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Graziano: DeMarcus Ware versus the read-option

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Do it for the Vine! Staff Member

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    By Dan Graziano | ESPN.com

    I'm so glad Matt Bowen writes for us now. I've been a fan of his work elsewhere for a long time. Former NFL player who can write and who understands (a) what fans want to read about (b) the way in which his former-player perspective can help illuminate it for them and (c) how to deliver it. Not that we didn't already have people here at ESPN who fit that description, mind you. It's just that I always thought Matt was something of a lesser-known gem, and I'm glad he's on the team.

    [IMG]
    WareMatt's latest Insider piece [IMG] takes up the vexing topic of how to stop Dallas Cowboys edge rusher DeMarcus Ware. As Matt points out, the 111 sacks Ware has piled up in his first eight NFL seasons indicate that this is not an answer anyone actually has. But Matt's analysis offers ways in which Ware can be dealt with, including six-man and seven-man protections, run-game traps and empty backfield sets that historically have prompted Monte Kiffin defenses to audible to a Cover 2 shell that offers a quarterback opportunities to unload the ball before Ware gets to him.

    Most interesting, though -- in light of Robert Griffin III and whatever Chip Kelly's cooking up in Philadelphia -- is Matt's section on Ware vs. the read-option: Ware (and the Cowboys' defense) struggled against RG III and the Redskins last season in the Week 17 loss because of the read-option. Playing as an outside linebacker in the 3-4, Ware was hesitant on the edge, didn't attack the dive and opened up clear running lanes for Alfred Morris.

    Read the rest: http://espn.go.com/blog/nfceast/post/_/id/52546/demarcus-ware-versus-the-read-option
  2. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    He is correct that Ware was a huge liability in week 17, but he seems to overlook that Ware was also playing with one arm in that game.
    I'm not sure how you write an article and leave such an obvious piece of information out, but they managed to do it.
  3. 12+88=7

    12+88=7 Member

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    The most misleading thing about the week 17 game, was how the Dallas defense was so injured.

    If the Dallas defense had been at full health, the results against the read option would have been different.

    I'm looking forward to week 6 and 7, when Dallas plays Washington and Philadelphia. I hope there are no major injuries like last year. If the defense is intact, the read option will not be as successful as it was last year.
    ringmaster likes this.
  4. Future

    Future Intramural Legend

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    He struggled against it in the first game as well...

    The 43 is better suited to handle the read option than the 34 imo. You can just tell Ware to go get the QB, leaving the MLB to stop the run up the middle, and the OLB to handle anything to go to the outside. The LBs have a lot more freedom to run sideline to sideline without having to take on a guard every play, which should make it more effective against the read option.
  5. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Ware was one armed for most of the last part of the season; he also had a shoulder injury and also a hip problem. And a groin injury as well. So anyone making noise about his performance can stick it where the sun don't shine

    He should not have been playing that last game at all. should have been on IR for at least a couple of weeks by that point
  6. Califan007

    Califan007 Well-Known Member

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    Ware wasn't hesitant because he was injured...he was hesitant because he was confused. Many times he couldn't locate the ball or the ball carrier. You could see this on the Skins' first two TDs by Morris and especially by RG3.

    Without reading the Insider piece, I'm pretty sure Bowen doesn't base those comments about Ware simply on game stats. There were plenty of excellent defensive players who got equally confused last season.
    jobberone likes this.
  7. slick325

    slick325 Well-Known Member

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    This ^^^^^^^

    The DE should allow the MLB and DT's to handle the dive while his job is to hit the QB if he keeps it. The OLB and SS are assigned to the action outside the QB (TE routes etc.).
  8. DCBoysfan

    DCBoysfan Hardwork and Dedication Zone Supporter

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    Injury or not he and the defense were confused by the read option last year, Dallas gave up plenty of running yards in both games. But I do believe the 43 is better suited to handle it.
    TheCount likes this.
  9. perrykemp

    perrykemp Well-Known Member

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    Clay Matthews looked as bad, if not worse, against San Fran's read option in the playoffs.

    IMHO, great pass rushing OLBs like Ware and Matthews will adjust their game just fine -- they (and their defensive coordinators) will have had a whole offseason to study the read option and improve against it.
  10. Big D

    Big D Well-Known Member

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    I think this , along with the overall defensive performance, is a reason why Ryan was let go. Wares only assignment on that play should be to blow the qb up. Keep it simple.
    RXP likes this.
  11. Future

    Future Intramural Legend

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    Well, if Im not mistaken, the adjustment that they made was in week 17, but basically they had Ware crash and worry about the dive, and brought Sims over the top to try to stop the outside runs.
  12. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Do it for the Vine! Staff Member

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    Granted there was some extreme suckitude going on against the Skins, but am I wrong in thinking they did ok against the Panthers last year?
    ringmaster likes this.
  13. ringmaster

    ringmaster Active Member

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    No you're not wrong to think that at all because if I remember correctly in the first half of that game, the Panthers read option was quite effective. In the second half however the defense did a good job adjusting to it and thus pulled out a win imo defenses will adjust to the read option but it's going to be about containing it not stopping it because it will be a tough task for any defense to really stop.
    WoodysGirl likes this.
  14. FuzzyLumpkins

    FuzzyLumpkins The Boognish

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    The Panthers attacked the strongside and Spencer. Spencer handled it fine. Ware couldn't maintain his responsibilities. Ryan was fired for leaving his players unprepared. The McMahon's of the world seemed to attribute that to Poppinga and Sims but Ware didn't seem to know what he was doing either.

    Ware is not dumb and the read option is nothing remotely new. We will see if Kiffin can instill discipline.
  15. gimmesix

    gimmesix Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life

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    He did, but I wouldn't use Week 17 as an indication of anything. Ware was just a body out there because he wasn't physically able to play his position.

    I do think in this 4-3, how Ware plays the read-option won't matter as much, because like you said, it's on the linebackers (Carter and Lee, particularly) to fill and stop it. Ware's job is to get up the field and be as disruptive as he can.
  16. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Ware's job has always been to primarily attack the QB. One should remember that he is just one person on a defense of 11. TO properly defend against the read option you need several players working to their responsibilities. That did not happen though its hard to fault the team by week 17 with all the off the street people we had starting. Which was a case frankly even by the Thanksgiving game
  17. Hoov

    Hoov Senior Member

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    The way to stop that read option is simple. You coach your DE to ignore the RB completely and go straight toward Griffin. They delay the handoff to fake out the unblocked pass rusher. The DE can hit the QB as he is handing the ball off or right after he does so....as long as its not too late after the handoff. Sure, they may get 6-7 yards a carry but for how long will any coach trade off a 6 yard gain for getting his QB drilled into the turf. It will take about 10-12 of those running plays to drive down the field. That is 10 hits to the QB on one drive.

    Just to be clear im not advocating any type of "bounty thing" - Im just talking about a legal hit to the QB who is holding the ball until the last second with a DE bearing down on him. I think this is what Seattle did to washington in the playoffs.
    5Stars, Carharris2 and starfrombirth like this.
  18. starfrombirth

    starfrombirth Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking exactly this and I would also tell the greatest linebacker in the game that if he pulls up, I will bench him for someone that WILL ACTUALLY HIT THE QB!
  19. Zordon

    Zordon Well-Known Member

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    this. but is ware mean enough to do this?
  20. Blue Eyed Devil

    Blue Eyed Devil Active Member

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    The read option always makes the DE look silly. The QB makes the DE declare which way he is going then sends the ball the other way. There is no DE in the league that can stop a well-executed read-option, it's how the scheme works, it always sends the ball the other way.

    It takes a good defensive coordinator and the other 10 guys on the field. The read option can be stopped by linebackers, safeties, and edge players (read: CBs in alleys)... which the Cowboys didn't have in week 17.

    It's sophomoric to blame Ware, he was doing everything he was supposed to do. But the scheme, linebackers, and safeties weren't there to stop the read option.
    ringmaster likes this.

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