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Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Football 101-Three Jet Double Go Zebra Arrow
Three Jet Double Go Zebra Arrow
This is the first “play of the week” from a regular season game. Unfortunately it didn’t result in a TD and even more unfortunate, this is the play on which Javon Walker was injured. It was called on third down. This is the play call: East Right (formation) Minus (RB is in “minus” position) Three Jet (personnel) Double Go (two “go” routes) Zebra Arrow (83’s route).
Mike Sherman did not put any of these numbers on the board, I have included them in an attempt to make it easier to describe the play. I could not identify the player who lined up at the “??” position. It may have been Robert Ferguson or more likely a fullback, since "three jets", 80, 83, and 84 were already on the field but I just couldn’t tell.
Detroit had shown a tendency to play “middle safety” (one deep safety) on 3rd and medium and Sherman called this play anticipating that would be the defense on this play. Detroit lined up in “two shell” (two safeties deep, or cover two) but at the snap they brought S1 “down weak” (came toward the line of scrimmage (LOS) on the weak side of the formation) to “marry up” (cover) the RB and S went to the deep middle (deep behind T). The CBs were “locked up in man coverage” so Sherman got the defense he was anticipating.
B and N “banjo” the routes of 83 (Chatman) and ??. This coverage is like a “switch” in basketball where two defenders simultaneously switch to cover the other’s man. It’s man-to-man coverage with B covering the “inside” route (of either ?? or 83) and N covering the outside route of either. This coverage is designed to prevent the defenders from being “picked”. Again, a “pick” in basketball is a good analogy: If B was supposed to cover ?? and N was supposed to cover 83 no matter what and ?? and 83 did a cross, the defenders might run into one another. Switching allows them to avoid hitting each other and the “other” receiver.
Sherman said Detroit ran a “spinner” defense with E1, B1, T, E*, and E all rushing the passer on this play. By the way, E* is a rush end lined up as a linebacker. RB (Green) picked up B1 and although T got some penetration, Favre had time to throw.
80 (Driver) and 84 (Walker) each ran “go” routes and run straight down the field. ?? ran a basic crossing route: He looped behind where 83 lined up and ran to whereS lined up and then cut toward the middle of the field (to his left), about 10 yards beyond the LOS. 83 ran a "zebra arrow" route. He makes it look like he’s running a “drive route” by looping toward where E* lined up. By “looping” I mean 83 doesn’t make a “square”, 90 degree, cut as ?? does on his cut where S was lined up. Instead he ran a “rounded” route. His job is to sell the defenders on the idea that he’s going to continue to his left. When he gets to about where E* lined up he stopped and went to his right, parallel to the LOS and just a couple of yards beyond the LOS. By faking an inside route and then going toward the right flat, he “gains leverage” on B.
84 (Walker) is single-covered and he “presses” the CB, “stacked him” and went right by him. By “stacked him” I believe Sherman is referring to a fake Walker made - as if he was going to break to the inside. Sherman comments that he didn’t see Walker commit the penalty he was called for. He saw the CB reach out for Walker and Walker just pushed his hands away. Walker beat the one-on-one coverage and caught the pass and was forced out of bounds inside Detroit's 5-yard line.