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Video Breakdown: Exploiting Demarcus Ware in the run game


Westbrook36

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Given the multitude of threads on DWare and the argument that he is only a pass rusher, I thought some would find this interesting.

http://bloggingthebeast.com/

Video breakdown: The Eagles exploited DeMarcus Ware in the run game

If you were to look at the box score from the Eagles’ decimation of the Cowboys last Sunday, you might notice that DeMarcus Ware had 4 sacks and think, “Well at least DeMarcus Ware came to play.”

Think again.

DeMarcus Ware is a great player, and perhaps THE premier pass rusher in the NFL. However, he’s often useless in the run game, and the Eagles have repeatedly burned Ware on the same exact play.

Last season, with the Eagles trying to bleed the clock in the 4th quarter, Marty Mornhinweg and Andy Reid continuously went back to the well and ran the same running play over and over and over. They continued to pick up first downs and successfully killed more than 4 minutes. The play was simple – Have Jason Peters seal the the DE and push him down the line, leaving the OLB (Ware) momentarily unblocked. Clay Harbor, coming from the opposite side of the formation, would trap Ware, leaving a cutback lane for LeSean McCoy. Here are portions of that drive from last year:

Play 1 (0:00) – Ware lined up top of the screen. Ware sees it coming, waits for the block to come to him, and Clay Harbor successfully cuts him.

Play 2 (0:09) – Ware bottom of the screen. Harbor comes across again and easily blocks Ware, who falls to the ground, opening up an enormous hole and a big gain for LeSean McCoy.

Play 3 (0:45) – Ware bottom of the screen. Harbor comes across again and cuts Ware again. 3rd time Ware wound up on the ground so far in one drive.

Play 4 (0:58) – Ware bottom of the screen. OK, so now Ware is ready for the little TE trap block and decides he’s going to attack up the line and try to get inside Harbor, except this time, Vick keeps the ball and easily runs around the end, in the area vacated by Ware.

Play 5 (1:13) – Ware bottom of the screen. If the Eagles get a yard, they can just kneel on the ball and run out the clock. Same play again. Ware sees it coming, waits for Harbor to come block him, Harbor easily gets him on the ground for the 4th time on the drive, huge hole, ballgame.

Fast forward to last Sunday night. Since the Eagles had so much success exploiting Ware last year, why not go right back to it? Well, they did:

Play 1 (0:00) – Ware bottom of the screen. Marty Mornihinweg and Andy Reid must have assumed Rob Ryan watched the game tape from last year and noticed that the Eagles exploited the Cowboys D on the same play over and over again, so they added a little wrinkle. They send Harbor in motion at Ware, and then away from him, and at the snap, Harbor runs back across for the trap block. Ware hopes that the Eagles are running play action and runs himself out of the play on his own by going after Vick. Harbor gets a piece of Ware (although he didn’t even need to), and there’s a monster hole for McCoy. Undisciplined football.

Play 2 (0:42) – Ware bottom of the screen. The Eagles run a fake sprint draw here. In the audio you’ll hear Cris Collinsworth say that it’s a designed run by Vick. Ignore that. It’s not. The idea for the fake to McCoy is to slow Ware’s pass rush, but Ware completely ignores the fake, and continues his wide rush. Seeing nothing but open space in front of him, Vick basically says “Wanna run yourself completely out of the play? No problem. I’ll gladly take 15 easy yards.”

Play 3 (1:19) – Ware bottom of the screen. This time the Eagles use Celek to come across to block Ware instead of Ware, and Celek barely even has to breath on Ware to open up the hole. Ware concedes that he’s blocked and basically just lets McCoy scoot right past him. Soft.

DeMarcus Ware is on pace for 27 sacks this year. But it’s coming at the cost of good team football.

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That's a lot on the DE getting shoved 15 yards down the line of scrimmage to the other side of the formation too, IMO. Ware should probably attack the block and at least close the hole a bit, although he's thinking contain most likely to prevent RB from bouncing outside. I seriously think I could have run through some of those holes, bum knee and all. Probably wouldn't get up from a tackle or two, however.

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Sorry, but that's not exploiting Ware, that's outplaying the interior of the line. Ware has contain and is to get into the backfield both of which he does. The problem is the DE is then getting pushed inside and the ILBs were not getting over the top and filling the gaps. Ware is absolutely considered one of the best run defenders at the OLB spot, it's not just his pass rushing that makes him elite.

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Sorry, but that's not exploiting Ware, that's outplaying the interior of the line. Ware has contain and is to get into the backfield both of which he does. The problem is the DE is then getting pushed inside and the ILBs were not getting over the top and filling the gaps. Ware is absolutely considered one of the best run defenders at the OLB spot, it's not just his pass rushing that makes him elite.

Because running himself out of about 75% of all the running plays is doing what he's supposed to do. The job of the contain guy is to force the runner to change direction, or at least slow down. McCoy doesn't have to do that at all. Ware is an elite pass rusher, but he has a lot of work to do in his rush defense (Orakpo does too, but this isn't about Rak).

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Sorry, but that's not exploiting Ware, that's outplaying the interior of the line. Ware has contain and is to get into the backfield both of which he does. The problem is the DE is then getting pushed inside and the ILBs were not getting over the top and filling the gaps. Ware is absolutely considered one of the best run defenders at the OLB spot, it's not just his pass rushing that makes him elite.

In the NFL, it is typically considered "exploiting" when you run directly at someone and use the same methods of blocking him knowing that you can run right by him.

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Because running himself out of about 75% of all the running plays is doing what he's supposed to do. The job of the contain guy is to force the runner to change direction, or at least slow down. McCoy doesn't have to do that at all. Ware is an elite pass rusher, but he has a lot of work to do in his rush defense (Orakpo does too, but this isn't about Rak).

Contain has the job of preventing the RB from getting outside, he's to set the edge and make sure the RB goes up the middle where the linemen and ILBs will be waiting. Watch again where players lined up and where McCoy runs. As he crosses the line of scrimmage he's doing so where the C/G were lined up, ie where Dallas NT and DE *should* be holding their ground but are instead pushed yards off to the side. Exploiting Ware would be running right at him. Ware may be the closest player but he was far from the one being exploited. The Vick run shown would of been a sack against just about any other QB in the NFL and was again an example of the DL and ILBs getting moved inside out of their assigned gaps.

In that same broadcast and many others it was talked about how good Ware is at maintaining discipline and his lane assignment while rushing the passer. Also the stats show that against the Cowboys for years now teams have run far less often to his side, and when they do they're more than a yard less successful at it.

Football Outsiders ranked him as the #1 run stopper in 2010

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Contain has the job of preventing the RB from getting outside, he's to set the edge and make sure the RB goes up the middle where the linemen and ILBs will be waiting. Watch again where players lined up and where McCoy runs. As he crosses the line of scrimmage he's doing so where the C/G were lined up, ie where Dallas NT and DE *should* be holding their ground but are instead pushed yards off to the side. Exploiting Ware would be running right at him. Ware may be the closest player but he was far from the one being exploited. The Vick run shown would of been a sack against just about any other QB in the NFL and was again an example of the DL and ILBs getting moved inside out of their assigned gaps.

In that same broadcast and many others it was talked about how good Ware is at maintaining discipline and his lane assignment while rushing the passer. Also the stats show that against the Cowboys for years now teams have run far less often to his side, and when they do they're more than a yard less successful at it.

That second video has McCoy and Vick running counter plays right at him. McCoy runs right off the butt of the Tight End who is blocking Ware. They're running at him, and it's working.

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gaps.gif

As an OLB Ware is responsible for the 6 or 7 gap depending on which side he is lined up. On those runs McCoy us running right up the middle.3-4 yards inside of where Ware is lined up. They are very well designed plays attacking the INTERIOR of the Dallas defense.

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I disagree. Ware has to keep contain and take on the block because of the threat of Vick. He can't crash inside and leave Vick the whole side of the field to run if they decide to run a boot. The problem with these plays are the Dallas d-linemen literally offering no resistance to Jason Peters completely owning them. Ware did his job on the play, not letting McCoy or Vick get outside into the open field.

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As an OLB Ware is responsible for the 6 or 7 gap depending on which side he is lined up. On those runs McCoy us running right up the middle.3-4 yards inside of where Ware is lined up. They are very well designed plays attacking the INTERIOR of the Dallas defense.

Only problem with your logic is that McCOY ran RIGHT THROUGH THE 7 GAP in all of those plays.

EDIT: This is like kissing my sister: agreeing with an Eagles fan about a Cowboys. I hate both the Eagles and Cowboys. You both suck!

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What video(s) are you watching? They ran right at him. The hole was created because every time he took on the TE.....lol TE who was assigned to blocking him, he wound up on his ass.

So exactly where does Ware keep getting put on his ass?

I think it's clear that Wares focus in the plays in question was getting after Vick and keeping contain. He does both. I don't believe there's an OLB in football that makes some of those plays, the DE just gets completely washed out.

Philly completely outschemed Dallas in the game, that's undeniable, but saying they completely exposed Ware and implying he struggles in run defense is a huge stretch.

Yeah, they used what he does well (pass rush) against him on those sprint draws, but every elite pass rusher in the NFL gets caught doing that at times. When you look at his body of work as a whole Wares been one of the better run defenders in the league.

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The biggest problem I see on most of those plays is over-pursuit. Ware is definitely the guilty party on a few plays but, by and large, it's the weak side DE who is taking himself out of the play and leaving behind a gigantic gap for Ware to defend. Reid clearly out-schemed Ryan and definitely exploited a flaw in the defense but saying that Ware in particular was victimized is wishful thinking.

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Just for the record re: tr1:

Talking "serious football" or totally "dropping the shtick" wasn't an issue.

But as of this point, going by last contact with him, tr1 appears to have found being temporarily restricted to commenting only on his team (the Washington Redskins) in our main forum (the Stadium) to be unacceptable, and has chosen instead to not participate on ES at all.

I doubt he's the only ES'er who would just depart of his own choice if temporarily refused the ability to talk Cowboy football.

Of course, I imagine if there is another, he/she would most likely be a very devout Cowboy fan.

I hold out hope that he will change his mind at some point.

This response is not to be mistaken for an excuse to posters to engage in any extended off-topic diversion. :)

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DeMarcus Ware can't shut down the run? Oh noes!

This just in: Tom Brady can't escape a pass rush.

Somebody let me know when they find the perfect player.

If Cam Newton puts in the mental work over the next offseason, he may be it. :D

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One of the worst analysis of football I have ever seen.

Keep contain and squeeze3 the whole and force the runner inside is ALWAYS the outside mans job. He did that and there was no help inside. It is amazing that on almost every play, the defensive end was crashing.

It is amazing to me that people will agree with this supposed 'analysis'.

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One of the worst analysis of football I have ever seen.

Keep contain and squeeze3 the whole and force the runner inside is ALWAYS the outside mans job. He did that and there was no help inside. It is amazing that on almost every play, the defensive end was crashing.

It is amazing to me that people will agree with this supposed 'analysis'.

Keeping containment is good, but it isn't an excuse for getting blocked out of a play. Ware's job is to keep containment and then make a play. That's what an elite run defender is supposed to do. Not watch the QB/RB run right by him.
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Keeping containment is good, but it isn't an excuse for getting blocked out of a play. Ware's job is to keep containment and then make a play. That's what an elite run defender is supposed to do. Not watch the QB/RB run right by him.

Are you implying there is another edge defender in the league that would of made those plays? For your football credibility, I really hope not.

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