Playbook: Panthers' 'Hi-Lo Whip' concept

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Let’s go back to Sunday night in New York and take a look at Cam Newton’s TD pass vs. the Jets to talk scheme, technique and game situation. Check out the replay of the “Hi-Lo Whip” concept and then we will get into some quick coaching points.

Panthers vs. Jets
Personnel: Posse (3WR-1TE-1RB)
Formation: “Orange” (Stack)
Route: Hi-Lo Whip

- I’m thinking two route concepts with a stack alingment in the red zone: Flat-7 (corner) or Hi-Lo. With a “Orange” alignment (2x2 spread) on the field and Y (TE) on the ball in a reduced split (close to core of formation), the Panthers can bring the Z receiver (Louis Murphy) in motion to create the stack.

- The “Hi-Lo Whip” is drawn up the same way as the base “Hi-Lo” concept we see consistently from Andy Reid in Philadelphia. An intermediate dig route with an underneath crosser. However, with the “Whip” action the underneath receiver will push inside and then work back to the numbers.

- I see a defense playing a “triangle” (3 on 2) vs. the stack. However, New York has two defenders following Murphy on an inside cut with CB Darrelle Revis playing from an outside leverage position onTE Greg Olsen when he breaks on the dig (square-in). The speed of the game increases in the red zone and a false step or poor read will lead to six points. Have to show the ability to play the stack or bunch in this field position.

- A quick coaching point on “eyes” in the secondary. Even though the Jet look like they busted responsibilities in the secondary here, they are still in a position to play the underneath “Whip.” However, go back to the replay and check out the DB driving to Murphy. Where do his eyes go? Right to Newton. Whenever you are defending an inside breaking route, drive to the hip of the WR. This will take you to the upfield shoulder (to play the ball) and protect you on the “Whip.” Bottom line: stick your eyes in the backfield and you are beat.

- In terms of game plans, this is a good call from the Panthers given the situation. 3rd down inside of the 5-yard line vs. a defense that will play some combination man coverages. And don’t forget about 3rd downs out in the field (3rd and 2-6). Because the “Hi-Lo Whip” (along with the “Spot” route) is a “gotta have it” play for many offenses in the NFL.

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