Matt Harmon joins the show for a double feature. Part I is a look at the Cal receiver who displays NFL traits despite lacking physically imposing dimensions.
The other day I mused on Twitter that football is a game of aggression. If you’re not philosophically or technically the predator, you’re the prey.
This applies to many facets of the game. Where I think it’s most important is the player’s approach to executing his job.
A good football player is always trying to dictate his terms on the field, even when he doesn’t appear to be. This is especially true of wide receiver play despite the fact that at first glance, receiver seems to be a position where the viewer may associate route running with avoidance instead of aggression.
But the language of the position’s execution supports aggression:
- “Beat the coverage”
- “Sell the vertical”
- “Accelerate into the break”
- “Hard breaks”
- “Rip move”
- “Chop move”
- “Stack the defender”
- “Attack the ball”
This language doesn’t show up with the terminology of “releases,” or “defeating press coverage.” Although the second phrase has that active verb, the mental picture is of the defender being the aggressor.
If there’s an aspect of wide receiver where aggression is vital, the initial work off the line through the top of the stem is it.
If you want to begin learning the difference between running a stem and attacking a stem, this film room episode with Lawler and the Bears facing the Texas Longhorns is a good place to see good and bad examples.
Matt Harmon of NFL.com and Footballguys brings his Reception Perception expertise to the analysis of the Cal receiver that includes what I just touched on and much more.
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