Friday, September 10, 2010

9/10/10 Draft: Areas of Improvement

We usually wait until the halfway point in the season for areas of improvment, but after watching the first game of the season there were some issues that really needed to be addressed before the Eagles head into conference play. Below is a quick take on things we've seen a need for improvement on coming from late last year, spring ball, scrimmages, and the most recent game vs. Weber State.


1M) Bring the heat

Yes, I know that against Weber State, the staff felt that putting three LB's
into coverage and using only the front four to generate pressure would be
good enough to win the game. It was. But that pass rush isn't going to be
good enough against Ponder, Taylor, or most of the teams left on our
schedule this year. If it means bringing a safety, a
blitz..SOMETHING needs to be done to pressure the QB.

2W) WR blocking

I watched several plays where the WR needed to block downfield, the ball was
on the ground, tossed to a different receiver, etc.

I am 300% sure that the Coaching staff is aware of this problem, as they
didn't hold anything back to let the guys know they were underachieving on
their blocks.. A good WR block can be the difference in a short pass and a
long gain, and will be crucial going forward.

3M) No quick three and outs

Time for a shot of the cold, hard, truth. Weber State won the second half
of the football game. Yes, some reserves were used, yes, many of the kids
likely tuned out and didn't play as hard as they could have once the game
was sewn up...but a big reason also had to do with the long, wearing drives
that Weber State had on the Eagles in the second half. Making things worse,
there were several QUICK three and outs just after a team had possessed the
ball on offense for an 8 minute, 14 play drive. We need to give our guys on
the defense a chance to catch their three and outs by way of two
incompletions and a run into the gut of an 9 man front. Just not fair to
the D.

4W) Utilize check down receivers

I think we did a slightly better job, especially in the first half on this,
but completely fell apart in the second half, and I guess I am probably
harping a bit more on Shinskie here than Marscovetra as he only threw 3
passes. But with a strong Oline, that we do have, we should be able to buy
enough time for Shinskie to work through his progressions and make a good
choice on receiver, not just harp on one.

5M) WR not giving up

After rewatching the Weber State game, I noticed that while Shinskie did on
multiple occasions force the ball into his receivers that many times they
frankly just weren't open-as in, none of them. It seemed that on the short
pass pattern plays the WR's would run the quick route they were assigned,
then slow to a jog and look back to see what was going on. I'm sure a lot
of this has to do with the inexperience with the WR's and a lack of
chemistry with Uncle Dave and / or Marsco, but both the QB and the receiving
target need to continue to work if the play doesn't go off perfectly. I
need to see the WR's/TE's/RB's continue to try to get open downfield after
the original route has been run.

6W) Improve Secondary Tackling

Against Weber State it appeared that the secondary was having a hard time
getting good tackles. I am not sure quite why that was happening, but they
just didn't wrap up well. I know this sounds like extreme nit-picking but
it's not, and ill tell you why, if you play a cushion like BC does to keep
the big plays in front of them you have to ensure that your tackling is
phenomenal, or running that defense is irrelevant as you will constantly get
beat, you may as well play man and have them try to beat you that way. The
cushion is what it is, I am indifferent on it really, when it works its
fine, but if you can't get good tackles, it could turn into a nightmare.

7M) Patience in the pocket

While this applied to one QB a lot more than the other, both were guilty of
getting happy feet and releasing the ball well before they needed to. Ask
any fan of BC football what one of the main strengths of this year's team
is-chances are excellent they'll tell you it's the offensive line, and
they're right. Upon watching the replay of the game, many times when Uncle
Dave was forcing a pass in to a receiver, he simply didn't have to. The
line was giving him plenty of time. There was only one instance in which
protection broke down, and that was after five seconds, where UD still had a
chance to move forward in the pocket and did actually gain one yard on the
ground. The point here is patience. As I took with my 5th selection
receivers getting open, here's the ying to that yang-the QB being patient
and allowing those secondary patterns to develop.

8W) Utilize TE more

I will say, the WR's could get some good techniques out of the TE group, but
I would like to see the TEs used a bit more in the passing game too.

We are deep and experienced in this group , and only three passes were sent
their way last week.. If we are going to be a run first, we need to get some
nice short options downfield and the TE's would fill that role well

9M) Bringing back the read-option

Yes, I understand that both Uncle Dave and Marsco are both classic pocket
QB's. I get that. But what is undeniable is that Montel Harris is
extremely effective in this set up. Part of this I believe to be his
relative diminutive stature behind BC's towering O-Line such that after a
shotgun snap it's nearly impossible to locate The Ninja, but a large portion
of it is one of Montel's most outstanding qualities: his vision. His
ability to read the holes and pick and choose which way to go out of the
delayed backfield is honestly unmatched in recent memory. I'm not
suggesting we actively run QB sneaks with the QB's we have, but rather go
read option off the snap enough times that we can keep the LB's and
secondary at bay allowing for easier passing options for our quarterbacks,
passing when not optioning the ball to Montel.

10W) More opportunistic on Pass D

Mike, I could not agree more.. I really, really like the read option,
hopefully our QBs are quick enough for it tho.. Do we see any Bazooka this

I feel that when you are playing a few yards off of the receiver, you do
need to make a play for the ball from time to time, sure you will get beat
sometimes, but you have to have that threat.

We had one INT this past week against Weber St, but that was more of a
tip/jump ball, not necessarily a move on the ball. I expected us to go for
more interceptions against Weber, because if we don't against Weber, should
we expect to against FSU/VT etc?


BCMike drafted: Pass rush, no 3 and out, WR continue patterns, patience in pocket, read option
Wesley drafted: WR blocking, check down WR, 2ndary tackling, higher TE usage, better pass D

9-10 Draft: Areas of Improvement
BCMike: Pass rush, no 3 and out, WR continue patterns, patience in pocket, read option
Wesley: WR blocking, check down WR, 2ndary tackling, higher TE usage, better pass D free polls


  1. FAIL FAIL FAIL! Read Option - fail. I'd rather watch a chess match than be frustrated watching the read option offense we saw under Jags/Logan/Crane/Davis combo. Thank god we had a stud defense that year.

    Our bazooka/wildcat, that I can deal with although I wish we handed the ball off more than 1% of the time to keep defenses honest. I'm sure that lineup is in our back pockets for a bigger game than Kent State.

    I can't vote for either of you on this poll due to your affection for that read option.

  2. lol, I enjoyed your response, Erik.

    Do you disagree that Montel was effective in that playset?