The Passing Chronicles: Doubs to the Pylon (aka, Coco Swab)

Dusty digs into the TD to Romeo Doubs in the Packers Week 10 loss to the Steelers

I had another play all lined up for this week, but then this one called to me so I did a late pivot. I never said it was a good story.

The play today comes from the week 10 loss to the Steelers, which dropped the Packers to 3-6 on the season and staring at a stretch of games against the Chargers, Lions and Chiefs. I don’t remember being the most optimistic person in the world at the time, but now? Now I’m great.

Let’s get to the play.

We’re looking at the call itself and the responsibilities. As a reminder, this is how the Packers structure their calls:

  1. Motion/Shift
  2. Formation & Strength
  3. Formation Variation
  4. Motion
  5. Run Concept or Pass Pro
  6. Pass Concept

Playcall: Motion Gun Crip LT Open F Counter 2 Jet Coco Swab

Here’s how that may sound when called in the game:

(I intentionally muffled the audio in an attempt to replicate what it may sound like coming through the QB's headset and added the crowd noise for the same reason. This probably is a very bad idea.)

Motion: Motion

This just indicates that there will be motion later in the play, so be on the lookout for it.

Formation & Strength: Gun Crip LT

This is a 1x3 formation, with the tight end aligned as a the lone receiving option on the left, while there is a bunch look on the right. 

Formation Variation: Open

The original Crip LT calls for the Y to align in-line. The Open term tells him to split out 5 yards from the tackle.

Motion: F Counter

This tells the F receiver - the inside man on the bunch - to run a Counter motion. Counter sees the receiver starting a fast Fly motion under the line, then reversing back to the side he started from.

Pass Pro: 2 Jet

2(00) Jet is a 5-man Slide protection calling for 4 to block down to the widest rusher, and the backside tackle blocking away from the slide. In this case, that calls for the right tackle to kick out to the right, while everyone else looks to block down to the left. 

The running back is reading inside-out starting at the center. He is checking-and-releasing: that is, if he is not needed to help in pass pro, he will release into his route.

Pass Concept: Coco Swab

We looked at the Coco concept back in week 4, but it’s worth bringing back again because it’s a concept they really like and, as we see here, pairs nicely with other concepts.

Coco is a two-man concept consisting of a Corner route and a C.O. route. The definition of a C.O. route is one of my favorite route definitions in the Packers playbook: “A predetermined Choice Route that breaks out.” A Choice route that strips the choice. 

Swab is a two-man concept consisting of a Basic route and a Shallow Cross. It’s one that can look a lot like Mesh without actually being Mesh. (In the confines of the low red zone, it looks like they convert the Basic to a High Shallow Cross, which breaks at a shallower depth and has an option to sit in the middle of the field.)

(As always, I used Dan Casey’s Play Caller’s Club book as a template for the above image. It’s a really fun book to mess around with.)

Trailing 7-0 with a shade under 5 minutes to go in the 1st quarter, the Packers are facing 3rd & 7 at the Steelers 8 yard line. The Steelers have a split-safety look, with one of the safeties playing directly over the bunch on the right and the other aligned deep over the center. That sees the Steelers with 4 defenders over the 3-man receiver bunch on the right side for the Packers. 

When Jayden Reed [11] goes in motion, he is followed by Desmond King [25], signaling that the Steelers are likely in man-to-man (not uncommon in this part of the field). As reed returns back to the field, you can see the Steelers defensive backs communicating the switch, as King would have a hard time fighting through all the flotsam and jetsam to pick up Reed coming back out to the right. That sees Patrick Peterson [20] picking up Reed on the C.O., while King picks up Romeo Doubs [87] on the corner.

While the Steelers do a good job switching the assignments, that still leaves Doubs with outside leverage on King, and Doubs is running a Corner route. Damontae Kazee [23] is the safety that starts over the bunch and he has outside leverage on Doubs, but the Shallow Cross from Luke Musgrave [88] causes Kazee to turn his eyes to the middle and wait on the crosser. By the time Kazee tries to help with Doubs, it’s too late.

King and Kazee are too far inside and Peterson is tied down in the flat by Reed. The throw goes to the back pylon and Doubs hauls in a beauty for 6.

On this call, the Corner route is the Alert. As we’ve talked about before, the Alert isn’t a part of the progression itself, but is the first option if the defense is giving a specific look. Given the defensive look they got with the shift, it makes sense why Love went with the Corner here.

With the protection sliding left, that leaves Zach Tom [50] on an island against TJ Watt [90]. Watt hits a spin move and beats Tom to the inside, but Love gets rid of the ball before that can become a problem.

You’ll never hear me complaining about a nice little high-low concept in the low red zone. This is a really nice play and Love does a good job of seeing what the defense is doing and getting it out on time.

If you want to go back through the rest of this series, I thought I'd gather all the links up here. Hope you're learning half as much reading this as I am writing them.

Week 1: Gun Trio RT Open 2 Scat H Choice Buffalo
Week 2: Motion Sink LT Zoom Z Fly P19 Waggle Z Dagger
Week 3: Shift Gun Trips RT G Open H D 3 Scram Z Shot Bow
Week 4: Gun Dyno RT 2 Jet Coco Stitch
Week 5: Bunch LT FK 19 Keep LT
Week 7: Shift Crush LT Z Insert 12 Dos Shield
Week 8: Shift Gun Crush RT Z RT 365 Shield Return
Week 9: Motion Gun Trips RT F Behind FK Mirror Swinger Y Cross

Albums listened to: Blindside - Silence; mewithoutYou - Pale Horses; Low - Things We Lost in the Fire; Unwed Sailor - Underwater Over There; The Breeders - Pod




Dusty Evely is a film analyst for Cheesehead TV. He can be heard talking about the Packers on Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter at @DustyEvely or email at [email protected].


3 points

Comments (5)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Leatherhead's picture

May 22, 2024 at 07:14 pm

I love these. It's great to see the linemen who "aren't good enough" working together as a unit and getting the job done. I believe, that if Love isn't pressured, he's going to make a really good throw, and our receivers are going to convert quite a few of them.

On the play you featured, regardless of the illusion of motion, at the moment of the snap, there are only 4 defenders to the left side of the offense, or to the left of Love/Meyers. That's how much the defense is selling out to stop something they can't.

1 points
T7Steve's picture

May 23, 2024 at 07:55 am

Why did you say it like an accusation LH? " linemen who "aren't good enough" working together". I think everyone here acknowledges the line was clicking towards the second half of the season. Everyone here is also hoping for great improvement too.

Can't stay the same. Have to get better.

I think that was the biggest disappointment early last season was when we thought the veteran O-line and running backs were going to carry them through till the passing game got dialed in. Then injuries sort of hamstringed them for a while (pun intended).

0 points
Leatherhead's picture

May 23, 2024 at 05:03 pm

Because people are still trying to perpetuate their narrative that Josh Myers is no good and that Butkus and Steno are incompetent.

0 points
GB@Germany's picture

May 23, 2024 at 12:51 am

Watching this just reminds me how I‘m looking forward to the season to kick off and give us some new drama.
I use your articles as a reason, to rewatch the game, you select the play from. What great next three weeks I will have….
As Jordan never takes the checkdown on 3rd down, Matt needs here a more aggressive call for the RB in the new season.

1 points
T7Steve's picture

May 23, 2024 at 07:43 am

I thought, "Great, I'm going to fly through this play, I've got these down now." then Dusty says, "It’s one that can look a lot like Mesh without actually being Mesh."

How many times are you going to make me go back to the beginning and start over Dusty? HA!

How these youngsters can get this down, even in half a season, is beyond me and quite impressive.

I wonder if they planned to give Tom some help on TJ after that? There's always at least one on every D that has to be accounted for every game. I noticed they started to obviously succeed in taking out or at least minimizing big plays of the best defenders from the Thanksgiving Detroit game on. Maybe the Chargers game but that didn't stick out to me as much, but I can't remember them making Love miserable in that game either.

1 points

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