Playbook: A.J. Green vs. Asante Samuel

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Let’s go back to Bengals-Falcons from earlier in the preseason and take a look at WR A.J. Green vs. CB Asante Samuel. A good opportunity to talk route scheme, technique, footwork, eyes, etc. on Green’s 50-yard TD catch from QB Andy Dalton. Check out the video replay and then we will get into some coaching points.

- I’m calling this an “Out and Up” from Green and the Bengals based on the pre-snap split of the WR. From a defensive perspective, a split on the top of the numbers (create room for an outside breaking route) is an alert to play for a possible “Out” route.

- Samuel uses a “bail” technique (also called a “zone turn”) from an off-man position. The Falcons’ CB is patient in his drop and also does a nice job of maintaining his “cushion” (distance between DB and WR) on the initial stem.

- As I have said before, every route (outside of the 3-step game) breaks between a depth of 12-15 yards. The “Double-Move?” You should expect the WR to drop his hips and stutter at a depth of 8-10 yards.

- Where does Samuel get into trouble? Look at his eyes. On that stutter from Green, the veteran CB sticks his eyes in the backfield. This is where you lose leverage and cushion vs. the “Double-Move.” Remember, as a DB the QB isn't throwing the ball to need to stare him down.

- Now that Samuel is in a trail position, there is no chance to recover vs. the speed of Green. That’s a no-win situation for any DB. However, it goes back to CB’s technique on the stutter. This is exactly where the coverage broke down.

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