Every Play Tells a Story: Derrick Henry & Forcing the Counter

My latest episode of Every Play Tells a Story looks at an Influence Play involving Derrick Henry as football’s version Floyd Mayweather.

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Every Play Tells a Story: The Danger of Logic

I’ve said before that the draft is hard because it forces us to use both linear and non-linear thinking styles.

Linear thinking is important because it’s efficient, process-driven, and based around deductive reasoning. As the quote above says, linear thinking can also be limiting because it can only follow the path laid out by the starting point. In terms of the draft, I think it’s particularly helpful in identifying physical traits, as those things are observable, measurable, testable, and verifiable (and this goes for both the film and metrics sides of the spectrum).

Non-linear thinking is important because understanding physical traits is only part of the player evaluation puzzle. The other side of the coin is trying to understand the context of a player’s decision-making on the field. And trying to understand someone’s thought-process is tough. It’s even tougher when we think linearly and anchor ourselves to the starting point of our conclusion. That sounds paradoxical, but it’s often how this works: “This play is good/bad or shows this trait (starting point) because of X, Y, Z (observable information).”

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A Conversation on Andrus Peat

An email conversation with my friend Alec on thoughts of his own about Peat, the state of tackle play, scouting quirks, and NFL Draft philosophies that I’ve kept locked away until this post.

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Conversion Program: OT TJ Clemmings

My first exposure to T.J. Clemmings came from listening to Josh Norris’ podcast Process the Process. He and Lance Zierlein discussed the Pitt offensive tackle – a defensive line convert with arms that are over 35” long – and go into tremendous detail about his strengths and weaknesses in pass protection.

If you’ve watched Lance in the RSP Film Room series, you know that his insight on offensive line prospects is tremendous, so be sure to check out that episode of Process the Process if you enjoyed Lance’s Brandon Scherff breakdown.

Josh and Lance both agreed that Clemmings’ needed some work in pass protection, and that some of his flaws were magnified at the Senior Bowl. However, they also agreed that he had the lateral agility, athletic ability, and length to play offensive tackle.

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Cornerback Technique

One of the most difficult positions for me to try and analyze is cornerback. In fact, before last year, I really never tried to evaluate defensive backs in general. There are a number of reasons for this. The first and most obvious is that it’s incredibly hard to see defensive backs play on broadcast television. College football broadcasts are a little better in this regard because they use fewer cameras and wider shots, but for the most part, you can only see a corner or safety in the shot for a second or two (if he even enters the picture at all). Post-snap, the camera zooms in on the ball (either the running back or quarterback), so the most you can see on most plays is how the corner plays the wide receiver off the line of scrimmage. Combine that with up-tempo, no-huddle offenses eliminating dead time (thus, choking out time for the network to show plays from different camera angles), and it can be really difficult in general to evaluate corners.

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