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Rufio's Film Room: Looking Back at Browns vs. Colts

Rufio's FIlm Room: Colts Edition

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Sorry for the hiatus.

I'll try to catch up to more current games as we move along in the season (with the aid of a bye week). In this post, I break down the running game vs. the Colts and why it wasn't especially successful. Because I may not be the most organized while doing the videos and speaking off the cuff, I'll lay a few things out here.

Running games are effective when:

1. Coaches scheme runs so that blockers can clear a path for the runner by blocking or optioning players at or near the line of scrimmage.

2. Players execute the scheme by blocking/reading the correct person and taking care of their assignment.

Defenses will always have unblocked players vs. the run because they have a counterpart to the ball carrier and the quarterback (who both typically do not/can not block). Different offensive schemes try to keep these players away from the ballcarrier on running plays in different ways. Option offenses will read players to effectively take them out of the play. Some offenses will package different types of plays such as WR screens with their runs to keep the numbers to their advantage and keep defenders honest laterally. Most "pro style" offenses pass the ball to keep safeties out of the box and vertically away from the ball carrier.

In our offense, you will see a combination of three approaches to keeping these "un-accounted-for" players away from our runs. You will see play action passes, you will see "packaged" quick passes to wide receivers, and you will see us run away from players we can't block by leaving them on the back side of the play and setting the point of attack away from them. This third approach is the one I try to highlight in the Richardson run where Lauvao blows his assignment and where we pull Greco in the final play in the breakdown.

In any event, the lack of success on the ground against the Colts is the result of many things (in the words of Pat Shurmur) "running parallel." Richardson was hurt and pretty clearly not himself. We didn't always execute well in terms of blocking the right people. The Colts were determined to play single-high coverages while putting extra people in the box to stop the run. And last but probably most pertinent to the Browns, we could not find ways to consistently control defenders that we didn't account for in the running game in any of the ways I outlined above.