Scouting the Bears
9:28 PM CST, January 5, 2013
The Redskins and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will come to the stadium Sunday with a creative game plan to feature the skill sets of rookies Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris. Focus on the read option, movement passes, the inside zone and play action versus an athletic Seahawks defense in their NFC wild-card playoff game Sunday.
As shown here, the Redskins have their Ace personnel (two wide receivers, two tight ends, one running back) on the field in a Doubles Slot alignment with the Y tight end shifted into the backfield. The Seahawks counter with their base 4-3 Over front playing Cover-3 in the secondary. Griffin and the Redskins will run the read option out of the pistol alignment to the open (weak) side of the formation and test the discipline of the defensive end.
Shanahan's offense is tough to game plan for because of the multiple alignments and personnel groupings they show on tape. Here, the Redskins align quarterback Griffin and running back Morris (R) in the pistol (quarterback at a depth of four to five yards, back in the dot) with tight end Logan Paulsen (Y) in the backfield. Even with Ace personnel on the field, the Redskins can align in a slot formation with a two-back look.
Interior blocking scheme
The Redskins will double both the nose tackle (NT) and the 3-technique defensive tackle (DT) in the 4-3 Over front while working up to the scraping linebackers. The left tackle (LT) will double down on the nose and chip to the Mike backer (M) with the center (C) getting to the second level versus the Sam backer (S). The Redskins can't allow inside penetration to get up the field and disrupt the flow of the scheme.
Griffin's initial read
Griffin will ride Morris through the mesh point and read the path of right defensive end Chris Clemons. If Clemons stays up the field (or hesitates), Griffin will hand off to Morris on the downhill path. If he crashes down the line, Griffin will keep and get to the edge of the formation. Clemons is a very athletic defensive end. However, by running the option scheme the Redskins can test his discipline and neutralize his impact.
Tight end blocking path
This plays out like the inverted veer (backside guard pull) from a shotgun alignment. With Paulsen shifted into the backfield to the closed (strong) side of the formation, the tight end will scrape to the play side and work to block the Will backer (W) in pursuit. The idea is to gain an extra edge blocker in the option scheme if Griffin keeps the ball and gets up the field.
Griffin and Morris skill sets
Even with a banged-up knee, Griffin still possesses enough linear speed to turn the corner and pick up an explosive gain. And after watching Morris on tape, I came away impressed with his vision, cutback ability and burst once he squared his pads to the line of scrimmage. If Pete Carroll's team is going to get out of town with a playoff victory, they will have to limit two rookies who have lit up the NFL.
Special contributor Matt Bowen, who played at Glenbard West and Iowa, spent seven seasons in the NFL as a strong safety. You also can find his work at nationalfootballpost.com.
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