Bengals Film Study: Concepts and Keys for Gruden and Dalton

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The point is to call plays that strategically set up related concepts due to a similar look and design. Gruden’s concepts, including a few seam concepts with Jermaine Gresham against the Steelers, were sometimes outstanding, but other times lacked any sort of purpose or foresight. A West Coast staple, the maximum protection play action fake with the receivers running a post route and deep in became effective when the team had success running the ball.

Andy Dalton fakes to BenJarvus Green-Ellis then throws to A.J. Green on the deep post route, with Mohammed Sanu running underneath.

When the linebackers were sucked in against the run and tight ends staying in to block, the two routes combine to put the stress on the safety. Depending on which direction the safety cheats, Andy Dalton would hit the opposite receiver. Unfortunately, Dalton often times forced it to A.J. Green on the deep post even when the safety got proper depth and left the crossing route open. Part of this could be due to who was lining up opposite Green, because Sanu was effective on the dig route during his brief flash.

Russell Wilson runs a play action fake to Marshawn Lynch against the Atlanta Falcons in the Divisional Playoffs.

But part of the West Coast offense is supposed to be its multiplicity in running the same concept out of different formations. While this is inverted, the Seahawks run the same routes out of a twins formation. It is the same principle, to put stress on the safety for a high-low read, with a very similar play action fake. But by limiting the concepts and increasing multiplicity in formations.

Out of Manning’s concepts, the only difference between two, the Dig and Dag, is which direction the slot receiver breaks. The Bengals often tried to stretch defenses horizontally, with Dalton being asked to gun the ball in traffic. But there are a few ways that Gruden can play to Dalton’s strengths, and one answer can be found in Green reception that led to the field goal that beat the Steelers this season.

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Tags: A.J. Green Andy Dalton Cincinnati Bengals Jay Gruden