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Reggie Bush vs. Greg Ellis

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When I was doing the DCFanatic radio show earlier this week I mentioned that I want to see what happens if the Saints get Reggie Bush out in isolation with Greg Ellis. I've seen quite a few threads on message boards bringing up this subject, with a lot of people saying that Roy Williams would end up covering Bush in the flats or something similar.

Let me show you how the Saints could get Bush out in a flare pattern isolated against Greg Ellis. It's not hard to do.

Imagine its 2nd and 6 or something close to that. The Cowboys are lined up in their base 3-4 defense and the Saints are lined up in a traditional I-formation with the TE lined up on the right-side (Ellis' side).

In this formation DeMarcus Ware doesn't have the TE to his side, so he has a run support/pass rush read. Greg Ellis has a run support/pass coverage read. At the snap of the ball the Saints QB drops back so Ware reads pass and rushes the QB. Bradie James slides over to cover the 3rd of the field underneath that Ware just left empty. Ellis reads pass and drops into zone coverage in his 3rd of the field. The receiver to that side runs a deep out, forcing Terence Newman to cover him. The TE runs a seam pattern, forcing Roy Williams into deep coverage. The back-side receiver runs a post pattern, threatening the middle of the field deep, forcing Keith Davis to give inside help to Anthony Henry.

The Saints send the FB through the line and he settles about 5 yards deep in the middle, forcing Akin Ayodele into coverage, the middle 3rd underneath is his responsibility. The Saints flare Reggie Bush out into the flats on Ellis' side and throw him the ball. There you have it, Bush and Ellis in isolation. Here's a crude diagram to show you what this would look like.

If the Saints force a situation like this or something similar, it will be interesting to see how Ellis handles it. Of course, the down-side of this play is the Saints are sending 5 men into the pattern, so they better get the ball off quickly to make it work.