Paul Ott Carruth's X's & O's

Starting today, frequent CHTV commenter "Paul Ott Carruth" will be contributing X's and O's Posts looking at various plays and concepts in relation to the Packers and their opponents.

No, it's not the real Paul Ott Carruth.

P.O.C. is a frequent commenter here on the site who clearly knows his stuff. I've asked him to contribute here at Cheesehead TV when he is able. In his own words:

I've played this game and coached it beyond the high school level.  Let's just say I've had some pretty reliable access throughout my career.

Good enough for me.

Enjoy the first of what will hopefully be an ongoing series.

PACKER RUN FITS vs. CHICAGO COUNTER TREY TO SHADE

PACKERS SUB FRONT (2-4-5 NICKEL) vs. BEARS PRO I

Matt Forte had some success against the Nickel defensive package of the Green Bay Packers.  It should come as no surprise that Mike Martz decided to run the Counter Trey as this is a staple run of his offense vs. nickel defenses.

Why did Forte have success running this play?  Well, first, it’s a good play to use against a “lighter” defense.  However, examining the play, the success had more to do with how the Packers executed their defense.  Defenses have simple rules.

It doesn’t matter if you’re playing Pop Warner or the Pros.  In the run game, every defense starts with the FORCE player.  The force player is the player that will contain the end run (force the ball back inside to pursuit).  In the above diagram, the Will (W) is playing the role of the force player.  He is the PRIMARY force.  The Corner is the secondary force, meaning that he will turn the ball back inside if the Will fails to do his job.  The Backside Guard is kicking out the Will while the Backside Tackle is pulling around the horn to pick up the Buck (B) or flowing Mike (M).

On the front side, The Guard is blocking down on the 2i Defensive Tackle and the Offensive Tackle is blocking to the Buck at second level.  Forte runs the ball inside due to the alley created by the pulling Guard and Tackle.  It is the job of the Free Safety to fill that alley and make the tackle as he is the unblocked free hitter.  The Strong Safety is a cut-off man  in pursuit.

When we take a look at this diagram we see the same exact play being run.  However, the Packers attack the play differently.  Instead of the Will being a force player he is now a spill player.  The intent is to bounce the play one hole wider.

Viewers will often hear announcers say “he’s running North and South.”  Well, the idea is to keep the back from getting “North and South” quickly.   Because the Will is spilling the ball to the outside, the Corner is now the primary force player.  The Will far arms (wrong arms) the pulling Guard to create a pile, forcing the pulling Tackle to elongate his path (wider horn).  The Buck, knowing the alley will now be between  the pulling Tackle and the primary force Corner scrapes out wide to attack the pulling Tackle.  The Free Safety now fills the alley created between the Corner and the Buck.

The Packers attacked this play both ways and both ways are effective and sound.   To the average fan, it may look like a player was playing horribly but it is important to look at the approach the defense took to attack the specific play.

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Comments (31)

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Piet's picture

January 04, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Great stuff. Love the x's and o's. Want moar.

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CSS's picture

January 04, 2011 at 12:19 pm

When looking at draft needs last year I was extremely myopic and focused primarily on OLB's with the ability to rush the passer and show marginal coverage skills.

I now realize, after this year (and taking last year into consideration) the premium TT and Capers place on LB's that can set the edge and hold the line of scrimmage. I can now see why Jerry Hughes would be miscast in this defense.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

January 04, 2011 at 07:41 pm

About Hughes, gotta call it. Bullshit. Let Greene coach him up and he would be great in this D. He's not a 4-3 DE in this league, he's being misused in Indy. Not to mention he's playing behind 2 studs in Indy so he hasn't got much run whatsoever. Not sure why you think he couldn't set the edge? He was more than capable at TCU.

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CSS's picture

January 05, 2011 at 10:57 am

What little I've seen him play at Indy he's been blown off the ball. Maybe he can be coached up, but many a GM have lost their jobs with the attitude that a guy can simply be coached up.

BS back at ya' Fitz :)

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FITZCORE1252's picture

January 05, 2011 at 08:17 pm

"but many a GM have lost their jobs with the attitude that a guy can simply be coached up."

Coached up in tandem with being able to get on the field. Look, the kid's a rookie playing behind Freeney and Mathis. If you were looking for him to set the world on fire his rookie year, in the wrong position, with limited snaps... can't help you there.

Jerry will be a player in this league either in a 4-3 or a 3-4. I do hope he gets a chance to be in a 3-4 someday, that's where he's best suited to play.

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Jayme Snowden's picture

January 04, 2011 at 12:29 pm

I think my head just exploded with happiness.

I like this.

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PackersThad's picture

January 04, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Agreed. I want more now too. It takes a while to get all the jargon down, but I really really want to jump into this!

Good work, Paul!!

Aaron: When are we going to get the comment rating things I saw on Packerslounge?

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MadMan's picture

January 04, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Great post. I alway's enjoyed the posts by P.O.C even though I did not understand all the terminology. Makes you think and helps you to understand the rational behind play. Although some of the things McCarthy does defies explanation at times.

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CounterPoint's picture

January 04, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Great stuff!

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thepretzelhead's picture

January 04, 2011 at 01:12 pm

As long as they don't send you out to catch 3rd and 19 screen passes and draw plays, Carruth I never had a problem with you in the game.

Oh...and we can edit...it is a new erra

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Ruppert's picture

January 04, 2011 at 01:20 pm

This is great.

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jeremy's picture

January 04, 2011 at 01:55 pm

Bravo!

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Jersey Al's picture

January 04, 2011 at 03:21 pm

Is it safe to say the first big run by Forte, the Packers employed the second defense, as we were all complaining about the outside backer "getting sucked inside?" Instead, he was just doing his job?

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Charles's picture

January 04, 2011 at 03:54 pm

Maybe. The force guy would have been the CB, Sheilds in this case, who never looked at the backfield after the snap. FS Collins drops back deep in the video below, out of position to complete the defense on the run. It's either on Shields or Collins I think, probably Collins guessing pass and guessing wrong:

http://www.nfl.com/videos/chicago-bears/09000d5d81d6636e/RB-Forte-25-yd-run

Note Peprah streaking from the other side of the field to make the tackle.

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Paul Ott Carruth's picture

January 04, 2011 at 04:22 pm

This is a classic Counter Trey with the FB replacing the OT as the 2nd puller. You'll see Walden hesitate for a minute and then crash inside. It's tough to say but my best guess is that Walden was the primary force player by his initial movmement, especially when you look at the track that Bishop was taking. Either way, their was no immeidate force player and that is what the problem was on this play.

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PackersThad's picture

January 04, 2011 at 04:47 pm

Good God this makes me feel all warm inside when you talk like that!

lol!

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Charles's picture

January 04, 2011 at 03:57 pm

In this one Pep sets the edge, but the OL makes all their blocks and Forte finds the cut back beautifully.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/chicago-bears/09000d5d81d6636c/RB-Forte-21-yd-run

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Paul Ott Carruth's picture

January 04, 2011 at 04:23 pm

This is a zone scheme using pin and pull techniques. You see Kreutz and the left guard pull around to playside. Very good play call against this front.

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Jersey Al's picture

January 04, 2011 at 05:11 pm

A general comment:

I long for plays like these to be in the Packers playbook. Pulling offensive linemen, counters, traps, etc. So tired of ZBS.

Also, great job POC. If Aaron didn't ask you to do this, I sure would have...

Keep it up!

Al

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PackersRS's picture

January 04, 2011 at 11:29 pm

A general comment:

I long for plays like these to be in the Packers playbook. Pulling offensive linemen, counters, traps, etc. So tired of ZBS.

Also, great job POC.

Keep it up!

PackersRS

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MarkinMadison's picture

January 04, 2011 at 05:33 pm

Does anybody write books like this? I'd buy two.

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maxginsberg's picture

January 04, 2011 at 06:29 pm

I could read posts like these all day. More please.

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Tommyboy's picture

January 04, 2011 at 06:46 pm

Love it. LOVE IT!

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JerseyPackFan's picture

January 04, 2011 at 07:20 pm

+5

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FITZCORE1252's picture

January 04, 2011 at 07:46 pm

Shit son. I never knew Belichick was a Packers blogger that went by P.O.C... Gotta be the hoodie! Dude's as knowledgeable about the X's and O's as I am good looking. Impressive.

GBP 4 LIFE

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PackersRS's picture

January 04, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Can't wait to hear about the OL woes, specially in the run department.

GREAT job P.O.C.

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Oppy's picture

January 05, 2011 at 12:21 am

POC,

Suggested reading for those interested in learning more about basic defensive/offensive strategy?

Think from a neophyte perspective, not a "I played for 10 years and coached for 20" perspective-

In other words, don't forget most of us don't have the slightest idea about many things I'm sure are second nature to you.

Love the break down, and I'm sure I speak for many others when I say I'd love to be pointed towards some good, basic entry-level texts on football strategy and play diagramming. A lot of us understand basic concepts, but fail to see the inner workings and nuts-and-bolts that make it all come together.

Thanks for the article/breakdown, great stuff, and as you can see from the responses, you have a captivated audience.

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Chad Toporski's picture

January 05, 2011 at 09:27 am

I have to admit, it took me about a read and a half to understand what was being said...

Great stuff, though. And I second Oppy's comment. Any good suggestions for reading material?

Looking forward to the next installment!

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Cuphound's picture

January 05, 2011 at 09:56 am

POC: Thank you for this! It really rocks!

Aaron: I'm a teacher, so I have to ask--can you marry this up with one of your amazing film clips? It would boggle the mind to be able to get inside a play that way!

Sorry to be such a geek, but nothing gets me going like education. I really want to stress how much I value what you guys do at CheeseheadTV. No one in the sports writing world gives a damn about improving the reader's interpretation of the game the way you guys do. It rocks my world!

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Oppy's picture

January 05, 2011 at 06:30 pm

I second that (e)motion.

ha, just feeling Smokey and MoTown-y, I guess.

But seriously, I second that.

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TNPackerFan's picture

January 05, 2011 at 07:00 pm

POC Great Stuff, Keep it coming!

Aaron, I think the video suggestion is top shelf.

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