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BDL 2017 Week 1: Cuba Smugglers @ Long Beach Leprechauns


Cuba Smuggers @ Long Beach Leprechauns  

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  1. 1. Who wins?

    • Cuba Smugglers
    • Long Beach Leprechauns

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  • Poll closed on 09/13/2017 at 04:00 AM

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Cuba Smugglers

QB: Kirk Cousins 
RB: Dalvin Cook
WR: Julio Jones
WR: Kelvin Benjamin 
WR: Jamison Crowder
TE: Antonio Gates 
LT: Joe Thomas
LG: James Carpenter
C: Eric Wood
RG: David DeCastro
RT: Zack Strief

WR: Brandon Marshall
RB: Tevin Coleman
WR: Terrelle Pryor Sr.
TE: Jack Doyle
OW: Tavon Austin
RB: Frank Gore
OL: Rob Havenstein
QB: DeShaun Watson

ROLB: Dee Ford
RE: Mario Edwards Jr.
DT: Fletcher Cox
Edge: Calais Campbell
ILB: Brandon Marshall
ILB: Derrick Johnson
LCB: Richard Sherman
FS: Lardarius Webb
SS: Morgan Burnett
NCB: Jamar Taylor
RCB: Desmond Trufant

ROLB: Terrell Suggs
WLB: Johnathan Cyprien 
LE: Derek Wolfe
NT: Chris Baker
Edge: Julius Peppers
MLB: BJ Goodson
RCB: Johnathan Joseph
FS: LaMarcus Joyner


Long Beach Leprechauns


QB- Aaron Rodgers

RB- Christian McCaffrey

WR- DeAndre Hopkins

WR- Marvin Jones

TE- Dwayne Allen

TE- George Kittle

LT- Russell Okung

LG- Joe Thuney

C- Max Unger

RG- Andrew Norwell

RT- Bryan Bulaga


RB- Mark Ingram

RB- Jeremy Hill

WR- Cooper Kupp

WR- Adam Humphries

WR- Sammie Coates

OL- Ty Nsekhe

OL- Quinton Spain

OL- Daniel Kilgore



LE- Cam Jordan

NT- Javon Hargrave

UT- Stephon Tuitt

RE- Cliff Avril

SLB- Clay Matthews

MLB- Jarrad Davis

WLB- Deonne Bucannon

CB- Trumaine Johnson

CB- Artie Burns

FS- Darian Thompson

SS- Landon Collins


DE- Trey Flowers

DT- Abry Jones

DT- Jaye Howard

LB- DeVandre Campbell

LB Avery Williamson

CB- Bradley Roby

S/NB- Budda Baker

S/CB- Kareem Jackson

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Cuba Smugglers


Kirk Cousins leads a strong offense. Julio Jones and Kelvin Benjamin are vertical threats to stretch the field. Jamison Crowder is a solid complimentary target who has Cousins trust. With Terrelle Pryor and Brandon Marshall on the bench, we can feature open formations. Pryor plays the least amount of snaps but Cousins will try getting the ball to him on a deep route more than once. Pryor moves Benjamin and or Julio Jones as a slot receiver. Julio Jones will be the most targeted option on the day. In the redzone we own Kelvin Benjamin and Antonio Gates, two additional receivers with efficiency in that area of the field. 

Kirk Cousins has proven to be one of the strongest QB to lead an offense down the field. We have outlined why he can combat his redzone inefficiencies. His running game has also been upgraded. Dalvin Cook is the lead back. He's going to handle around 20 carries. Cook is at his best running counter plays and we own a premier power run blocker in David DeCastro. There will be a few toss plays to the right and Dalvin should get a couple receiving opportunities on screen passes. Tevin Coleman is the desired receiving option for the early going. He will receive snaps as a spell back with Rex Burkehead as the 3rd down back. 


We've made significant upgrades to our pass rush. The hope is we get immediate dividends as the first test is against an elite passer. Fletcher Cox, Calais Campbell, and Dee Ford bring pass rush strengths while the first two are also elite run defenders. Campbell, Suggs, and Cox will all receive chances to bull rush Russell Okung. Joe Thuney will often face Fletcher Cox. With only Ingram as a downhill thumper we think shutting down the run game a successful strategy. We can play man with Sherman and Hopkins, with occasional help from Lardarius Webb. Morgan Burnett is the opposite safety when Cuba rushes 4 with 7 in coverage.

Rodgers is one of the players who wins with his arm, and for defenses to succeed against him requires elite play from DBs. Richard Sherman will shadow Nuk Hopkins all game regardless of formation. We want Trufant to keep tabs on Cooper Kupp though his spot will be primarily boundary CB. Additionally our safeties sans Burnett have experience playing CB. Joyner moves to Nickel on zone coverage and delayed blitz or two can be done to disguise coverages. Cyprien at WLB will probably receive help when McCaffery is on the field. When split at WR, McCaffery may see Morgan Burnett, or a CB. We consider him a legitimate receiver on the boundary and a three down capable back. Kyle Van Noy subs Cyprien for pass rush and run defense purposes. 

Game plan
Expectations of even balance of run/pass ratio. Sherman shadows Hopkins, Trufant and Sherman mean Rodgers will look to other matchups. 3rd down passing situations Morgan Burnett and Jonathan Cyprien replace Brandon Marshall and Derrick Johnson. Shaw and Webb are the deep help. Take a moderate rushing attack to stop Rodgers. 



Long Beach Leprechauns

Keys on Offense:

The keys for the Leprechauns offense for week one and my first game plan as coach other than a little luck are Balance and Rhythm.


Passing Game Balanced: A balanced passing attack that will attack multiple levels of the defense using multiple weapons all over the field. Our base offense will be a one back offense with two tight ends however we will also feature heavily a three wide receiver set early and often as well as a split out McCaffrey. Utilizing Aaron Rodgers amazing accuracy and arm strength to spread out a Cuba secondary that is lacking a third corner of any worth and picking on mismatches attacking Jamar Taylor and picking on him all day. I expect Sherman to stay on one side of the field as he has failed to show he can follow the best receiver on both sides of the field. So if he follows Hopkins, it will open up more of the entire field for all of our receivers as we will be using DeAndre Hopkins on the outside as well as in the slot to move around for the best matchup. Marvin Jones will play on the outside and his excellent route running should allow for open windows for Rodgers’ incredible accuracy. Cooper Kupps excellent route running in the slot or the outside will provide for reliability for this offense as a third option. Using Sammie Coates on go routes is an added dimension with Rodger’s pinpoint ball placement. With this receiving attack we are able to attack all three levels of the field. Where this offense clearly outmatches the Cuba defense is the mismatch of Christian McCaffrey in the passing game. Cuba doesn’t have a single defender who can match up with McCaffrey’s explosion coming out of the backfield. McCaffrey will also line up in the slot in four wide sets allowing our offense to spread out the Cuba defense. Trufant is the only DB Cuba has that can play in the slot making sure Rodgers has multiple options to attack this defense when we go four wide there will always be a mismatch somewhere across the board. If Trufant is moved to cover McCaffrey, Hopkins or Kupp eat up the slot and vice versa. Don’t be surprised to see these receivers and McCaffrey beat their matchup consistently with the arm of Rodgers. We will also utilize two tight end sets as well as using George Kittle as a Hback. This balance across the line with two of the best blocking tight ends in football will help neutralize outside rushers as well as open up passing options as safety nets for Rodgers, as the defense will be left guessing which tight end will be releasing into a passing route. These Tight ends will also be used to chip outside rushers to slow down the pass rush. The three white amigos (the rookies on offense) will factor in heavily into this game plan and will be successful in their assignments as all three have amazing football minds and do not blow assignments.


Running Game Rhythm: Run offense will set the rhythm of the game and attack weaknesses in the run day setting the tone. Our offense will be fast paced with an open field attack and a ground and pound situational mentality. The explosive McCaffrey will have plenty of running room as he will take stretches and tosses to attack the defense outside but will also be setup by the no huddle fast paced flow dictated by Aaron Rodger’s arm. We will run at and overpower Dee Ford. Pulling Thuney and using George Kittle as a battering ram against him and Wolfe on the left side. Wolfe is not healthy and will get worn down. Suggs doesn’t have the juice to chase from the backside and will be completely taken out of the play. We will create cutback lanes for McCaffrey when we run at Suggs utilizing McCaffrey’s patience to cutback on the over pursuing and undisciplined Dee Ford and will wear out both outside backers. After wearing this team down with chasing the explosive McCaffrey we will ground and pound inside often off the right side behind Bulaga and Norwell as well as Dwayne Allen. This also benefits against the penetrating defensive tackles as their will be cut back lines underneath their over pursuit. We will use Mark Ingram and Jeremy Hill as battering rams in short yardage and goal line situations. The Middle of the line behind one of the best Centers in the league Unger and two great all around guards in Joe Thuney and Andrew Norwell should give the defense fits inside. While Brandon Marshall can be solid in run and chase situations he gets overpowered and overwhelmed and we plan on knocking his block off early and often. Joyner is a big weakness for Cuba and Joyner will be overpowered on run plays by pulling blockers, bigger receivers, and excellent run blocking tight ends. This running game will create play action opportunities for Rodgers and the passing game. The 4-2-5 of Cuba will not be able to hold up against the two tight end sets wearing out an Old Suggs and attacking the lack of sand in the pants and over pursuing Ford. This gives us the balance on offense to attack and be successful against any defensive look Cuba throws at us.


Defense: Intensity and Destruction are the key aspects of the defense. To completely blow up plays with intensity and force to dictate the flow of the game. How this will be done is stated below:


Run Defense Intensity: My 4-3 Under front allows for a tone setting intensity and attack first defensive front led by the front four. We will be a gap shooting front four, playing up field to bring pressure in the run game. Cam Jordan is the jumbo end on the left side who will set the edge and destroy the aging Zach Strief who isn’t the same player he once was. Jordan will be playing a 5 or 4 Tech depending on the tight end’s alignment. Cliff Avril has the speed off the edge to chase down ball carriers and will be lined up as LEO and will force plays back inside, when he is in on run downs. On short down and distances and obvious run downs Trey Flowers will sub in for Avril to provide a stout end duo with Jordan against the run. Inside we have two active defenders in Hargrave and Tuitt. Hargrave is a penetrating type of nose tackle in the 4-3 and can get up field and disrupt the flow the of the run game. Hargrave will be playing a 1 Tech. The player I am really excited about inside is Stephon Tuitt. Tuitt like Hargrave can penetrate and will be integral in a fast flowing run defense and will be playing the 3 Tech. Eric Wood and James Carpenter do not have the speed to keep up with my defensive tackles. Depth will be brought in by Abry Jones and Jaye Howard. The second level defenders are extremely athletic and fly to the football. Jarrad Davis will be the man in the middle with the speed and explosive hitting power to fly sideline to sideline as well as attack the A gaps as the MIKE. Deone Bucannon will be the WLB and he is the pit bull of the Linebacker corps. He is a run and chase backer and he will be like an extra safety in the box and will funnel runs back into the inside. Clay Matthews is like a tasmanian devil and will be stout on running downs. Clay Matthews is the SAM and has the ability to play up field as runs funnel to him and get massive tackles for loss in the run game while also turning runs back inside to the arms of Hargrave, Tuitt, and Davis. Dalvin Cook has speed but he is facing an extremely fast front 7 and will be worn down from the constant attack and pressure. He will be hit on every down and have a miserable first game in the BDL, wishing he was back in Florida. The secondary is full of great run defenders who are strong and physical and can run the alley. Landon Collins is the roamer who will come up and smash in the box on running downs as the SS and Cuba’s run game will feel like they are facing an eight man box because of his ability to range all over the field. Darian Thompson as the single high has the range to track down ball carriers all over the field. Budda Baker will also be playing nickel back at times and he is like a piranha on land. The ability of the safeties to play the run will be a huge factor in this game. Sorry Dalvin.


Pass Defense Destruction: My Pass Defense will destroy passing lanes, lay bodies all over the field, and attack and maul receivers by giving many different looks in man and zone but will be a cover 3 zone heavy scheme. The Pass rush of Avril, Jordan, Tuitt, Hargrave and Matthews from the SLB spot will pressure Kirk Cousins into making mistakes. Cousins can get easily flustered and he isn’t a proven winning QB. The Base Pass Defense of the 4-3 under will consist of Landon Collins at SS, Darian Thompson at FS, Trumaine Johnson and CB, and Artie Burns at the other CB. Thompson will be playing deep thirds with Trumaine and Burns. Landon will be playing underneath but will often switch with Thompson in a disguised role. As my safeties are interchangeable. Bucannon will be playing hook zone along with Davis mashing anyone crossing underneath. On clear passing downs and three receiver or more sets the down front four will be Avril at LE, Jordan at NT, Flowers or Tuitt at UT, and Matthews will rush as a stand up RE. We will be taking the SLB off the field in obvious passing downs, and move Bucannon to MLB. The WLB will be replaced by Budda Baker. Baker will be playing the traditional SS role and play flat to hook/curl but from a WLB position on the Boundary side. Bradley Roby will be playing nickel and have the same responsibility as Baker but on the field side. I won’t pretend like we will match up with Julio one on one so this zone defense will be effective by covering every part of the field. More responsibility will be placed on Roby and Baker to cover the flats to that hook/curl zone but this now frees Landon Collins to roam free and read and react while also providing a double on Julio Jones in underneath coverage. Trumaine will shadow Julio while still sticking to his zone. Collins being free to roam will frustrate Cousins as he is also free to blitz, double on a receiver or play deep. Collins is my ultimate weapon of destruction on defense.


                                                                     Defensive Alignment on Passing Downs/Three Receiver sets

                       Field                                                                                                                                               Boundary

                                                              Avril                     Jordan                      Flowers/Tuitt                          Matthews


                                        Roby(Flat/Hook/Curl)                               Davis (Hook)                                                     Baker (F/H/C)


Johnson (3)                                                                                                                                                                                              Burns (3)           


                                             Collins (Free Roam/Blitz/Flat/Hook/Curl/Man)


                                                                                                                 Thompson (Middle 3rd)

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6 minutes ago, MD4L said:

Calais Campbell with a franchise record 3.5 sacks in his first game as a starting edge rusher.

Pretty impressive although against a lesser oline than he is facing here. Wouldn't have close to that here. Also You need a real QB to win. Cousins isn't it...

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15 minutes ago, Counselor said:

Pretty impressive although against a lesser oline than he is facing here. Wouldn't have close to that here. Also You need a real QB to win. Cousins isn't it...

He's going to be a 25 million dollar QB with his next deal. One of the top QBs between the 20s.

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5 minutes ago, Counselor said:

Bulaga didn't play either so the beast Ty Nsekhe who was just as good as Trent Williams last year when he took over for him is at RT.

He's going against Calais Campbell today. Joe Thuney against Fletcher Cox.

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