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If the Redskins get on the "Gus Bus" .....

January 10, 2017
The Redskins are strongly considering former Jaguars head coach and Seahawks defensive coordinator, Gus Bradley, for their lead defensive opening. In our first, detailed look at Bradley, we provided an array of statistics and columns, along with opinions and observatios that shed some light on Bradley. 

Now it's time to look at some of what you could possibly expect out of a Gus Bradley type defense, with video and screenshots courtesy of NFL.com Game Rewind tool. 

1 - Gus and the Jaguars final dance

Gus's last game as Jaguars head coach featured a collapse in the fourth quarter, but Jacksonville came to play early on, against an inconsistent offense and Brock Osweiler. 


In our first video (above), you see a side shot of the Jaguars lining up for their first crack on third-down defense. Jacksonville faced a 3rd-and-9 on the opening Houston series and gave up a short pass to the inside right slot receiver for seven yards, before making the tackle. Jacksonville appeared to be playing man-coverage across the board with a single-high safety. 


From the end zone view of the same play, Jacksonville gets an aggressive pass rush front with four down defenders but the Jaguars send six pass rusher at Osweiler. They present an off-balanced look and then get after it. The Jaguars overloaded the right side of their defense and the left side of Houston's offense before looping one of the pass rushers on their right all the way around and he wraps into the gaping hole now present after the initial attention is drawn to Houston's left. 

If you watch it closely, Houston's stud left tackle (Duane Brown) takes a shuffle-step to his left at the snap, presumably because he has those two rushers flexed out to his left. He knows that he has the running back in pass protection to pick up one and he is probably anticipating picking up the other. The interior pass rusher of the two, doesn't come straight at the tackle, which forces Brown to re-adjust and shift to his right, causing him to pick up the pass rusher the Jags essentially sent as a pick defender. Because of this, the left guard who is already engaged, doesn't switch off quickly enough allowing the looping blitzer to get a full head of steam. 

That pass rusher gets significant heat on Osweiler, who does a good job to get rid of it and pick up seven-of-the-nine yards he needed, but it was better than a sack or incompletion. 

II - Thursday Night in Tennessee - Jaguars at Titans

In a game absolutely nobody wanted to watch, the Jaguars fought early on to limit the damage and bend but not break. The Jags faced a third-down situation in the red zone in the video below. As you know, the Redskins struggled in both of these areas. 

What jumped out to me first and foremost, was how the Jaguars showed a single-high safety look but just before or at the snap of the ball, dropped a safety back into a two-deep shell. Pre-snap movement and disguise is always key and this was an area that the Redskins also seemed limited in, perhaps because of communication problems and so much unrest at safety. 

Jacksonville shows an initial seven-man front before the safety drops out and another defender adusts to take on the quick swing pass that the Titans throw to try and get the first down. 

III - 3rd-and-Long a Killer? 

For the Redskins, as you know, it was, far too often, In the pictures below, from the same Jaguars-Titans game, you can see the Jaguars trying to get off the field on what should be an easy situation. Jacksonville faced a 3rd-and-25 situation. 


JaxTenn Pre 3rd D 25On this long third-down situation in the above photo, Jacksonville shows a loaded front with a single-high safety and a cover-three look on the perimter. 

Jax Tenn 3rd D Drop 2 Once again, just as in the earlier video from the same game showed, the Jaguars drop a safety back to create a two-deep look out of the loaded front, with more pre-snap/at-snap movement. The front Jacksonville showed was a bit aggressive, considering down-and-distance, but the concept certainly makes sense. 

Jax Tenn Rally BallWith Jacksonville dropping the safety back at the snap for the two-deep look, Marcus Mariota can not necessarily identify what the Jags are doing and largely gives up with a check-down pass to try and pick up some of the yardage. 

The Jaguars yield about ten yards on the play, a quick dump-off to Mariota's left, but look at how the Jaguars defenders surround and run to the football (at about the Tennessee -40). They essentially bracket the receiver so that he can't make somebody miss and bounce to the outside, after his initial path. 

Nobody has a play for this type of situation, so it is totally understandable, but what I was impressed by was the pre-snap concept of aggression and the idea to throw Mariota a bit off his game. 

As we profiled in our first post on Gus Bradley, the results and views of his defense and team are mixed. One of the criticisms of Bradley and to a much lesser degree, Pete Carrol an Seattle is that they do not disguise a lot or blitz a lot. That might be true, but we found some examples where that wasn't necessarily the reality. 

As a reminder, these videos and pictures provide a very small snap-shot of Bradley's defense with the Jaguars. We'll add more as soon as possible and certainly do more digging, if he gets the job. 

Chris Russell has covered the Washington Redskins for seven years for multiple media outlets and was a part of the Redskins Radio Network broadcast team for five seasons. He covers the Redskins for Monumental Sports Network (www.DCHotRead.com), WashingtonTimes.com, BreakingBurgundy.com & Warpath Magazine. Listen to Chris on Washington D.C.'s # 1 sports radio station, 106.7 The FAN.   You can e-mail Chris at SFTheRooster@Yahoo.com.   



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