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A Closer Look at the Running Game: Rams (Helu, Hightower and Torain)


darrelgreenie

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This thread will contain 3 runs from the Ram's game that stood out to me.

Each of the runs highlights the skillset of each runner and provides an illistration of how the running game has grown.

The first play is our normal outside zone stretch run; probably thee staple play of our offense.

This one is from I-Form w/ Cooley at FB/HB Niles Paul*, our best blocking WR, motions to block (cut) the backside pursuit.

*(They might want to call some pass plays for Paul because sooner or later teams are gonna start to key on Paul in the game at WR=run play)

Helu shows the skills to be a good back in this system feel, vision, decisiveness(confidence) and cutback ability.

Hopefully runs like this build confidence in Kyle that we can run against a strong run front.

The Rams built an 8 man box on this play, and because of the tight split by Moss and the motion by Paul 9 defenders end up within 4 yards of the LOS:

But Helu and the OL still pop off an 8 yard run against that run front.

The ability to run against a run front especially an 8 man box is a good sign for the running game.

And it happened more then once.

Later on in this thread I'll post Torain's TD run which came against an 8 man box.

One of the main things that makes this play work are Helu's eyes and acceleration.

Once he sticks his foot in the ground he covers ground in a hurry.

Niles Paul missed/barely impedes the pursuit defender.

The pursuit defender is up on his feet and can see Helu but can only watch as Helui accelerates through the alley before the defender can make a play.

In live action Helu makes the dude look like he's standing in concrete.

Frontside is clogged up Helu spots 2 possible cutback opportunities:

In the alley between Monty and Chester or the alley behind Chester and Brown as depicted below:

He plants hard and aims backside behind Chester&Brown:

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Thanks for posting.
Thanks bro.

Hightower also had a run that showed off his skillset.

2nd and 10 as soon as Hightower receives the handoff for many RBs the play is basically dead.

There's an unblocked defender on his feet 2 yards away from HT, the OL whiffed on their block:

l.jpg

HT, in the hole in the backfield, is able to evade not only the unblocked defender but also the defender that beats a block to his right :

l.jpg

l.jpg

And turns it into a positive gain:

l.jpg

It was a minimal gain, but he showed a key skill the ability to make people miss.

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  • 1 month later...
Helu shows the skills to be a good back in this system feel, vision, decisiveness(confidence) and cutback ability.

Hopefully runs like this build confidence in Kyle that we can run against a strong run front....

One of the main things that makes this play work are Helu's eyes and acceleration.

Once he sticks his foot in the ground he covers ground in a hurry.

Niles Paul missed/barely impedes the pursuit defender.

The pursuit defender is up on his feet and can see Helu but can only watch as Helui accelerates through the alley before the defender can make a play.

In live action Helu makes the dude look like he's standing in concrete.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17rd0UwzjNY

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It will be interesting how/if we stay committed to the run against a tough Jets defensive front this week. Hopefully Kyle is learning that there are worse things that can happen than getting 3 yards on 1st down and staying out of 3rd and long.

I know you're being tongue and cheek here, but the past year and a half has been frustrating to the point where I'd start to believe you're right--Kyle didn't know this before. Sometimes he doesn't seem like his father's son. I hate it when we take big shots downfield on first down several times a game.

For me, the central tennant of this offensive system is creating good leverage situations for third down.

A four yard run or a six yard completion on first down is a meaningful success and should be the goal of almost all our first down playcalls unless the defense is showing us something better. When this offense can get those yards on first we build an easy rhythm and move straight down the field even from terrible initial field position. When we take big shots in the passing game and get incompletions on first down we get nothing and our punter gets a workout.

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I also don't think its a coincidence that our longest scoring run(play?) came on a run that is atypical of the playcalling.

A pitch/toss from shotgun?

That is an example of the creativity in the run game that has been sorely lacking.

---------- Post added November-29th-2011 at 09:38 PM ----------

How the heck does it take til week 12 to give Helu more then 10 carries?

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Has there been any word on Hightower's health/contract situation?

If I recall correctly he's a FA after this season, and assuming his injury is rehabbing well, I'd really like him back here. I think with some more talent on the offensive line, he and Helu could be one of the best RB tandems in the league.

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Maybe it's something as simple as they wanted to bring Helu along slowly for his own sake. That's what I prefer to believe instead of our play callers and game planners being oblivious.

---------- Post added November-29th-2011 at 10:25 PM ----------

Also I think the Helu TD run is more a result of him making a spectacular individual effort to create for himself than of a great playcall catching the defense off guard. Both of those defenders were in good position to make the play. They just got Helu'd

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Maybe it's something as simple as they wanted to bring Helu along slowly for his own sake. That's what I prefer to believe instead of our play callers and game planners being oblivious.

---------- Post added November-29th-2011 at 10:25 PM ----------

Also I think the Helu TD run is more a result of him making a spectacular individual effort to create for himself than of a great playcall catching the defense off guard. Both of those defenders were in good position to make the play. They just got Helu'd

An inconvenient truth that many aren't willing to accept is that there have been mistakes, miscues and trends.

Kyle's lack of commitment and lack of skill in the run is evident from personnel decisions to gameplan to playcalling and execution.

For me its sweet irony that the best running play of the season came on a shotgun toss-pitch.

If that doesn't highlight how creativity is good for the run game and therefore our lack of creativity in the run game has been a holding it back I guess nothing will.

The toss got Helu out on th edge quickly+ (play design/execution) the play design left only 2 men to beat for a TD+ (play design/execution)

Helu jumped over 1 defender and outran the other ++ (Helu),

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Absolutely. The play call was excellent even if it only gets us those 8 initial yards or so and the first defender makes the stop. That's a great run in and of itself and it's probably one all of our backs could have made. The rest of that run was gravy, and probably one that only Helu could have made.

And I think Helu is emerging as much more of a weapon in the run game than I thought he was before. That was creative and powerful. He proved he can make guys miss in other ways despite not being overly gifted laterally.

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It will be interesting how/if we stay committed to the run against a tough Jets defensive front this week. Hopefully Kyle is learning that there are worse things that can happen than getting 3 yards on 1st down and staying out of 3rd and long.

Prior to the Seahawks game roughly 25% of all of our carries went for no gain or a loss. I have contended since last season that our inability to get consistent short yardage in the running game is why we've leaned so heavily towards the pass and that execution (not playcalling) is the primary culprit. If Kyle has a major flaw as a playcaller it is less a matter of being too pass happy than it is occasionally out-thinking himself.

How the heck does it take til week 12 to give Helu more then 10 carries?

Shanahan has been consistently very slow to work in most of his rookies. That would tend to suggest that it's just part of his process when it comes to breaking in some of these players. Only our first round picks have started right away and each of them were drafted to fill positions where there simply were no other options.

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This may be a bit small, but there's one thing that happened at the end of the play that I really loved seeing.

After scoring, Helu just walked off. He didn't show boat. He didn't hold his arms out, he didn't pound his chest. He just walked off after making one of the best offensive plays we've seen this year.

This speaks volumes about this kid's character I think. We got a good one here, folks. :)

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This may be a bit small, but there's one thing that happened at the end of the play that I really loved seeing.

After scoring, Helu just walked off. He didn't show boat. He didn't hold his arms out, he didn't pound his chest. He just walked off after making one of the best offensive plays we've seen this year.

This speaks volumes about this kid's character I think. We got a good one here, folks. :)

"Character"

Ok, Joe Gibbs. Character can go out the ****ing window for me if we can field a winning team. You think anyone uses "Character" to describe Belichick cheating on his wife? No one gives a **** because they win.

Sorry, but this just irks me and is thrown around here way too often.

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Love Helu's touchdown celebration. Dropped the ball and acted like he had done it before......even though he hadn't. :)

I noted that as well. I like that style of play. Act like you've been there before. Helu got a bit o' Art Monk in him. :)

Edit: Actually, from what I've read about Helu, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he went over to the sideline and apologized to the coaches and the rest of the team for it taking him so long. He seems to be a very humble kid, with a level head.

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I also don't think its a coincidence that our longest scoring run(play?) came on a run that is atypical of the playcalling.

A pitch/toss from shotgun?

That is an example of the creativity in the run game that has been sorely lacking.

---------- Post added November-29th-2011 at 09:38 PM ----------

How the heck does it take til week 12 to give Helu more then 10 carries?

Typical ES member ruining the culture here.

Instead of being happy with the result you ***** because we didn't do it sooner. Guess what, you ****ING about us not doing it sooner won't change it. Shanny isn't going to read your BS complaints.

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Hard not to like Helu and we'll see what he can do now he'll be getting the vast majority of carries. RB is still a need. I don't think Royster will be able to fill that void either. Hightower's decent enough, his knee injury is a concern. I'd like to find a Beanie Wells, Michael Bush type of back to compliment Helu.

What would you guys think of a possible Hillis/Helu combination?

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"Character"

Ok, Joe Gibbs. Character can go out the ****ing window for me if we can field a winning team. You think anyone uses "Character" to describe Belichick cheating on his wife? No one gives a **** because they win.

Sorry, but this just irks me and is thrown around here way too often.

Typical ES member ruining the culture here.

Instead of being happy with the result you ***** because we didn't do it sooner. Guess what, you *****ING about us not doing it sooner won't change it. Shanny isn't going to read your BS complaints.

One could say you are a "Typical ES member ruining the culture here" because you are calling people out and trying to put them down to make yourself look better.

Simmadown.

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I noted that as well. I like that style of play. Act like you've been there before. Helu got a bit o' Art Monk in him. :)

Edit: Actually, from what I've read about Helu, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he went over to the sideline and apologized to the coaches and the rest of the team for it taking him so long. He seems to be a very humble kid, with a level head.

Nice move Helu, honestly, I have been a Skins fan for years but its getting almost unwatchable when you have Fred Davis celebrating after 7 yard catch, Gaffney celebrating for a simple catch, Landry celebrating after a tackle (after a first down) and Armstrong doing his crazy dance after his TD. Im ok with celebrating but the Redskins simply dont know how to or when to. It is all about the individual. The way we have played this year and the record alone, we should be tame celebrators.

If i was Shanahan, I'd address it.

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Nice move Helu, honestly, I have been a Skins fan for years but its getting almost unwatchable when you have Fred Davis celebrating after 7 yard catch, Gaffney celebrating for a simple catch, Landry celebrating after a tackle (after a first down) and Armstrong doing his crazy dance after his TD. Im ok with celebrating but the Redskins simply dont know how to or when to. It is all about the individual. The way we have played this year and the record alone, we should be tame celebrators.

If i was Shanahan, I'd address it.

I just don't get the big deal about celebrating. As long as it doesn't hurt the team with a penalty they should be able to do what they want as long as it's within the rules. Did anyone have a problem when the Fun Bunch would do their celebration in the end zone after a td. The thing is 95% of the time I never see them celebrating. You know why? Because I'm in my living room doing my own celebration dance! Good gried it's a game! It should be fun.

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Typical ES member ruining the culture here.

Instead of being happy with the result you ***** because we didn't do it sooner. Guess what, you ****ING about us not doing it sooner won't change it. Shanny isn't going to read your BS complaints.

Your stupid, whiny posts do a lot more to ruin th culture here than DG's thoughtful, analytical ones.

---------- Post added November-30th-2011 at 09:57 AM ----------

Hard not to like Helu and we'll see what he can do now he'll be getting the vast majority of carries. RB is still a need. I don't think Royster will be able to fill that void either. Hightower's decent enough, his knee injury is a concern. I'd like to find a Beanie Wells, Michael Bush type of back to compliment Helu.

What would you guys think of a possible Hillis/Helu combination?

I think Hillis is a feature back who thrives the more carries he gets. I wouldn't want to bring him in as a compliment to Helu.

I think your best compliment to Helu is to bring in someone who lets you run plays that get him into space--a Reggie Bush/Jahvid Best type if you're fortunate to find one without spending high draft picks on him.

Helu is fast, but he's not really shifty. He's a power runner first IMO. He accelerates downhill and runs behind his pads and won't deviate too often to try and extend plays. He'll just bowl you over and see if you can tackle him. It's great for an outside zone runner because he's not going to lose yardage on plays too often.

Hightower is actually a pretty similar runner except that I think he runs taller and has a little more lateral wiggle to his game. But that's only in comparison to Helu. Hightower is also a power back IMO.

Of all our HBs, I thought Torain was the one who tried to get creative and string plays out the most. The problem was that he's just not fast enough to do it on NFL defenders consistently and he ended up producing too many negative plays. Our offense, when run properly, is all about third and short. Bruising outside runs and short passes to the sidelines that chip away at a defense and get them flowing in the wrong direction until you can catch them off balance with play action and moving pockets and suddenly you've got big plays on your hands.

But play action doesn't work on long down and distance. When you get negative plays in the running game it usually ends up taking away the best parts of your playbook on third.

But I'd like to get a back that brings something different to the table from Hightower, Helu, and Royster, who are all more alike than they are similar IMO. I'd like someone who gives you the ability to run from shotgun and produce big plays on his own when a defense is off guard. Maybe a Kendall Hunter type?

FWIW I really like Royster. He's got great vision and has the ability to carry the load. He's a valuable backup because he can walk into a starter's role and handle the beating and grinding. You know how our luck with RBs is. We need a guy like that.

---------- Post added November-30th-2011 at 10:05 AM ----------

I just don't get the big deal about celebrating. As long as it doesn't hurt the team with a penalty they should be able to do what they want as long as it's within the rules. Did anyone have a problem when the Fun Bunch would do their celebration in the end zone after a td. The thing is 95% of the time I never see them celebrating. You know why? Because I'm in my living room doing my own celebration dance! Good gried it's a game! It should be fun.

I agree. I think the fans who complain about celebrations don't udnerstand what it's like for the players. Did they never play an intense sport themselves? They're amped up going 100% exertion for a few super intense seconds before they stop. Their enthusiasm is boiling over. They do something good and it's like sheer joy for a moment before you settle in and get intensely focused for the next play. When you try your hardest at something and succeed don't you feel like roaring in triumph? What's the harm in that? It's not like they're screwing up our 2 minute drills with untimely celebrations or getting flagged.

And make no mistake, on almost every NFL play you're running as fast as you can or pushing as hard as you can on some other hulk trying to beat him.

Complaining about celebrations is just so waspy. Every star player in the NFL does it. It's natural and a part of the game.

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Not saying celebrating is bad and Its obvious there are different opinions, fun bunch was a group celebration, Pierre Thomas scored on 25 yard run monday night and he flipped the ball to an offensive lineman and he spiked it...Fred Davis catches an easy 8 yard TD pass that 80% of people stands could have caught and he jumps around with a movie camera like he did something real special, theres a diiference

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