Blog : Game Within The Game

Game Within The Game…Passing Game



In all of the passing play designs, the route depths, pass protection and QB drops(3,5/7 steps) are tied together. It doesn’t take much to throw off the timing. If someone is not on the same page, disaster looms. But, sometimes when they break down, players make plays. That’s what Hoyer and Gabriel did for a TD vs Tampa.

Excellent job by Hoyer and Gabriel on this play. It initially started out as a three step hitch to TG. As you can see in the picture below, he ran about a six yard route and Hoyer is about 5yds deep. Hoyer may have felt the line backer so he didn’t throw the hitch. Both he and the receiver adjusted and the protection held up long enough to make the play. Let’s take a look at the pass protection.


The pass protection starts out being a three step protection. The fullback motions out of the backfield and leaves West (34) almost 7 1/2 yds deep. That’s toooo Deep! for a three step pass. West should be no deeper than 6yds… 7yds max… He should take his alignment first or make the FB move up so he can get to an appropriate depth. He can use the fullback as camaflogue, so the defense can’t pick up his alignment.


I break down the pass protection responsibilities below. The lineman have the 4 down lineman and the weak backer (Will #51) and the back has the middle (Mike #59) and the strong side backer (Sam#54) One to two. The Sam backer is the most dangerous in this situation because he’s on the line of scrimmage (L.O.S.) and is an immediate threat. The runner needs to go get him right away, so he doesn’t meet him right at the QBs heels. #34 didn’t seem like he expected the Sam to come. He should be cocked and ready to explode to the blitzer.


Any delay by the runner will give the rushing defender an advantage. You can see below, David is almost to the QB. West has a right to cut on a three step and in case of emergency, but this is real iffy here. West false stepped coming out of his stance and gave #54 a head start. Cutting this close to the QB is dangerous to the QB and the play. West should be cutting the defender now as opposed to where he ends up. On this occasion he gets away with it. I heard the commentator say great job and good block, but in actuality, he was lucky this wasn’t disasterous.

Players making plays is a great thing. Love to see it when it comes together. I hope this gives you more insight into the “game within the game.” Hoyer felt the pressure, rolled to his left and found the open receiver. Win!

Coach EB

Game Within the Game

Game Within the Game

Even within a game there is a lost and there are some victories that happen. For the Redskins vs the Colts, the very first defensive play produced a win for the defense and a lost for the Colts offense.
In the first picture below it can be seen that Kerrigan has gotten off on the snap and is ready to attack Cherilus. Kerrigan has his hands up in a position to slap Cherilus’ down. Cherilus is already in trouble. Good basic pass protection starts with your hands up in a position ready to punch the defender.


In the next picture I have circled the shoulders of both players. Kerrigan has slapped the right arm of the tackle and gotten his left shoulder past the right shoulder of Cherilus. Another sign of trouble. The next step for #91 is to work his swim move to get past.

Ok…we can really see the trouble that Cherilus is in. Look at his feet. His feet are almost touching each other. You can see that the other pass protectors have their legs about shoulder width apart. Big trouble for the QB. WATCH OUT ANDREW! Kerrigan is ready to accelerate to his sack.

Got ya! You can see that Kerrigan has left the tackle behind. Cherilus has tried to cut the rusher in shear desperation. A last ditch effort to slow down the pass rush. Futile!…especially with the type of technique displayed.

The sack/fumble is made and the ball is out. It’s circled in yellow or Gold and ready to be pounced on.


The Game within the Game “win” for the Redskins has gotten the team exactly what it needed to start the game, especially in a hostile environment. The next step is to get the offense to punch this thing in.

Coach EB

Winning Dimension

Winning Dimension



While watching the Seawhaws vs 49ers game on game rewind, a couple things stuck out. One that is well known is that Lynch leaves a lot of people in his wake when he muscles his way down the field.
The below picture is the beginning of some carnage left on this jaunt by down the right sideline for 33 yards. He has used his strength to kick out of the tackle and his balance to continue to attack the 49ers secondary. In the picture, note that Kearse is positioning himself to be Lynch’s next lead blocker.

Kearse has gotten his block and Marshawn is down the sideline. A common practice of runners that get the ball to the below spot is to run out of bounds. Most of the time Lynch shows no fear. He stays in bounds and maximizes the run to the last degree. I admire how he confronts every opportunity like it may be his last. One other aspect of this team is they fight for each other.


The below picture shows again how the Seahawks’ players go above and beyond for each other. They are not doing anything that shouldn’t be done, but it’s rare to really see it in action.

Russell has done one of his masterful spend moves to avoid a sack and scrambled around well enough to throw a dime to Moeaki. He gets a screen from the receiver in the yellow circle so he can continue down the sideline. Turbin is in full stride. Hustle Mode. Russell is in hot pursuit as well.



Moeaki has made his way down the sideline but wait…there is Turbin getting a block on #20. He has out hustled him to get to this spot. The other amazing part of the picture is in the bottom right. Russell is continuing to follow just in case. This type of action is not common. Most players do their job then either jog slightly towards the action or not pursue at all. These guys are in full stride and giving maximum effort for each other.


That type of play is, to me, two parts. They have bought into what their coaches have been preaching and they have a real care for each other.

Love it and enjoy as the Hawks continue to develop.

Coach EB

Steelers Beat

Steelers Beat

Breakdown on the game

We started the last blog on the Steelers by looking at the depth or initial alignment of Bell.  As stated, MOST runners, when behind the QB, align 7-7 1/2 yards deep. As you can see in the picture he is at least 8yds deep. Sometimes he is at 8 1/2 almost 9. This depths help him in the run game but may end up hurting him when he has to pass protect.

As mentioned, He does a good job being consistent with his alignment. The game within the game states that he has to line up at the same depth whether it’s run or pass. The offenses that I have been in calls for different alignments for certain plays and especially pass plays that call for pass protection.




This is a look at the deficiency that aligning  at 8-8 1/2yds has. When there is a linebacker dog or a blitz, the runner takes on the defender closer to the QB. This may not have been an issue is this game but may produce pressure and sacks later in the season. Especially when the team meets better rush defenders if they are to make the post season.




You can see, in the picture above, that the ball in on the 31yd line.

Ben has taken a 7 step drop and has to scuffle up to throw the ball. Le’Veron is taking on the defender just pass the 38 yard line. In his initial alignment his heels on on the 40. He has gained only 2yds and has no room to give.



Two things benefit the Steelers here. SIZE AND SIZE. Both Ben and Bell have excellent size for the positions they play. Although they may be playing with fire with the depth of alignments and the lack of closing the gap by 26 after the snap. You can see how close LB is to Ben. During this play Ben is able to slide up and to the left to avoid pressure. LB is fighting his butt off while providing protection.




Keep an eye on this game within the game note as the season progresses.


For the love of the game


Coach EB

Browns Beat…Defense

Browns Beat…Defense

Having a chance to look at the defense from a game within the game perspective has shown to be challenging. The defense looks for tips, clues and tendencies just like the O. There are wins and losses or victories and defeats on each play.

In the below picture the Browns defense is facing a 3 wides set by the Texans. The Texans have six blockers and the runner while the Browns D has the front 6 and the safety. The defensive play call is designed to funnel the ball back to #31Whitner. The arrows show the gaps that each defender has. If things work out right, Donte should be waiting for the runner in his gap.




In the below picture the blocking responsibilities have been drawn. You can see that everyone is accounted for in the front six. The seventh defender…#31… Belongs to the runner. The ball has been snapped and everyone has started to attack their assignment. Who will win this game within the game match up.




When you look at the picture below, you will see that all the gaps have been taken. The assignments are being executed by the Browns D. Everyone is in their gaps. Wait…Whitner is coming, but it seems as if he is breaking down instead of meeting the runner in the hole. Why is he having second thoughts?  He should be firing his gun.




Look in the white circle. You will see #31 bending down getting ready to cut the runner. Instead of this being a three yard gain…max…it’s a six yard gain. Instead of it being a tempo setter for the game, for the Browns, it’s a game within the game victory for the Texans.




Taking care of your responsibilities on each play and trusting your teammates to do the same is a crucial part of the game within the game. Once things break down, guys will try to do to much. Then that’s when play gets really ugly. Getting off to a good start is not critical but highly recommended. Blue was able to get a positive feel with his first carry instead of being stuck in the hole and feeling like it’s going to be a long one.


Coach EB

Redskins Game Within The Game

Redskins Game Within The Game

In this Game Within The Game look at the Redskin offense I break down some of there action during the game. Victory and Defeat are within each play.

On the opening offensive play in the Washington vs Vikings game, Redskins RGIII dispelled any notion that he was limited in regards to his movement. Below he shows beautiful action in this boot leg to his left with his split legged square shoulder throw. BEAUTIFUL



On the first 3rd down the Redskins lined up in this gun formation and are facing a possible “DOUBLE BLOW” blitz by the Vikings. The pass protection called makes the center work with his left guard and left tackle to pick up the linebacker on his left shoulder and the two down lineman. Hulu has the linebacker on the right side of the center to any safety blitz so he has to jump to this possible threat.




After the ball is snapped the linebackers bail. The bass protection is being executed and the route concept is taking its action. Helu checks his linebacker than releases into his pattern. His assignment is to get outside the right tackle so he can effect the underneath coverage.




Below we can see that the pass pro is in affect and Helu has released into his pattern, the receivers have gotten to their spots. He has widened the underneath coverage so the ball can be delivered. BY THE WAY…RGIII is under pressure but is not phased by it. He throws a ball where the receiver can catch it and get up the field for the first down.




The ball is delivered and the receiver catches it then immediately gets vertical, just like he is taught and which is typically most effective. Completion of a Game within the game Victory.




I hope you have enjoyed this #everybodyfumbles game within the game breakdown. Stay tuned.



Coach EB


Browns Beat II

Browns Beat II

Game within the game for the Browns continues with this look at their third down pass protection. This is where they may miss the veteran presence of Ben Tate.


This is a six man pass protection which includes the 5 offensive lineman and the back. The center is working opposite the running back on this play. Ben has the linebacker left of the center.



After the snap the pass rush becomes a three man charge. Ben’s linebacker drops out. (Circled in red) He feels a stunt to his left. The stunt has worked for the Texans and picks Joe Thomas. Ben has experience enough to check this before he releases and saves a sack.




The play ends with Hoyer scrambling to the right and eventually throwing the ball away. Because the runner was aware it didn’t end with Clowney getting his first sack.


The game within the game play by Ben is going to have to be taken up by West and Crow. As you can see, playing the role of a starter has a lot of responsibilities that come with it.


Coach EB


Colts Game Within a Game

Colts Game Within a Game

Colts Game Within a Game

There has been a lot of focus on the Colts run game. Some have blamed the runners without taking a closer look at what they see after they get the ball. They have gone as far as to say that Trent Richardson can’t run. That may be the case but let’s see what the pictures show.


This game within the game look will give you a feel.

The first picture is from the first quarter of the Sunday Night Football battle that focused mostly on Luck and Brady. Take a look at what Trent has to hit here. The left tackle is jacked up by the outside backer and Wolfaulk is controlling the center. NO GAIN.



The next play has Bradshaw as the runner. He has just gotten the ball and already has a defensive lineman in his face. His ability to make this defender miss is the challenge. His ability to run the ball is challenged before he can get going,

You can see the offensive lineman on the ground looking back. He has over reached his assignment and provided entry into the backfield. They are lucky this didn’t end worst.



The last picture shows a play later in the game. It’s a toss to the left. Observe the penetration that has already occurred. It’s going to take a Herculean effort to get back to the line of scrimmage.  Trent is trying to get in between the kick out and lineman being driven back. NO GAIN!

Browns vs Falcons Game Within The Game

Browns vs Falcons Game Within The Game


Another feature for Browns Beats will give us a feel of how the players, if they so choose, can get better. The abilities of both Josh Gordan and Terrance West have tremendous value to the Browns. If they decide to use the strength of mind to focus on some additional details that will help them be bigger differences for the team.
First up is T West. The team has called a Power running play to the right. Terrance should attack the Right A Gap (between the center & right guard) and get behind the left guard. You can see based on the drawing of the blocking scheme that the o-line is turning everything to the right of the picture and #71 is free.

The red arrows say no to the runner. Based on the blocking scheme there is no way that running to the left be considered, UNLESS a free runner is on the front side. The yellow lines are the yellow brick road. Terrance should be in J Bitonio’s back hip. Don’t do it T West. Note #71 is still free on the backside. Based on the blocking scheme, practice and film review, Terrance should know this.
Oh hell no! He did it! He’s trying to go where the people are being blocked and where the unblocked defender is. If he stays with Bitonio, he has the potential use of his COD to get outside and perhaps do some real damage.

To me, this is a clear indication that he is taking the ball and just running. He either doesn’t have the ability to understand or just doesn’t consider the blocking scheme prior to getting to his assigned alignment. He is just getting basic direction in the huddle, lining up and not working a pre-snap read. This will take some want to and discipline from him but will help him be a better runner, pass protector and receiver, if he chooses.

Room to grow and hopefully motivation not to continue to work against his blockers as opposed making them better.
Now to Mr. Gordan. He was impactful in this game. As we all know, not playing all of the season has benefits health wise but we also know it takes playing football to get better at it. We all knew he would have a few plays he would want back.
Below he is running a fade route vs Trufant. The Falcons decided to match them most of the day. Gordan gets a easy release. He continues to fade towards the pylon. As you can see,Trufant stays with him and takes up the ground Gordan is giving him. (To easy) This gives no room for error and doesn’t help JG use his size and athleticism. The way he ran the route actually helps the defender. The black arrow is the death route. Even a back shoulder throw is dead here. The Red circle is the area where he should fight to get to. After the release he would have to straighten up Trufant. That may create some physical interaction.


You can see if he ends up at the tip of the yellow arrow, it will give him and Hoyer some additional options. Yes Hoyer can still throw a jump ball to him here. The other option brings in another variables. PI and perhaps a fade to the back pylon.
Coach EB

Seattle Game Within The Game

Seattle Game Within The Game

Seattle Game Within The Game

March 13, 2015

By Coach Byner

Seattle has been successful in ousting the 49ers from the playoffs two years in a row. THEY Effectively ended their season short of any additional threats later.
They have a clear formula that other teams don’t have. They make the Niners play a lot of one on one, man to man football. They have the horses and the desire to battle to the last to defeat the opponent, but even more important, to win.

In the picture below, the blocking scheme for the 49ers is drawn. The center has to work to his left to take the backer there. Both sides of the offensive line has to fan out to their responsibilities. The running back is responsible for #50 but consider this, KJ Wright is responsible for him in coverage. This is a cat and mouse game that is being played. Game within the game
Below, you can see the pass protection and pass rush has begun. The battle for supremacy is in full bloom. Each player on both sides have a battle they must win. Wagner steps up to engage the center so he can’t free up to help one of the other lineman. The battle looks pretty even up until this point.

In the next pic you can see the right tackle and running back for the Niners are in trouble. Kap is starting to feel the pressure coming around the edge so he is ready to step up and evade to his right. The other part of the picture shows Wagner being freed up to spy on Kap just in case he flushes to run, which is a killer to the defense.

Kap has been flushed but he has not used his get out of jail free card. KJ has won his game within the game battle with the runner and has the QB in his sites, the other part of the plan is in action too. #54 (Wagner) who is the spy on the QB is firing his gun. The trap is set and the prey is cornered. Two players won their one on one battles and the other played his assignment out to the T, so they win on this play, which ultimately led to a overall victory for the Seahawks.

Beautiful discipline and winning one on one battles make the Seahawks a dangerous team especially as the season winds UP for the playoffs.
Coach EB