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Breaking down the Eagles 'boot' action

National Football Post

Click here for the entire Inside the Playbook series.

Click here to see my chalkboard breakdown of the boot game.

When you give a QB time off of boot action, expect him to look up the deep post and test the top of the defense. That’s exactly what happened in the Eagles-Skins matchup on Monday night in 2010. First play of the game, roll Michael Vick away from run action and target WR DeSean Jackson down the field vs. Cover 2.

Let’s take a look at the replay and then breakdown some coaching points…

Eagles vs. Redskins
Personnel: Ace (2 WR-2 TE-1 RB)
Formation: “Unit Spread”
Route scheme: Boot/Post
Defensive scheme: Cover 2

Route breakdown: Same concept we looked at on the chalkboard. The No.1 WR to the open (weak) side of the formation will run the deep comeback with the closed side TE (Y) coming back across the field on the crossing concept. With the Eagles keeping the open side TE (U) in the protection scheme, Vick has time to set his feet and target Jackson vs. safety LaRon Landry in the deep half.

Jackson’s route: Start with the release. Jackson pushes to the inside and is allowed a soft release from CB DeAngelo Hall (need to get hands on the WR in Cover 2). The Eagles WR then takes a slight outside stem (forces Landry to open his hips) and works back to the post. That’s too easy vs. Cover 2.

Deep half technique: This is tough on Landry because he has to play the deep half with his hips open to the WR. The Skins safety does use a “closed angle” technique (head-whip) to get back in-phase with the WR. However, with Jackson’s vertical speed, Landry can’t stay on the inside hip and gives up the deep ball.  And that goes back to the easy release and stem Jackson was given at the line of scrimmage.

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