Week 10 Quick Hitters

11/16/2017
DB+

After taking a long and deep dive into the film, as you can expect, there weren’t many positives in the Bills-Saints game. So I want to focus on three players who appeared to struggle against a very good Saints defense.

RT Jordan Mills

Mills has somehow managed to hold onto his position, even after weeks of getting dominated physically. Sure, he put together one, maybe two solid games, but the Saints’ defenders overpowered him at times. Offensive line coach Juan Castillo preaches vertical kick slides and for Mills to execute the ‘hug’ technique. Rather than have offensive linemen kick slide and ‘punch’ at the pass rusher, Castillo has Mills kick slide vertically and then when ready to engage bring his hands up wide and ‘hug’ or grab the defender, then just slide with them. The wide hands immediately put a bullseye on the lineman’s chest and allows defenders to over power him with bull rush moves, and that has happened week in and week out to Mills.

The technique is very good if you’re an athletic offensive lineman and are able to mirror defenders or anchor well. But it was readily apparent that Cameron Jordan scouted Mills and knew how to attack him. On the following play, Mills sees the wide hands, so he immediately gets into Mills’s chest and lifts him into QB Taylor’s lap.

 

Jordan is a heck of a pass rusher. He has an array of pass rush moves and always has a plan of attack. After using several bull rush moves to overpower Mills, while at the same time keeping Taylor in the pocket, Jordan fakes Mills out with his right hand as if he was going to get into his chest. As Mills brings his hands up to engage, Jordan pounces with a chop and then transitions to an arm-over move. The combination sends Mills to the turf.

 

Even rookie defensive end Trey Hendrickson got the scouting report on Mills. Mills surrendered three QB pressures on the day and has given up a total of 2 sacks, 2 QB hits, and 11 QB pressures.

 

TE Nick O’Leary

Another player who has struggled blocking this season is tight end Nick O’Leary. For one reason or another, he has gone from one of the best run blocking tight ends in 2016 to one of the worst. He hasn’t been able to stay engaged with defenders in the run game on routine concepts that he flourished in, like this power run. His inability to execute forces others to pick up the slack, and then leaves the running backs hanging.

His struggles aren’t new

https://streamable.com/2n77p

 

The shoddy blocking by O’Leary, and the line in general, are part of the reason the run game has struggled over the last few games. On this play, he isn’t able to execute any semblance of a block on Cameron Jordan, so pulling guard Richie Incognito has to block him, which means he can’t lead RB McCoy into the hole.

https://streamable.com/aloxc

 

LT Dion Dawkins

Dion Dawkins didn’t play badly; I just noticed some tendencies of his that better pass rushers are going to exploit. On several occasions against defensive end Alex Okafor, Dawkins was caught bending at the hips, overextending himself, and missing his ‘punch’. Okafor was able to use a double-handed swat to get the edge.

https://streamable.com/ivbj4

 

On this play, his weight is on his toes, which is a big no no and, as he goes to punch Okafor, Alex is able to swat and run by Dawkins. If it wasn’t for QB Peterman’s 2.3 second snap-to-throw average, then this may have been a sack. I saw him lunge and be the first to bring his hands up far too often against New Orleans. He must remain patient, but then strike quickly when the time is right.

https://streamable.com/in2pq

 

But he really impressed me with this counter move, something I have not seen from him at all. That includes his college film and appearances to far this season. Okafor gets his left hand inside on Dawkins, but he doesn’t panic. Instead, he counters with what is called a snatch/trap. He chops down on the long arm technique from Okafor, and it sends him off balance and down to the turf, and Dawkins traps him there. Knowing moves to counter pass rushers is part of being an NFL offensive lineman. Pass rushers are going to have an array of moves and sometimes will be able to stack them on top of each other. Knowing how to win against each move is crucial. Dawkins using the snatch/trap is a very nice counter to have in the arsenal due to the techniques Juan Castillo is teaching, because pass rushers are going to utilize bull rushes and long arm techniques often.

https://streamable.com/wtz8n

 

 

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