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Game Review Tampa Bay - Bull Rush Technique

Instead of focusing on the game itself, (there are usually some good film studies by others), I will focus more on using the previous or the next game to have a teaching session on an aspect of the game such as a technique and perhaps only one play for a breakdown of that play.

In this post, I will once again focus on the battle between the Offensive Tackle and the Defensive End, but I will look at it with the idea of the pass rush technique,(the Bull Rush), and how it worked one time and how it was defeated on another occasion. First here is the previous post for the first part of Offensive Tackle techniques.

Section 1 - FOOTBALL 101 Teaching Session:

In this first shot, I will show how the proper technique to counter a "Bull Rush" was executed properly. Spears is going to attack the Right Tackle of Tampa Bay. The RT has his Right Foot back and is beginning to do his kick and slide. And Spears is going to try to "bull rush" him.

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Next you can see he has done his kick and slide and is preparing for Spears to attack him.

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In this shot, he has maintained his balance, his anchor and base by keeping his right foot back, and never leaning into Spears. He has also gained leverage by staying lower than Spears.

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Notice that the Offensive Tackle has not only stayed lower than Spears, but he has lifted him up to gain even more leverage.

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And now for the wrong way to do it. Notice that I have drawn a line that shows Free's feet have not maintained the proper base and balance by Free dropping his left foot back even with his right foot instead of Kicking his right foot back first. Having your feet parallel is a huge no-no and will be the flaw that will allow the rusher to "bull rush" him. Also notice that Tyron has the proper balance and anchor by having his left foot back.

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We now can see that the defender has gained the leverage where he can now lift Free up to gain even more leverage, and can now march him straight back toward the Quarterback. The key for the "bull rush" as far as what the Defensive player is taught, is to be able to "put your helmet on the Offensive Lineman's chest, right between his numbers", and of course that is why the O-Lineman is taught to use his "punch", and never let him get into his body, no matter what. Well, we can all see that the defender has his helmet in Free's chest and that is the main way he "gets leverage by getting lower than Free."

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And the first mistake is compounded by allowing both feet to be parallel a second time. Notice the line again. I should point out that Free was lucky on this play as Romo was able to get rid of the ball in time.

NOTE: In connection with the fine article by Tom Ryle, Free's problems are fixable with more practice time with Calahan. The most important traits/talents that a Tackle needs are present in Doug Free. First and foremost being Quick Feet. Free may be struggling to regain his RT footwork that he had before he switched to LT last year. He could also use more time with Mike Woicik to gain more lower body strength for his base and more upper body strength for his punch.

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And now for a comment about one play from the game...

Section 2 - Tampa Bay Defense:

This is the interception, and I would like to give my take on what went wrong. First you can see that Tampa is lined up with their 3-4 personell group, and in a 3-4 alignment as well.

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Just prior to the snap, they go into a 3-6-2 Alignment and all 6 of the defenders that are lined straight accross, will begin to give ground.

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Now, I want to point out a problem with the play itself. Notice the two circles and how the spacing is such, (two receivers too close to each other), that Romo should have thrown a "back shoulder" out to the outside receiver instead of throwing to Austin because of what Talieb was able to do by watching Romo's eyes.

Talieb sees Romo's eyes following Austin and so as Romo is just starting to begin his throwing motion, Talieb brakes off his coverage on his guy at the bottom of the picture, and will try and succeed with a jump of Miles route.

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And here is what I was talking about the "spacing." Notice we have two receivers too close to one another and that is what allows for Talieb to be close enough to jump Austin's route. Poor spacing, and poor choice on Romo's part. And just as important, it seems to me to be a poor play design as well.

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Well, that is it for this post. I may update this later today if I see something that I might want to add. So check back for any "update" in the title of the post.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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