Coco's Corner Week 4

Week 4 Film Study

Shaq- sized Impact

· Tampa Bay Buccaneers Edge Rusher Shaquil Barrett has been a big-time bright spot for the Bucs in what has been an interesting 2019 season for them so far. The 6th year player was an undrafted free agent out of Colorado State University and has spent his first 5 years in Denver where he started just 15 games out 61 played. Barrett recorded 100 solo tackles, 14 sacks, 25 tackles for loss in his 5-year stint with the Broncos, but in 4 games in 2019 with the Buccaneers, Barrett has recorded 9 sacks, 7 tackles for loss, and his first career interception in what has become a dominant DPOY(Defensive Player Of The Year) campaign so far. Watching the film, it is a little perplexing as to why it didn’t work out for Barrett in Denver as Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles deploys a 3-4 scheme with some similar responsibilities. Barrett is used as the “Joker”, or weakside outside linebacker(Will), as mainly the 4th rusher in most of the plays. So far, he has lined up on both sides of the line of scrimmage for the defense, attacking the QB in a variety of ways. In weak 3 against the Giants Barrett had a dominant 4 sacks, all coming against former Patriot LT Nate Solder. Barrett displayed several pass rush moves like a spin move, cross chop, and just a simple rush to split the gap between Solder and the LG Will Hernandez as he gave a small window for them to block, by getting low and turning his body sideways to reduce the chances of them targeting his chest. In Week 4 against the Rams, Barrett made most of his plays as he lined up over RT Rob Havenstein. He was able to generate several pressures against All-Pro LT Andrew Whitworth, but Bowles knew that lining up Barrett over the RT instead of the LT would give the defense the best chance to succeed. Shaq Barrett has been exceptional for the Bucs so far this season with his high motor and effective pass rush skills and hopefully he can sustain this success for the rest of the season as Tampa Bay will need every bit of it.

· Last week in our Views from the 22 podcast and film studies of the State of the Philadelphia Eagles, I talked about how I felt the Eagles coaching staff may not be utilizing All-Pro TE Zach Ertz to the best of his abilities. This week I studied more on TE Travis Kelce and how Head Coach Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs have used him in their offense. Kelce basically lines up everywhere and in different roles for QB Pat Mahomes to use him in different ways. Kelce is a strong, talented, and very skilled player that allows him to line up out wide as an X or Z receiver, in tight splits as a slot WR or Y tight end, which lines him up tight to the formation right next to the offensive line. He can come off the press better than Ertz at any position on the field with his elite strength and savvy route-running skills. Kelce can be seen being utilized in screens and “sift” routes, meaning he will cut across the formation behind the offensive line and into the flat or wheel routes. He is an above-average blocker both in the run and pass, though he’s not used much in blocking situations as the Chiefs offense will send him on routes even in run plays. But with his abilities, Kelce pretty much stays on the field for most of the time the offense has the ball.

· RT La’el Collins in 4 weeks has so far shown significant improvement for the Dallas Cowboys. I’ve always felt like he was a better Guard at the NFL level since coming in as an undrafted free agent, as he’s not only very strong but is an exceptional athlete for a big man. He did start off his career as a LG for the Cowboys and though he had some struggles in pass pro, he was an elite run blocker and displayed great skill and physical abilities in space mauling defenders to create space for runners. Before the beginning of the 2017 season, following the retirement of then RT Doug Free, Collins pushed the Cowboys leadership to give him a shot at RT. He was given the position with what I mostly felt was a based-on need decision. For the next 2 seasons, Collins struggled at RT, mostly as a pass blocker giving up 10 sacks and over 30 pressures. He had 11 penalties in 2018 alone. But towards the end of 2018 and as we stand now in 2019 Collins has worked extensively with Offensive Line Coach and former NFL Tackle Marc Columbo at improving his technique as that truly seems to be his only struggle. In the Cowboys week 4 matchup against the Saints, Collins continued to display his progression against Saints Pro Bowler DE Cameron Jordan. As the rest of the Cowboys offensive line, who all have been playing well in 2019, struggled for the most part against the Saints, Collins arguably was the best performer in his matchup. His technique has improved significantly, with his balance and exceptional hand power and lower body strength to slow Jordan down. It was a fun matchup to watch.

· RB Cristian McCaffrey is having a career year so far for the Carolina Panthers. Here at Views we are not exactly big fans of drafting RBs early in the first rd as the value at the position can be mostly found in later rounds, but there are some exceptions and the exceptions are mostly due to the makeup of a team FIRST. The Panthers at the time of the 2017 NFL Draft, despite picking 8th overall, had the QB in place, a decent offensive line, and a good defense in place. They needed a dual-threat weapon to help take pressure off QB Cam Newton and that's exactly what McCaffrey does. He is a different player that is not typical for the running back position as he displays an exceptional skill set to go along with his above-average physical and athletic talents His ability to catch not only out of the backfield but also lined up as a wideout is impressive. He has natural RB skills as he has gained weight throughout his 3 years to improve in breaking tackles and running in tight spaces between the gaps. In the Panthers Week 4 matchup, McCaffrey basically took over the game, totaling 179 yards on 27 carries and 10 receptions with 1 TD. According to PFF, McCaffrey broke 11 tackles further proving his progression as a runner and displaying how strong he is, despite his 5’11” 205-pound frame. There is of course always concern for injury and regression when giving a RB a lot of work, especially at McCaffrey’s rate of over 90% of the offensive snaps for the panthers the past 2 seasons, but in my opinion, winning football games begins with a good running game. Especially with one of McCaffrey’s skills. Tune in to the Views from the 22 Facebook and YouTube page for film studies on these weekly points and more. Thank you for your support.

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