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Can't We Go Max-Protect?


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If the O-line were able to perform to that standard then Rudi would be able to run the ball with some success!

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It seems that the couple of times that Palmer has hit some big plays is when he has time to throw. Why not go to Max-Protect and send Chad out? At least that will give him some time. Until the O-line gets their act together it seems like one option. Have we tried this?

With the way teams are covering Chad, I'm not sure this would work so well...unless I misunderstood what you were saying...

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For example last week when he got held. CJ beat double coverage. The few times that Carson has went down the field he has hit Johnson for a big play. Carson gets absolutely no time to throw the ball. If you keep back a tight end, or add an extra linemen to protect that would allow Carson the time to hit the bomb. The O-line sucks right now.

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Ok. Here we get some better football breakdown for those that like the technical side of things.

Without the luxury of game film or repeated viewing that Tivo may offer, here is what I can submit from memory.

Of the 4 passes over 40 yrds Palmer has completed (1 to TJ and 3 to CJ). All have come under some sort of blitz or stunt. Blitz is having a non-lineman rush, stunt is when D-lineman shift to load a side or otherwise confuse the O-line (not so hard, I realize).

Each throw, Palmer has had pressure, except the long TD to Chad when Champ was busy adjusting the field-turf at PBS. On that play, Palmer lofted it quick and Chad was wide.

It is reasonable to assume that going to a max-protect scheme will buy Palmer a second +, especially if the shotgun is called. The problem is that it takes away the 3rd check-down (a TE or RB) and forces the WR to adjust their routes since the D will recognize the formation and call a blitz/stunt. This forces the D to go cover-2, or man if the safety has to come up if a play action is set.

So, say Palmer has a nice 1st down and wants to throw a deep ball. He has a max-protect blocking scheme with only Rudi in the backfield (non-shotgun). We have a two TE set with TJ and CJ top and bottom. He would probably go 5 step drop and Rudi will key off the weak side (or cue the obvious blitzing alignment). Palmer snaps, drops 5. If no blitz, then the coverage may be man-2 on cj or man/zone with D (LB/S) watching a TE or RB to slide underneath. Here is the key, letting the TE roll off the block and have Rudi pick him up would give Palmer the 3rd check, this is what Brat seldom does or Palmer rarely recognizes.

Lets say CJ to TJ gets moderately open on a deep slant (30+). Given the bad protection, Palmer has been throwing off his heel (has not or can't step up to jet the pass). He has had D on top of him save few throws. Since the pressure is on him he can't see the TE. He may complete the pass depending on the coverage or depending on how much he puts his back into it. I think of Palmers 10 INT’s only 4 are from pure bad passes, the others are from protection break-downs, hurries or tips/deflections.

Let’s look at the blittz option, where the line has most problems, leading to Palmer problems. Say wehave the same formation as above (max Protect). More than likely CJ and TJ will be in man coverage and the strong safety will stay back and key the WR who breaks his route off, providing back-up to the deep route. Now we have a possible blitz to exploit a strong side with the TE or weak with the RB. Brat has a tendency to give-away the play (run/pass) with which TE is in (DUH!) so the D can cue the RB weak side with a blitz, or jam the TE and send a second LB or safety in the gap to get Palmer. The Bengals problem here is that Palmer is still cueing a long pass, so going to the 2nd or 3rd check never happens, as the LB or S is on him...OR he needs to move up in the pocket, or recognize the blitz and roll from it to get the second he needs to check the 2 or 3. This is where our TE's lack, but maybe where a Kenny Watson or Chris Perry would be perfect (think STL and Marshall Faulk). Having the audible change to a drop screen would let Palmer drop 5-7 bait the Biltz and burn their ass for 15+ with Steinbach or Willie laying wood. I have yt to see Rudi execute a drop screen, and I am having a tough time recalling CP or KW execute on either.

The frustrating thing about all this is that Palmer has to step up his recognitions at the line (this is the NFL not the PAC-10), Brat needs smarter audibles that can exploit what Palmer see's and the Line needs to execute consistently. I know this sounds like a lot but the first step is the line, then Palmer, then Brat, IMHO...also, all of this is contingent on Rudi getting his feet moving and a hole being there. Run stes up the pass, sorry that’s just the way it is.

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