Kyler and "Reading defenses"

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This is something I have been thinking about a lot recently. You see it mentioned quite a lot about Kyler "reading defenses" as something he has to learn. I disagree.

There seems to be a train of thought that "reading a defense" just means knowing if the defense is in man or zone, or if they are in cover 2, quarters etc. That to me is basic stuff any QB should know from experience and tape. Yes, sometimes from top DC's you will get some exotic looks or deception on key downs but generally speaking on the majority of plays the QB is getting a standard defensive look that all QB's should understand.

The Pats and Rams didn't do anything special. Both of them lined up in a bunch of common defensive formations, nearly all man coverage, mostly single high safety but the occasional Tampa 2. Nothing any QB hasn't seen a million times.

IMO "Reading a defense" is about adjusting what you do based on what you are seeing and knowing what the play call is. Understanding what you see is useless unless you actually adjust what you do to take advantage of it. If the DB is sat 8 yards off Kirk and you know Kirk is running a dig then Kirk should probably be your primary read as the DB is too far off effectively cover that route. If the defense is in zone and you know Nuk is running a 12 yard comeback between the zones then he should probably be the primary read. So on and so forth. There are no set reads, the QB should be deciding what his 1st and 2nd reads are depending on what he is seeing from the defense and if he is seeing it accurately it works.

For example, I mentioned this play before vs the Pats. It's around 13:00 in Q4 if you want to watch it. Pre snap Kyler motions Kirk to the slot at the bottom of the screen which is pre determined. Murray knows what route Kirk is running and he should know pre snap that the DB has outside leverage so Kirk will be open inside except for the FS.

Right now, post snap Murray is looking at Keesean to his right, even though he was double covered from the get go. I don't know why that's his first read considering the FS was also shading that side and pre snap he has Nuk in single coverage the other direction. Pre snap Nuk should be his first read, Kirk 2nd, Johnson last.

He should be staring down Nuk anyway as his first read because knowing the route Kirk is running he should be trying to get the FS to move in that direction to open it up. It so happens the FS goes across to Nuk anyway because thats who is most concerned about but what's concerning to me is that Kyler shouldn't be doing any of what he is doing.

He shouldn't have gone to Johnson at all. He's shown no interest in Nuk in single coverage. And in about a second he stares down a completely open Kirk before deciding to run.

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Here he is deciding not to throw for at least 40 yards to Kirk, if not a TD considering the FS his heading the wrong direction.

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Just all round bad play from Murray. And if you really watch back the tape in details you see this a lot from him. Bad pre snap reads, bad post snap decisions. The really bad part is a lot of guys probably watch this play in real time and say "Great run by Kyler for 10 yards" but completely miss of trash it was to lead to that run.

This is the very next play. Who do you think the primary read should be here? JC Jackson has a 10 yard cushion on Kirk. We run the ball here for 4 yards, but it's an RPO because Kirk stays in the flat and Isabella gets in a position to run block if the ball goes to Kirk. Just a bad decision. Kyler doesn't seem to even consider the pass option even though our running had been poor all day.

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This one is terrible from Kyler. This is the drive before the ones above and you will recall this play from Mason Cole getting owned by Lawrence Guy with Guy getting the sack to end the drive on 3rd and 7.

You can see we have trips to the left for once with Nuk, Arnold and Isabella. And there's a crap load of defenders over there. 3 DB's and a safety over the top. On the other side you have Kirk on his own and the CB with a massive cushion and no safety help. Kirk is one on one. So where does Kyler look?

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Well, it's not to Kirk. First he looks to Bella and Nuk, then Arnold. All of which are of course covered by the many DB's that were always there.

Meanwhile Kirk is sat 1 yard past the chains still with several yards of cushion and the ball should be arriving at him already considering Murray knows Kirk is running a comeback to the chains in single coverage!

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There seems to be two sides to this argument at the moment. Kliff is bad or Kyler is bad. It's actually both. There are some really poor play designs and generally unimaginative and lacking scheme from Kliff. He's giving no help to the WR's or Kyler a lot of the time. But there are also a whole bunch of times when the play calling and design are good and Kyler just messes it up.

Kyler's pre snap decision making is off the charts garbage right now. I've watched a bunch of the Pats and Rams all 22 and plays like above are all over it.
 

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could Kliff be better. unquestionably yes

but K1s running has covered up plays missed in the passing game. When the running is contained, it shows.

K1 will be fine -- with more experience. But we are living the downside of his learning curve ( and KKs too for that matter)



I think the development comp here is Josh Allen

last year at this time, he was a 58% completion guy / 17 TDs / 8 ints. Good, but also stretches that were pretty sketchy.

this year, 70%, 26 and 8
 
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could Kliff be better. unquestionably yes

but K1s running has covered up plays missed in the passing game. When the running is contained, it shows.

K1 will be fine -- with more experience. But we are living the downside of his learning curve ( and KKs too for that matter)



I think the development comp here is Josh Allen

last year at this time, he was a 58% completion guy / 17 TDs / 8 ints. Good, but also stretches that were pretty sketchy.

this year, 70%, 26 and 8

Isn't that just a way to excuse Kyler? Why Josh Allen? I didn't see anything Kyler's arm talent from Allen coming out of college. Power yes, but Kyler has always been an accurate passer of the ball.

This to me as I explained above is pretty basic stuff. From any QB at any level.

I've never played football, but I'm pretty sure ANY QB, whether it be top tier in HS or college, or in the NFL, should know that on 3rd and 7 your primary read should not be to the guys well covered in a tight bunch but should be to the guy in single coverage in a load of space.

Or is that just me?
 
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Isn't that just a way to excuse Kyler? Why Josh Allen? I didn't see anything Kyler's arm talent from Allen coming out of college. Power yes, but Kyler has always been an accurate passer of the ball.

This to me as I explained above is pretty basic stuff. From any QB at any level.

I've never played football, but I'm pretty sure ANY QB, whether it be top tier in HS or college, or in the NFL, should know that on 3rd and 7 your primary read should not be to the guys well covered in a tight bunch but should be to the guy in single coverage in a load of space.

Or is that just me?

Damn we are hard on the boy aren't we? Geez, he's very young and inexperienced and still has enough talent already to give us a possible glimpse of what is to come and to not be harsh on him without taking that into account has to be labeled as an 'excuse'. It's frustating to watch but that for me is just too derogative of a word for him at this point... now Carson Wentz is at the point of his career where that suffices
 

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Isn't that just a way to excuse Kyler? Why Josh Allen? I didn't see anything Kyler's arm talent from Allen coming out of college. Power yes, but Kyler has always been an accurate passer of the ball.

This to me as I explained above is pretty basic stuff. From any QB at any level.

I've never played football, but I'm pretty sure ANY QB, whether it be top tier in HS or college, or in the NFL, should know that on 3rd and 7 your primary read should not be to the guys well covered in a tight bunch but should be to the guy in single coverage in a load of space.

Or is that just me?

I've also wondered if it is because of the system. Each player on each play has a whole tree to follow vs having a route. Maybe it is confusing for Kyler and/or the two pleyrs see the play different and it causes him to not throw with anticipation in case the WR goes another way. This could explain how we often have two WR in the same 5 yard area quite often.
 

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Reading defense's is way more intricate then what is being talked about here. It's not only the QBs responsible it's also the receiver's have to read the same thing.

It's about reading players before and after the snap. And receiver's need to be on the same page. It's not just about K1 recognizing if it's man or zone it is reading certain players. What they do dictates where the ball should go.

Kurt warner was the best in the business in his time, and we could use him. It's not easy to process all the information in a second or two either. Romo is very good at it from the booth, but he wasn't as good when down on the field.
 

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Isn't that just a way to excuse Kyler? Why Josh Allen? I didn't see anything Kyler's arm talent from Allen coming out of college. Power yes, but Kyler has always been an accurate passer of the ball.

This to me as I explained above is pretty basic stuff. From any QB at any level.

I've never played football, but I'm pretty sure ANY QB, whether it be top tier in HS or college, or in the NFL, should know that on 3rd and 7 your primary read should not be to the guys well covered in a tight bunch but should be to the guy in single coverage in a load of space.

Or is that just me?



Allen was on an island at Wyoming. If he played in a QB friendly system surrounded by a wealth of talent and excellent coaches he’s probably a Lawrence/Luck level prospect.
 

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Isn't that just a way to excuse Kyler? Why Josh Allen? I didn't see anything Kyler's arm talent from Allen coming out of college. Power yes, but Kyler has always been an accurate passer of the ball.

This to me as I explained above is pretty basic stuff. From any QB at any level.

I've never played football, but I'm pretty sure ANY QB, whether it be top tier in HS or college, or in the NFL, should know that on 3rd and 7 your primary read should not be to the guys well covered in a tight bunch but should be to the guy in single coverage in a load of space.

Or is that just me?


Even Mahomes was late on many reads in his MVP sophmore year.

Hill and Kelce are equalizers though.

We Hop but Kliff doesn't even use him correctly.
 

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Even Mahomes was late on many reads in his MVP sophmore year.

Hill and Kelce are equalizers though.

We Hop but Kliff doesn't even use him correctly.

this*

even RW up in Seattle has receivers making incredible catches often and helping their QB out big time, I see it all over the NFL weekly. And it seems we have none of those guys when Fitz is it in the field shoot we have guys dropping passes that hit them in the hands. Our WR are vastly overrated Dhop is legit but even he has had a few drops off the hands but he makes up for it, others don’t !
 

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Isn't that just a way to excuse Kyler? Why Josh Allen? I didn't see anything Kyler's arm talent from Allen coming out of college. Power yes, but Kyler has always been an accurate passer of the ball.

This to me as I explained above is pretty basic stuff. From any QB at any level.

NFL QB is insanely hard to play at a high level

i think it takes reps -- and like Josh Allen, K1 came into the NFL with far fewer reps than typical.

Allen had 650 attempts in college. K1 had 519. for perspective, Pat Mahomes had 1,350.

I posted on a thread on the SEA game that K1 missed a TD throw by waiting (literally) 0.5 second too long. Thats the margin for error on many, many plays in the NFL. I think it takes experience and reps to close down the final 0.5 of decision/processing time.

i guess it may be an excuse for K1, but i think that expecting him to operate like a 5 year nfl vet isnt realistic.
 
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Reading defense's is way more intricate then what is being talked about here. It's not only the QBs responsible it's also the receiver's have to read the same thing.

It's about reading players before and after the snap. And receiver's need to be on the same page. It's not just about K1 recognizing if it's man or zone it is reading certain players. What they do dictates where the ball should go.

Kurt warner was the best in the business in his time, and we could use him. It's not easy to process all the information in a second or two either. Romo is very good at it from the booth, but he wasn't as good when down on the field.

Well yeah, I didn't want to write a book. But the point of the post is the simple things that Kyler isn't doing that he should be.
 

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We run on this RPO because there are 6 defenders in the box. That's what you're supposed to do there. If you're reading the defense, you actually don't want to throw it because you have 3 defenders vs 2 receivers that the top of the screen and 2 defenders vs 1 receiver on the bottom.

If I remember correctly, the Air Raid is a progression offense, so the QB is expected to look here -- here -- here on the play calls.
 
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We run on this RPO because there are 6 defenders in the box. That's what you're supposed to do there. If you're reading the defense, you actually don't want to throw it because you have 3 defenders vs 2 receivers that the top of the screen and 2 defenders vs 1 receiver on the bottom.

If I remember correctly, the Air Raid is a progression offense, so the QB is expected to look here -- here -- here on the play calls.

I think we need to get away from this idea that Kliff is running Air Raid. He said when he came here he'd bring some of what he knew but he'd be building a new scheme.

If he's running a scheme where Kyler has set reads no matter what the defense is showing him then we are screwed. I don't believe we are. No NFL QB could succeed doing that.

Regarding the play above. I get what you're saying but this is 7 down in Q4 and Drake was averaging less than 3 per carry. Do you not think Kirk is showing a greater chance of success?

Either way, there's plenty more like the others above.
 

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We run on this RPO because there are 6 defenders in the box.

Urban on Cards Underground had an interesting point: when there are only 5 or 6 defenders in the box, and you cant run the ball successfully -- you are in a bad spot

i think an underrated aspect of the offensive struggles has been what feels like a regression of the o line over the last month
 

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Urban on Cards Underground had an interesting point: when there are only 5 or 6 defenders in the box, and you cant run the ball successfully -- you are in a bad spot

i think an underrated aspect of the offensive struggles has been what feels like a regression of the o line over the last month


Seattle was really the only game Drake didn't run fairly well. He only had 10 carries against the Rams but 49 yards. I don't want to keep beating the same drum but IMO the issues with the run game are Murray isn't running as much, I think because of the shoulder. And also because we've been behind, we're not running as much. Look at Edmonds, last 4 games he has 22 carries total and 126 yards. When Drake came back he went from 25 carries in the loss to Miami, to 22 in the next 4 combined. But it's not like Drake has been bad either. Last 4 59 carries 256 yards, that's 4.3 which is his average for the season. The problem is over those 4 games Murray has 26 carries for 122 yards which is decent YPA but in 2 of those he was at only 3YPC. Part of why Drake and Edmonds are so good is the threat of Kyler running removes 1 defender. That's still there, teams are still taking Kyler in the option runs but we're not getting any real run threat since buffalo from Kyler, last 3 15 carries, 61 yards. For him that's terrible it's more than 2 yards below what he was getting on the year.

So he either has to run more, or punish people through the air
 

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I think we need to get away from this idea that Kliff is running Air Raid. He said when he came here he'd bring some of what he knew but he'd be building a new scheme.

If he's running a scheme where Kyler has set reads no matter what the defense is showing him then we are screwed. I don't believe we are. No NFL QB could succeed doing that.

Regarding the play above. I get what you're saying but this is 7 down in Q4 and Drake was averaging less than 3 per carry. Do you not think Kirk is showing a greater chance of success?

Either way, there's plenty more like the others above.

You have to have a foundation somewhere, and I have little doubt that the philosophical foundation of this offense is air raid concepts. My understanding is that the offense has a read progression that changes based on the defensive look. If the defense is showing one safety high, you go X-receiver, Slot, RB, TE. If the defense shows two-deep, you go Slot, Y-receiver, TE, RB.

Other offensive philosophies have QBs read high-low (this is what Steve Spurrier's innovation was). It's not that hard to design an offense that should work in any scenario structurally; it's much harder to execute the design against the best athletes in the world.
 

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Seattle was really the only game Drake didn't run fairly well. He only had 10 carries against the Rams but 49 yards.
Russ-- one of those carries was a 24 yard run with 2 mins to go, down 17 points when the Rams were happy to see it handed off.
that leaves 9 for 25.
 

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Urban on Cards Underground had an interesting point: when there are only 5 or 6 defenders in the box, and you cant run the ball successfully -- you are in a bad spot

i think an underrated aspect of the offensive struggles has been what feels like a regression of the o line over the last month
The more I re-watch, the more I do agree with this. There are a bunch of opportunities to run the between the tackles with how teams are rushing Kyler, but our interior is getting wrecked and Beachum has really leveled off with his play.

We are losing too many 1 on 1 battles or getting hung up on double teams and not getting to the second level.
 

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Isn't that just a way to excuse Kyler? Why Josh Allen? I didn't see anything Kyler's arm talent from Allen coming out of college. Power yes, but Kyler has always been an accurate passer of the ball.

This to me as I explained above is pretty basic stuff. From any QB at any level.

I've never played football, but I'm pretty sure ANY QB, whether it be top tier in HS or college, or in the NFL, should know that on 3rd and 7 your primary read should not be to the guys well covered in a tight bunch but should be to the guy in single coverage in a load of space.

Or is that just me?
I think its one of those things where in real time its very very fast and there are 300 pounds dudes in your face trying to kill you. In film study you can see what you should do, but on the field its not that easy.
 

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Isn't that just a way to excuse Kyler? Why Josh Allen? I didn't see anything Kyler's arm talent from Allen coming out of college. Power yes, but Kyler has always been an accurate passer of the ball.

This to me as I explained above is pretty basic stuff. From any QB at any level.

I've never played football, but I'm pretty sure ANY QB, whether it be top tier in HS or college, or in the NFL, should know that on 3rd and 7 your primary read should not be to the guys well covered in a tight bunch but should be to the guy in single coverage in a load of space.

Or is that just me?

It's just you
 

Jetstream Green

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Reading defense's is way more intricate then what is being talked about here. It's not only the QBs responsible it's also the receiver's have to read the same thing.

It's about reading players before and after the snap. And receiver's need to be on the same page. It's not just about K1 recognizing if it's man or zone it is reading certain players. What they do dictates where the ball should go.

Kurt warner was the best in the business in his time, and we could use him. It's not easy to process all the information in a second or two either. Romo is very good at it from the booth, but he wasn't as good when down on the field.

And for the record, the talking head which is Chris Simms was abysmal at all of this when he attempted to be a pro :)
 

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