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New York Jets’ Bradley McDougald is an interesting strong safety | Blewett’s Blitz Film Review

Blewett's Blitz, Bradley McDougald
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New York Jets’ Jamal Adams replacement, Bradley McDougald, is an interesting NFL safety with plenty of strengths and weaknesses.

Jamal Adams is out. Bradley McDougald is in. This means Gregg Williams has one hell of a job ahead of him.

The New York Jets defense simply will not field the same unit it did in 2019. While that statement may seem obvious on the surface, multiply it by a solid number considering the unit’s identity will greatly shift thanks to the new strong safety.

The areas Adams impresses, McDougald falls short, while the places the new guy excels in are some of the things the Jets didn’t ask Adams to do.

Blewett’s Blitz breaks down Bradley McDougald’s film (over 75 plays) while dishing out his strengths and weaknesses.

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One of the first things that stuck out is that Bradley McDougald (top of screen, top of numbers) is no Jamal Adams in the run game, as he is sometimes way too passive. McDougald is responsible for the curl/flat and the Denver Broncos run a screen into the flat to the No. 3 wide receiver.

McDougald gets downhill on the No. 2 WR to squeeze the screen but gets a little too far outside while not being aggressive/powerful enough with his stack. The WR is able to turn upfield while getting inside of McDougald and past the linebacker who takes a piss-poor angle.

McDougald (high safety on top/boundary) plays overtop of the boundary No. 1. The quarterback ends up hitting a dig on the field side. The wide receiver is getting pursued from the cornerback, who is taking a higher angle to guard against a cut upfield. McDougald needs to recognize this and get downhill quicker, place himself in more of a lateral relationship to the WR, effectively cutting him off.

McDougald takes too high/vertical angle. The WR flattens his angle and is able to run in for a touchdown.

While I’m pretty high on McDougald’s man coverage, these are the type of plays I see hyped up that really shouldn’t be. McDougald is in man coverage on the Y-off tight end (No. 2 up top) as a part of this cover 1 hole. The TE stems vertically, McDougald angles off his hips instead of staying overtop and trying to crowd the route break, while also letting his feet freeze.

The TE breaks inside on the dig, creating some good separation on McDougald. McDougald’s eyes go back to the QB instead of to the TE (increases chances of losing TE). McDougald is able to undercut the throw and make the nice interception, but if this ball was on time or even just leading the TE, it’s an easy reception.

McDougald (near hash) is in another curl-flat in this cover 3 defense. McDougald gets into his exit angle as the ball is snapped. Contacts the No. 1 WR, I would like to see a little bit more of a re-route there. McDougald does a good job getting depth and reading the QB as he is doing so. WR from the field runs the deep over/post that’s cut flat.

Not sure if McDougald sees the WR in his peripheral vision or just allows the ball’s trajectory to set him up. Either way, McDougald gets under the route, tracks the ball and makes the INT, bringing it back for a 37-yard return.

McDougald struggled a little bit in the first game I watched of his 2018 tape, his game does round out a bit though. Here, McDougald (over top of the slot WR) is in a curl/flat zone. He takes his exit angle to his zone as the ball is snapped and needs to make sure that he is playing underneath the No. 1 WR.

BMC (yes I’m making that a thing because it’s easier to type) gets under the No. 1 at first as he checks him. But then doesn’t match, like he should/get depth. The WR gets behind him while working to the front pylon and makes the TD catch. Mental lapses like this need to be far and few between.

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