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Film Study - Great Read

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Plenty of information nuggets to take away from this piece. Nice work Tripplett. New Orleans Saints were on their heels against Washington Redskins: Film Study - New Orleans Saints Football NFL News - NOLA.com This week's Film Study showed a ...

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Old 09-11-2012, 08:56 PM   #1
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Plenty of information nuggets to take away from this piece. Nice work Tripplett.

New Orleans Saints were on their heels against Washington Redskins: Film Study - New Orleans Saints Football NFL News - NOLA.com

This week's Film Study showed a glaring contrast between a Redskins defense that was constantly on the attack vs. a Saints defense that spent most of the day sitting back to guard against the threat of mobile quarterback Robert Griffin III and Washington's treacherous run-blocking schemes.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees was under duress throughout the day as he attempted 52 passes and completed less than 50 percent of them for the first time since 2006. The Saints' line actually performed better than expected when breaking down each snap. Individual linemen were only beaten badly five times (Jermon Bushrod and Brian de la Puente twice each, and Zach Strief once), with Bushrod and Ben Grubbs each getting pushed back once on costly plays as well.

The bigger problem for the Saints' offense was that it was constantly flooded by overload blitzes and extra rushers who were never on their heels. And the Redskins' dynamic pass rushers Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo each won a few battles on their own. (Man, could the Saints' defense use either one of those two guys).

Last but not least, Washington's secondary held up extremely well in a lot of single coverage during those blitzes. It was an all-around terrific game by the Jim Haslett-coached unit.

Meanwhile, the Saints' defense was much less aggressive Sunday. Although they blitzed some defensive backs early (to disastrous effects) and late (with much more success), they spent most of the afternoon keeping players in coverage and hanging back to read and react. Even defensive ends were careful not to over-commit to pass rushes.

There were several reasons for that approach: 1. The Redskins started the game with a flurry of quick screen passes. 2. The Redskins used a ton of play-action throughout the day, and Griffin did a great job of selling it. 3. Griffin is a deadly threat to run the ball if he makes a guy miss. 4. The Redskins use the zone-blocking schemes like the Houston Texans that try to tangle up defensive linemen with cut blocks. It's essential for linemen to stay on their feet against that scheme. 5. When they Saints did blitz safety Malcolm Jenkins twice early in the game, it blew up in their face. He hesitated on the first one (that led to an 88-yard touchdown pass) and lost containment on the second one (that led to a 26-yard completion).

The "safer" approach wasn't a bad one, by any means. The Saints' run defense was actually outstanding for most of the day. Left end Cameron Jordan was particularly impressive, both shedding blockers when the play came at him and rushing across the field when the play went the other way. Middle linebacker Curtis Lofton and tackle Brodrick Bunkley also played great against the run and look like terrific new additions in that department.

Eventually, the Saints started mixing in some more blitzes from the secondary that worked in the second half, and they started to get into a much better mix-and-match rhythm. They sacked Griffin once, they almost forced an interception that cornerback Patrick Robinson couldn't reel in, and they should have earned a turnover on downs that was marred by a very shaky pass-interference call against safety Roman Harper.

The Saints clearly won't have a dynamic pass rush this year, but there still is hope that the defense can be a solid unit overall - especially against offenses that are less frustrating to defend. Of course, the Saints are facing another dual-threat quarterback in the Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton this week. So it will be interesting to see how aggressive Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo decides to be.

There were a lot of game-changing moments Sunday -- that questionable pass interference call against Harper, a 12-men on the field call against Saints cornerback Robinson, Griffin's throw to Davis and Saints end Martez Wilson's blocked punt among them. But the 88-yard touchdown pass from Griffin to receiver Pierre Garcon on Washington's second possession was the biggest killer of them all.

First of all, the context. Although many analysts raved about the way Washington allowed Griffin to "ease his way" into his first start with a ton of screen passes on the Redskins' opening drive, the Redskins still had to settle for a field goal on that drive. And the Saints' offense quickly responded with a touchdown to take a 7-3 lead -- as if to suggest that dinking and dunking wouldn't work.

So on the very next play, Washington made a huge statement by torching the Saints deep.

Jenkins came in on a delayed blitz, and he probably would have gotten to Griffin, but he hesitated. He bit on the play-action fake and looked inside to see if the tailback had the ball. Jenkins did knock Griffin to the turf, but it was a second too late. Griffin delivered a perfect pass to Garcon, who was coming across the field about 15 yards in front of the line of scrimmage. Garcon was sprung free by a block from receiver Josh Morgan against Harper, then Garcon was just fast enough to stay ahead of Robinson for the final 60 yards to the end zone.

Morgan's block was awfully close to a block in the back, but a close look at the replay showed that he shoved Harper with a hand on the front side of the chest/ribs area. Ideally, Harper would have avoided the block by closing in on Garcon one or two steps faster when the ball was in the air. Or else Harper could've taken a better angle behind Morgan. But in truth, there's probably not much Harper could've done to avoid the contact on such a bang-bang play.

I won't give the replacement officials too much of a hard time. Obviously, the sheer volume of penalties called is disturbing (12 for each side), so I'd assume the regular referees might have let a few of those calls go. But at least it was balanced for both sides.

However, the shakiest call of the night was also the costliest -- the pass interference against Harper in the end zone on a fourth-and-1 Hail Mary pass in the third quarter. Although it was a judgment call because Harper did make some contact with his right arm on receiver Aldrick Robinson's shoulder before the ball arrived, Harper didn't use that arm to push off and he turned back to make his own play on the ball, which was up for grabs. All of the FOX analysts agreed it was the wrong call -- as did former NFL head of officials Mike Pereira on Twitter.

I'm not sure what to make of the 12-men-on-the-field penalty against Robinson. He was definitely at fault for jogging off the field too slowly before a punt. But I wonder if that happens a lot and doesn't get called or if his penalty was egregious.

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Old 09-12-2012, 07:38 AM   #2
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Re: Film Study - Great Read

After reading I feel Washington was near flawless and New Orleans was anything but.

Yes, I believe Payton would have made an impact on the outcome.

And yet the Saints still had a chance to tie/win the game in the 4th qtr.

I have no doubt our team fixes their self-inflicted issues and gets back to Saints football (which includes dropping occasional games to teams like St. Louis)

My next four:

CAR 23 Saints 28
KC 20 Saints 24
GB 35 Saints 31
SD 28 Saints 34
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:43 AM   #3
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Re: Film Study - Great Read

Washington deserved the win, and if by some chance we had tied it up in the last seconds and won, we would not have deserved it. However, with their perfect game and the Saints with their C-D game, the Saints still had a chance to tie and that should speak volumes.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:38 AM   #4
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Re: Film Study - Great Read

"The bigger problem for the Saints' offense was that it was constantly flooded by overload blitzes and extra rushers who were never on their heels." hmmm was GW coahing the redskins D?

If all we are going to do is play a defense scheme that sits back to Guard against a mobile QB and not attack then I think we are in trouble.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:50 AM   #5
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Re: Film Study - Great Read

Originally Posted by lynwood View Post
"The bigger problem for the Saints' offense was that it was constantly flooded by overload blitzes and extra rushers who were never on their heels." hmmm was GW coahing the redskins D?

If all we are going to do is play a defense scheme that sits back to Guard against a mobile QB and not attack then I think we are in trouble.
Couldn't agree more

The redskins helped RG3 at first by throwing quick bubble screens but by the second quarter when he was comfortable sat back there we should have sent 6 regularly to make him hesitate
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:13 PM   #6
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Re: Film Study - Great Read

Once again our defense gave up a BIG play on the Skins opening possession. I hope this gets corrected fast.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:31 AM   #7
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Re: Film Study - Great Read

My only question about this game was "Is Washington that good, or is the Saints defense that bad?" Well maybe thats two question? Either way, it was pretty damn embarassing to be a Saints fan on that Sunday. I really don't think RG3 is that good. Its alot like the wildcat offense when it was first implemented. Nobody ever used it in the pros so no team had ever seen it on the field except in college. Once teams caught on they studied film on it and learned how to guard against it. Griffin will be exposed because of the game he had against the Saints and Washington will need to find another way to win. Perhaps there defense will step up a little more? They were pretty darn impressive in there first game of the season.
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:31 AM   #8
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Re: Film Study - Great Read

Originally Posted by saintsfan1976 View Post
After reading I feel Washington was near flawless and New Orleans was anything but.

Yes, I believe Payton would have made an impact on the outcome.

And yet the Saints still had a chance to tie/win the game in the 4th qtr.

I have no doubt our team fixes their self-inflicted issues and gets back to Saints football (which includes dropping occasional games to teams like St. Louis)

My next four:

CAR 23 Saints 28
KC 20 Saints 24
GB 35 Saints 31
SD 28 Saints 34
I do not see Payton having had any effect on our defense. He would have let Spags do what he does... Just like he let Williams run the Defense.

I also do not see Payton having had much effect on our offense. It is not that we called the wrong plays so much as the execution on the field...
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:34 AM   #9
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Re: Film Study - Great Read

Originally Posted by x626xBlack View Post
I do not see Payton having had any effect on our defense. He would have let Spags do what he does... Just like he let Williams run the Defense.

I also do not see Payton having had much effect on our offense. It is not that we called the wrong plays so much as the execution on the field...
The one thing I miss about Payton is his attitude on the sideline, he didn't accept lackluster play and would find the right way to get guys to perform

Before garret Hartley hit the NFCCG field goal Payton encouraged him, stopped him looking worried and he drilled it. Having kromer in the same position I definitley feel less comfortable

Never mind if he controls any side of the ball, his presence and attitude alone lifts our team, kromer needs to find a way to become that until Vitt comes back, Vitt is more like payton
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:28 AM   #10
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Re: Film Study - Great Read

We've been minimizing Payton's absence, but there is more to it than meets the eye.
There are substitute teachers (plural) in this classroom.
It only takes 1 class clown to disrupt the flow and we had the whole back row acting up.
Payton would have had these guys mentally focused and ready to play Sunday.
He is/was the "buck stops here" guy, and he's just not around.
Vitt was the voice for 6 weeks, now Kromer is calling the shots.
Sure these guys are adult professionals, but organizational continuity is huge.
That sub-par performance came right out of the locker room and took the field like a 12th man.
I believe all these things can be overcome. Recognize it and deal with it.
Saints have to be twice as focused because they have twice as many issues.
Can't wait to see them get it right.
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