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When looking at young talent at the WR position, Oakland’s Denarius Moore is a player I’m excited to watch this season. The second-year pro has legit vertical speed, deep ball ability and can produce at the top of the route tree (think deep play action, “High” red zone). Real talent for Raiders’ QB Carson Palmer to work with.
Today, let’s take a look at Moore vs. the Bills from the 2011 season. A good example of the WR’s ability to stretch the field and finish the play at the point of attack. Check out the replay and then we will breakdown some coaching points.
Raiders vs. Bills
Personnel: Regular (2 WR-1 TE-2 RB)
Formation: Pro Strong I
Defensive scheme: Cover 4 (quarters)
Route breakdown: The “NCAA” (or “College”) route is a base scheme you will see out of Regular and Ace (2 WR-2 TE-1 RB) personnel to target Cover 2 and Cover 4. The No.1 WR (Z) to the closed (strong) side of the formation will run the deep post with the TE (Y) on the underneath crosser. To the open (weak) side, the X receiver works the deep dig (square-in) off of the “Lead Strong” play action.
Field position: Ball in-between the 40’s? Prime field position to use deep play action. When the Bills’ DBs break the huddle, they have to alert for a vertical concept. NFL offenses will use this as the “strike zone” to throw the 8 (post) or 9 (fade). Take a shot and try to get points or a flag down the field.
Post vs. Cover 4: In "Quarters" coverage, the CBs will play from an outside leverage position (even in a press-alignment). To the open side, the FS will drive on the dig in Cover 4 (no inside vertical threat). Moving over to the closed side of the formation, the SS plays No.2 (TE) vertical once the receiver pushes pass a depth of 12-yards. Here, the TE breaks underneath on the crossing route allowing the SS to look to No.1 and play to the inside hip (becomes a double team vs. the post). The Bills are in the right coverage to limit the “NCAA” route.
Moore’s Split/Release: With the ball on the far hash, Moore takes a split on top of the numbers (ideal alignment to run the post). The WR releases with a slight inside stem, gets vertical up the field and uses his top end speed to break to the post. If this ball isn’t slightly underthrown from QB Jason Campbell, Moore is going to split both the CB and SS in Cover 4. This guy can run.
Play the ball at the highest point: I love the finish here from Moore because he shows the ability to climb the ladder and go get the football. Coaches (on both sides of the ball) teach to “play the ball at the highest point” and that is exactly what we see here. Don’t let the CB play through the hands on rake down on that inside arm. Go up and make the play for six points.
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