Discussion in 'On The Field' started by Chop, Apr 1, 2019.

  1. Chop

    Chop 500+ Posts

    It seems to me that last year was the first year in decades we've had a good screen pass play game. IMHO, in Herman's first year we were decent at running screens; now we're finally good. Charlie's teams were lousy at it. Even Mack's teams weren't very good at screens. We'd repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempt a number of WR or 'jail break' type screens under Mack (which could work well with the right personnel and good coaching), but we just didn't have much of a credible screen play threat. Pre-Herman screen game summary: mediocre or worse design, and flat out lousy execution.

    A good screen play package can really mess up/slow down the opposing pass rush, give pause to blitzing LBs and edge rushers, get inside the opposing DC's head, get our offensive play makers in the open, and result in big plays. A good offense needs to be able to competently run some screens. I like our young play makers (including w/o limitation McCoy, Jake, and Whittington) and what (I think) they'll add to this aspect of our game. Some of the veterans (Ingram, Kirk, etc.) should be able to run screens well. On screens, you've got to have patient RBs / WRs / Aths who will follow their blockers. Mobile OL who get out there and block well in the open field are also necessary. And if that 'patient' play maker also happens to be an electrifying open field runner, then you've got big play potential every time you run a screen. Finally, a bit of on-field Hollywood/acting/selling the drop-back pass is required by all 11 men on offense. I'm feeling good about our talent and coaching now to make us one of the better screen pass teams out there. I think it's important.
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  2. Pomspoms

    Pomspoms 500+ Posts

    I agree completely. I have always wondered why our screen plays seem to fail. It's like our opponent knew what we were doing right away. Can't wait for Wittington or Smith to run those screen plays. Maybe we could sell it better and make big plays!:hookem:
  3. Chop

    Chop 500+ Posts

    You bet.

    I think, going back to the Mack regime, we've had a bad tendency to 'telegraph' any unusual plays (including screens) to the opposing defense based on slight alterations to our formations, the substitution of certain players, or even by the stances of personnel.

    The opposition isn't stupid. They watch a lot of film too.
  4. Ajo Macho

    Ajo Macho 100+ Posts

    Seemed like in the Mack era, we almost never ran a "true" screen with the running back, and instead ran bubble screens almost exclusively. Also, they almost never worked.
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  5. Chop

    Chop 500+ Posts

    Yep. And defenses saw them coming a mile away.
  6. Chop

    Chop 500+ Posts

    And I think some of these incoming combination RB/WR types (McCoy, Whittington, etc.) could effectively run screens either out of the backfield or at WR. This will keep defenses on their heels. Our vastly improved OL obviously helps too.
  7. rick mueller

    rick mueller 1,000+ Posts

    Come on now, the bubble screen is a key play in the vaunted Greg Davis "East-West Coast Offense." One cannot run that offense without that play. :facepalm:
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  8. Chop

    Chop 500+ Posts

    It seems like a grad assistant or someone would have spoken up about our Davis era offenses 'telegraphing' those ineffective WR bubble screens. Watching the games, I could sense when one was coming--and so could the opposing defense.

    X's and O's guys: IYHO is there something inherently wrong with the WR/bubble screen play design (I think the answer is no), or were we just lousy at execution, telegraphing the play to the defense, and/or lacking the right personnel?

    Perhaps Lil' Jordan Humphrey could have tallied a lot of yards on WR screens had he played in the Davis era--or perhaps not...
  9. p_town_horn

    p_town_horn 1,000+ Posts

    Bubble screens are higher risk than a traditional WR screen or tunnel screen. In a bubble screen the recipient (either WR or RB) bubbles backwards, with the inherent risk of being tackled behind the line of scrimmage. They are also very timing and touch specific. Hit a bubble screen recipient on the down field shoulder and he has to stop his feet - greatly increasing the chances of a loss. Float the pass too much and it could be intercepted; throw too much of a dart and the recipient will miss it because he is running away from the QB and running laterally.

    Herman utilized more WR screens last year (some bubble screens to be sure). These are especially effective when you have big physical receivers (which we have in spades) that can hold off the corner (if blocking) and break an arm tackle. Given our physicality at WR I expect we will see lots of these in 2019. Duvernay, Bru, and Whittington are poised to get some serious yards off these plays. Whit looks like a nickelback nightmare and Duvernay can take one to the house of he breaks a tackle
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  10. Horns11

    Horns11 5,000+ Posts

    Duvernay should have a Quan Cosby style emergence this year. They have a similar frame, hands, and Devin is a hair faster than Quan, too.

    Quan had some struggles getting reps in his first three seasons as well. He was maybe the 5th option through the air his freshman year because David Thomas was so good and Sweed was starting to take a bigger role. Then when Colt took over, even though Quan was our 2nd leading receiver his sophomore year, we relied too much on trying get Billy Pittman out of the doghouse and Jermichael Finley some passes to keep him happy. Same thing with 2007... even though Quan was an integral part of it all, the staff trying to make sure that Charles and Finley got their touches kind of took Cosby out of the main options. Once we no longer had a run game or TE in 2008, he really sparked everything.

    Hopefully we have a run game and TE in 2019, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if Duvernay led the team in either YPC or total yardage for a WR. We don't necessarily "need" the freshmen WRs to excel immediately.
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  11. SabreHorn

    SabreHorn 5,000+ Posts

    Does this mean the team is prepared to abandon the vaunted Greg Davis two yard out route on third and 5-25?

    Nobody telegraphed anything under Mack. It was Greg Davis, as predictable as an alter call in a Southern Baptist Church on Sunday morning.

    I have used that statement about Greg since he was calling plays for A&M. It also got me banned from the site for 30 or 60 days by the previous owners in around 2001.

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  12. Chop

    Chop 500+ Posts

    Great post--I appreciate this sort of Xs and Os insight. Agree on Bru, Whittington, Duvernay, etc being dangerous weapons to deploy on WR screens.
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  13. Chop

    Chop 500+ Posts

    Good point on GD and his predictability. Didn't mean to ignore or understate that--the opposition seemed to usually know when we were going to run a (poorly executed) WR screen.
  14. Horns11

    Horns11 5,000+ Posts

    As bad as GD was with predictability when we didn't have VY/Colt, Shawn Watson was about 10x worse with 10x less talent.
  15. rick mueller

    rick mueller 1,000+ Posts

    When Mack got rid of GD and hired Harsin, I remember someone hilariously stating that Bob Stoops would have to throw away the 3 X 5 index card that contained their defensive game plan for Texas.
  16. SabreHorn

    SabreHorn 5,000+ Posts

    When Greg was in the pressbox calling plays for the Aggies, I had the "privilege" of sitting in the "high rent district" at Kyle Field with Aggie friends. There is one guy there that I have never liked and he sure as hell doesn't like me. He started yelling that I was stealing their signals, because I would call Greg's plays before the Aggies broke the huddle.
  17. Chop

    Chop 500+ Posts

    On the whole predictability issue...

    Two very unpredictable plays come to mind that that are noteworthy parts of our storied Longhorn history:

    DKR calls a long bomb on 4th down and short vs. Arkansas 1969. UT wins the National Championship.

    Mackovic calls a play action roll-out pass to TE Derek Lewis on 4th and 1 vs Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship game. UT wins the first Big 12 Championship.

    Keep 'em guessing coaches!

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