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Redskins vs. Bucs Offensive Review: Gamblers, Losers, and Winners

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Old 10-08-2009, 10:24 AM   #16
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Re: Redskins vs. Bucs Offensive Review: Gamblers, Losers, and Winners

^ Hmmm where did I say the Tampa game was encouraging in that post? Thanks for your interjection, smarty!
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:43 AM   #17
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Re: Redskins vs. Bucs Offensive Review: Gamblers, Losers, and Winners

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I think it is good that you tempered your enthusiasm on Campbell some in this review. I re-watched the game this morning hoping to see something that I could be positive about and it simply was not there. I guess the best thing you could say was that Portis looked quicker than he has at any point this season, so that is positive. Campbell, however, was just bad. Really no way to temper that. You can try to identify some mitigating factors, like the receivers are not "getting open," or, more specifically, that Jim Zorn and his inexperienced staff do a poor job understanding route combinations and breaking down opposing defenses. I think that was probably there to some extent, though it is incredibly difficult to evaluate from the television feed.

You write that Campbell is often too quick to get to his 4th and 5th read (i.e. the proverbial "check down") and I think that is probably true in the broadest sense, in that he has a tendency to check hit a check down receiver when he does not see an opening. But the biggest issue in the Tampa game, and it is really not a new phenomenon though it could be exacerbated by the ankle injury, is how incredibly slow Campbell is in everything he does. His drop is slow, his footwork was slow, his delivery is still slow, and I think you have to say that his reads were very slow on Sunday. If the "West Coast offense" means anything at all (and we know it means many things to many people) it is a timing and rhythm offense. I think even from the limited views we get on TV that it is pretty clear that is what Jim Zorn is trying to accomplish with his route combos (and, again, some looked just ridiculous even from the TV look). That means Campbell has to get to the end of his drop, read the coverage clearly, and release the ball. He certainly was not doing that against Tampa. The issue, it seemed, was that he was progressing through his reads too slowly rather than too quickly. You use the fact that Campbell scrambled so frequently as prima facie evidence that the receivers were covered, but it is just as easily evidence that he was unable to identify the correct receiver and make throws into tight windows. As I have said before, he seems to lack the timing and anticipation needed to get to the top of his drop and make those type of passes. We simply have not seen evidence of his ability to do so and with this large of a sample size the odds of seeing it are quickly diminishing.

As you mentioned, his throw to Moss was a coverage breakdown by both Talib and 21. The both bit on the double move and the safety might also have been trying to jump Kelly, who was probably the initial read on the play. I'm not sure if Jim Zorn had seen any tape on Tampa, but their safeties were a serious liability, lacking range and coverage skills. Maybe they could have attacked them more in the gameplan (in fairness, that play to Kelly also took advantage of their coverage liabilities, but was an incredibly bad throw). By the second half Zorn seemed to be covering for Campbell's inability to make quick reads by giving him single-read plays (i.e. all of those tight end screens). That is something you do for a rookie quarterback, not a guy making his 40th start.

I think it is probably difficult not to lay some of the blame for the lack of development in Campbell's game on Jim Zorn. That is why he was hired. Certainly the decision to hand him control of an NFL team rather than having him work more exclusively with Campbell and the offense is also part of that problem. If they did not want to hire Gregg Williams because of "personality issues" then they should have given the head job of Fassel (as was originally planned) and not been so concerned about the initial public relations problem (how are those public relations going now?) Maybe it will come out that Campbell was more injured than we knew (as SmootSmack has suggested) and that will help to explain the incredibly poor mechanics that Campbell displayed during the game. At this point, though, they are really just magnifications of deficiencies that have long existed. He has not shown the type of progression that we all hoped after being in the same offense for a second season. He has not done so even with the benefit of facing three of the NFL's worst defenses. That is disappointing. Plenty of blame to go around for that.

But just to offer a summation. The reason he played poorly was not simply because of the interceptions. The interceptions were a product of poor mechanics and poor identifications. That is the most disturbing part about Sunday. He was not trying to make throws into tight spaces (or, he was, but not because he was trying to give the receiver a chance, but because he made poor throws and/or poor reads). Those are the type of mistakes that represent endemic problems in the quarterback play. If it is in fact an injury that is exacerbating this problems the team should let it be known and allow Campbell to recover rather than being a liability on the field.
While I think it's clear in that game that Campbell is not as close to the next level as I thought he was, I don't think any of the evidence really supports anything you are saying past the bolded part.

Over the last two weeks, there have been plenty of times where Campbell has anticipated a receiver coming wide open, and got the ball out quickly creating a big play. That's exactly what's happened on the TD pass to Cooley. The ball came out as soon as he cleared the LB level. Campbell never left the pocket. If he didn't see it right off the drop, he would almost certainly have stepped up.

With the way that Campbell is able to find Cooley despite how obvious it is to other teams that he needs to be covered, I've come to realize over the last two weeks that the criticism that he can't anticipate receivers coming open is a simple attribution error: there's years of evidence to suggest that our (other) receivers just don't extend plays like they need to. I feel very comfortable suggesting that opportunities aren't being missed, at least not on a troubling level.

Is Campbell ever going to be successful if the only receiver he can trust is Chris Cooley? I don't think he will anymore. Kind of like David Garrard cant be successful over the long term with Mike Sims-Walker, Torry Holt, and Marcedes Lewis. I don't necessarily think either of them are close to making a big jump. But I also don't nitpick for things wrong with their ability when the problems are so obvious.
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:08 PM   #18
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Re: Redskins vs. Bucs Offensive Review: Gamblers, Losers, and Winners

Good work GT! It's interesting to compare you & Sammy's analyses.

After reading this, it sounds like the o line is not the problem w/the passing game & the O in general, though that unit certainly needs upgrading. I've thought for the most part the pass pro. has been better than expected. If Kelly & Thomas can't get open or run decent routes, this offense is stil stuck in 2006.
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:30 PM   #19
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Re: Redskins vs. Bucs Offensive Review: Gamblers, Losers, and Winners

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I think it is good that you tempered your enthusiasm on Campbell some in this review. I re-watched the game this morning hoping to see something that I could be positive about and it simply was not there. I guess the best thing you could say was that Portis looked quicker than he has at any point this season, so that is positive. Campbell, however, was just bad. Really no way to temper that. You can try to identify some mitigating factors, like the receivers are not "getting open," or, more specifically, that Jim Zorn and his inexperienced staff do a poor job understanding route combinations and breaking down opposing defenses. I think that was probably there to some extent, though it is incredibly difficult to evaluate from the television feed.

You write that Campbell is often too quick to get to his 4th and 5th read (i.e. the proverbial "check down") and I think that is probably true in the broadest sense, in that he has a tendency to check hit a check down receiver when he does not see an opening. But the biggest issue in the Tampa game, and it is really not a new phenomenon though it could be exacerbated by the ankle injury, is how incredibly slow Campbell is in everything he does. His drop is slow, his footwork was slow, his delivery is still slow, and I think you have to say that his reads were very slow on Sunday. If the "West Coast offense" means anything at all (and we know it means many things to many people) it is a timing and rhythm offense. I think even from the limited views we get on TV that it is pretty clear that is what Jim Zorn is trying to accomplish with his route combos (and, again, some looked just ridiculous even from the TV look). That means Campbell has to get to the end of his drop, read the coverage clearly, and release the ball. He certainly was not doing that against Tampa. The issue, it seemed, was that he was progressing through his reads too slowly rather than too quickly. You use the fact that Campbell scrambled so frequently as prima facie evidence that the receivers were covered, but it is just as easily evidence that he was unable to identify the correct receiver and make throws into tight windows. As I have said before, he seems to lack the timing and anticipation needed to get to the top of his drop and make those type of passes. We simply have not seen evidence of his ability to do so and with this large of a sample size the odds of seeing it are quickly diminishing.

As you mentioned, his throw to Moss was a coverage breakdown by both Talib and 21. The both bit on the double move and the safety might also have been trying to jump Kelly, who was probably the initial read on the play. I'm not sure if Jim Zorn had seen any tape on Tampa, but their safeties were a serious liability, lacking range and coverage skills. Maybe they could have attacked them more in the gameplan (in fairness, that play to Kelly also took advantage of their coverage liabilities, but was an incredibly bad throw). By the second half Zorn seemed to be covering for Campbell's inability to make quick reads by giving him single-read plays (i.e. all of those tight end screens). That is something you do for a rookie quarterback, not a guy making his 40th start.

I think it is probably difficult not to lay some of the blame for the lack of development in Campbell's game on Jim Zorn. That is why he was hired. Certainly the decision to hand him control of an NFL team rather than having him work more exclusively with Campbell and the offense is also part of that problem. If they did not want to hire Gregg Williams because of "personality issues" then they should have given the head job of Fassel (as was originally planned) and not been so concerned about the initial public relations problem (how are those public relations going now?) Maybe it will come out that Campbell was more injured than we knew (as SmootSmack has suggested) and that will help to explain the incredibly poor mechanics that Campbell displayed during the game. At this point, though, they are really just magnifications of deficiencies that have long existed. He has not shown the type of progression that we all hoped after being in the same offense for a second season. He has not done so even with the benefit of facing three of the NFL's worst defenses. That is disappointing. Plenty of blame to go around for that.

But just to offer a summation. The reason he played poorly was not simply because of the interceptions. The interceptions were a product of poor mechanics and poor identifications. That is the most disturbing part about Sunday. He was not trying to make throws into tight spaces (or, he was, but not because he was trying to give the receiver a chance, but because he made poor throws and/or poor reads). Those are the type of mistakes that represent endemic problems in the quarterback play. If it is in fact an injury that is exacerbating this problems the team should let it be known and allow Campbell to recover rather than being a liability on the field.

SC Skins Fan has raised some very interesting points of view. Being able to watch the game live as opposed to the TV version offers a much different perspective.

I agree with his assessment relevant to Campbell's inability to decide quick enough, and to make the appropiate as well the acurate throw neccessary for a completion. It's my belief his hesitancy stems from not wanting to make a mstake, thus he apears uncertain. I'm always mindful of the fact Campbell was not drafted to be the kind of QB he's now being asked to be despite the fact he had limited experience with this offense in college.

Watching Campbell close-up during the course of games, there are times when he has both Thomas and Kelly within reach of receptions but he's reluctant to pull the triger because it would take a perfect pass to get the completion. That hesitancy is what (in some instances) causes the offense to stall. Plays are there to be made with a QB unafraid to give his receiver an opportunity to make a play.
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:46 PM   #20
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Re: Redskins vs. Bucs Offensive Review: Gamblers, Losers, and Winners

Great stuff, Tripp.

Why is Stan Hixon still on this staff if our WRs can't get open against Tampa's secondary???

It's a mystery to me.

As for JC, yeah, he's got to bounce back. But he did hit 2 big throws and he got the win, which at this point I think means a lot. Never underestimate the power of confidence, or what the lack of confidence can do to mess you up.
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:23 PM   #21
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Re: Redskins vs. Bucs Offensive Review: Gamblers, Losers, and Winners

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While I think it's clear in that game that Campbell is not as close to the next level as I thought he was, I don't think any of the evidence really supports anything you are saying past the bolded part.

Over the last two weeks, there have been plenty of times where Campbell has anticipated a receiver coming wide open, and got the ball out quickly creating a big play. That's exactly what's happened on the TD pass to Cooley. The ball came out as soon as he cleared the LB level. Campbell never left the pocket. If he didn't see it right off the drop, he would almost certainly have stepped up.

With the way that Campbell is able to find Cooley despite how obvious it is to other teams that he needs to be covered, I've come to realize over the last two weeks that the criticism that he can't anticipate receivers coming open is a simple attribution error: there's years of evidence to suggest that our (other) receivers just don't extend plays like they need to. I feel very comfortable suggesting that opportunities aren't being missed, at least not on a troubling level.

Is Campbell ever going to be successful if the only receiver he can trust is Chris Cooley? I don't think he will anymore. Kind of like David Garrard cant be successful over the long term with Mike Sims-Walker, Torry Holt, and Marcedes Lewis. I don't necessarily think either of them are close to making a big jump. But I also don't nitpick for things wrong with their ability when the problems are so obvious.
You make a fine rebuttal. I think it is really hard to make those calls without access to the all-22. Otherwise you are really just trying to infer what is happening downfield based upon clues. Maybe you have developed a better system somehow based upon on the time you have spent on it, but I certainly can't determine route combination and coverages with any accuracy from the television feed. I think it is certainly true that the Redskins (and Jaguars) receiver corps are lacking. I also think both quarterbacks do not carry out the nuances of the game (anticipating throws, throwing into tight windows, manipulating safeties) that would help cover some of the deficiencies of their personnel. Those are the types of things that make guys like Drew Brees elite players. That's why my saying Campbell=Garrard is not saying "Campbell sucks," though I think he played very very poorly against Tampa. It is saying he lacks to skills to be a very good NFL quarterback. That is to say, he is not a guy you give a long-term extension @ $60 million (ask the Jags).

Anyway, I feel I have been spending too much time on the site and wasting too much time repeating the same points. My value added is quickly diminishing and I should be pursuing more productive endeavors (like getting a freaking degree and getting the hell out of here). I am going to try to avoid the site until or unless I have something positive and hopefully original to say.

As a final note, here are some of Greg Cosell's thoughts from actually looking at the all-22. I think the speak to the overall points that we pretty much know, including that Zorn is not doing a good job of putting Campbell in a position to succeed and that the receivers struggled to get open, as you say. No one on offense is really getting it done right now, and that goes all the way to the top.
  • Campbell’s first interception came against “man free” coverage; Great job by Barber over the slot dropping off his man when he saw S Piscitelli attack Randle-El and reacting Kelly’s slant – Talib outstanding job reading Kelly’s route and undercutting Campbell’s throw
  • Campbell’s second interception also came against “man free” coverage, Kelly ran a go route versus Talib and Talib ran with him all the way, Kelly no vertical separation – It was man-to-man and Kelly did not win
  • Campbell not playing with a lot of confidence right now, He’s not getting a clear picture and he’s leaving throws on the field – Also a little quick to move, Perceiving pressure
  • Kelly had a difficult time getting separation against man coverage concepts – Thomas did not play many snaps at WR, That tells you what the Redskins think of him
  • Bucs a lot of man coverage, and the Redskins receivers did not get open; Cooley had trouble getting separation against linebackers
  • The Redskins did not attack the predominant man coverage schemes the Bucs played: No crossing routes, No rub elements, No stacked releases, No shifting and motion – They didn’t help Campbell and they didn’t help their receivers
  • Right now, Campbell is an erratic player; Not much efficiency to his play At the end of the day, Campbell is not a West Coast offense QB
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:31 PM   #22
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Re: Redskins vs. Bucs Offensive Review: Gamblers, Losers, and Winners

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Originally Posted by SC Skins Fan View Post
As a final note, here are some of Greg Cosell's thoughts from actually looking at the all-22. I think the speak to the overall points that we pretty much know, including that Zorn is not doing a good job of putting Campbell in a position to succeed and that the receivers struggled to get open, as you say. No one on offense is really getting it done right now, and that goes all the way to the top.
  • Campbell’s first interception came against “man free” coverage; Great job by Barber over the slot dropping off his man when he saw S Piscitelli attack Randle-El and reacting Kelly’s slant – Talib outstanding job reading Kelly’s route and undercutting Campbell’s throw
  • Campbell’s second interception also came against “man free” coverage, Kelly ran a go route versus Talib and Talib ran with him all the way, Kelly no vertical separation – It was man-to-man and Kelly did not win
  • Campbell not playing with a lot of confidence right now, He’s not getting a clear picture and he’s leaving throws on the field – Also a little quick to move, Perceiving pressure
  • Kelly had a difficult time getting separation against man coverage concepts – Thomas did not play many snaps at WR, That tells you what the Redskins think of him
  • Bucs a lot of man coverage, and the Redskins receivers did not get open; Cooley had trouble getting separation against linebackers
  • The Redskins did not attack the predominant man coverage schemes the Bucs played: No crossing routes, No rub elements, No stacked releases, No shifting and motion – They didn’t help Campbell and they didn’t help their receivers
  • Right now, Campbell is an erratic player; Not much efficiency to his play At the end of the day, Campbell is not a West Coast offense QB
The bolded part is what I think the additional mistakes, however insignificant in number, can be attributed to over the past 3 halves. And I'll add that this is not the first time Campbell has endured a tough stretch while perceiving pressure that wasn't there. He did get it corrected after about two games last time.

It's what made the Cooley TD stand out on tape, Campbell got such a good read that he never tried to leave the pocket, and the protection wasn't even all that good. We need more of that play.
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:41 PM   #23
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Re: Redskins vs. Bucs Offensive Review: Gamblers, Losers, and Winners

As for the clearly awful pass routes called: I think the gameplan was concerned with running the football effectively. Not that I'm saying that those things are mutually exclusive. But there were a lot of two receiver sets, and a lot of vertical impatience in this game. The crossing routes things are something that you would have done with halftime adjustments, but Zorn clearly went to his screen game instead. I don't know if that was right or wrong, but I do think it was influenced by Campbell's inaccuracies in the first half.
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:19 PM   #24
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Re: Redskins vs. Bucs Offensive Review: Gamblers, Losers, and Winners

I just can't wait for the game in which GTripp simply say "We Sucked." I would love to be the fly on the wall when everyone opens the thread expecting this nice detailed work and all they find is ....."We Sucked." LOL.
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:36 PM   #25
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Re: Redskins vs. Bucs Offensive Review: Gamblers, Losers, and Winners

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I just can't wait for the game in which GTripp simply say "We Sucked." I would love to be the fly on the wall when everyone opens the thread expecting this nice detailed work and all they find is ....."We Sucked." LOL.
Hahaha, that'd be great
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:42 PM   #26
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Re: Redskins vs. Bucs Offensive Review: Gamblers, Losers, and Winners

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I just can't wait for the game in which GTripp simply say "We Sucked." I would love to be the fly on the wall when everyone opens the thread expecting this nice detailed work and all they find is ....."We Sucked." LOL.
I'd rather see "holy shit we did everything right, no need to break it down"
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Old 10-09-2009, 06:08 PM   #27
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Re: Redskins vs. Bucs Offensive Review: Gamblers, Losers, and Winners

I'm a little surprised at Tripp's review and the comments because very little is being said/questioned as to Jason's apparent (IMO) ailment in this game. He simply looked hurt and his technique was off. My guess is he was in more pain that anyone would guess because Jason has always been tough...took a ton of big hits last year and kept plodding.

I'm perplexed why Jason doesn't get out and run the ball more. Here we've got WRs who struggle mightily to get open or at least in a strong position to make a play on the pass. And defenses seem to really concentrate on shutting down our passing game as well. In my mind those circumstances should have Jason running the ball almost every other passing down. Ultimately this won't last as DCs will have to keep extra defenders close to the LOS on passing downs just to keep Jason from picking up 10 yards whenever he picks up his feet...and then the passing game opens up, probably a lot of underneath stuff to ARL in the slot or the TEs. But I think it's all about adjusting instead of forcing what isn't really there.
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