Continuing the theme of a play revealing the right questions to ask, here’s one from the intriguing Dee Hart.
I’ve been studying tape with a defined process for 11 years–not as long as some, but long enough to begin to anticipate certain outcomes to player decision-making. It’s always fun when a player surprises me. Colorado State RB Dee Hart did so this morning on a zone play designed to go left.
Hart is a smaller back with a low center of gravity and vision. Once was considered a top prospect when he turned to Michigan to play at Alabama, Hart suffered two ACL tears during his career, which is worth a read
One the first players I ever studied was a 5-9ish runner with quickness and a low center of gravity who was once considered a top prospect and wound up at a smaller school. Brian Westbrook’s career turned out pretty well.
I’ve just begun my film study of Dee Hart, but two plays in and I already have a clip that I would use if asked to provide short list of pivotal highlights that underscore what a team will need to see before making an investment in Hart.
It’s a 1st and 10 zone play to the left from 12 personnel. Hart cuts it back to right end, making two moves and breaking a tackle to clear the line of scrimmage. I’m not sure he gets away with this decision in the NFL as consistently as he might as a collegian, but I do like the footwork and power in his legs.
What surprises me is Hart’s setup of his block in the flat. Watch the play and you’ll see why I figured Hart would do what I typically see from a collegian: give up on the inside-outside press and cut too soon on his receiver’s block and try to bounce it outside.
Instead, Hart displays much greater maturity than I anticipated.
The entire series of moves to set up this block in the flat is to widen the lane and cut inside, get under the block and beat the first pursuing defender from the inside. he finishes with a driving, spinning run to the first down marker and a gain of 11.
It’s not an amazing play, but I already admire Hart’s display of maturity in the open field. The entirety of this play would be on my list because if “my team” can project that Dee Hart’s burst and explosion meets NFL baselines, I’m taking a chance on Hart late if he displays this kind of maturity on a consistent basis.
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