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Old 04-01-2015, 08:25 AM   #46
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This next play saw the change- ups. The Pats switched the formation to one they frequently run the ball from with Blunt in the backfield. Then they executed a play action protection melded with the quick game Slant-Slide and a singled up Fade on the back-side. The first diagram shows LaFell running the Slant and Dola running the Slide from a regular slot alignment. The defender in red is the read. He could cover the Slide or the Slant. The danger player is in orange.

The second pic shows Bradyís ball fake to Blunt and Connollyís pull and lead on the play fake. Gronk stayed in as an extra protector further selling the fake. Both the MOF Safety and the Danger player reacted to the one back power presentation the Pats gave and stepped up leaving Brady to simply read the key defender. That defender froze on the play fake giving Brady both the Slide early and the Slant a second later once LaFell had cleared the read defender as the throwing lanes indicate. The read is Flat to Slant so Brady took the Slide route in the Flat over the Slant for a nice gain.
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File Type: jpg Slant-Slide 8a.jpg (69.6 KB, 92 views)
File Type: jpg Slant-Slide 8b.jpg (65.4 KB, 92 views)
File Type: jpg Slant-Slide 8c.jpg (78.6 KB, 90 views)
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:30 AM   #47
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They ran this again on their next serious for a touchdown to LaFell. Iíve been asked more than a few times why the Pats seldom run the same stuff over again after itís been shown to work. This play here is a good example. Seattle was caught by surprise the first time they ran it. This time the LBs and MOF Safety did not fall for the fake. The read player jumped right on Dolaís Slide, the ILB recognized it immediately and the Safety was fooled by the play-action. Itís tough to fool people in the NFL more than once you also need superlative execution which the Pats got here.

LaFell ran a nice route to gain inside position the CB. Since the Flat defender was right on Dolaís Slide, this left the danger player having to stop the Slant and he wasnít up to task although he played it well. He got a great jump but it appears that Brady widened him to gain a throwing window which was really tight due to the Safety coming over but he got the ball in there. This is an example of a second window throw. The QB typically throws to the Slant thru the first window which is between the Flat defender and the Danger player. Here Brady waited a split second because the danger player had closed that window. Brady instead threw it thru the second window which opened behind the danger player. You can see the Safety driving to close the second window but he gets there a second too late. This was a tremendous play by the Patriots against a tough defensive effort.
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File Type: jpg Slant-Slide 9a.jpg (83.3 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg Slant-Slide 9b.jpg (79.8 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg Slant-Slide 9c.jpg (87.8 KB, 87 views)
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:33 AM   #48
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Iíll take a quick look at a few variations of the Slant-Slide concept the Pats made use of last year.

This is a Slant-Slide run from a 3x1 surface. The back-side receiver is viable singled up. Most teams will ďchoiceĒ that route running what appears best against the defensive alignment. The Pats like Single Slants, Hitches and Fades. Here the Jets have a 2 on 1 advantage so Brady sticks with the Slant-Slide on the 3 receiver side. The number 3 Edelman runs a vertical occupy route to set up the 2 on 2 Slant-Slide. The Pats knew Edelman would be a focus here and he was. The Jets bracket him with the SS and the ILB so thereís no danger player to be concerned with. The Jets played this similarly to what we saw from the Fins earlier where the Slide defender will hang and widen to take away the Slant while putting himself in position to tackle the Slide limiting the damage. Just as we saw in that game, we see the completion to Dola, LaFell making contact with the Flat defender while running his Slant and the flag fly. LaFellís contact was minimal and it could be argued incidental. He certainly didnít de-cleat the guy like he did in the Finsí game. LaFell did get better at this as the year went on actually managing to ole a few defenders to avoid flags. Up until this year, I donít think this level of contact would have drawn a flag but with the emphasis on ďpicksĒ as a sop to pissed off defensive coaches it was called a lot tighter.
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File Type: jpg 3x1 Slant 1a.jpg (94.8 KB, 87 views)
File Type: jpg 3x1 Slant 1b.jpg (93.3 KB, 86 views)
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:35 AM   #49
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This is a Double-Slant. Itís a nice adjustment against Dual Safety looks with no immediate threat at the danger spot and itís very nice against Zero man coverage when youíre expecting pressure. This was run in the RZ during the regular season Coltsí game. This is a 6-5 goal-line front. The coverage people are playing single man inside leverage. If this was Zone, the QB would read outside Slant to inside Slant or key the Flat defender. Against man itís a match-up situation. Everyone can see the match-up advantage in the first picture. Gronk against Sergio Brown is Bradyís focus from the get go. LaFell runs a decent Singled up Slant on the other side and could have scored but Gronk was ideal. The Pats manipulated this a bit bringing Fleming in as a third TE who is actually eligible here but he stayed in to block. This was just a quick three man pick your route play. Brown interfered with Gronk who had gained inside leverage to draw the flag and a first down.

With this being man and there being no inside help available, itís clear how much of an island the Colts left there defenders on here. The Slant-Slide can constrict the window against this look but the Double Slants were pure here.
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File Type: jpg Double Slant 1a.jpg (106.8 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg Double Slant 1b.jpg (109.7 KB, 87 views)
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:38 AM   #50
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This is a Slant-Wheel which is a nice wrinkle against an overaggressive Slide defender. Here the Broncos are committed to defending the Gronk-Edelman alignment at the top of the screen leaving their coverage one on one against LaFell/Amendola. LaFell has the Slant, Dola the Slide/Wheel. This is clear cut Cover 1 to that side of the field. The DBís are square, theyíre pressed and their eyes on are their assigned receivers. LaFell is going to gain a low Slant release like was mentioned earlier. Dola hesitates then breaks out initially faking the Slide but wheeling off of LaFellís inside hip. The slot defender did a nice job reading this and took a nice angle however he picked off the CB just slightly but enough to give LaFell the release inside. LaFellís very low release got him open quick off the short pick which Brady recognized hitting him for a nice pick-up. This is another bang-bang adjustment which is nice vs man coverage.
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File Type: jpg Slant-Wheel 1.jpg (65.9 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg Slant-Wheel 1b.jpg (78.6 KB, 86 views)
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:40 AM   #51
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This last adjustment is self-explanatory. It’s the Slant-Return which the Pats seldom use. Edelman sells the Slant hard, gets the man CB to turn his hips committing to the Slant then breaks back outside. This is a staple in HS and college not so much in the NFL. It was an interesting change up as Edelman doesn’t run a whole lot of Slants himself he’s usually running the Slide or a part of the other packaged concept.

The Pats executed this from a prime 3x1 run formation singling up the Slant-Return. They ran this twice in back to back series from the same look which is unusual. The single Slant on the GL out of these looks is a Pats’ favorite so this wrinkle was well thought out and one of the biggest plays in Pats’ history. The only fear here was the OLB possible getting into the throwing lane but it wasn’t a realistic fear on the return like it is against the Slant itself.

I'll look at Stick next which has been a versatile Pat's fave for years.
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File Type: jpg Slant-Return 1b.jpg (74.8 KB, 80 views)
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:41 AM   #52
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So I'm guessing you have nothing better to do this morning?



I'm kidding, of course.
What could be better than this?
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:48 AM   #53
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What could be better than this?
I second that!
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:17 AM   #54
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What could be better than this?
Not much, no doubt about it. It's like taking a class online, and it's fascinating!

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Old 04-01-2015, 09:39 AM   #55
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Not much, no doubt about it. It's like taking a class online, and it's fascinating!

But teach is going so fast I can't keep up, LOL.
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Old 04-01-2015, 11:17 AM   #56
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Thank you so much AWTE.
I bookmarked this and will read when I have "quiet time" and can really concentrate.
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"That number doesn't mean anything."


UP YOURS, NAPOLIAN
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Old 04-01-2015, 12:42 PM   #57
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Thank you so much AWTE.
I bookmarked this and will read when I have "quiet time" and can really concentrate.
I've read maybe a third. I'll reread that part before I even think of moving on. Sticky and Oedipus.

Cheers, Boston
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Old 04-01-2015, 12:47 PM   #58
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OK, I need to know when the test is? Presuming I pass, do I go straight into post grad studies?

Seriously, this is awesome stuff, AWTE. Thanks for taking the time to make this available to us.
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Old 04-04-2015, 06:10 AM   #59
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Superb, and very generous of you AWTE, as usual
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:36 AM   #60
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Thanks guys I appreciate it. I find this stuff fascinating.
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