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Why DB’s Get beat Deep

Three Reasons Why DB’s Give up Explosive Plays
By, Matt Bowen

We see DBs get beat every week in the NFL. Maybe it a 9 (fade) route vs. a CB in press-man or a deep half safety giving up the post-corner in Cover 2. But why do DBs find themselves in an adverse position when they are suddenly on the wrong end of an explosive play? Three reasons. That’s it. Let’s check them out.

Matt Bowen ICONThat’s me getting beat for a TD on the post-corner. Why? Poor footwork at the top of the route stem.

1. Eyes: Where are you looking? That is the first thing you will hear from a DB coach when you turn on the tape after giving up explosive play (I heard it often during my career). Think of a CB looking back in at the QB while in man-coverage, a DB with his eyes in the backfield on play action or a safety that isn’t reading his run/pass keys at the snap of the ball. Forget talent or ability here. Because if you don’t understand what you are looking at (personnel, formation, alignment, stem, splits, etc.) or fail to read your pre and post-snap keys, you won’t make the play.  Believe (and trust) what you see and put your eyes in the right spot if you want to produce in the secondary.

2. Leverage: Know where your help is. There is a reason DBs are coached to funnel receivers to the middle of the field in Cover 1 (man-free) and use the sideline as their help (Cover 0).  Every scheme is built on leverage. And the success of that scheme depends on the secondary’s ability to hold (and maintain) their leverage in coverage. Don’t give up an inside breaking route in zero-man or allow a WR to catch a 7 (corner) route when you aligned in a man-free scheme. Play to your help; hold that initial shade throughout the route stem and drive through the upfield shoulder of the receiver.

3. Footwork: Every skill player at the NFL level can run and a 4.4 40 time is nothing special once you line up on Sundays. That’s why footwork (or technique) is crucial to winning in the secondary. Don’t “open the gate” (open your hips at the line of scrimmage) or “step in the bucket” (step behind) when the WR makes a cut at the top of the stem. That automatically gets you beat vs. NFL wide outs. At the safety position, know when to use a “closed angle” (baseball turn) vs. an “open angle” (open to the QB).  And always keep your feet under control and have balance to your game. You might get by and recover with sloppy footwork on occasion. If you want to stick in the league and see valuable minutes on Sunday, your technique has to be clean.

Follow me on Twitter: @MattBowen41

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Teammates Happy Drew’s Contract Is Done

BY SHELDON MICKLES

Advocate sportswriter

July 16, 2012

 

New Orleans Saints punter Thomas Morstead couldn’t help but think about the irony of the date after star quarterback Drew Brees agreed Friday to a five-year, $100 million contract to remain with the team.

Morstead, who played his college football at SMU, was in Houston early Friday afternoon when he got the news that a 51/2-month impasse between Brees and the team had finally come to an end with Brees getting the richest contract in NFL history.

“It’s an exciting day,” Morstead said when reached on his cellphone, “and it’s Friday the 13th.”

Indeed, it was a lucky day for Morstead and many of his teammates.

At the same time, the four-year veteran couldn’t help but think about loyal Saints fans who had been on pins and needles for months while waiting for Brees, a five-time Pro Bowl selection in six seasons with New Orleans, to receive a long-term deal from the team after being franchised in March.

“I was excited when I heard about it, as I’m sure the whole city of New Orleans was,” he said. “I’m pretty sure that Facebook and Twitter have frozen by now.”

While Brees and club officials beat a Monday deadline for franchised players to sign long-term deals by a little more than 72 hours, Morstead said he had remained confident the two sides would end the stalemate and come to an agreement to get Brees to training camp on the July 24 reporting date.

If the long-term deal had not gotten done by Monday, Brees would have had to sign a one-year franchise tender of $16.371 million, which he didn’t want to do for fear of suffering a career-ending injury, or sit out all or part of the upcoming season.

“Yeah, absolutely,” Morstead said when asked if he thought a deal would get done. “I knew Drew wasn’t going to play for a one-year deal and I didn’t think he would sit out.

“I wouldn’t say I was nervous about it, but I was confident that they would get a deal.”

Both Morstead and wide receiver Lance Moore said it was finally some positive news for a team that has had little to shout about since ending the 2011 season with a 36-32 loss to the San Francisco 49ersin the divisional playoffs.

A pay-for-performance scheme the NFL said former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams ran from 2009-11 resulted in the suspension of coach Sean Payton and middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma for the entire season as well as eight- and six-game bans for General Manager Mickey Loomis and assistant head coach Joe Vitt, respectively, dominated offseason talk.

Defensive end Will Smith also faces a four-game suspension when the regular season begins in September.

Then, Loomis was accused of listening in on opposing coaches from his suite in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, charges he has vehemently denied, and Payton filed for divorce last month.

“To have some positive news is exactly what we needed,” Moore told ESPN. “It’s been kind of a black eye for our organization this offseason and to have this come around (now). … To have our quarterback, our leader, our guy, back in that offense and in that huddle and in that team meeting room is just going to be amazing.”

“It’s great news,” Morstead said. “It’s nice to get this going into training camp. There has been a lot of negativity toward us nationally, and this gives us a nice little kick-start going into camp.”

When asked about his immediate reaction when he heard the news, a chuckling Morstead said, “I don’t know if I can repeat that.”

Saints center Brian de la Puente, a former practice squad member who was inserted into the starting lineup midway through last season, said he was in a gym back home in California when he got the word.

“It’s real exciting. … We have our leader back,” he said. “It’s exciting because Drew is a competitor on and off the field and he pushes everybody to do their best.

“The timing was right. I’m excited that he’s back.”

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Another take on Drew’s importance to the Saints

Brees: The deal that had to get done

Drew Brees’s new contract is worth a reported $100 million for the next five years, including $40 million in the first year, and a total of $60 million guaranteed for the first three. (Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE)
 
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Peter Schrager is a frequent contributor to NFL and college football coverage on FOXSports.com. Feel free to e-mail him atpeterschrager@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter.

 

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July 16, 2012
 

The New Orleans Saints have had an NFL offseason unlike any other team in league history.

There has been damning audio revealing the worst that a locker-room speech can offer, damaging fines and suspensions to players, staff and front office personnel, and enough footage of a newly single, exiled head coach dancing in the Bahamas to keep TMZ busy for weeks.

But all of that — the Jonathan Vilma suspension, the public relations fiascos, the lengthy court appeals and breathless media coverage — would have taken a distant backseat in the form of the “bad news” had Drew Brees’ long-term deal not gotten done this summer.

Well, it did.

And the deal — which is the first morsel of positivity in what has been a hellish few months — is what was priority A, B, C, D and E for the Saints’ front office brass this offseason.

Brees’s new contract is worth a reported $100 million for the next five years, including $40 million in the first year, and a total of $60 million guaranteed for the first three. Brees, burned by the franchise tag when he suffered a near career-ending injury during his “franchise” year with the Chargers in 2005, becomes the highest paid player in the NFL.

He’ll now all but definitely retire with the one team that gave him a shot after that horrific shoulder injury. When the time comes, Brees will retire as the most beloved player in New Orleans history.

Any other player, on any other team — you could have said “Ah, hell, let him hold out all year if he wants,” and be right. The $16.7 million-a-year salary the Saints were due to pay Brees under the franchise tag in 2012 isn’t exactly chump change. He wouldn’t have been eating soup and crackers, surfing Craigslist for work. There may not have been all that much sympathy from the fans.

But no player is more valuable to any one team in the league right now than Brees is to the 2012 Saints. Considering the circumstances, considering the man — this deal had to get done, regardless of the price tag.

With Payton suspended without pay for the year, Brees becomes more than merely a quarterback for the Who Dat Nation. He’s now the team’s de facto head coach, too. He’s always been the voice in the locker room, the leader on the field. Now, he’s truly the face, the heart, and the brain of the New Orleans Saints.

And that’s more than fine. A disgruntled Brees would have made for an uncomfortable and tenuous season-long drama for Tom Benson and Co. An absent Brees could have meant a bigger drop-off than the one the Colts had without Peyton Manning. A happy and motivated Brees — now “all in” with this team and likely salivating to prove a country of critics picking against them in the NFC South — makes New Orleans legitimate Super Bowl contenders.

Beyond football — and yes, he’s pretty darn good at the sport — Brees is the lifeblood of both the franchise and the city. For all the dirty deeds (done dirt cheap) the team’s been accused of, Brees remains a tough guy not to like. He’s invincible in the public eye.

A PR maestro and marketing machine, he is the face of Pampers ads, Dove products, and a line of gluten-free foods. He’s also the spokesperson for a city that was torn apart after Hurricane Katrina.

When others fled, Brees chose to sign with the Saints, live in New Orleans and embrace a culture in need of hope. In turn, he brought them the city’s only professional sports title.

When Brees is up on stage at the ESPYs, with a pregnant wife in the crowd, listing out the nicknames of his entire offensive line and training staff — no one’s thinking about Gregg Williams calling Michael Crabtree a “fake ass prima donna”, no one’s lamenting Anthony Hargrove allegedly shouting “Give me the Money!” after a punishing hit on Brett Favre. It all goes away.

Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams

You think about Brees — shorter than just about every other NFL quarterback — rising to exceed any and all expectations.

It’s Drew Brees. It’s the dude with the funky birthmark on his face and the adorable son in the diapers commercial.

Yes, he’s a great quarterback. But he’s also a great, very well-liked, man. And for a team that’s had nothing but trash written and said about them since March, a smiling Drew Brees matters.

That goodwill goes a long way.

So the Saints broke the bank on the guy. It likely cost them Carl Nicks. It probably cost them Robert Meachem, too. Down the road, it’s going to cost them others, as well.

But that’s OK. In the end, Brees was going to get paid because the Saints had no other real option. They were going to start the season with Chase Daniel at quarterback and Aaron Kromer as the head coach?

They were going to hear lame BountyGate jokes made about them on late night TV and on Twitter as they lost week after week after week?

Brees got $100 million. The way I see it, he could have asked for $120 million and gotten that. The Saints had no other choice. They not only needed Brees in the lineup, but they needed a happy Drew Brees in the lineup. They waited this long because they could.

I’ve heard a lot of talk about the Falcons this offseason, that this is their year. No team is being hyped more than Cam Newton’s Carolina Panthers. Even the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — with a bevy of free-agent signings (including the aforementioned Nicks), a new no-nonsense head coach, and several highly regarded rookies — are getting a lot of buzz.

But the Saints are still the team to beat in that division. The loss of Nicks and Vilma hurt, but this team is still damn good. The addition of Curtis Lofton at linebacker was a quietly received move that will serve as an upgrade at the position and re-signing Marques Colston was huge. Steve Spagnuolo’s defense seems to fit the personnel well and Pete Carmichael is one of the more highly regarded young offensive minds in the game.

And there’s Brees.

The 2012 Saints are going to be darn good. Like it — or, better yet, like them –or not.

When push came to shove, we knew this deal was going to get done.

And the way this offseason has gone for New Orleans, it’s no shocker this huge news came on Friday the 13th.

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Have a Cigar

While basking in the aftermath of the Drew signing i started to shift my relatively short attention span to the up coming season. How’s Spags Defense going to stack up? Will the offense skip a beat without Payton at the helm? Does Lommis trade Gordon in December? (WTF? I don’t know where that came from) How much will Drew break the touch down streak by?

As i browsed over the schedule, just thinking about each game, I was in egg heaven. Giving RG3 a rude welcome to the NFL in week one. Exposing Cam and Carolina in week two ( yes they are over rated ) Absolutely destroying KC in week three. Playing their best game to take out GB in week four. Showing our minor league farm team in San Diego you pay for your mistakes in week five. Making a Rookie College coach wish he was back in the big east conference in week seven. Beating Peyton AGAIN in week eight. Disposing of Vick and one of our biggest threat in the NFC in week nine.

And then came week 10, Atlanta. My mood shifted from being in a good mood to being in a great mood. You see i enjoy hating Atlanta, I celebrate their misery. Yes i hate them, so much so after their debacle against the Giants i pulled out a nice cigar and some good scotch and calmly enjoyed the evening ( Two points LMAO )As i finally calmed down from from my own laughter, I started to think about this curious situation. When did i start hating the Falcons? That question had me stumped, I don’t know. As far back i could remember i despised them and their weak fan base. The only possible answer that it could be is that it was at birth. Yep, that’s right i was born hating the Falcons.

Weird huh? Well not so weird as that flaky no show fan base of theirs. The Who Dat Nation bleeds black and gold, We want it 24/7
They want it because the Braves aren’t playing. Win or lose we support our team, They show up in the second quarter and leave at the start of the fourth, Pathetic.
I don’t hate the other two teams in our division, I strongly dislike them. Heck the Bucs have the all time losing record at 0-26, it took them almost two seasons to win a freaking game, Aw crap it was against us. I think i have new entry on my hate meter. What’s the deal with that stupid pirate ship! Never mind, like i said the eggs attention span is smaller that a gnats Butt pimple.

Back to the Turd Birds, There were some reports during the off season that Matt Ryan was working on his foot work to help him with his delivery. Again WTF? How long has he been in the league. Earth to Mike Smith, Try getting your trainers to fix his noodle arm. Foot work my ass, and while your at it send him to a sports psychiatrists to help him with that deer in the head lights issue he has.
I know, I know the eggs rambling a bit here But I know there are Who Dats across this globe that feel the same way as I do. Yes training camp is just around the corner and there are some questions going in. Can Hicks make the adjustments to get in the rotation?, Will Toon grab that #4 receiver spot? ( yes) Are any of the undrafted free agents going to make an impact? Lots of things to sort out in the up coming weeks but for me, I quit reading the schedule after week 10.

Burping back at ya
Da egg

 
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While basking i…

While basking in the aftermath of the Drew signing i started to shift my relatively short attention span to the up coming season. How’s Spags Defense going to stack up? Will the offense skip a beat without Payton at the helm? Does Lommis trade Gordon in December? (WTF? I don’t know where that came from) How much will Drew break the touch down streak by?

As i browsed over the schedule, just thinking about each game, I was in egg heaven. Giving RG3 a rude welcome to the NFL in week one. Exposing Cam and Carolina in week two ( yes they are over rated ) Absolutely destroying KC in week three. Playing their best game to take out GB in week four. Showing our minor league farm team in San Diego you pay for your mistakes in week five. Making a Rookie College coach wish he was back in the big east conference in week seven. Beating Peyton AGAIN in week eight. Disposing of Vick and one of our biggest threat in the NFC in week nine.

And then came week 10, Atlanta. My mood shifted from being in a good mood to being in a great mood. You see i enjoy hating Atlanta, I celebrate their misery. Yes i hate them, so much so after their debacle against the Giants i pulled out a nice cigar and some good scotch and calmly enjoyed the evening ( Two points LMAO )As i finally calmed down from from my own laughter, I started to think about this curious situation. When did i start hating the Falcons? That question had me stumped, I don’t know. As far back i could remember i despised them and their weak fan base. The only possible answer that it could be is that it was at birth. Yep, that’s right i was born hating the Falcons.

Weird huh? Well not so weird as that flaky no show fan base of theirs. The Who Dat Nation bleeds black and gold, We want it 24/7
They want it because the Braves aren’t playing. Win or lose we support our team, They show up in the second quarter and leave at the start of the fourth, Pathetic.
I don’t hate the other two teams in our division, I strongly dislike them. Heck the Bucs have the all time losing record at 0-26, it took them almost two seasons to win a freaking game, Aw crap it was against us. I think i have new entry on my hate meter. What’s the deal with that stupid pirate ship! Never mind, like i said the eggs attention span is smaller that a gnats Butt pimple.

Back to the Turd Birds, There were some reports during the off season that Matt Ryan was working on his foot work to help him with his delivery. Again WTF? How long has he been in the league. Earth to Mike Smith, Try getting your trainers to fix his noodle arm. Foot work my ass, and while your at it send him to a sports psychiatrists to help him with that deer in the head lights issue he has.
I know, I know the eggs rambling a bit here But I know there are Who Dats across this globe that feel the same way as I do. Yes training camp is just around the corner and there are some questions going in. Can Hicks make the adjustments to get in the rotation?, Will Toon grab that #4 receiver spot? ( yes) Are any of the undrafted free agents going to make an impact? Lots of things to sort out in the up coming weeks but for me, I quit reading the schedule after week 10.

Burping back at ya
Da egg

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To Pay or Not To Pay

Image

With the ink still wet on Drew’s new contract and the numbers came out i was shocked at his 2012 cap hit. $10,400,000 Say what? ( In Loomis we trust ). The first thing that popped into the egg brain was EXTEND JIMMY GRAHAM! But as i calmed down, I realized the Saints should wait until next off season to get the deal done. Yes Graham is grossly underpaid. He originally inked a four year deal worth $2,455,000, His base salary for this year is $540,000 with a cap hit of $706,285. His base salary for 2013 is $575,000 with a cap hit of $741,285. With Drew’s deal done that leaves the Saints in the neighborhood of around 8 to 10 million under the cap. I know PAY THE MAN! but here’s a list our FA’s after this season.

Jermon Bushrod
Devery Henderson
Chase Daniel
Sedrick Ellis
Chris Ivory
Thomas Morestead
Turk McBride
Scott Shanle
Brian De LePuente
Junior Galette
Courtney Roby

Of course some may not be back ( In Loomis we trust ) But some must be inked, Bushrod, Morestead, Galette and De LePuente come to mind.
So let’s assume that they will extend Graham’s contract next off season, I guess you could use Gronk’s new deal as a measuring stick. When I started to look at his numbers I was caught off guard that with his new contract, he is not the highest payed tight end in football. Here’s a list of
the top TE salaries in the NFL ( remember it’s the guaranteed money that counts )

  These are the numbers that Graham and his agent will use as a bar going into negotiations. I know camp is nine days away and Drew just signed, so why drop a turd in the coffee? Why not, we are in a football dead zone right now. Let’s assume that it is Gronk’s that they will use as the standard, This is a closer look at his numbers.
( yellow highlights are guaranteed money )

 One little tid bit about this contract is that Gronk put in a no franchise clause from 2016 on. When Graham’s contract is inked of course we will have to put our trust in Loomis. The one thing that he is extremely good at is keeping this franchise competitive while juggling the numbers. Now when does Training Camp start?

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