USA Today: Three theories why the offense is struggling

dreamcastrocks

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No I'm not kidding. That's like saying, "we discussed what mattress to buy before we bought it. Let's never discuss how uncomfortable it is now we slept on it a year or two. We must stick with what we said before we used it".

Any discussions had during the draft process had nothing to do with NFL performance. It must be mentioned on here 20 times a week that we have no game down the middle of the field, without anyone actually saying "Is it because Kyler is short?". So let's say it.

Why don't we have any game down the middle of the field? Is it because Kyler is short?

The USA article above literally says we throw a bunch of screens and short, wide passes on RPO's because Kyler has trouble over the middle of the field.

I don't think you are reading all that is out there. Kyler being short the batted passes has been discussed more than most topics before the draft. Batted passes wasn't an issue in college for him. Does that mean that it was discussed by the FO, of course we will probably never know, but I would hope that it was.

I think his inability to throw down the middle IMO has to with more the pocket collapsing as well as Kyler not being able/not willing to step up in the pocket, not necessarily his height. I think batted passes are up across the league this year.
 
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SoonerLou

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Let's get this out in the open because it's been hinted at several hundred times without actually being said.

Is Kyler too short to properly succeed at QB?

There are clearly issues in the middle. Our offense is basically U shaped. At best is a skinny donut with a big hole in the middle.

Can any QB succeed with whole areas of the field out of the game plan?
Trent Dilfer said Kliff cant call a traditional game plan with a QB like Murray. He needs to be in the run game to really get him going. So that makes it tough for Kliff. However, part of the problem is that Kliff doesnt incorporate traditional run action to compensate for Murray's lack of height. That sets up those plays over the middle that Russell Wilson lived off of early in his career. So while its important to run more RPO's its all important to mix in a healthy bit of under center hand offs/play action.

I think it will be an issue, but its why I'm disappointed Kyler hasnt improved (or coached up) on throwing on the run. Its ok if he's good enough elsewhere to make up for it. If not...well its just tough.
 
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BritCard

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Trent Dilfer said Kliff cant call a traditional game plan with a QB like Murray. He needs to be in the run game to really get him going. So that makes it tough for Kliff. However, part of the problem is that Kliff doesnt incorporate traditional run action to compensate for Murray's lack of height. That sets up those plays over the middle that Russell Wilson lived off of early in his career. So while its important to run more RPO's its all important to mix in a healthy bit of under center hand offs/play action.

I think it will be an issue, but its why I'm disappointed Kyler hasnt improved (or coached up) on throwing on the run. Its ok if he's good enough elsewhere to make up for it. If not...well its just tough.

I agree. What I don't get is throwing on the run isn't the only way to throw outside the pocket.

Wilson is the king of moving outside the pocket, resetting and throwing from a traditional stance.
 

Russ Smith

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I agree. What I don't get is throwing on the run isn't the only way to throw outside the pocket.

Wilson is the king of moving outside the pocket, resetting and throwing from a traditional stance.


To make a comparison, as a freshman at UCLA everyone could see Westbrook had talent but he was totally out of control and had a ton of turnovers and misses on drives where he got to the rim but was off balance. During the offseason he did a ton of work but the one thing that REALLY helped was the simplest thing, learning to jumpstop. The most basic thing they teach you that the first week of basketball practice at any level, but it helped turn Westbrook into a high lottery pick.

When Kyler does move outside the pocket even his reset isn't really "right" he doesn't plant his feet right. So if you teach him the football equivalent of the jumpstop, it would be huge for him to move, stop set and hit someone downfield
 

daves

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Another thing I've noticed is that so many of our route are run in isolation. They are simple 1 on 1 matchups. The WR has to beat their guy straight up with no help.

No motion. No pick plays. No crossing routes. Even when they run out of stacks or bunches with trips to one side their routes don't cross or do anything to throw off the coverage.
Weird, i could've sworn i saw Arnold catch a TD pass last weekend on a crossing route that completely broke the Rams' secondary. :shrug:

...dbs
 

daves

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Kyler being short the batted passes has been discussed more than most topics before the draft. Batted passes wasn't an issue in college for him. Does that mean that it was discussed by the FO, of course we will probably never know, but I would hope that it was.

I think his inability to throw down the middle IMO has to with more the pocket collapsing as well as Kyler not being able/not willing to step up in the pocket, not necessarily his height. I think batted passes are up across the league this year.
Murray's batted passes were 18 last season, 15 so far this season, on pace for 20. I haven't looked it up just now but i believe i read somewhere that last year's number was below league average. We're all seeing the problems Murray is having this season throwing over the middle. (I haven't seen his passing chart from last season lately.) His height hasn't changed but it seems that defenses, and the kinds of patterns receivers are running, have. Not sure whether his height factors into that, but i agree with all who have said that Kingsbury needs to figure out a way to attack the middle of the field so that defenses have to defend it.

...dbs
 

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On the pick six Kyler has Hopkins open on the shallow cross for an easy first down - locks in on the Kirk and Isabella cluster route

Kyler is not going to second reads nor quick enough

I think going under center is an option they have to consider to work play action using it out of shotgun is of no benefit
 

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Weird, i could've sworn i saw Arnold catch a TD pass last weekend on a crossing route that completely broke the Rams' secondary. :shrug:

...dbs

That's not even remotely what I was talking about Daves.

It's nothing to do with the route. Yes, we run crossing routes.

What I was talking about is that often if you watch other teams run routes out of trips on one side the routes they run are designed to work in combination to get at least one of those receivers open. So as I said in my original post, say you have Kirk out wide and Fitz and Arnold stacked in the slot. All 3 guys have a DB in off man 5 yards away. In this situation nearly every other team has some form of pick play or switch route in their locker, we don't. The most common of which is to have you outside guy (Kirk) run inside underneath and your slot guys who run outside.

That way the DB covering Kirk has no path to cover him as his path his congested with Fitz and Arnold and the two DB's covering them.

We run routes out of trips to one side a bunch, and if you watch them all the routes are isolated. They aren't designed to work together to get anybody open.

Take the image below. This is with 20 seconds left in the 2nd quarter trying to get some points back before half time and with trips to one side Kliff runs 4 verts against a top 3 defense. You aren't going to beat a top 10 defense running basic Air raid concepts like 4 verts. (We get lucky on this play with a pass to Nuk he was never catching that drew a PI flag)


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The very next play same again. Isabella runs a post instead of a vert but basically the same concept. All of the routes are run in isolation, no play design to help anyone get open. This one Nuk runs another out right for a short catch at the sideline and we end up kicking a FG.

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I don't think it's fair to criticize the WR's when they get no help from play design. Air Raid concepts are designed to be simple because kids are stupid and make mistakes. You give them complicated routes to run and they are going to mess up. You keep it simple so they get it right and in most games the WR will have superior speed and athleticism over the DB's at the college level. That just doesn't fly at the NFL level.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about.

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Compare the routes our WR's run vs what McVay or Shanahan is doing to get their receivers open.
 
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cardpa

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Maybe the simple answer her is the Air Raid offense is not destined to work long term in the NFL.
 
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