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Week 1 2016 Rams Game coaches film analysis

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Alright, alright, alright!!! It's finally back, folks. Football in America is back!!!!!

Let's start off by saying, it's always better to evaluate a win than a loss - am I right or am I right????

The positives - we scored 28 points, we allowed 0. If you allow 0 points a game, you're gonna win every time. If you score 28 points, you're gonna win more than you lose, so, yay for us :)

Some take-aways from the film.

First, I'll talk about the QB play last, as that seems to be the biggest dividing issue, so we'll save that discussion for the end.

Rams D-line: Well, a lot has been made over the last couple years about the Rams defensive line. How good they are and how tough they are to play against. Some have said we "handled" them all game - not exactly true. This is a very talented defensive front and sometimes the good feelings after a win and some good chunk runs make things seem better than they were. That Rams d-line is no joke. They are legit and will give a lot of teams fits all year. Aaron Donald is as good as advertised, he was disruptive all game and not one of our O-lineman could move him off his spot, even in double-teams. This makes our 28 points that much more enjoyable though, that we were able to score that many points against a d-line that did handle their end, most of the game. I expect the Rams D to be much better throughout the year as the D-line should be able to hold up well and it allows them to play a converted SS at LB, which does make their coverage more effective.

Speaking of lines - our O-line: What was probably the best thing I saw all game, was what I didn't see: Marcus Martin. Having Kilgore back was huge for this offense. He didn't always get a great push, but he didn't give up a ton of ground and was solid all night long. The line calls seemed right and I didn't see a lot of missed blocks. Guys executed their jobs well and our O-lineman were able to get to the 2nd level when they should have. Overall, a very clean game by our O-line and vastly improved over last year.

Sticking with the lines - our D-line: They did a good job against the Rams rushing attack all night long, limiting the gurly man on his runs. One thing they did a really good job of was maintaining gap integrity. Dial and Purcell were probably the best at this throughout the night with Buckner coming in at 3rd. I was more impressed with Buckner than Armstead. Armstead flashed in a few plays, but is still raw. IMO, Buckner is actually farther along than Armstead is, at this point. I don't think this will be the year Armstead makes the big leap, if the light bulb comes on in year 3, he'll be a top tier player, but I see Buckner as the better player going forward. Buckner reminds me a lot of Marcel Darius out of Alabama who just got the big extension from the Bills. He can shut down run plays and his ability to move laterally with power and recognize pass setsvs run sets is pretty special for just his first game. If I had one critique, he needs to play to the whistle every down. He stopped pushing when a pile start happening a couple times and the Rams got a couple extra yards because of it. He only had one negative play that I saw, but it was covered up by an absolutely amazing play by Bowman(Buck got completely washed down on a run play).

Defense: I went in expecting to see a to of man-coverage from O'Neil's defense and came away pleasantly surprised to see a good mix of zone and man. It seems like we're putting a lot of players in different roles. We're gonna see probably 16 defenders get significant time this year in regular rotation. We used our personnel in good ways, giving guys specific roles. Armstead was in on passing downs much more than run downs. Hodges was playing the "TED" LB on run downs, Ray Ray came in on passing downs. At times, we moved Ward to the slot with Robinson playing outside corner. Other times, we brought in Tartt and moved Reid down into a slot area for a 3 safety nickel package.

RB's: Hyde showed, on several occasions, why so many are so high on him and believe he can be all-pro. He's got a special mix of size, speed, power and lateral quickness that can be scary. He showed better patience than he has in the past, but he needs to stick some runs up the middle more. He took too many 0 yard gains or negative yard gains where he could've had 2 yard gains. 3rd and 6 is a lot easier to convert than 3rd and 10. But, he still hasn't played 16 games as a starter and is still developing as a player. The talent is there.

Draughn continued to show his value. He's not the home-run hitter or explosive guy that Hyde is, but he's a productive back. He makes the most of his opportunities and wasn't afraid to get some gritty yards.

WR's: Our positive gains in the running game helped out our passing game. When we started to run the ball more effectively the Rams had to play more zone to keep defenders' eyes towards the run action. This helped because our receivers weren't able to do a whole lot against man-coverage. When they played man coverage the Rams defenders often tried to jam our receivers and usually did a good job. If we were in an obvious passing situation, you usually saw man-coverage and the open receivers were few and far between. There were even times when our receivers seemed to do things right, had inside leverage on an in breaking route, or outside leverage on an out-breaking route and still didn't win the battles. What will be key for our passing game this year is going to be a strong running attack. If we have to try and beat man-coverage a lot this year you're gonna see a lot of QB runs - no matter who our QB is.

Speaking of QB's
Blaine Gabbert - Blaine is a frustrating player to watch, kinda like Kap can be, but in different ways. There are times when he flashes that skill set that makes you see why the Jags took him 10th overall. Then, there are times when you scratch your head, wonder, "how in the world?" and say, "I don't know...."

I think there were times when the receivers and play-calling didn't help him out any. We went to the well too many times on a few plays, which one nearly resulted in a pick because the defender read the play as an exact play we'd beat em for 17 yards on just a little bit earlier. However, that wasn't why we had 13 in-completions.

He's frustrating because, most of the time, his reads are correct. He does seem to see the field well and make the proper key reads and is able to move through progressions quickly. He's got a very strong arm and can throw some very beautiful passes. Yet, then there are times when he rushes his mechanics, doesn't fully set his feet and drive through some throws. I'll give him a little slack on the 4th down screen pass, simply because when I looked at it from the endzone view, he hesitated on stepping into the throw because Draugh stepped right infront of him to pick up a block, but was right where he needed to step into with his front foot. Because he was trying to get the ball out so quick, he didn't let it develop - which was also partly on him. I understand you gotta get the ball out quick on those screens, but you also gotta do it in a smooth way.

Not sure what causes him to speed up on those things, don't know if it's adrenaline or what. That pass he overthrew to Kerley down the middle - C'mon man.... You gotta make those throws.... He puts a little touch on the ball, it's a TD. It reminds me of Aaron Rodgers first year as a starter, he'd do that stuff because he hadn't learned the touch and to process to throw the ball with touch yet. However, we're not talking about a guy who's in his first year as a starter. This is Blaine's 5th year and he's started quite a few games, he should have this down by now.

That rushing of some of the simple things makes you wonder if he has the mental make-up of the "it" factor. That factor that separates great QB's, especially in crunch time. You want to see them execute when under pressure just like they would in a summer practice with nothing at stake. Smooth. One thing Gabbert is not right now, smooth. He needs to hone in those mechanics of footwork and playing loose. If he can do that, he can be highly productive. However, that's a big IF at this point in his career.

All in all though, a great game to watch with a lot of good things to build off of and hopefully we can challenge CAR next week and maybe squeak out a win.
  • susweel
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Good stuff JD.

The thing about Gabbert is still makes these rookie mistakes in his 5th year. I doubt they can be corrected at this points, this is probably just who he is.
  • 9moon
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Sunshine still makes those mistakes because he is just now feeling the REAL pro football games in him.. I see him as a late bloomer.. the guy just left NCAA too soon and got to a very very bad team.. he's only 26, he's got a lot of time to learn and get his MOJO once more..
Spot on analysis JD!
Originally posted by susweel:
Good stuff JD.

The thing about Gabbert is still makes these rookie mistakes in his 5th year. I doubt they can be corrected at this points, this is probably just who he is.

As fans, that may end up being a reality and we need to consider this. The good thing is that it's JUST mechanical and not mental (save for the QB PTSD). These are very simple corrections (feet work, plant foot, driving through throws like a golf swing, where the tip of the ball is, etc.). I'm sure we'll all be keeping an eye on this going forward. SPOT LIGHT!
YES! Remove all other threads from NT.
Great stuff jonnydel!

Most excited about the play of the lines. We can be competitive in every game if we're solid in the trenches.

Excited about O'Neil's defense moving forward. It's just one game and offenses will adjust, but he's got some cool ideas using a deep rotation and varied play-calling to put players in a position to succeed.

Gabbert is extremely frustrating to watch, because he looks like the prototype QB. But man, his accuracy issues are dumbfounding. Does he have "it"? I don't know, but I'm inclined to say no. He's still a very young player by QB standards and is in an offense that best suits his skills. So he has a chance, and I'll give him time to develop. But some of his miscues are truly inexcusable.
Originally posted by sacniner:
YES! Remove all other threads from NT.

THIS!
  • susweel
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Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by susweel:
Good stuff JD.

The thing about Gabbert is still makes these rookie mistakes in his 5th year. I doubt they can be corrected at this points, this is probably just who he is.

As fans, that may end up being a reality and we need to consider this. The good thing is that it's JUST mechanical and not mental (save for the QB PTSD). These are very simple corrections (feet work, plant foot, driving through throws like a golf swing, where the tip of the ball is, etc.). I'm sure we'll all be keeping an eye on this going forward. SPOT LIGHT!

He may do all the correct things in practice but when the game starts at real speed he goes back to these habits. Its like he plays too fast and is anticipating pressure that is not there, hopefully they can get this corrected.

I wanted to show how we had 3 defensive breakdowns in the first drive of the game. The thing here is that is highlights the coverage and what we're doing more, IMO. The good thing was, LA never capitalized on it and we started communicating much better later in the game and the breakdowns stopped. Probably first game jitters.

14:17 1st QTR



Here, we're going to play a cover-3 zone. On this play, we're going to blitz the "TED" backer in the middle and drop an OLB into coverage. We're in a "nickel" set with Robinson in on the outside corner and Ward playing the slot. What I want to highlight is how the coverage will shift depending on the release of the outside receiver. If it's an outside vertical release the safety, Reid, should drop into a hook/curl zone and it will be a cover-3 "buzz" (for Backer) the name call of the cover 3 will indicate who is covering the flat on the safety side("buzz" for backer, "sky" for safety, "cloud" for corner). If it's an inside release you should see the LB - Carradine, cover the hook/curl with Reid taking the flat for a "sky" coverage. It's why you see Reid behind and outside Carradine, it's for angle help for the aforementioned reads.



On the snap, there's an outside vertical release from the WR as the Rams are running a curl/flat concept to that side and a slant/flat concept to the opposite side. Reid(I'm pretty sure it's Reid, could be Carradine if they play it opposite as I've explained it, but from what I know, it's more likely Reid). This causes us to have 2 defenders playing the flat and no one guarding the hook/curl area.



Lucky for us, Keenum never recognizes the busted coverage or the win on the slant/flat on the opposite side of the field and throws to one of the two guys covered on the play and never see's the other two guys open. Yay for us :)
Originally posted by susweel:
He may do all the correct things in practice but when the game starts at real speed he goes back to these habits. Its like he plays too fast and is anticipating pressure that is not there, hopefully they can get this corrected.

Exactly. He gets too antsy in the pocket and feels ghost pressure. He rushes himself too often. He showed these tendencies in college too, and it's only magnified in the NFL.

He just needs to settle down for a split second longer, relax, and make the throw. Because like jonnydel pointed out, he makes the correct reads and moves through his progressions quickly most of the time.
  • thl408
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A lot has to go right to win 28-0 so there's a lot of good to discuss. But I'll point out the good and bad.

After the game, I thought the stars were the offensive line. And while they may still be the most improved group, it was the defensive front 7 and Jim O'Neil that performed at a star level on Monday. The blitz packages being dialed up and the changeups of bringing pressure, then showing pressure but backing off was confusing the Rams OL and Keenum all night. There were a handful of dropbacks where coverages were blown, but Keenum was not good enough to exploit them.

Something was tipping off the Rams run plays because the 49ers blitzed right into the point of attack and blew plays up or clogged lanes to make Gurly hesitate at the line of scrimmage. When in base 3-4, two DL would cover the C and the G to force runs to clog up the middle. This is a trait of the Bears 46 defense, which JoN has roots in.Coverage wise, I can tell JoN is trying to implement a pattern match scheme. It's going to be a process with players I consider new to the concepts such as Tartt, Ray Ray, Robinson. 49ers came with lots of underneath zone looks while the outside CBs pattern matched to man up.

While we saw some of the inaccurate throws from Gabbert, it was the missed reads that still haunt him. During the offseason, I looked at most of Gabbert's 3rd down dropbacks and what I saw did not jive with the notion that he checks down too fast. Last season, he wasn't checking down because he didn't let route concepts develop, he checks down because he isn't confident enough to let it rip into tight windows. So after not pulling the trigger on a throw downfield, he checks down. This is different than if he didn't allow the route combination to develop and just quickly threw the checkdown. I felt Gabbert missed some reads and this is what caused a couple of his scrambles and incompletions. The other scrambles were justified with WRs being blanketed downfield. This could be an ongoing problem. Gabbert should continue to get the green light to scramble because sometimes that is the only option.

The OL was able to stalemate with the Rams DL on most occasions and that's a win considering what we saw last season. Beadles lost most of his battles 1v1 with Donald, but Kilgore was very helpful when needed providing a well timed shove to help Beadles. Tiller still has some trouble getting to second level blocks, but on pass pro he did better job on Donald than Beadles did. Brown had a very good game with Staley being the star of the night amungst the five as he kept Quinn quiet. What else is new?

I'll show some 3rd downs where the 49ers defense was able to get off the field, and the missed reads by Gabbert. Various other plays I found interesting or important towards the outcome of the game. So nice to look at a 49er win that came in dominating fashion.
  • thl408
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Originally posted by jonnydel:
I wanted to show how we had 3 defensive breakdowns in the first drive of the game. The thing here is that is highlights the coverage and what we're doing more, IMO. The good thing was, LA never capitalized on it and we started communicating much better later in the game and the breakdowns stopped. Probably first game jitters.

14:17 1st QTR



Here, we're going to play a cover-3 zone. On this play, we're going to blitz the "TED" backer in the middle and drop an OLB into coverage. We're in a "nickel" set with Robinson in on the outside corner and Ward playing the slot. What I want to highlight is how the coverage will shift depending on the release of the outside receiver. If it's an outside vertical release the safety, Reid, should drop into a hook/curl zone and it will be a cover-3 "buzz" (for Backer) the name call of the cover 3 will indicate who is covering the flat on the safety side("buzz" for backer, "sky" for safety, "cloud" for corner). If it's an inside release you should see the LB - Carradine, cover the hook/curl with Reid taking the flat for a "sky" coverage. It's why you see Reid behind and outside Carradine, it's for angle help for the aforementioned reads.

Good example. I have a folder called "badPatternMatching" and this play is in there. On the very next play there is another busted coverage. Pretty sure you got that lined up.

edit: I think it's the new guys that are screwing up. The play above is Tank. The next play in this drive it's Ray Ray.
[ Edited by thl408 on Sep 14, 2016 at 10:16 AM ]
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