Minor post-snap deficiencies from Marcus Maye and Bryce Hall lead to TD
While standing in front of his team for the first time in a post-game situation, head coach Robert Saleh delivered an interesting message in the New York Jets locker room after defeating the Giants.
“(There’s) a lot to learn off of from this tape,” Saleh told his team. “I know it’s a day off tomorrow but watch the tape. Watch your individual performance. Turn the lights off, sit in a dark room by yourself and watch your tape. And tell yourself what that thing says. Find a way to make that speak louder the next time.”
The purpose of the message is clear: Each player can improve their game by analyzing their performance on every snap.
By focusing on and diving into the film, a player can find those minor details that escaped recognition during the game. Then, they can take what they have learned and apply it to their next opportunity.
While that sentiment will always ring true, it seems especially appropriate just one week later following the Jets’ performance in Green Bay. Despite leaving the state of Wisconsin with a win, the Jets defense struggled to make plays early in the game.
I decided to take action on Saleh’s advice by analyzing one specific play from Saturday afternoon (full video can be seen above this article or by clicking here for Jets X-Factor’s YouTube channel). This is not meant to overly criticize a player or broadly define someone’s performance. The goal is the exact purpose of the message: find what went wrong and determine how the performance can improve next time around.
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After starting at their own 19-yard line, the Packers went 18 plays to get to a third-and-4 situation at the Jets’ 6-yard line. On the 19th play of the drive, the Packers dialed up a spot concept to the boundary. The tight end ran the corner route to the back pylon, the WR ran the curl route to the goal line and the running back went into the flat.
With the Jets’ defense in a Cover 2, Kurt Benkert threw the football over the outstretched arm of Bryce Hall to hit Jace Sternberger on the corner route in the end zone. However, Marcus Maye could also be seen closely trailing Sternberger as he caught the ball.
In this video breakdown, I focus solely on Maye and Hall to show what I believe they could have done better to change the outcome of the play.
Thank you for the breakdown, but I don’t think I understand. If Hall gets deeper, doesn’t he get torched on the flat? I mean, it seems like he has help on the corner and the curl, so is getting deeper his responsibility?
Hey Matt, I appreciate the comment and question! It’s a good point. He doesn’t want to totally give up the flat. If he gets too deep, it can be a walk in touchdown for the RB given where they are on the field. However, when you have two receiving threats while playing as a Cover 2 corner, eyes should initially be on the #2, which in this scenario is the TE. If he gets vertical, you should sink to get depth. That immediate depth could force the QB to move off the corner route because he sees you’re moving toward the throwing lane essentially at the snap. And at that time, a quick decision to throw to the RB in the flat still leaves you in position to put your foot in the ground and drive up to make the tackle. But if he decides to throw the corner, you’re in a better position to see it, open your hips and turn to break up the pass or maybe even pick it off. So it wasn’t so much getting more depth for Bryce – it was his reaction at the snap to stay square to the LOS and then wind up getting the depth a bit later on. It kept that window open for the QB to feel comfortable making the throw to the TE and left Bryce scrambling a bit to react, jump and ultimately miss the football on the pass break up. Hopefully that helps! I appreciate you giving the video a view. Thanks!
That’s interesting. So if I understand right, if he drops deeper right off the snap, the QB might come off the corner route, and then he can put his foot in the ground and drive on the flat, but he sort of ignored the corner initially, which made it an easy read.
I still feel like I should be more disappointed in Maye, though. What else does he have to do but take away the corner?