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Author Topic: The Dolpins' "Max Protect" Package  (Read 2141 times)
Winters in Holland
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« on: Nov 27, 2007 at 10:02 »

The Dolphins were alarmingly effective last night when they left 8 guys into block, and only had 2 men run routes.  Granted, had the Steelers been running a zone defense instead of man up, I think this could've been countered, but with our O-line incapable of keeping anyone out of Ben's face lately...

...is this something we should run some of over the next few weeks?

In addition to better protection, the other pro is that it simplifies Ben's decision making.  Neither guy open?  Tuck it and run.

The con is that max protect has the pocket more encircle the QB, providing less chances for Ben to run if both guys are covered.


.WiH.
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I don't care if Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy are black. Good for them. But that doesn't change the way I feel about them. The longer we keep looking at guys like Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith as "BLACK HEAD COACHES" as opposed to just "coaches" the longer race will continue to be a problem. --DoctorJohnnyFever
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« Reply #1 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 10:44 »

I think this would work if Hines and Santanio are in since they seem to be able to make plays in space...

It is an interesting thought.  

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« Reply #2 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 11:14 »

W.I.H. :

That's not a bad thought. Of course, such a game plan is predicating on some of those players being able to block. Many of ours apparently can't.

Case in point, both our TE's -- Miller and Spaeth. Miller is merely an adequate blocker against non-elite talent, and Spaeth (so far) is exceptionally horrible.

Mahan can't block anyone one-on-one. Colon isn't very good either.

Maybe we can put in Farrior and Harrison as extra blockers. They might actually do better. I'm not even kidding.  
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« Reply #3 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 12:33 »

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Maybe we can put in Farrior and Harrison as extra blockers. They might actually do better. I'm not even kidding.

Silverback would make Vrabel look like a pansy.

Better than max protect, how about throw a three-step drop into the game plan?  How about a slant pattern or a screen, and I don't mean on 3 and 20?  Or maybe even throw it on first or second down, instead of waiting until 3 and 5 and going empty set, so that the defense knows what's coming and brings the house?
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Winters in Holland
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« Reply #4 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 13:49 »

SLANT PATTERNS!

Is it just me, or are there simply NO slant patterns in the Steelers' play book?

During the games in which I watch teams like Green Bay and New England put on passing clinics, they are LOADED with slant patterns.

The idea is simple:  if a team is blitzing their LBs, that's automatically going to create a temporary void immediately behind the line of attack.  A slant route exploits that void by getting receivers into that area quickly.

Good offensive teams do this all the time as one of three methods to counter a strong blitz, the other being screens and draws.

I could probably count on one hand the amount of quick slants I have seen called by BA this season...


.WiH.
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I don't care if Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy are black. Good for them. But that doesn't change the way I feel about them. The longer we keep looking at guys like Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith as "BLACK HEAD COACHES" as opposed to just "coaches" the longer race will continue to be a problem. --DoctorJohnnyFever
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« Reply #5 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 15:46 »

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SLANT PATTERNS!

Is it just me, or are there simply NO slant patterns in the Steelers' play book?

 
unless I'm wrong they do have one slant play.  It's the play that Hines scored about a gazillion TDs on in the past couple of seasons.

But, I haven't seen it yet this year and it seems that they only run it when they're inside the ten.
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« Reply #6 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 15:49 »

The last year I remember the Steelers utilizing slants consistently and effectively was their SB year in 1995 I think. I remember Thigpen and Mills catching a lot of slants that season.

Who was the OC that year? Gailey? Erhardt?
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« Reply #7 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 17:39 »

The only game that I saw us use quick hitters and slants was 2nd half vs. Denver.  I keep referring to this game, but I think it was clearly an example of what this offense can do with the proper adjustments.

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Who was the OC that year? Gailey? Erhardt?


Erhardt was the OC, Gailey was the WR coach.  BUT, Gailey was calling most of the plays in the playoffs & the SB.  You can hear Cowher talking on the headset on the highlight film, "Whaddya wanna do Chan?"

BTW, Gailey is currently available!   oo)  
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« Reply #8 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 17:48 »

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BTW, Gailey is currently available!   oo)
I'm really starting to dislike Arians; the post from padg where he pointed out the results of BA's tenure in Cleveland made me all of a sudden realize, this guy ain't going to cut it in the long run.  Sure, he's good buds with Ben, sure, we wanted some continuity between the old staff and the new; but if things continue the way they are with the offense and he still has a job next year, I'm'a be pist.
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« Reply #9 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 18:05 »

I think the problem with using a lot of slants against current defenses is that zone blitzing is specifically designed to take away slants.  A whole lot of teams have integrated zone blitzes into their defenses.  That would theoretically make a slant based offense a little dicey.

Of course some teams do use slants a lot, so it can be done, but by and large we have never used (except for the Andre Hastings/Yancey Thigpen era) a lot of 3 step drops or many other rhythm based/ west-coast offense principles.
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« Reply #10 on: Nov 27, 2007 at 21:18 »

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The Dolphins were alarmingly effective last night when they left 8 guys into block, and only had 2 men run routes.
I'm not sure what you mean by "alarming effective". Miami had 159 total yards, with 110 net passing yards. They were also sacked 4 times while converting only 25% of their 3rd downs. They had a couple of passes to the 2 receivers out running routes, but based on the stats and the outgame of the game, I would say Miami was completely ineffective with their offensive strategy. They couldn't threaten downfield, they couldn't run, and they still gave up 4 sacks. Sure, it could have been like 8 sacks if they hadn't max protected, but the decision to block with 8 guys was a major factor (besides the obvious field problems) keeping them from stretching the field and gaining yards,

A bunch of BR's sacks this year were due to him not throwing the ball away and holding it too long. He's trying to make a play every time, and while thats admirable, it going to lead to sacks. You got 3 or 4 seconds and you need to get rid of it. He is taking sacks outside of the tackles when he could have just throw it away. But thats just Ben being Ben. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

As far as slants, someone already mentioned it  by Hines has made a living on the quick slant inside the 15 for years. Also Heat runs a slant in the RZ which has scored on this year.
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Winters in Holland
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« Reply #11 on: Nov 28, 2007 at 10:14 »

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I think the problem with using a lot of slants against current defenses is that zone blitzing is specifically designed to take away slants.  A whole lot of teams have integrated zone blitzes into their defenses.  That would theoretically make a slant based offense a little dicey.

Of course some teams do use slants a lot, so it can be done, but by and large we have never used (except for the Andre Hastings/Yancey Thigpen era) a lot of 3 step drops or many other rhythm based/ west-coast offense principles.
That's an interesting point, but I tend to disagree.

If a WR can't outrun a DL dropping back into coverage, he shouldn't be on the field.

Maybe instead of "slant", I should've said "fat post" (hehe).  Watching the Patriots do it, their guys are running about 7-10 yard patterns before getting fed the ball, which may put them beyond the retreating DL in a zone blitz.


.WiH.
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I don't care if Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy are black. Good for them. But that doesn't change the way I feel about them. The longer we keep looking at guys like Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith as "BLACK HEAD COACHES" as opposed to just "coaches" the longer race will continue to be a problem. --DoctorJohnnyFever
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« Reply #12 on: Nov 28, 2007 at 11:06 »

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The Dolphins were alarmingly effective last night when they left 8 guys into block, and only had 2 men run routes.
I'm not sure what you mean by "alarming effective". Miami had 159 total yards, with 110 net passing yards. They were also sacked 4 times while converting only 25% of their 3rd downs. They had a couple of passes to the 2 receivers out running routes, but based on the stats and the outgame of the game, I would say Miami was completely ineffective with their offensive strategy. They couldn't threaten downfield, they couldn't run, and they still gave up 4 sacks. Sure, it could have been like 8 sacks if they hadn't max protected, but the decision to block with 8 guys was a major factor (besides the obvious field problems) keeping them from stretching the field and gaining yards,

A bunch of BR's sacks this year were due to him not throwing the ball away and holding it too long. He's trying to make a play every time, and while thats admirable, it going to lead to sacks. You got 3 or 4 seconds and you need to get rid of it. He is taking sacks outside of the tackles when he could have just throw it away. But thats just Ben being Ben. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

As far as slants, someone already mentioned it  by Hines has made a living on the quick slant inside the 15 for years. Also Heat runs a slant in the RZ which has scored on this year.
Read his post.  He wrote about when the Dolphins went to max protect.  He's only dissecting a small segment of their offensive gameplan.  You can throw out all those statistics if you want to, but they're completely irrelevant.

If I get a chance to watch the game again this week, I'll see what I can come with statistics-wise for when the Dolphins used a version of "max protect" which can be anything from keeping a RB and TE in to block, all the way up to sending only 1 or 2 receivers into patterns.

Your observation that Ben is holding onto the ball too long is right on point.  On I believe the fourth sack Monday Night, Ben held onto the ball, even though Heath Miller was WIDE OPEN in the middle of the field.  We saw it from our seats, and then the replay on Jumbotron showed it again.  Ben's making strides in his progressions, but isn't to the point of Brady yet.

Ben's been sacked 35 times this season I think it is, and I'd be willing to say 8-10 of those sacks were caused more by Ben holding onto the ball too long (some were "coverage sacks") more so than blown assignments at the line.  

And you're right that most of the slants have been run in the red zone in the recent past.  Another solution besides the slant is the drag.  Move the receiver in motion, and have him continue across the field 3-4 yards past the LOS.  We ran that a lot back in the pass happy offense in 2002 and 2003.

Mahan still sucks though.
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« Reply #13 on: Nov 28, 2007 at 11:39 »

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If a WR can't outrun a DL dropping back into coverage


It's not that the WR can't outrun the lineman, it's that the lineman is dropping into a zone where the Quarterback isn't expecting him to be.  I haven't seen it as much this season from the Steelers, but in recent years it would be hilarious to see Casey Hampton and Aaron Smith sitting in a zone 8 yards down field. And having it work every time.

 
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« Reply #14 on: Nov 28, 2007 at 13:25 »

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it would be hilarious to see Casey Hampton and Aaron Smith sitting in a zone 8 yards down field. And having it work every time.
Almost everything Hampton does on the field looks hilarious. There are times when he stands up after a tackle and you can barely tell the difference--a circle is a circle, afterall.

BTW: I got a Hampton jersey this year. I'm proud to be the only guy at the Steelers bar I go to here in Cali with a Hampton.  
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« Reply #15 on: Nov 28, 2007 at 18:11 »

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Read his post.  He wrote about when the Dolphins went to max protect.  He's only dissecting a small segment of their offensive gameplan.  You can throw out all those statistics if you want to, but they're completely irrelevant.

 
Umm, I did read his post and the statistics I mentioned are completely relevant. The Fins went max protect on obvious passing downs all night and I wouldn't characterize their max protect scheme as a small segment of their gameplan, especially when they had no RB's. And what did that get them? Nada. Once again they had 110 passing yards,  gave up 4 sacks, converted 25% of 3rd downs(mostly from a max protect scheme), while managing to score zero points. "Alarmingly effective" does not come to mind when thinking about what the Fins did when in max protect mode.

The main objective for every offense is not to just simply protect their QB, but rather to move the ball and score points and thats the bottom line when assessing the effectiveness of a particular offensive gameplan. You wouldn't call a max protect offensive scheme effective if they gave up no sacks, but lost the game 34-0 while throwing for 110 yards.

The Fins might have been effective at protecting their QB with max protect(although thats questionable), but just protecting your QB doesn't win the game. They were completely ineffective at moving the chains and scoring points from a max protect offense and to me, that is way more important.
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Winters in Holland
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« Reply #16 on: Nov 29, 2007 at 10:04 »

Nada. Once again they had 110 passing yards, gave up 4 sacks, converted 25% of 3rd downs(mostly from a max protect scheme), while managing to score zero points. "Alarmingly effective" does not come to mind when thinking about what the Fins did when in max protect mode.


I dunno who drove the barbed wire post up your rectum, friend.

What I found "alarmingly effective" about their max protect package is this:


1)  It gave Beck all day to pass.

2)  Their completion % was higher in those situations than "regular" pass plays.

3)  Had the Dolphins' receivers not dropped a lot of HUGE passes, it would've been more effective still, and the Steelers might be 7-4 right now instead of 8-3.


You can't blame dropped balls on the ineffectiveness of a formation.


.WiH.
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I don't care if Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy are black. Good for them. But that doesn't change the way I feel about them. The longer we keep looking at guys like Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith as "BLACK HEAD COACHES" as opposed to just "coaches" the longer race will continue to be a problem. --DoctorJohnnyFever
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« Reply #17 on: Nov 29, 2007 at 10:56 »

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What I found "alarmingly effective" about their max protect package is this:


1)  It gave Beck all day to pass.

2)  Their completion % was higher in those situations than "regular" pass plays.

3)  Had the Dolphins' receivers not dropped a lot of HUGE passes, it would've been more effective still, and the Steelers might be 7-4 right now instead of 8-3.


You can't blame dropped balls on the ineffectiveness of a formation.
 
So, you're saying the formation was effective, but the actual plays were not?



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jburghfan
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« Reply #18 on: Nov 29, 2007 at 11:01 »

It just drives me crazy when teams max protect against us and only send out two receivers.....And it's successful.....

Why can't 5 guys ever seem to cover two guys?......
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« Reply #19 on: Nov 29, 2007 at 12:23 »

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What I found "alarmingly effective" about their max protect package is this:


1)
« Last Edit: Nov 29, 2007 at 12:26 by Big Virgil » Logged

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Winters in Holland
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« Reply #20 on: Nov 29, 2007 at 13:22 »

Exactly.  The formation was effective, and the blockers/Beck did their jobs well, but the WR's failed to execute the simple act of catching the ball on multiple occasions.


.WiH.
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I don't care if Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy are black. Good for them. But that doesn't change the way I feel about them. The longer we keep looking at guys like Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith as "BLACK HEAD COACHES" as opposed to just "coaches" the longer race will continue to be a problem. --DoctorJohnnyFever
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« Reply #21 on: Nov 29, 2007 at 13:49 »

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Nada. Once again they had 110 passing yards, gave up 4 sacks, converted 25% of 3rd downs(mostly from a max protect scheme), while managing to score zero points. "Alarmingly effective" does not come to mind when thinking about what the Fins did when in max protect mode.


I dunno who drove the barbed wire post up your rectum, friend.

What I found "alarmingly effective" about their max protect package is this:


1)  It gave Beck all day to pass.

2)  Their completion % was higher in those situations than "regular" pass plays.

3)  Had the Dolphins' receivers not dropped a lot of HUGE passes, it would've been more effective still, and the Steelers might be 7-4 right now instead of 8-3.


You can't blame dropped balls on the ineffectiveness of a formation.


.WiH.
No barbed wire here...its just my humble opinion that the means equal the end. They ended up with squat ergo they did squat. He had a couple of good throws and the receivers did find some space here and there, but they did give up all 4 sacks in the second half when they used that formation more. So you can't say it provided him much more time. And the, if the receivers caught the ball thing is akin to the , what if Barry Foster ran the correct route on 4th and goal from the 3 in the '94 AFCC thing. But you are right, they could have easily been 7-4 after that game.

Maybe all of us watching the suckage that is the 2007-8 Pittsburgh Steeler OL too much has warped our reality of what good pass pro is. Even the 0-10 Dolphins looked good against us. Same with every shitty DL they have faced.

And you can't compare what the Fins and what the Pats would do with that formation. The Pats can definately get just Moss and Stallworth open in that formation on anybody and you know that bastard Brady will get it to the open guy. Much different personnel, that Lebeau would have to call a different game. While I am hopeful the Steelers win in NE, I certainly don't expect it. If BR plays lights out and FWP does too, and the OL protects, and Reed hits some FG's, and ST plays well, Tomlin doesn't make a bad challenge, Troy finally makes a pick 6, the D holds them at 28 or under, Golden Boy goes down, and the cow jumps over the moon then its possible they might have a definate maybe's chance of winning.
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« Reply #22 on: Nov 30, 2007 at 07:03 »

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Tomlin doesn't make a bad challenge
Excellent point.  I believe now he is 0 for 5, and 3 of those if memory serves had no shot from the get go.
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