September 8, 2008

Upon Further Review, Pt. 1 (Game 1)

As noted in the previous entry, I didn't get to watch the opener live. Studied it on tape over the weekend and made contemporaneous notes, however, and will be posting a few thoughts and observations on stuff I haven't already seen super-analyzed elsewhere.

Meanwhile, a couple quickies.

Telegraphing Snap Count?

I noticed on several occasions that NY, the defensive tackles in particular, seemed to be anticipating the snap. Having gone back and looked at several sequences multiple times, I’m about 75% convinced the Giants were reading something, and using the advantage to consistently get a jump on the snap.

The most telling and damaging instance:

3rd and 1, WAS 45 – down 16-0 with 9:16 left in the half, the Skins face short yardage near midfield. The defense has been on the field for all but five of nearly 21 minutes played (Redskins two drives went 2:23 and 2:37). A split second before ball is snapped, Giant tackle Cofield (96) and linebacker Pierce (58) are both already moving toward the line, and the other tackle, Robbins (98), explodes the instant ball starts to move. NY gets enough movement/penetration to stack up the right side of the Skins line, clog up any lanes that might have been there and stone Portis.

Don’t take my word for it (pay particular attention to the second view--watch the ball):

That was probably the most obvious and impactful example, but not the only one. And it's the one that first really caught my attention and got me looking at the issue. The more I did, the more I got the impression the interior of the NY line was off the ball with the snap all night long.

It's not conclusive evidence, obviously. It could be they were simply guessing right all night. But having seen the Giants beat the Skins OL off the ball enough times, I have to wonder at what point there might start to be something more to it.

I know many will say it’s simply that New York's guys are young and studly and ours are old and decrepit--I’m not so sure. Maybe Campbell’s not varying the snap count … maybe his cadence is predictable. Maybe Rabach’s ring finger twitches right before he snaps the ball … or he’s rocks back on a heel. Maybe he talks to himself ("And a one, and a two, and a three ... ").

Or I could just be dreaming.

I did walk away with the nagging feeling the Skins were telegraphing their punches, though. Which means I have yet more thing to watch closely this Sunday.

Zorn’s Demeanor

Heard a couple of the usual suspect radio heads ripping Coach Zorn for being too laid-back, suggesting maybe that was the reason the Skins looked so overmatched at times.

I dunno.

Sorry ‘bout the vid quality. Spent a good part of my day off learning how to capture, convert, edit and upload clips today. As you surely do with any rookie making his debut, I hope you’ll grant me your patience.

Back later tonight or tomorrow with Part II.


Unknown said...

I don't know about the snap count theory. It may be that they're keying in on Campbell, who seems to lean back ever so slightly before the snap. That's probably the major tell. Has to be eliminated

Unknown said...

I just looked a few more times...look at Campbell right around the 8 second mark of that video. He seems to start leaning back out of the snap early.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I too wondered if the Giants were keying on something. However I was sure it was the snap count. I noticed the lean but didn't pay any attention to it though.

If that's what it is, they need to fix that right away.

Mark "Om" Steven said...

Could be. Like I said, not suggesting it's anything specific I've seen--or even that I'm 100% there IS something. Just that this play caught my attention, and as I went back and watched other sequences, the suspicion grew.

I think maybe this is how Woodward and Bernstein felt.

Anonymous said...

Not sure it was they were keying on anything other than it being 3-1 and I think I have seen the redskins try one other play once in the last two years on third or forth and 1 ...

Our coaches have to learn running backs have to learn they are not power backs that move the pile ...

It could be we are trying to lull them into a false sense of security then do nothing about it at all mwahahahahahaahaha

Mark "Om" Steven said...

Point was that the defense was moving with--and sometimes before--the snap. That's not about familiarity with what the play is likely to be, it's about somehow anticipating the count. The playcalling is a different issue.