This is the second part of our film study on Trent Richardson’s debut. If you missed part 1 earlier go back and read it first. No, really. Do it.
(Like I wasn’t going to use the sweet graphic again.)
Ok, so we’ve been through three running plays already that gained a total of 4 yards. Let’s take a look at Richardson’s best run, and a fan favorite.
Here we see the three receiver set, with the backs in an I formation again. As I said earlier, this gives the Browns a blocker for every defender in the box, and spreads the defense out. The play is designed to go right, with Marecic leading. I’m guessing that as Richardson took his spot, he noticed the enormous opening between Thomas and Pinkston.
Marecic leads the play, but Lauvao is beaten. There isn’t much room at all on the right side, so Richardson hops to the left and goes through the rather large gap on the left. This is the closest thing we saw to a real burst from Richardson.
Now notice where the defenders are. Richardson has to use Josh Gordon’s block on the safety Coleman if he is going to break this run open. The LB is getting free of Pinkston/Mack in the middle.
What you don’t see but Richardson does is the CB just off the screen to the left. He makes the decision to cut as close to Gordon’s block as possible.
Unfortunately, Gordon’s block is short lived. Richardson decides the best place to go is through Kurt Coleman.
And that is exactly what he does. Result of the play: 9 yards, and a poster of Kurt Coleman getting blown up.
Ok. The very next play (3rd and 1) Richardson gets the carry again.
So let’s do a quick count. Eight blockers for the Browns at the line of scrimmage. Nine defenders at the line for the Eagles, with a tenth not far off. What would you do here? Personally, I think a quick play action pass to Ben Watson on an out route would be the best. Second, I would say a QB sneak between Mack and Lauvao might get a yard and a first down.
Mack and Pinkston double team the DT (red arrow). Schwartz and Watson double team the DE. Someone blew an assignment here. If Mack and Pinkston were supposed to double on the man in the A gap, then Lauvao has to block the LB and Schwartz the DT. But I think the better scheme would be a brush block from Mack on the DT in the A gap, helping Pinkston get position, then Mack meets the LB in the hole. Richardson also has to get to the hole quicker here. This is a 3rd and 1. You can’t take your time getting to the line.
Demeco Ryans destroys this play. Result: loss of 1. Punt.
Let’s move on to another run.
Second quarter, score tied at 3. This is second and ten, after an incomplete pass on first down. Now quick, what do teams usually do after an incompletion on first down? That’s right. They run to try and get something instead of risking third and ten. Alex Smith is about to go in motion. Notice the position of the defenders. Next slide.
Smith went all the way to the left, and the LBs followed him, then he came back to the right and settled behind the guard. The play is designed to go between Thomas and Pinkston on the left. Thanks to the motion, the two linebackers are now in better position to make the play.
Pinkston and Mack again double team. The linebackers are in pursuit of Richardson, and Smith is going to try and cut the SAM LB off.
He is unsuccessful, and Pinkston tries to come off of the double team and get Jenkins. He is not successful either. Result of the play: 1 yard loss.
Let’s move to the second half.
Second and ten after a sack and fumble recovery by Joe Thomas. This is a bit of a draw play.
You can see the pass rushers have certainly bitten on the draw fake. The linebackers are being occupied by Mack and Lauvao. Richardson needs to make a cut and decision here. Is he going to try and squeeze through the gap between Mack and Lauvao, or cut left of Mack and try to get around him.
When you hear an analysts this week say that ‘Richardson lacked explosiveness’, I bet this is one of the plays they point to. Could have been a big gain, instead he kind of trips over himself. I’m pretty sure by his reaction after the play was over that he was angry with himself. Result of the play: 5 yard gain.
One final play.
A simple run to the right. Go between Schwartz and Lauvao and pick up your 6 yards right?
Ugh. Not a great day for the rookie right tackle.
So what did we learn? Did Richardson struggle because he had poor blocking? Did he struggle because he didn’t see any action in the preseason? Did he not trust his knee completely? Did the Eagles front seven play well? Was the play-calling a tad predictable?
I think we can safely say a combination of all of the above. The good news in that mess is that Richardson are Schwartz are certainly likely to improve. I would imagine Trent should even make strides this week. He is a competitor. He’s also the type that would be motivated watching the film of this game to get better, and to help the team win.
Until next week, the film room is closed. Go Browns.