RSP Boiler Room No. 109: RB Ray Lawry (Old Dominion), Reading The Field And Value of Effort

Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room examines a great pre- and post-snap read of the defense by 2018 NFL Draft prospect RB Ray Lawry.

In addition to athletic ability, the greatest differences between the college and NFL game is the amount of information that players must process immediately before and after the snap and how well they act on it. Casual fans often learn that the running back is largely an instinctive job and it’s an oversimplification of the position.

All positions must react to information at the speed of instinct, but they aren’t “winging it.”  Even when players “just play” and do things on the field that “can’t be taught,” these moments are based on a wellspring ingrained skills and knowledge. Digging a deep well to hold all of that talent requires meticulous, back-breaking work.

Old Dominion running back Ray Lawry displays some depth of knowledge on this bounce-out for a long gain up the right sideline that took me a few viewings to grasp the logic of his decision. It’s a worthwhile example of conceptually advanced running back play.

I can’t tell you with absolute confidence that what I am seeing is exactly what Lawry saw within the span of a few seconds. However, I am confident that what I’m sharing is the correct way for a running back to process the defense’s pre-snap alignment on this play.

In addition to Lawry’s decision-making and effort on this run where he bounces off four hits in succession, the Eastern Michigan defensive end delivers an instructive lesson on the value of effort on his play that is worthwhile viewing for any player or coach.

For analysis of skill players in the 2017 draft class, pre-order a login for the 2017 Rookie Scouting Portfolio – for April 1 download  Better yet, if you’re a fantasy owner the Post-Draft Add-on comes with the 2012 – 2017 RSPs at no additional charge. Best, yet, 10 percent of every sale is donated to Darkness to Light to combat sexual abuse. You can purchase past editions of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio for just $9.95 apiece.

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