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How will defenses gameplan against Troy Smith?

Mods, you can merge with the Troy Smith Trolley, I suppose, but maybe this thread can stand separately as a specific discussion of how opposing D's will try to neutralize Troy Smith and force us into the same predictable run, run, up the middle, pass, punt offense we all know and love. Opposing D's now have two games worth of film to get a good look at him.

Just off the top of my head:

Opposing D-linemen will make specific efforts to jump and try to block his passes instead of straight rushes all the time. If they manage to deflect 2-4 passes, one can be a backbreaker pick 6.

Deeper coverages along with outside LBs keeping him in the middle of the field. Force him to throw short-intermediate passes towards the middle where his passing lines become more obstructed.

Heavy blitzing because he holds the ball too long sometimes and his run of good luck will eventually run out and he starts to puts balls on the ground.


I'm no speculative chair-bound whiz on Defense so anybody with more exotic/creative ways out there?

You know it is coming, especially with Tampa which still has the DNA of a great defense. So we can blindly go with the hubris that Troy Smith will keep on piling up good numbers or acknowledge that opposing defenses will react to him and he'll come back to the middle of the pack, if not worse.

[ Edited by Bluefalcon61 on Nov 16, 2010 at 07:38:01 ]
He's seems tough to coach against and I'm not just saying that because he's one of our own.

He has no trouble with the short passes.

Many QBs have trouble throwing deep and constantly check down, which allows teams to cheat underneath and focus on the short stuff. Troy seems to prefer the deep pass, so they have to stay honest and play back.

He's mobile, so teams won't be able to drop their LBs back too far; otherwise, he'll be able to take off and pick up some easy yards.

He's good under pressure, but does hang on to the ball longer than he should at times. Teams should, and will, blitz him heavily at times, BUT they do that to everyone. I could see some delayed blitz (stunts) up the gaps working really well, but if he gets outside they're left pretty vulnerable.

I think teams will just keep doing what they have been and that's focus on Gore. I think DCs will be content with stopping the rush and forcing the young QB to beat them. So far, he's been doing it. Hopefully, it'll continue.

On a side note, I love how Johnson is mixing in the bootleg/sweep looks. That's classic Shannahan there and fits perfectly with our personnel.

[ Edited by strickac on Nov 16, 2010 at 07:54:40 ]
Defend the deep pass and gore will break your ass bone, play the run and Troy will rape your ass. I hope. We shall see.
I don't think there is large enough of a sample to really shutdown a particular part of his game. I would say they may just try and keep him in the pocket. He seems to be able to make them pay for blitzing, so I am not sure that is such a good idea.

In all reality, they will likely blitz him heavily with our patchwork OL and hope they can get pressure quickly enough before he makes his read.
its going to be a ugly game for both teams
Originally posted by Ajanke:
Defend the deep pass and gore will break your ass bone, play the run and Troy will rape your ass. I hope. We shall see.

This.

Seriously though, TB MUST defend the run because that is our bread and butter given how poorly they are against it. As the Rams found out, load the box and Troy will burn you. If it weren't for our own stupidity and lack of focus, we would have beaten them by more points.

Therefore, I expect TB to respect the pass now leaving more holes for Gore. I expect us to use the 13 formation with 3-WR and 1-RB creating wider lanes looking like we are passing. Instead, here comes Gore between the tackles.

I honestly think now we will attack more than not. Opposing defenses would be wise to still stop Gore. Good! That leave Troy with ample opportunities to go deep.

As we have seen first hand, he ain't afraid to go there.

Advantage, us!
I bet they try to prevent him on those roll outs. he's creepy accurate on those and they almost always go for a big gain. That's a huge difference I see from him and Alex. Besides his better mobility, pocket presence, and accuracy, lol, he never rolls out and throws it out of bounds ala Alex Smith's bread and butter.
I think teams will at least have to commit a safety to stop "the big pass play" however you want to break that down. Smith is passing for big chunks of yards so I agree with above poster that Gore will benefit but teams will probably still defend him closely.
Originally posted by SJniner7:
I don't think there is large enough of a sample to really shutdown a particular part of his game. I would say they may just try and keep him in the pocket. He seems to be able to make them pay for blitzing, so I am not sure that is such a good idea.

In all reality, they will likely blitz him heavily with our patchwork OL and hope they can get pressure quickly enough before he makes his read.

Me thinks you hit the nail on the head. The one problem with T.Smith is he is not getting rid of the ball quick enough.
Originally posted by NJNiner:
Originally posted by SJniner7:
I don't think there is large enough of a sample to really shutdown a particular part of his game. I would say they may just try and keep him in the pocket. He seems to be able to make them pay for blitzing, so I am not sure that is such a good idea.

In all reality, they will likely blitz him heavily with our patchwork OL and hope they can get pressure quickly enough before he makes his read.

Me thinks you hit the nail on the head. The one problem with T.Smith is he is not getting rid of the ball quick enough.
Originally posted by Ajanke:
Originally posted by NJNiner:
Originally posted by SJniner7:
I don't think there is large enough of a sample to really shutdown a particular part of his game. I would say they may just try and keep him in the pocket. He seems to be able to make them pay for blitzing, so I am not sure that is such a good idea.

In all reality, they will likely blitz him heavily with our patchwork OL and hope they can get pressure quickly enough before he makes his read.

Me thinks you hit the nail on the head. The one problem with T.Smith is he is not getting rid of the ball quick enough.

Exactly, If we can see this you better believe that D Coordinators see this as well. We are gonna see how good Troy Smith really is in the next couple of weeks
I don't know that opposing D's will assign a linebacker or safety to "bird-dog" Troy just yet, because he hasn't stepped up in the pocket and taken off for huge chunks (or has he?), but I think he's certainly well capable of doing so if he reads quickly enough.

Tampa may well do that next week in anticipation that Mike Johnson will put that wrinkle in this week to correct Troy holding the ball in the pocket too long.
Originally posted by valrod33:
Originally posted by Ajanke:
Originally posted by NJNiner:
Originally posted by SJniner7:
I don't think there is large enough of a sample to really shutdown a particular part of his game. I would say they may just try and keep him in the pocket. He seems to be able to make them pay for blitzing, so I am not sure that is such a good idea.

In all reality, they will likely blitz him heavily with our patchwork OL and hope they can get pressure quickly enough before he makes his read.

Me thinks you hit the nail on the head. The one problem with T.Smith is he is not getting rid of the ball quick enough.

Exactly, If we can see this you better believe that D Coordinators see this as well. We are gonna see how good Troy Smith really is in the next couple of weeks
maybe a couple more boot legs can counteract that blitz
Originally posted by Ajanke:
Originally posted by valrod33:
Originally posted by Ajanke:
Originally posted by NJNiner:
Originally posted by SJniner7:
I don't think there is large enough of a sample to really shutdown a particular part of his game. I would say they may just try and keep him in the pocket. He seems to be able to make them pay for blitzing, so I am not sure that is such a good idea.

In all reality, they will likely blitz him heavily with our patchwork OL and hope they can get pressure quickly enough before he makes his read.

Me thinks you hit the nail on the head. The one problem with T.Smith is he is not getting rid of the ball quick enough.

Exactly, If we can see this you better believe that D Coordinators see this as well. We are gonna see how good Troy Smith really is in the next couple of weeks
maybe a couple more boot legs can counteract that blitz

maybe some designed runs too, In Shotgun with no RBs in backfield let him drop back like he is gonna pass then have him take off
What did defenses in college do to stop him? The BCS title game?