“That 5-foot-10 Quarterback”
Interesting observation from ESPN New York Jets blogger Rich Cimini:
After watching the tape, I noticed a clever wrinkle: On some passing plays, the Jets used a defensive lineman in a spy-type role. Instead of rushing, a lineman peeled back and hovered around the line of scrimmage, reading Brees’ eyes. Coples said afterward that the game plan was to obstruct the B gaps, meaning the guard-tackle gaps. In their scouting report, they noted how Brees — listed generously at 6-foot — liked to throw through the B gaps instead of the middle. I think the Jets used a defensive lineman as a roving shot blocker, hoping to deflect the ball or at least block his vision. This was a big point of emphasis in practice, as the coaches were constantly on the pass-rushers to get their arms up against the “5-foot-10 quarterback,” as they referred to him.
NFL coaches stay in the office until 3am to figure out stuff like this. Would be nice if a return to form by Ben Grubbs, Brian de la Puente, and Jahri Evans would make this tactic obsolete in the future.