiver (the ZEBRA man) has entered the game in place of the FB.

EAGLE formations:
4 wide receivers / 1 back

There are other formations like the U formations (a second TE in place of the X receiver), the Ugoaline (a second and third TE replacing the two receivers), the E formations (3 receivers, 2 backs), the TREY formations (3 TEs, 1 back, plus the Z receiver).

11-16-2011, 06:57 PM
Thanks for the peek behind the curtains....