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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


All22 Breakdown: “Stick Nod”

Nov 20, 2015 at 8:51 AM


The television broadcast view may not always show what happens in the defensive backfield with the camera framing so tight on the the pocket. Using the coaches film that shows all 22 players, we can dissect the coverage used by the defense and the route concepts used by the offense to get a better understanding of how a play unfolded.

Blaine Gabbert threw two touchdown passes to Garrett Celek on the day. This is a breakdown of the second touchdown catch. To get a sense of how this catch was set up, there are two plays that occurred earlier in the game that require mentioning.

2nd Quarter, 1st and 20 – A gain of 12 yards for Shaun Draughn

This play occurred on the offensive drive that resulted in a field goal.



2nd Quarter, 1st and 10 – A gain of 7 yards for Draughn

This is the opening play of the drive that resulted in Celek's second touchdown catch.



Both of these plays had Shaun Draughn executing an Angle route, also known as a 'Texas' route. This route is diagrammed below with the "F" running back.



2nd Quarter, 3rd and 6 – Stick-Nod versus Cover 4

The 49ers dial up an 'angle-pivot' route for Draughn, to go with a 'Stick-Nod' route from Celek on the weakside of the formation. An angle-pivot route will have Draughn run an angle route, then pivot to break towards the sideline. Stick-Nod is a route that requires a double move where Celek will fake a Stick route, then head straight into the seam of the coverage.



Cover 4 is a zone coverage with 3 underneath zone defenders and 4 deep zone defenders. Since this is in the red zone and it's 3rd down, the Falcons are looking to protect the goal line with the 4 deep defenders (blue) while the 3 underneath defenders (orange) provide shallow coverage. The defenders to keep an eye on are the yellow cornerback, the orange linebacker, and the black linebacker.



Draughn releases into his route. It looks like another Texas route, which Draughn has already used to catch two passes earlier in the game. The red LB jumps up to cover what he thinks is another Texas route. Celek is entering his double move. Celek head fakes as if to run a Stick route. This freezes the yellow CB who thinks Celek is about to break to the outside, towards the sideline.

To the strongside of the formation, Vance McDonald's route draws the attention of the black LB as he faces the strongside of the passing formation – the side with three route runners.



The combination of McDonald drawing the attention of the black LB, and Celek's double move causing the yellow CB to take a false step, provides a seam for Celek to work his route. Draughn's route draws the red LB forward. When Draughn pivots his route, it takes the red LB towards the sideline to provide a throwing lane for Gabbert. Five step timing with a hitch step - shotgun snap equals 2 steps + a 3 step dropback - Gabbert is mid windup.



Touchdown!



The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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