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Let’s talk technique at the CB position today using the DeAngelo Hall’s interception vs. the Ravens from Thursday night as an example. A good opportunity to learn about reading through the route scheme and making a play on the football.
Check out the video replay and then we will get into some detailed coaching points…
The route scheme: Quick play action. QB Joe Flacco will work through the mesh point with the RB and look to the closed (strong) side curl route. As you can see, this is only a two-man route (double curls) that offenses will use in early down and distance situations to move the football.
Eyes: This isn’t talked about enough in the NFL—and it is a must in the secondary. As a CB aligned in an off-man position, you are taught to “read” through the 3-step route tree (slant, hitch, quick out) and then get your eyes back to the WR.
Footwork: Very patient—and confident. This is what you expect from a veteran like Hall. Don’t pedal out and create a big cushion (distance between DB and WR) when you are already in an off-position. Let the WR release off the line of scrimmage and open your hips once he has pressed your initial alignment to stay “in-phase.”
Plant and drive: Read the stem of the WR. When he chops down to come back to the football, plant and drive to a cut-off point. Stay low, show good balance and drive downhill to make the play on the ball.
Is the 'Skins CB squatting on this route? You can say that, but the technique is what wins in this situation. Read the route scheme, get your eyes back to the WR and drive downhill to make the interception.
With Hall, you are always going to get aggressive play in the secondary. That can get you beat at times (as we saw in the same game vs. Lee Evans), but it also provides opportunities to make big plays in the passing game when you use the technique needed to play the position in the NFL.
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