Breaking down Moss vs. Revis

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On Thursday, I talked about Randy Moss heading into the 2011 season. What type of player will we need to see in training camp if we are going to buy into the comments from his agent that the WR is ready to play at a high level?

Today, let’s look at an example of what Moss can do outside of the numbers when he is in a one-on-one situation—and playing good football. Check out the video replay of Moss from early in the season with the Patriots vs. the Jets Darrelle Revis. Then we will get into some coaching points to break it down.

Coaching points:

Personnel and alignment: Let’s set this up before we get to Moss vs. Revis. The Patriots will use multiple personnel groupings and alignments in their game plan. Here, we see a 3x1 set to the field with Moss (Z receiver) aligned in an “over split” outside of the numbers. This creates space for the Y and W (TE and slot receiver) to work the inside Hi-Lo concept that we see throughout the league.

Initial release: Moss wants to release inside on Revis. Set up the Jets CB with an outside move at the line of scrimmage, get him to open his hips and then stem the route vertically up the numbers.

“Mirror” technique: We don’t see true bump and run technique from Revis here (punch with outside hand on inside release). Instead, Revis wants to “mirror” the release of Moss, slide his feet and cut off the vertical stem. However, once Moss gets him to open his hips, Revis takes a “bucket step” that forces him to get back on his heels and give a free release to the WR.

Don’t look back: Revis is beat here. But there is something we can learn from that is taught at every level of football: don’t look back to the QB. You will lose the relationship with the receiver down the field (called “out of phase”). This creates even more separation between the WR and the CB. Instead, when you are in a trail position, drive to the up field shoulder of the WR and play the pocket when the receiver extends his arms to catch the ball.

Converting the route: I can’t tell you if this is the route Moss was supposed to run in the huddle, but whenever he gets that hand up (something I saw on film often during my career from Moss), he is converting his route down the field. Curl, deep dig, etc. If he gets a free release and wins on his stem, no doubt that hand is going up and he is running a deep route.

Final thought on Moss…

Even with Revis nursing a bad hamstring in this game, Moss wins this matchup because of the release. And it is that type of ability that will land him in a camp after the lockout. Now let’s see if he can play a full season with that type of effort—including the one-hand grab at the end of the play.

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