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Coach's Halftime Thoughts - Week 7


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As usual, some Xs Os and all around useful and deeper thought tidbits. Ill add more after the game.

1. Good football instincts X Woods showed on the recovery. He never took his eyes off. Usually a young player can be distracted by other movement on a ST unit. Woods stayed with the play.

2. Good vision by Zeke to stay with the lane, and read the hole on all three of his opening carries. Yes, the blocking looked more fluid but it seemed like Zeke had to halt an initial burst each time play with patience and vision to find the gap. He hasnt done that much this year.

3. Impressive jump off on the snap by the DL so far. They are hitting the line with great timing and really judging the snap well. That takes a lot of study.

6. Dak is trying to do too much. The protection is doing fairly well, but hanging onto the ball too often to find secondary targets isnt always a good thing. Sometimes it is easier to take your checkdown when the timer goes off.

7. Like seeing the run play design this team was money with the last few years. We saw it help Murray dominate, but have seen it less and less each year since: Wide angle zone stretch. Collins is executing his block well on this design so far and giving Zeke a very easy inside shoulder vs outside shoulder decision to make. That second TD run was, surprisingly, some of the best coordinated blocking by Martin&Collins I have seen so far.

8. Classic Marinelli zones throughout this half  Very soft and yet leaves no area of field open. This makes it tough on young QBs, having to hold the ball and find holes in zones while reading his receivers adjustments. Beathard is doing so, but its keeping him fairly limited and forcing him to take easy throws. Lots of easy throws leads to long drives with lots of plays - and more chances for mistakes to capitalize on. I will be shocked if this does not effect the outcome of the second half.

9. Reuben Foster plays the hole aggressively, it allows Zeke cutback room and space if he can avoid him - but Foster is a hell of a tackler too. I  this systen they run, he never seems to have the same.role two plays in a row, either. SF got a player there.

10. Bryant still an up and down route runner but I dont think anyone can question his toughness and willingness to make tough grabs over the middle of fight for YAC - good to see play designs making use of this. Two consecutive catches were one read or check down designs both with the heart of the play centered on Bryants release and ability to produce after the reception.

11. Underrated resurgence by James Hannah. His effectiveness in pass protection today has been much improved, but his ability to help seal the edge and pull play side on run plays has been a big boost going back to last game. And on Witten's TD, Hannah's surprisingly good route running lured the secondary coverman on the playside way out of position.

11. Speaking of Wittens Td, there are maybe only 5 or 6 QBs whod make that throw today. The timing and precision on such tight coverage in the tight confines of the endzone was outstanding. That had to be perfectly placed and Dak could not have rainbowed it any more perfectly. Play design revolved around the right side, Dak had.to read who drew the primary defender - when Hannah ran the slantstep-out cutting outside breaking route and the secondary defender took his zone wide to follow, Dak had an easy read. But still a tough throw that he made.look easy. Great job.

12. I think its safe to say Byron Jones has regressed now that he is the veteran of that secondary. Surprising to see him continually gashed on the slow cuts of these TEs, and Brittle is a sloppy feet player. To slip Byron like that on the medium gain there midway thru the second isnt so much impressive of Brittle as it is depressing for Byron.

13. Failed 2 pointer is exactly why I say Butlers role is good as it is. Terrible route and way too passive on the grab attempt. Got to go get it, not wait for it.

14. That behind their own 20 three and out featured a terrible play call on third down. There was no check down, with three routed all requiring a change of direction. This takes a lot of time to execute on an obvious blitzing down. Had the protection not held, Dallas was looking at a safety. No idea what Linehan was anticipating there.

15. I count three terrible tackle attempts by jaylon smith with poor angles taken and a weak grab attempt. Why is he out there so much still?

16. Lawrence on the weak side against Staley paid off.on the turnover, but Im certain the idea was to help out the inside by putting our best DL against their best pass protector and guaranter better matchups inside. Surprised the interior is still yet to make an impact.

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