by Matt Bowen
November 17, 02012
Click here for the entire Inside the Playbook series.
How will the Packers game plan Calvin Johnson? Going back to last season on Thanksgiving Day, Dom Capers’ defense played some “trail-man” (think 2-Man technique) with CB Tramon Williams vs. the WR. Align with an inside shade, sit low to the hip and roll a safety over to the deep half to take away the top of the route tree: 7 (corner), 8 (Post), 9 (Fade).
However, you still have to play for the deep double move when QB Matthew Stafford and the Lions use max-protection (8-Man protection) to take a shot down the field.
Using some All-22 cut-ups, let’s run through a quick breakdown of the Lions’ “corner-post” (or “Dino” route) from their Week 10 matchup vs. the Vikings
Personnel: Ace (2WR-2TE-1RB)
Defensive Scheme: Cover 2
Base Cover 2 rules for the CBs: Re-route (jam) No.1 to take some stress off the safeties and sink hard at a 45-degree angle to protect vs. the 7 cut (corner). However, both Johnson and Titus Young take a hard, inside release (CBs won’t chase inside) and get vertical up the field.
Why does the SS get beat? He opens his hips to the 7 (corner) on the “Dino” stem from Johnson. Remember, as a deep half safety depth and technique are key. You have help on the 7 cut (CB sinking). Stay square, play through the double-move and drive to the up field shoulder of the WR on the post.
How do you recover as a safety? Here, the SS uses a closed angle technique (head whip), but he “rounds” the turn (have to stay tight with the hips) and is stuck in a trail position vs. Johnson. And with the FS occupied by Young on the 7 route to the open (weak) side of the formation, this turns into a one-on-one matchup down the field.
Johnson is going to climb the ladder on the deep ball. And with max-protection, Stafford has time to put this ball up for his WR to go make a play. Let's see if Detroit comes back to this route tomorrow to create an opportunity to flip the field.
Follow me on Twitter: @MattBowen41