Why our Bbacks bang their heads against a wall

Skeptic

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It has been circumspectly referred to before, but we still see a lot of posts about running the same "dive" play up the middle and getting absolutely nothing out of it. The question is always: why? Do something different. And from there the discussion zooms off into new formations, new offenses, new plays, new alignments, just different is all.

I have not had much luck pasting in web sites but I will try again. And again, The Birddog, Navy's football blog, and maybe the single best I have ever read on the ins and outs of the spread option and then Navy's derivative, attacks that issue after a big pasting of AF last week, including video of short bursts to show the plays in question. But the coaching crew at Navy gets the same complaints when their guy runs headon into crashing LBs or safeties, yet they send him in again. Why? It is a lesson learned at Johnson's knee: probe the defense, chart their tendencies, see what they are playing, draw the defense inside, and then start working outside. Rinse and repeat. (I know there is the risk in posting this that it will start inquiries about why-can't-we-run-those-formations, but the central issue for it is the Bback up the middle, and this guy is very good.)

http://thebirddogblog.com/2015/10/07/navy-33-air-force-11/#more-8096
 

Minawreck

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I really think the infamous play call last Saturday was just CPJ outfoxing himself on 4th and 1. No one thought he'd go inside again except Chizik and the UNC D.
 

Ash

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755
I really think the infamous play call last Saturday was just CPJ outfoxing himself on 4th and 1. No one thought he'd go inside again except Chizik and the UNC D.

Everyone knew what CPJ was going to do, they just couldn't believe he did.
 

RonJohn

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If the fourth down play had worked, no one would complain.

In other games, I have seen people complain about GT passing the ball on first down when, "The dive has been working, why did we go away from it!!!". On the radio show last week a caller asked why we didn't pass the ball more since Duke was stopping the run. PJ's response was that we went 6 for 22 and gave up a few sacks. We did try what the caller suggested, but it wasn't working. Down the road, people complained about Bobo on one play per close lost all of the time. In some cases, he almost brought the team back from way back. However, when one play doesn't work, there are many "experts" who knew what the correct call was. Vad Lee went into games for a series during Tevin's last year. People were complaining that Lee should have been playing all of the time. PJ's response was that Lee didn't understand the complete offense and could only run part of it. Therefore, the play calling when he was on the field was limited. I guess those "experts" knew what he was capable of better than CPJ did at the time.

The point I am trying to make is that the coaches know the players, the system, and the situation better than any of us. Sure we can say they should not have run that play in hindsight, but have you done a detailed film analysis of the play to see that it was just the play call? Did JT have any options or was it just a straight dive? Did some of the blockers pull on the wrong person? Was there a check? Was the check correct? The only thing I can say for certain is that it didn't work. I am not going to blame the coach or the system. I do however, expect the coach and the players to look back at the situation, the play, the execution, etc. and use it to get better.
 

Rock

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615
If the fourth down play had worked, no one would complain.

In other games, I have seen people complain about GT passing the ball on first down when, "The dive has been working, why did we go away from it!!!". On the radio show last week a caller asked why we didn't pass the ball more since Duke was stopping the run. PJ's response was that we went 6 for 22 and gave up a few sacks. We did try what the caller suggested, but it wasn't working. Down the road, people complained about Bobo on one play per close lost all of the time. In some cases, he almost brought the team back from way back. However, when one play doesn't work, there are many "experts" who knew what the correct call was. Vad Lee went into games for a series during Tevin's last year. People were complaining that Lee should have been playing all of the time. PJ's response was that Lee didn't understand the complete offense and could only run part of it. Therefore, the play calling when he was on the field was limited. I guess those "experts" knew what he was capable of better than CPJ did at the time.

The point I am trying to make is that the coaches know the players, the system, and the situation better than any of us. Sure we can say they should not have run that play in hindsight, but have you done a detailed film analysis of the play to see that it was just the play call? Did JT have any options or was it just a straight dive? Did some of the blockers pull on the wrong person? Was there a check? Was the check correct? The only thing I can say for certain is that it didn't work. I am not going to blame the coach or the system. I do however, expect the coach and the players to look back at the situation, the play, the execution, etc. and use it to get better.

IF my aunt had nuts, she'd be my uncle...
what's your point?

It didn't work, everyone in the stadium knew what was coming. and we see the result.
 

Skeptic

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I really think the infamous play call last Saturday was just CPJ outfoxing himself on 4th and 1. No one thought he'd go inside again except Chizik and the UNC D.
I didn't like the call either, but Johnson explained his reasoning on his radio show and why he didn't think going wide would work. And since if I was smart enough to be a big time coach I would be, and he probably knows more about his offense than anybody else, though I know on message boards that is real iffy.
 

RonJohn

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IF my aunt had nuts, she'd be my uncle...
what's your point?

It didn't work, everyone in the stadium knew what was coming. and we see the result.

My point is that your analysis is only whether it worked or not. I didn't see anything in your post that analyzed the play for the actual reasons it didn't work. I didn't see anything in your post that sought to determine if JT should have checked on a read. I didn't see anything in your post to indicate that you have watched that play many times to see what blocks were made/missed/whiffed on.

The mutts liked to complain about Bobo missing one call in a game, but ignored the fact that his offense kept them in those games and they would not have even had an opportunity to win had it not. I don't want to see the GT fan base turn into the same type of trash that populates the mutt boards.
 

Boomergump

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Well, it is pretty easy after watching the replay to say what play would have worked. Hindsight, you know. The toss sweep may have been stuffed (unless our guy beat somebody in space) because they fired the CBs basically ignoring the thought of a pass. The play that would have worked for sure, based on what I saw on film (which no coach has access to before the fact) was a pass to the WR off toss sweep play action. There was nobody over there once the CB fired inside. Of course, the pass has to be floated in the right direction etc. I would say 95%+ chance of having worked if CPJ was Nostradamus.

The question really isn't what play could have worked in hindsight. We need a core of plays we can go to in that situation that have a higher probably of success regardless of what they try on defense. We have to execute better and use our kids towards their strengths too. The QB follow is hard to stop, but you have to make sure you get lower up front and you have to make sure the QB actually "follows" on the play, especially if the seas didn't part for him right away.
 

Ash

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755
Well, it is pretty easy after watching the replay to say what play would have worked. Hindsight, you know. The toss sweep may have been stuffed (unless our guy beat somebody in space) because they fired the CBs basically ignoring the thought of a pass. The play that would have worked for sure, based on what I saw on film (which no coach has access to before the fact) was a pass to the WR off toss sweep play action. There was nobody over there once the CB fired inside. Of course, the pass has to be floated in the right direction etc. I would say 95%+ chance of having worked if CPJ was Nostradamus.

I like you fade to the corner idea. If only we had the WR for it.

I wanted to go wide. Not because it would guarantee TD (no play does) but at least it would give the D something to think about if it didn't work. Due many reasons, we are getting pretty predicable in situation play calling and are not good enough to impose our will just yet. Getting someone fast out on a pitch to the far side would mean our man might have to make play for those 2 yards, but the next time we are down there going up the middle might be easier if they are not absolutely sure that is what we will do.
 

Tech93

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I was hoping to see a fake to the B back and then a pitch to the A back outside. At the end of the day who really knows if that would have worked, but I felt we were burning UNC on the edges for the most part.
 

Boomergump

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I like you fade to the corner idea. If only we had the WR for it.

I wanted to go wide. Not because it would guarantee TD (no play does) but at least it would give the D something to think about if it didn't work. Due many reasons, we are getting pretty predicable in situation play calling and are not good enough to impose our will just yet. Getting someone fast out on a pitch to the far side would mean our man might have to make play for those 2 yards, but the next time we are down there going up the middle might be easier if they are not absolutely sure that is what we will do.
Fade is a pretty strong word for what I was talking about. Fade implies somebody was covering. It was W-I-D-E open, meaning nobody there. There was no need to "fade" the pass at all.
 

Skeptic

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Fade is a pretty strong word for what I was talking about. Fade implies somebody was covering. It was W-I-D-E open, meaning nobody there. There was no need to "fade" the pass at all.
I'm thinking Thomas-Smelter-VT-TD on a short field.
 

bke1984

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I didn't like the call either, but Johnson explained his reasoning on his radio show and why he didn't think going wide would work. And since if I was smart enough to be a big time coach I would be, and he probably knows more about his offense than anybody else, though I know on message boards that is real iffy.

CPJ is better at coaching than I am, so I'll take wins and losses with him as coach instead of me...and that's why I don't ever call him with these suggestions...

...but forget about going wide or the pass for a second. What about just handing to Skov and letting him mow into someone for a yard? Seems like the 240 LB guy that we can't get to stop running into linebackers might have a better shot at driving into the end zone than the 180 lb speedster
 

bke1984

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Well, it is pretty easy after watching the replay to say what play would have worked. Hindsight, you know. The toss sweep may have been stuffed (unless our guy beat somebody in space) because they fired the CBs basically ignoring the thought of a pass. The play that would have worked for sure, based on what I saw on film (which no coach has access to before the fact) was a pass to the WR off toss sweep play action. There was nobody over there once the CB fired inside. Of course, the pass has to be floated in the right direction etc. I would say 95%+ chance of having worked if CPJ was Nostradamus.

The question really isn't what play could have worked in hindsight. We need a core of plays we can go to in that situation that have a higher probably of success regardless of what they try on defense. We have to execute better and use our kids towards their strengths too. The QB follow is hard to stop, but you have to make sure you get lower up front and you have to make sure the QB actually "follows" on the play, especially if the seas didn't part for him right away.

I'm just not a huge fan of the follow at the goal line with Thomas. Loved it with Nesbitt and Byerly...I just think there are plays he is able to execute better.
 

Northeast Stinger

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I'm just not a huge fan of the follow at the goal line with Thomas.
I confess I am not either.

The fact that CPJ sticks with it tells me that he thinks the reason it often does not work has less to do with Thomas being slight and more to do with the offensive line not doing what they are supposed to do.
 

Ash

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I'm just not a huge fan of the follow at the goal line with Thomas. Loved it with Nesbitt and Byerly...I just think there are plays he is able to execute better.

If you are dead set about getting the ball in his hands, why not use his speed to go to the outside instead of straight up the middle?

We got the closest thing to a "That's on me" from CPJ that we are going to get when he said they were going to look at other ways to handle that situation...Skov, Jordan or whatever.
 

bke1984

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If you are dead set about getting the ball in his hands, why not use his speed to go to the outside instead of straight up the middle?

We got the closest thing to a "That's on me" from CPJ that we are going to get when he said they were going to look at other ways to handle that situation...Skov, Jordan or whatever.

Yeah, I think that he finally realizes it's not a great idea...just not sure why it took so long. The play against Georgia on the goal line where he "fumbled" was another example.

You know, early last year it seemed like he felt this way, but we stopped using Tim in those situations as the season progressed last year. I'm not exactly sure why...maybe CPJ didn't want to show his hand? Maybe he was worried about killing JT's confidence? Not sure...but I'm hopeful he'll address it going forward.
 

GTJake

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If his thought process was that the 4th down call would be unexpected because it was virtually the same play call as 3rd down, why didn't he changed the call when he saw UNC's defense lined up expecting the inside play call ?
IMO, a rocket toss or pitch with a seal on the edge would have walked into the endzone ...
I agree with whoever said his thought process was ... if you can't get a yard on two plays running right at the defense you don't deserve a TD.
 

Skeptic

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If his thought process was that the 4th down call would be unexpected because it was virtually the same play call as 3rd down, why didn't he changed the call when he saw UNC's defense lined up expecting the inside play call ?
IMO, a rocket toss or pitch with a seal on the edge would have walked into the endzone ...
I agree with whoever said his thought process was ... if you can't get a yard on two plays running right at the defense you don't deserve a TD.
Probably because when they saw Byerly, they knew the play. As for the "walked into the end zone", hardly. As Johnson explained, there was some coverage there and a sweep was no guarantee, given our woes in edge blocking.
 

bke1984

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Probably because when they saw Byerly, they knew the play. As for the "walked into the end zone", hardly. As Johnson explained, there was some coverage there and a sweep was no guarantee, given our woes in edge blocking.

Not sure it matters who's in there. 99% of the time they know we're going up the middle from the one. Need to put the team in the best position to win...nothing against JT...it's just that bigger guys are better at sneaking/getting one yard at every level of football....he literally bounced backward off a guy on one of those two plays
 
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