Matthew Stafford's problems start from the ground up. (AP)
Once again, it's time to gear up for this week's slate of NFL games with analysis from the best in the business -- Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN's "NFL Matchup." Greg gives you a sense of the week's upcoming games you won't get anywhere else, based on his conversations with players and coaches past and present, and his OCD-level evaluation of coach's tape.
A few pearls of wisdom from Mr. Cosell:
On Matthew Stafford's mechanical issues in 2012: "I was very fortunate in my career to get to know Bill Walsh and to spend a lot of time with him. And he drilled home to me the importance of 'Mechanics, mechanics, Mechanics.' And it starts with footwork. He used to say that he could see a quarterback's game from the waist down and tell you is he had a good game. Matthew Stafford is an elite arm talent -- we know that. I didn't just break any news there. everybody in the league would tell you that. But if you have poor mechanics on a consistent basis, and if you continually change your arm angle when you don't need to, and if you continually throw off-balance with your feet improperly set when you don't need to, there's no way you can be consistent. I really believe that he needs to be taken back to school in the off-season, and they have to get him to play with better footwork. That's where it has to start, and once that happens, I think everything else will fall into place."
On Kirk Cousins' success with the Washington Redskins: "They ran the exact same offense in the past game that they ran with RG3 -- all they did was put Cousins under center, and have the straight I-formation behind him with two backs. Other than that, the passing concepts were almost exactly the same. And the effect on the second level -- the linebackers for the Browns, in this case -- was exactly the same impact it's been all season long when RG3's been in the Pistol or in the shotgun. The Browns reacted really strongly to all the run action, and all of those quick, one-read throws were right there for Cousins to make. What stood out was the fact that he got off to a bad start, but he settled down. I think the coaching staff did a really good job of helping him do that with the concepts, but he still had to make the throws, and he made them. And the touchdown to Leonard Hankerson was a great throw."
On San Francisco's expanded offense against the Patriots: "I was really happy to see them come out against New England -- I believe the first three plays were passes -- and I said last week that they needed to be proactive about throwing the football. They were not going to go into New England thinking they'd win this game, 17-13. Who knew they'd be up, 31-3, but the point is, they had to score. And when you have to score, you can't be reactive offensively. You have to set the tone, and they did that."
As with everything involving Greg Cosell, this podcast is a must-listen for those fans of advanced tape analysis. Subscribe to the Shutdown Corner iTunes link (in iTunes, go to "Advanced/Subscribe to Podcast," and paste this link in: http://ysportspods.podbean.com/category/shutdown/feed/). You can also use the link below to either left-click and listen, or right-click to save to your computer.
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