Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room: Counting Boxes and Gobbling Yards with RB Kennedy Brooks (OU)

Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room examines 2021 NFL Draft prospect Kennedy Brooks and shows how this Oklahoma running back uses pre-snap box counts and post-snap keys to set up a big-play cutback.

Football is music with hitting, running, throwing, and catching. You want players that can play in tune, in rhythm, and in harmony with the rest of the players on the field.

If this were a band, the play call would be the song and the defense would be the chord changes. The offensive line would be the rhythm section playing the changes.

The player with the ball would be the lead melody line and featured soloist, and the rest of the skill players would be the ensemble horn section and backing vocals that sing a counter-melody or chorus.

In the case of the play below, Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks is the soloist and the players on the field are harmony and tempo. And Brooks isn’t that saxophonist with a great sound and a few sweet licks who can only play a handful of tunes or else his playing falls apart.

Brooks understands the basic harmony of blocking design and defensive box counts, and with his way of setting up the chords of the defense, Brooks can alter the structure of the tune in a way that’s logical enough for his teammates to follow.

The result is a compelling melodic story with great use of rhythm and space that carries the tune to a place that others may not reach.

Not a musician? That’s alright, the video breakdown below provides a straightforward explanation of pre-snap box counts and how Brooks uses that information in conjunction with the play design to create a productive cutback lane.

Brooks is a savvy young back who still has room for additional growth. Expect him to play on Sundays and if he continues learning at the rate he has, he’ll be a featured soloist blowing catchy melodies all over the field.

For the most in-depth analysis of offensive skill players available (QB, RB, WR, and TE), download the 2021  Rookie Scouting Portfolio for $21.95.  

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