Earlier this week, Todd Bowles talked about how the Eagles had problems executing a “high school cover-3” against the Panthers.
What did he mean? Let’s take a look at a few of the plays to see what exactly is going on with this defense right now.
Play 1: Last week, it was Nate Allen not maintaining his deep responsibility in Cover 3. This time around, it looked to be Kurt Coleman. Cover 3 means three defensive backs split the deep part of the field into thirds. The free safety (in this case, Coleman), is responsible for the middle, while Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie take the outside.
The Panthers only send three receivers into routes. The wide receiver at the top of the screen runs the SLUGGO or the slant-and-go. The two tight ends, who were lined up at the line of scrimmage, release into their routes.
A pump-fake by Cam Newton on the slant moves Coleman to that side of the field, which is a huge problem, because it leaves tight end Gary Barnidge wide-open.
“From the slot we’ve got people coming off both edges and it was only supposed to be off one edge. That allowed the guy to be free,” he said.
Let’s take a look. The Eagles appear to be going with quarters coverage – defensive backs splitting the deep part of the field into fourths. When the ball is snapped, Coleman blitzes, and Allen rolls over to that side to take his place.
Play 3: Let’s end on a positive note, shall we? I think Vinny Curry has a chance to become a fan favorite – assuming, of course, that he performs on the field. He got off to a good start in his debut Monday night.
Here, he makes a nice inside move from right defensive end spot and gets to Newton.
The key is what happens next. Curry bounces right back up and hustles to the ballcarrier. By my count, he covered more than 15 yards. And look who eventually makes the tackle 1 yard past the line of scrimmage.