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Breaking down Tramon Williams vs. the Eagles

Using video to teach technique of the CB position. Matt Bowen

Print This March 06, 2011, 01:00 PM EST

Click here for more breakdowns in my Inside the Playbook series.

Green Bay’s Tramon Williams was a big play cornerback throughout the Super Bowl run for the Packers. Today, let’s go back to Wild Card weekend and check out Williams using the TV tape to break down the technique of his interception vs. the 9 (fade) route.

The Eagles are in their “Jet” personnel (4 WR, 1 RB) vs. the Packers’ nickel sub package. What we will see from Philadelphia is a basic 4 Vertical route scheme with Green Bay in a base Cover 4 (Quarters) look. Nothing exotic here. Play coverage and react to the offense.

Let’s check out the replay and focus on Williams—because the technique is key from the snap of the ball.

Coaching points…

1. Leverage: Cover 4 is a zone defense. However, Williams plays with inside leverage for a simple reason: the split of the No.1 WR. As we can see from the TV tape, the No.1 WR is aligned outside of the numbers and release with a vertical stem. No need for Williams to play with an outside shade here, because the WR can’t run an outside breaking route from the split. As a CB, you have to understand splits and alignments—because they always tell a story. In this situation, Williams has to play for a vertical release or an inside breaking route. That’s it. There is no room to run the out or the 7 cut (corner route) into the boundary.

Tramon WilliamsICONGreen Bay's Tramon Williams.

2. “Stacking” the WR: A term used for the CB to get on top of the WR. Here, Williams will backpedal at the snap and then “man-turn” (open hips to the WR) to create that “stacked” look on the WR. This is key, because it will force the WR to adjust his route and keep the CB out of a trail position. Tough to run a 9 route when the WR can’t create separation vertically down the field. Get on top as a CB and create an advanatge when the ball is in the air.

3. Locating the ball: Toughest thing for a CB, but Williams helps himself because he is “in phase” (on the hip of the WR). Too often, we will see the corner panic at the point of attack and start to reach. Not here, because Williams is able to track the pass from Michael Vick and use an “open angle” technique to flip his hips back to the QB. From a technique standpoint, this is teaching tape. Can't make a play until you find the ball.

4. Play the ball at the highest point: How often have we seen a WR go up over a corner in the end zone and take the ball away from him? No matter how well you play your technique as a defensive back, you have to go up and attack the ball at the highest point to prevent the WR from making a play. The point here: finish what you started. No different than DB drills you do at the high school level, because it is a big coaching point when the ball is in the air. Complete the process and make the interception.

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Add a Comment
Mar 06, 2011
05:03 PM

Can you say Tramon is going to be an All Pro for the next half decade? I can. GB's Defense is gonna be near the top of the league for as long as Dom Capers runs it and TT keeps bringing in young talent.


Wood and Pick are the ONLY guys over 30 on that list. S.C.A.R.Y. if you Chicago, Minnesota or Detroit. Wonderful if you are a GB fan.

Packer Pete
Mar 07, 2011
02:04 PM

I think Tramon thought he had a touchback when he went to the ground in the end zone. Had Riley Cooper been a bit more on the ball, he might have followed Tramon and punched the ball loose as Tramon came out of the end zone. Still makes me shudder thinking about the Lombardi that almost wasn't!

Mar 07, 2011
03:43 PM

Yeah, that's true Pete. But that argument runs both ways. What if that ball doesn't bounce off Drive's foot and right into Briggs' arms before halftime in the NFCCG? What if Wood, Shields and Drive don't get hurt in the SB? What if JJ catches those long bombs for TD's against PHI and PIT?
The point is that almost all of the teams have "IFs" that could have won them the super bowl every year. An argument could be made that DET got screwed out of the first Bears game, the first GB game the PHI game and the DAL game. What if Stafford doesn't get hurt? Would you have wanted to play DET at the end of the year in the playoffs? Me neither.
The best teams make those plays - of which Tramon made a couple biggies against PHI and ATL. GB was the best team all year, and proved it come crunch time.

Mar 07, 2011
04:42 PM

Agree TXBearmeat ...

The defense is poised to be great for the next few years. I expect them to add a DE and maybe an OLB in the 2011 draft. They are high on Josh Gordy, another UDFA, at CB. Jones, Chillar, and Burnett also return from IR. They should have the top defensive backfield in the NFL with a strong rush in front of it.

Expect the offense to be substantially better in 2011 with the return of Finley and Grant. I also expect Thompson will draft mainly offensive players - OL and WR - in the 2011 draft to help this unit.

All in all, the Packers are poised to contend for several years.

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