Rush­ing the key for Bills

Calgary Sun - - SPORTS - — John Kryk

When you want to scratch be­low such talk­ing-point ve­neers on NFL schemes, tac­tics and quar­ter­back play, there’s no bet­ter brain to pick than that of se­nior pro­ducer Greg Cosell of NFL Films. He has been break­ing down pro foot­ball film for decades, es­pe­cially on ESPN’s in­for­ma­tive, long-run­ning X’s-andO’s show, NFL Matchup.

“I think what Gase likes to do of­fen­sively fits Cut­ler, and here’s what I mean,” Cosell said in a phone in­ter­view. “Gase likes what we call three-by-one sets, where there’s a sin­gle re­ceiver to the bound­ary.

“And that re­ceiver in this of­fence will either be DeVante Parker, who is their X, or (tight end) Julius Thomas. Be­cause if you re­mem­ber back in Den­ver (when Thomas was there too), Gase likes to have a tight end who can line up at that X re­ceiver po­si­tion, to the bound­ary — the sin­gle re­ceiver who can win.”

OK, a brief ter­mi­nol­ogy re­fresher.

A team’s “X” re­ceiver typ­i­cally is its best. As the X he’s also called the split end be­cause, in many for­ma­tions, he lines up split to the short side of the field, and right up to the line of scrim­mage, not set back. That’s be­cause, ir­re­spec­tive of slot re­ceivers, the op­po­site side of the of­fence’s for­ma­tion, the wide side, typ­i­cally has the both tight end (the “Y” re­ceiver) as well as the “Z” wide re­ceiver or flanker, the lat­ter of whom must line up a cou­ple yards be­hind the line so as to make the tight end an el­i­gi­ble down­field re­ceiver.

If your X isn’t your pre­mier re­ceiver, he at least needs to be — as Cosell de­scribed it — some­one who can “win” in man-to-man matchups against usu­ally the de­fence’s best cor­ner­back. Un­like the Y re­ceiver, the X has no buf­fer and of­ten is im­me­di­ately en­gaged by the cor­ner. So he must be strong enough to avoid be­ing phys­i­cally cor­ralled, fast enough to help him shake the cor­ner, then skilled enough both to make good cuts to get open and re­li­ably catch the ball once it ar­rives.

“There’s no ques­tion DeVante Parker was drafted by Mi­ami (14th over­all in 2015) to be an X re­ceiver,” Cosell said. “When Gase was in Chicago in 2015, Al­shon Jef­fery was that guy. And the thing about Cut­ler is he prefers to throw to one-on-one matchups. He’s a turn-it-loose thrower. So his style fits with throw­ing the ball to the X.”

Some NFL passers won’t throw it to the X re­ceiver un­less he’s clearly open. That’s lim­it­ing, and it frus­trates coaches to no end.

“But Cut­ler throws to him,” Cosell said, “be­cause he be­lieves, as you should in the NFL — and I was told this by Troy Aik­man a hun­dred years ago, and I’ve never for­got­ten it — that if it’s a one-onone, your re­ceiver has to win.

the buf­falo bills thumped the lowly new york Jets last week, rack­ing up 408 to­tal yards, third most in the nFL in Week 1. nearly 200 of it came on the ground.

How­ever, many games the bills might win in 2017, that has to be their for­mula, ac­cord­ing to nFL Films an­a­lyst and se­nior pro­ducer Greg Cosell.

“their pro­file,” Cosell said, “has to be (1) run the ball, (2) play solid de­fence and (3) try to hit some (big) first-and-10 throws where it’s a de­fined read, where, ideally, you’re get­ting pre­dictable cov­er­ages and you can then run route con­cepts against those pre­dictable cov­er­ages.”

Fifty-two of ty­rod tay­lor’s 132 yards pass­ing, and his only touch­down throw, came on first downs against the Jets.

“Can they do this against good de­fences? not as well,” Cosell said. “but they have to play this way. It’s the only way they can play to have a chance (with tay­lor at quar­ter­back) … this is go­ing to have to be their of­fen­sive pro­file.” You throw him the ball. That’s the best you get in the NFL. If it’s your big-time re­ceiver, one-on-one, he’s got to win.”

Bot­tom line, Gase wants Cut­ler to do what Cut­ler likes to do. @JohnKryk

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.