Greg Cosell

  • Greg Cosell's NFL Classroom: One amazingly complex, simple-looking play

    Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 1 mth ago

    I'm going to analyze a play that looks like it's simply a quarterback throwing to a wide-open receiver for a 24-yard gain.

    But it's much, much more than that, and you would never know it unless you study film and know the subtle nuances that made it happen. This came in the second quarter of the Green Bay Packers' game at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 16 last year.

    Let's startbefore the snap. Here's a classic case where you have safeties in a two-deep shell as Aaron Rodgers starts to look at the defense; it could almost be quarters coverage, or maybe man. The Buccaneers try to change the defense late, right before the snap, and it becomes "Cover 3" zone.

    The design of the play is to go to the three-receiver side. But here's a quiz: Against "Cover 3" zone, who does Rodgers need to beat to make the play?

    Let's look from the end zone angle. Watch Rodgers move his shoulders and head, then David's reaction to Rodgers' movement and you'll see how that gets Cobb open.

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  • Greg Cosell's NFL Classroom: Evaluating quarterbacks with 'Jaws'

    Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 1 mth ago

    This summer, NFL Films' Greg Cosell will be doing a series of posts for Shutdown Corner taking a deeper look into the finer points of football, explaining how fans can look for the subtle nuances that make the game so interesting beneath the surface.

    Nothing is more important and gets more attention in the NFL than evaluating quarterbacks. And it's one of the hardest aspects of the game.

    Evaluating quarterbacks coming out of college is becoming tougher because of the number of schools that run spread offenses. Even evaluating quarterbacks already in the NFL can be difficult. That's why you see so many misses at the position.

    My views on quarterbacks are pretty well known if you're read my pieces on Shutdown Corner. In this post, I discussed the issue in great detail. There are many components, but basically I believe that quarterback play starts with strong pocket skills such as progression reading and proper mechanics.

    So I figured I'd ask "Jaws" to share how he evaluates quarterbacks. Here are his words:

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  • Greg Cosell's NFL Classroom: Understanding why INTs happen (Part 2)

    Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 1 mth ago

    This summer, NFL Films' Greg Cosell will be doing a series of posts for Shutdown Corner taking a deeper look into the finer points of football, explaining how fans can look for the subtle nuances that make the game so interesting beneath the surface.

    In part one of this two-part series on interceptions, we looked at Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles' first five career picks.

    What we found is that each interception is different — sometimes a defensive player makes a great individual play, sometimes a defender has great route recognition to force a less-than-ideal throw, sometimes a receiver is at fault and sometimes the quarterback just screws up. You can learn a lot about route concepts, defensive schemes and assignments, receiver responsibilities and what the quarterback should be looking for just by analyzing interceptions to find out why they happened.

    So with that said, let's take a look at the next set of Bortles' interceptions to learn more:

     

    Oh, this is bad. Really bad.

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  • Greg Cosell's NFL Classroom: Understanding why INTs happen (part 1)

    Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 1 mth ago

    This summer, NFL Films' Greg Cosell will be doing a series of posts for Shutdown Corner taking a deeper look into the finer points of football, explaining how fans can look for the subtle nuances that make the game so interesting beneath the surface.

    Not all interceptions are the same. In our last post in this series, we saw that it's way too simple to blame the quarterback in each instance.

    Sometimes the defense wins, either with a great scheme or tremendous individual effort. Sometimes the quarterback is at fault. Sometimes you can easily see that the receiver was the reason for the interception. That's why you watch film, so you can try to spot the real reason for an interception. You can learn a ton about football from diagnosing what happened on interceptions.

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    So let's take a look at what happened on these picks from Bortles:

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  • Greg Cosell's NFL Classroom: Sometimes, the defense wins

    Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 1 mth ago

    I don't like when a quarterback's interception numbers are used with no context to criticize that player.

    It's too simple. Not all interceptions are the quarterback's fault. And it doesn't take into consideration that just like how the offense can beat the defense with scheme and execution for a long touchdown, the defense wins sometimes too. There are fantastic coordinators in the NFL who design brilliant defenses that can confuse even the best offensive players. When you go back and watch film of a game, or even as you watch live, try to figure out if and how the defense may have just won on the play.

    I want to show two examples of interceptions against Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck last season in which the defense won. I didn't pick two of Luck's interceptions to criticize him. He's a very good quarterback and that's why I like these examples — it shows that a well-designed defense can get the best of anyone.

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  • Greg Cosell's NFL Classroom: What to watch before the snap

    Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 2 mths ago

    This summer, NFL Films' Greg Cosell will be doing a series of posts for Shutdown Corner taking a deeper look into the finer points of football, explaining how fans can look for the subtle nuances that make the game so interesting beneath the surface.

    On Sundays, I usually watch games without taking notes or looking at schemes or searching for details about why plays did or didn't work. I just watch casually. And I know most people watch games that way, and that's great. 

    But I also love when I come to the NFL Films offices on Monday and start to look at the coaches' film to unlock why certain plays worked or didn't, and what makes players successful or not. Those nuances, to me, are what football is all about.

    Here's an obvious starting point for this post: There are things you can note before the snap on each play. I've watched film for so long, checking for these keys before the ball is snapped has become second nature.

    This looks like a typical football formation, but there's so much we can learn just from this one frame.

    And now you can look for some of the same things before the ball is snapped.

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  • Greg Cosell's NFL analysis: Playing to Cam Newton's strengths

    Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 3 mths ago

    The Carolina Panthers are an interesting case. They just paid their quarterback Cam Newton a lot of money, yet they run an offense that's as close to a collegiate outfit as you'll see in the NFL.

    Let's talk about Newton first because he's a fascinating player.

    Newton is a "wow" player. If you don't watch him snap after snap, then what you probably see are the "wow" plays. He's a power thrower and there's not a toss he can't make. He's not a touch thrower, that's not his game. But he can make big-time throws at anytime.

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    Consider a 31-yard completion he made down the seam to Greg Olsen in last season's playoff game at the Seattle Seahawks. It was as good of a throw as you’ll see.

    But then there are the throws he misses. He misses too many routine NFL throws. As great as he can be throwing the ball, he can also be scattershot and erratic. You just don’t know. As such, he's a frustrating player.

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  • Greg Cosell's NFL analysis: Jameis Winston landed with a good coordinator

    Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 3 mths ago

    You can make an argument that Jameis Winston is a similar player to Matt Ryan.

    That's theoretical, of course, because Winston hasn't played in the NFL yet. But physically and stylistically there are similarities, especially to Ryan when he was coming out of Boston College.

    And that's good, because we can get a better idea how Winston will transition to the pros seeing as how he'll be with the same offensive coordinator Ryan had the past three years.

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    This offseason the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired Dirk Koetter to be their offensive coordinator. I like that fit between him and Winston, because I think Koetter is a very good offensive coach.

    [ThePostGame: Bucs WR Mike Evans shows off his dunking skills (Video)]

    I also really like the marriage of Winston and the receivers he'll have, particularly because of Winston's aggressive style. 

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  • Greg Cosell's NFL analysis: The Titans' long-term plan with Mariota

    Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 3 mths ago

    The Tennessee Titans' draft was fascinating.

    They had a conviction in quarterback Marcus Mariota and took him with the second overall pick in the NFL draft. I won't knock them for that, and for the most part I like Mariota. But the rest of their draft showed they want to play a certain way that you don't necessarily think of when you think of Mariota.

    Mariota comes from a spread shotgun offense at Oregon. There has been a lot of talk of how coach Ken Whisenhunt and his staff will incorporate some spread concepts for Mariota, and they likely will, but they don't appear to be trying to build a spread-based offense over the long haul. Two of the Titans' picks tell us that.

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    NFL analyst and NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell watches as much NFL game film as anyone. Throughout the season, Cosell will join Shutdown Corner to share his observations on the teams, schemes and personnel from around the league .

  • Greg Cosell's draft review: Three teams whose drafts I really liked

    Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 4 mths ago

    I don't really do draft grades, because I don't know what teams' draft boards look like.

    Everyone argues that this team should have drafted that position, but we don't know what their board were like when they were on the clock. All I can do is go back through my evaluations and see which teams ended up with players who I had positive evaluations for. It doesn't mean I'm right, but it's based on what I've seen on film.

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    With that, three teams ended up with a lot of players who I liked going into the draft:

    New Orleans Saints

    Based on my evaluations, I think the Saints had a very good draft. With just about every pick, they chose a prospect I was high on.

    The first pick was offensive tackle Andrus Peat, who I thought was the best left tackle prospect in the draft right now. With proper development Florida's D.J. Humphries could be the best left tackle in this class, but today the best prospect is Peat.

    Jacksonville Jaguars

    St. Louis Rams

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