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FS: Article on Gibbs' Predictable Late-Game Play Calling & Cartwright


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Very interesting read...

"Vivek: No matter how much analysis of the statistics and breakdown of the game tape we do, we self-proclaimed NFL pundits are still caught off-guard by the unexpected in the NFL (case in point, my Best Bets.) This week we take a look at a few things that went against conventional logic in Week 13 of the NFL season.

Logic Says: The Redskins need to pound the ball with Clinton Portis in order to win

What actually happened: both Rock Cartwright and Portis rushed for more than 100 Yards Vivek: In the past I've knocked Joe Gibbs for keeping with his predictable late-game play calling when the Redskins have a lead."

"The fullback without a position in Joe Gibbs' H-back system finally showed what he could do with the ball on Sunday with a nine-carry, 118-yard rushing performance, most of those yards coming between the tackles. With both running backs, Gibbs can still keep the ball on the ground but can throw multiple schemes at opposing defenses."

"Gibbs needs to use Cartwright more to remedy the team's inability to convert third-and-short situations."

Al: "I've been a big Rock Cartwright fan for years. He had a great 2003 campaign, ranking in the top 20 in DVOA. But for some reason, Cartwright wasn't a part of the offense in Washington last year even as Portis struggled mightily to move the ball. It was great to have a Rock Cartwright sighting. If the Redskins have any hope of making the playoffs, they'll need to get Cartwright back into the regular rotation at running back."

**Editted due to copyright rules**

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I think Betts is actually the best short yardage back, he seems a bit slippery and never gets taken down by the first tackler. I think we've missed him the last few weeks.

Cartwright just has better explosion to the hole... he's getting through little creases and accelerating into the second level. I also think he has little regard for being wacked... so he runs with a certain reckless abandon.

Portis is the slasher.... he pitter patters in the backfield until he sees a crease and then hits it. Unfortunately, and I'll get flamed for this, I think Portis is a little scared of the big hit... so when he senses the pursuit and doesn't see a way to run away from it... he quickly finds a place to softly land and avoid the big hit.

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If we put Portis and Betts/Cartwright in the backfield at the same time and ran some crossbucks and scissor plays, the defense wouldn't know where to go. Misdirection and the inability to key on one back would neutralize some of today's speed in the NFL.

I haven't seen a team do this in years and Gibbs went to the one back and created the H back because of Lawrence Taylor. I'd like to see him go back to the two back set and misdirection plays. Probably wouldn't work for the long term because once teams studied it on film, you'll always have tendancies that other teams will pick up on. But for a game or two, it would work very well.

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Portis is the slasher.... he pitter patters in the backfield until he sees a crease and then hits it. Unfortunately, and I'll get flamed for this, I think Portis is a little scared of the big hit... so when he senses the pursuit and doesn't see a way to run away from it... he quickly finds a place to softly land and avoid the big hit.

He hasn't been 100% since early in the season. Notice how he has to limp off the field once or twice every game. But he's done a good job of playing through it, and of avoiding the big hits that could keep him from comming back. I'd prefer to see a guy playing smash mouth, but even worse would be losing him for a few games or for the season. A back has to choose his hits, and if Portis, knowing that he isn't 100%, is avoiding the ones that could sideline him for a while, I think he's been making the right decisions.

You have to find the balance betwen playing hard and playing stupid, and I think Portis is doing a good job, given that he's a little banged up to begin with.

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Thats why Nemo was drafted.

Just too hard to give him his props isn't it.

That's why Rock was put in last week.

Yep.

Portis is a great zone/stretch/draw play RB. Cartwright is more of a bruiser and Betts is somewhere in between. With the miserabel state of our QB/WR situation, I wouldn't mind seeing more creativity in the ground game with all of our backs involved.

I agree with this.

I think Betts is actually the best short yardage back, he seems a bit slippery and never gets taken down by the first tackler. I think we've missed him the last few weeks.

Cartwright just has better explosion to the hole... he's getting through little creases and accelerating into the second level. I also think he has little regard for being wacked... so he runs with a certain reckless abandon.

Portis is the slasher.... he pitter patters in the backfield until he sees a crease and then hits it. Unfortunately, and I'll get flamed for this, I think Portis is a little scared of the big hit... so when he senses the pursuit and doesn't see a way to run away from it... he quickly finds a place to softly land and avoid the big hit.

I don't think Betts was all that missed last week. Rock CAN do the job........just give him the dang ball. He might be lighter but he still has that 235 pound attitude.

Blondie

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Portis is the slasher.... he pitter patters in the backfield until he sees a crease and then hits it. Unfortunately, and I'll get flamed for this, I think Portis is a little scared of the big hit... so when he senses the pursuit and doesn't see a way to run away from it... he quickly finds a place to softly land and avoid the big hit.

He did mention in his post game last Sunday that he rarely goes over the top because "that's when you get the most headaches." I think he realizes the pounding he will receive while on this team but he is definitely more calculated than most backs.

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If we put Portis and Betts/Cartwright in the backfield at the same time and ran some crossbucks and scissor plays, the defense wouldn't know where to go. Misdirection and the inability to key on one back would neutralize some of today's speed in the NFL.

I haven't seen a team do this in years and Gibbs went to the one back and created the H back because of Lawrence Taylor. I'd like to see him go back to the two back set and misdirection plays. Probably wouldn't work for the long term because once teams studied it on film, you'll always have tendancies that other teams will pick up on. But for a game or two, it would work very well.

With that offense we could win State!

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Sorry guys, Rock was used last week because Betts was injured. This staff loves Portis as a short yardage back and I don't see them using Rock in that role in any significant way. That's not to say that they shouldn't. I'm a huge fan of Rock as a runner and would love to see him used in specific situations.

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ok...not trying to pick a fight here...regardless of who is running...I haven't seen enough from the O-line this season to indicate that the dominance is there between the tackles to sustain the sort of smash-mouth running game the author speaks to. St Louis/ San Fran are weak teams. Dallas/NYG, etc., are a different matter. The notion is solid - the jury is still out.

vis Portis, btw, note that many of his longer gains were designed as between the tackles runs that he stretched to the outside on nice cutbacks.

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If we put Portis and Betts/Cartwright in the backfield at the same time and ran some crossbucks and scissor plays, the defense wouldn't know where to go. Misdirection and the inability to key on one back would neutralize some of today's speed in the NFL.

I haven't seen a team do this in years and Gibbs went to the one back and created the H back because of Lawrence Taylor. I'd like to see him go back to the two back set and misdirection plays. Probably wouldn't work for the long term because once teams studied it on film, you'll always have tendancies that other teams will pick up on. But for a game or two, it would work very well.

I agree with you...but let's save it for the Cowboys and Giants games. I believe we'll see some new stuff in the coming weeks!

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ok...not trying to pick a fight here...regardless of who is running...I haven't seen enough from the O-line this season to indicate that the dominance is there between the tackles to sustain the sort of smash-mouth running game the author speaks to. St Louis/ San Fran are weak teams. Dallas/NYG, etc., are a different matter. The notion is solid - the jury is still out.

vis Portis, btw, note that many of his longer gains were designed as between the tackles runs that he stretched to the outside on nice cutbacks.

Agreed. If our line could block like they did on Sunday, Gibbs would have NO qualms whatsoever with primarily running the ball. It's just that we haven't had success doing it so far.

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Agreed. If our line could block like they did on Sunday, Gibbs would have NO qualms whatsoever with primarily running the ball. It's just that we haven't had success doing it so far.

Agreed.

I can't wait for the day that people all across the league talk about our offensive line the way they talk about the Chiefs and Broncos' o-lines. I want people to say, "Rock Cartright? Ladell Betts? It doesn't matter who you plug into running back in Washington, as long as they have that o-line, they can't be stopped!"

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Agreed.

I can't wait for the day that people all across the league talk about our offensive line the way they talk about the Chiefs and Broncos' o-lines. I want people to say, "Rock Cartright? Ladell Betts? It doesn't matter who you plug into running back in Washington, as long as they have that o-line, they can't be stopped!"

We have the talent to do that, but we are not consistent. We havent set our identity yet. You KNOW denvers game plan is to run and pass off the run. With us, we will have a great game plan running the ball one week but then come out differently the next week. Some games, we will pick good defenses apart then other games the run gets bottled up by a mediocre defense. Consistency is our problem and hopefully we can get some during the stretch run. If we can do that then I think no team with the right mindset could afford to double cover Moss. We are finally starting to get to the second level of the defense, so defenses are going to have to focus the attention back to the running game. Should mean huge things for Moss again.

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We have the talent to do that, but we are not consistent. We havent set our identity yet. You KNOW denvers game plan is to run and pass off the run. With us, we will have a great game plan running the ball one week but then come out differently the next week. Some games, we will pick good defenses apart then other games the run gets bottled up by a mediocre defense. Consistency is our problem and hopefully we can get some during the stretch run. If we can do that then I think no team with the right mindset could afford to double cover Moss. We are finally starting to get to the second level of the defense, so defenses are going to have to focus the attention back to the running game. Should mean huge things for Moss again.

:applause:

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The article referenced at the top of the thread, had a link to this article, which was an article from two years ago (after Rock's "big year" under Spurrier), explaining why these particular experts felt that Rock was much more usefull to his team than DeShawn Foster was to his, even though both backs had similar stats. (Short answer: Their ranking system looks at every single carry by every single back that year, and compares the yardage that back got, against the NFL average for all backs in the same down-and-distance. Example: The NFL average yardage gained on third-and-1 is 1.5, but Rock averaged 2.5 in that situation. (Foster got more yards, but most of his third-down rushes were on third-and-eight, and he averaged 6 yards.))

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