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NFL Draft: A look at Alshon Jeffery in the red zone

Using video to break down the 8 (post) vs. Cover 0. Matt Bowen

April 16, 2012
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Today, let’s take a quick look at Alshon Jeffery running the post route vs. man-coverage. With the WR from South Carolina, you should think inside breaking concepts and red zone football because of his size (6-4, 216) at the position. Check out the replay and then we will get into some coaching points…

Clemson vs. South Carolina
Personnel: Ace (2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB)
Formation: Unit Slot
Scheme: Double-Post
Coverage: Cover 0 (blitz-man)

- Start with the scheme: double-post. You will see this concept (along with the “Dino Double Post”) show up inside of the red zone and the “high red zone” (20-35 yard line) vs. defenses that use single high safety looks (Cover 1, Cover 3). Force the FS to read (and play) two post routes with WRs breaking back across the field to take advantage of leverage. In a slot formation, you usually get the open (weak) side 7 (corner) route from the TE to clear the outside deep third.

- Jeffery gets a clean vertical release here. It’s too easy. The Clemson CB is aligned in press-man, however he doesn’t use his hands when Jeffery eats up the short cushion and he also takes a false step when opening his hips. Not what you want to see in Cover 0 (DBs need to maintain inside leverage) or vs. the size of Jeffery down the field.

- Now that Jeffery has the CB on his outside hip and has established leverage to the inside, the 8 (post) route is a money play for the offense. This reminds me of Plaxico Burress in the red zone or Keyshawn Johnson from back in my career. When they win to the inside, you aren’t going to make the play unless you can undercut the route or find a way to strip the ball through the up field shoulder. Size and leverage can be a nasty thing for a DB inside of the red zone.

- Good ball and a clean finish from Jeffery. And looking at the route tree, the inside breaking concepts (along with the fade) should be a major part of Jeffery’s game at the pro level. The slant, dig (square-in) and post. The key for the WR on Sundays: win at the line of scrimmage. Jeffery won’t see these free releases off the line vs. NFL DBs.

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