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Re: Stephen Hill
OK, I will try one more game, if I can only finish it, because it's a little bit long.
I will try to counter the blogger SpredAloha, each of our take is obviously our own narrative. You can add them to your own or disregard both to form an opinion.
Week 4 vs. NC
To defend Ga Tech triple option, UNC sometimes brought the CB up to line, leaving the safety to defend any deep route from the receiver.
If the safety also bought the run, the receiver would run right past him.
Example One: 0:07 Seconds (based on the blogger's video)
(3rd and 15) Washington, T. pass complete to Hill, S. for 12 yards to the NC23 (Brown, C).
I'm going to go long with this one, even though it doesn't matter all that much at the end of the day.
I just want to say that I try to study both the offense and the defense; how they go at it on the particular play (if I was to study the QB, it would take even longer.)
The defense showed a cover 2 shell (2 deep safeties); however, with the LCB playing some 9 yards off the LOS, the D could end up playing 1/4 on play side.
The offense ran a cover-2 beater (that is also effective vs. cover 3 or cover 4).
Ga Tech flooded the outside zone with a Hi-Lo concept at work where the wide-out ran a deep route on an outside release requiring the LCB to sink deep or the safety coming over the top.
Tech then inserted Hill (from the slot) underneath near the side line with either an out route or a curl of some sort.
The mot inside receiver (lining up in the TE Y posiion) ran a crossing route to further distract the play side safety.
As all 3 LBs looked to play the run first (even on third and very long), when the 3 players on play side released, none of them followed , denoting some form of a zone coverage.
When a receiver saw zone coverage, they are (supposedly) taught to find the open space in the zone.
The first problem here was the wde-out who lined up on the line (2 yards ahead of Hill). He didn't burst off the line hard enough; notice that he was barely deeper than Hill 5 yards past the LOS and even seems to slow down as Hill made the cut.
He failed to induce the LCB to declare his coverage earlier (whether he would turn and run with the wide out in quarter coverage) or reacted back toward the flat/curl (if they were in cover 2, 5-under).
Secondly, the QB didn't do a great job either.
He could try to sell the underneath out-route to force the LCB to come back so that he (the QB) can fire the ball over the top to the wide-out, or he could get the ball to Hill sooner so his receiver can make a move in an attempt to beat the LCB in space for a first down.
As it was, the ball was late; Hill had to wait and wait for it to get there.
He reached out with both hands extending to catch the ball (good).
But since the ball was late, the CB had time to come back and made a good ankle tackle, preventing much YAC (about 2-3).
What might have happened if Hill had run hard 10 yards and made a sharp cut as the square out route requires?
Nothing differently, I don't think.
Due to the same execution by the wide-out and the QB, the CB would arrive to make the play just the same.
Rounding off the route a couple of yards early allowed Hill to get the open space in the zone early.
If the QB had gotten the ball to him right away, he would have a much better opportunity to make his move before the CB reacted and before the MLB had the chance to drop back into coverage.
I'm not sure whether Hill was required to run the route precisely at 10 yd or he was taught to adjust to coverage the way he did.
All I know is that by going with the latter, he had a chance to gain the first down (if the QB had delivered the ball a little sooner.)
Squaring up the route helps to push the safety back, but since the safety never attempted to play up close, it served no real purpose; the way I see it.
It made no difference to the CB who was the one who made the tackle.
For all we know, Hill might have been running a speed out and not a deep-out.
I've seen a triple-option playbook from Ga. Southern that calls for a speed-out up to 6 yards past the LOS (speed-out doesn't require a square cut.)
With Hill lining up 2 yards behind the LOS and being a tall receiver with long strides, his 5 steps took him to 7 yards, which is not much of a stretch.
The reason it looks like he was "shuffling" was because he wanted to settle in the zone; running further toward the side line would only bring him closer to the LCB.
I disagree with the blogger on the principle "if it's man coverage, you continue with the route, if it's zone, you find a place to sit in the soft spot".
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