Olsen could be key in red zone
Olsen could be key in red zone
'Shake' could rattle linebacker, get Bears on a roll
Matt Bowen Scouting the Bears 7:30 p.m. CDT, October 2, 2010
When the Bears reach the red zone against the Giants, they will see a very familiar defensive scheme — Cover-2. The Giants lean on their core coverage under new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. In the red zone, Cover-2 (or Red-2) turns into a five-deep, two-under defense with the two cornerbacks sinking at the snap of the ball to protect the safeties on the 7 (or flag) route. Take away any vertical throw to the end zone and force the ball underneath.
To penetrate the zone, the offense has to create a hole. How? The "Shake" route (quick out and up) with tight end Greg Olsen, targeting the middle linebacker by opening a throwing lane between the safeties, who are deep.
LOOK AT THE GRAPHIC HERE FOR DETAILS
The Bears in a 3x1 set with the Y (or TE) away from the offensive line in their "Posse" personnel (three wide receivers, one tight end, one running back) versus the Giants' base nickel package (four defensive lineman, two linebackers, five defensive backs).
The "Shake" is considered a double-move because of the out cut that draws defenders. Olsen releases vertically, breaks at 7 yards, plants on his outside foot and stems his route to the middle of the field — over the top of the middle linebacker.
The pre-snap alignment
From a defensive perspective, a 3x1 offensive alignment equals the "tare combination" (option/flat) between the Y and the W, with a backside slant from the X. The Bears have shown this under Mike Martz, and it will be highlighted by Giants coaches in their game planning. The idea is to give the defense a false key before the snap and then employ the double-move to break expected offensive tendencies.
The Mike linebacker
In Cover-2, the middle linebacker (M) will open his hips to the passing strength of the formation (in this case, toward the Y) and carry any inside vertical seam, settling his coverage when he doesn't feel any threat to the deep middle of the field. The expectation is the M reads Olsen running the option on the out cut and shortens his drop accordingly. When he does, a void opens between him and the safeties. If Olsen sells the double move, Cutler has an easy throw to the middle of the field.
They still have to be accounted for in Cover-2. They are deep half players, each responsible for his side, but they will break to the middle and overlap the linebacker's coverage on the throw. The Bears can keep the safeties occupied with the X ( Johnny Knox) and the Z ( Devin Hester) running 9 routes with an outside release. Both safeties will have to widen off of their landmarks at the top of the numbers to protect against the vertical threats. The Bears want to clear out the middle and open up that throwing lane.
Cutler will read the M's drop at the snap. If he continues to carry Olsen up the field after the double move, Cutler will look to hit the W (Earl Bennett) in the flat and then come back to the R (Matt Forte) on the open side swing route. Bennett and Forte are safety valves built into any route relying on a double move. If Cutler doesn't have Olsen open, there is no need to force the ball. Take the easy read and live to see another down.
After playing at Glenbard West and Iowa, Matt Bowen spent seven seasons in the NFL as a strong safety with the Rams, Packers, Redskins and Bills, including playing for Lovie Smith and Mike Martz in St. Louis. When he's not writing for the Tribune, you can find his work at nationalfootballpost.com.
Like the play and its really hard on the MLB to respect the run ,but also get deep enough to play the TE in the seam
I would like to see him get 3 tds tonight, I am starting him in FF.
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