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enlvikeman
11-04-2005, 04:29 AM
Upon Further Review
By John Holler

Date: Nov 3, 2005

There's no denying the Fred Smoot got schooled by Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith. But how much of it was Smoot's fault and how much was a second-quarter beat-down to blame or credit for Smith's record-setting day?

This week’s edition of “Upon Further Review� – like most week’s inside looks – combines what has happened the previous week to how it applies to the next week’s game. Anyone who saw the demolition of the Vikings by the Panthers knows what the focal point of the game was – Panther wide receiver Steve Smith beating, humiliating and schooling Fred Smoot. But, Upon Further Review, it was a combination of things that led to Smith’s record-setting day.

As always, we take it from the top and see how a snowball turned into an avalanche.

FIRST QUARTER
* On the first drive of the game, Smoot has been given no safety help on passing situations. He has been told to shut down Smith however he can. On the first pass of the day to Smoot, he sells a post route and turns Smoot around on an out route. Jake Delhomme drops in a perfect pass and Smith gains 30 yards. On the next play, the Panthers score the games first points.

* Later in the quarter, Smoot is left on an island by a safety blitz and, in an effort to slow Smith down in the chuck zone, he gets flagged for a hands to the face penalty.

* In that same drive, Smoot plays 10 yards off Smith, who runs a five-yard out route. Smoot closes quickly and stops the play short of a first down and forces a punt – grading out well in the first quarter except for the one long pass.

SECOND QUARTER
* Smoot has good coverage – at first – on what turns into a 69-yard bomb to Smith. However, whether unconvinced that Delhomme can complete a bomb of that length, Smoot looks back at the quarterback while Smith continues to run on a go route. Smith gets 10 yards of separation as a result and makes the catch to the Vikings 1-yard line – where the Panthers score on the next play.

* The Panthers have figured out the Smith has Smoot’s number and are merciless in the final five minutes of the first half. A pass intended for Smith sails high, but Smoot holds on to Smith beyond the five-yard contact zone and is whistled for defensive holding.

* Smoot lines up 10 yards from the line and the Panthers call a silent audible to Smith – a one-step drop that gets negated when both Smoot and Smith are called for facemask penalties.

* On his next reception, Smoot had nothing to do with a 20-yard reception by Smith. With the team playing a Cover-2 zone, Smith lines up on the right side and crosses over the middle and, in keeping with his coverage responsibility, Smoot leaves Smith and provides backside coverage on another Panther receiver running a route in his zone. Nobody picks up Smith crossing the field and he makes the catch for a 20-yard gain.

* Once again, Smoot is playing 10 yards off of Smith, who runs a three-yard route and stops. Delhomme delivers the pass on timing and Smith makes the catch and skips out of bounds with a six-yard gain.

* Smith lines up on the left side and sells that he his going to the sidelines. He catches Smoot in a backpedal and cuts sharply to his right. Delhomme times the pass perfectly for his cut and, with a clear throwing lane thanks to the 3-4 defense that doesn’t have a body over the left tackle, Smith makes the easy catch for a touchdown.

THIRD QUARTER
* On a third-and-9 play, Smoot gets beaten off the line, but makes up ground as Delhomme is hit as he throws. Smith makes an impressive adjustment and makes an unlikely one-handed catch with Smoot draped all over him. While the play could have been disastrous if drawn up as a go route, Smith athleticism turns an incompletion into a 24-yard gain – no fault of Smoot’s.

* Again playing 10 yards off of Smith, Delhomme throws a one-step drop to Smith that, as Smoot tries to make a tackle for a short game, is stiff-armed away and the play gains 11 yards.

FOURTH QUARTER
* Back in press coverage at the line, Smith gives Smoot a look inside and has him beat. As Smoot adjusts to the route, Smith pushes back outside. Knowing he will be burned with no help at the side of the field, Smoot gets called for holding – a bad play, but one that likely prevented a long gain or even a touchdown.

* Again in press coverage, Smoot is within the five-yard zone when Delhomme is hit and fumbles for an apparent turnover. But, in an attempt to stop an inside move, Smoot comes up with hands to the face and grabs Smith’s facemask, making the penalty call by the officials to glaring to pass up.

In the end, Smith put in a career game. Smoot had his lunch handed to him, but Upon Further Review, it wasn’t all his fault – it was more of a matter of Smith using his speed to beat bump-and-run coverage from an overconfident Smoot and, when Smoot was forced to play 10 yards off of him, burning him with one-step drop screen passes.

snowinapril
11-04-2005, 04:41 AM
I brought up some of these incidences in the Take On Carolina thread.

I think if Smoot had help, in the form of Safety, he would have played a better game, knowing that he could take the chance and get beat with the help behind him. But without it, he had to play straight up. Straight up was only good enough to get a few stops for short gains on Smith. Also the lack of pressure on the QB was a problem.

Smith just had an outstanding game and DelHomme was dead on except for that play that Smith had to adjust his route (which Smoot had covered) and lay out for a one hand save.

midgensa
11-04-2005, 04:47 AM
I dont think any corner should be guarding a talent like Steve Smith one-on-one for an entire game, especially when the other receivers cannot beat you. I was very disappointed with the way they left Smoot out there to get burned non-stop and not get him any help in the form of solid blitzes for pressure or in the form of safety aid. If I was Smoot I would be severly upset with Cotrell and Tice for leaving me out there like that.

Mr. Purple
11-04-2005, 04:54 AM
great read! It goes to show ever since the no contact after 5 yard rule was installed, the shut down corner has dissapeered. I promise that 1 on 1 champ baily vs steve smith, steve smith will win 70% of the battle if not more. All the people who trashed smoot and said he was garbage, here in lies the evidence that it wasnt all his fault and that he is good....in the words of D-X "SUCK IT!"

snowinapril
11-04-2005, 05:01 AM
"WilliamsonOfTroy" wrote:

great read! It goes to show ever since the no contact after 5 yard rule was installed, the shut down corner has dissapeered. I promise that 1 on 1 champ baily vs steve smith, steve smith will win 70% of the battle if not more. All the people who trashed smoot and said he was garbage, here in lies the evidence that it wasnt all his fault and that he is good....in the words of D-X "SUCK IT!"

ATL's Hall did a heck of a job on TO, but the ATL defensive line was getting pressure on McNabb. Therefore, Hall didn't have to cover the guy more than 10 to 20 yards where since we didn't get any pressure on DelHomme so Smoot was having to cover him 20+ yds down the field with no Safety help.

vikesboy2003
11-04-2005, 05:40 AM
I don't think it takes a mastermind to write this article. This was all talked about during monday and tuesday.

V-Unit
11-04-2005, 08:21 PM
I have no sympathy for Smoot. A "shutdown" corner can have a bad game, but that was just ridiculous. Not only did Smith play well, but Smoot played like crap. Trying to make excuses for that is nonsense.

FuadFan
11-04-2005, 08:24 PM
There are no shutdown corners in football today and I 'm not really going to think that badly of him when he played great to contribute to the two wins and that Cotrell was such a bonehead in not giving him some backup help for their only WR.

Mr. Purple
11-04-2005, 08:24 PM
its not excuses its football, the way you play football. Its not madden you cant throw a good cb on a amazing WR and exspect him not to catch anything. They went into the game planing on double teaming him and changed thier game plan in the game and we're not sayin smoot wasnt all at fault, but things could have been alot better if we executed the defense right and teddy didnt.

V-Unit
11-04-2005, 08:40 PM
Smoot got picked on like a rookie CB who was only in because the starter got injured. I don't want to hear "oh he really wasn't that bad because Smith is actually very good." Why? Because we brought Smoot in to slow down good receivers like Smith. Smoot did not slow the man down at all. Everytime the panthers needed a play Delhomme would lob it in Smith's direction. 5 seconds later the camera would focus of Smoot's confused face.

The man has underacheived all season and I'm sick of it. I know Ted sucks, I know the D has some injuries, but right now Smoot is sucking too and you cannot deny that. Please Fred, play better, please.

Mr. Purple
11-04-2005, 08:48 PM
why dont you read the article above and i dont even have to prove any more points.

Caine
11-04-2005, 09:05 PM
Smoot's poor performance was a combination of events...as is pointed out in the article...much like Daunte's poor performance had been this season.

In Smoot's case, the lack of Safety help killed him...and us. With the new "Pro-Receiver" Rules in the NFL, the era of the "Shut Down Corner" has officially ended. Defensive backs are no longer allowed to be better than the receivers they cover...even if they are. With the help of the new rules, an enitirely new crop of "Elite" receivers has emerged. Guys who used to be considered good are now great. While Corners who once stood out are now simply speed bumps.

Add to that our inept Defensive coordinator, and you can see why our secondary is struggling. We didn't stop Green Bay until we doubled Driver. We never doubled Smith. Any question as to why the results were as bad as they were can be answered by simply stating, "Cottrell was too stupid to adjust his scheme....again".

All that said, Smoot hasn't been - yet - what we all thought he would be. He hasn't locked down his side of the field. He hasn't hawked balls. He hasn't made big plays. But that same criticism can be applied universally to our entire Defense. And with the depth of talent we have there, that simply shouldn't be happening.

So, while Smoot gets the "credit" for a horrible game, I place much more stock in the qwuote that Winfield fired off after the game when he hinted (rtather directly) that there is no leadership from our DC, the play calling is abbysmal, and that no one is being put in a position to succeed.

Firing Ted Cottrell NOW would do a lot to revive our Defense...even if we didn't replace him.

Caine

snowinapril
11-04-2005, 09:08 PM
"FuadFan" wrote:

There are no shutdown corners in football today and I 'm not really going to think that badly of him when he played great to contribute to the two wins and that Cotrell was such a bonehead in not giving him some backup help for their only WR.

Amen Brother!

snowinapril
11-04-2005, 09:15 PM
"Caine" wrote:

Smoot's poor performance was a combination of events...as is pointed out in the article...much like Daunte's poor performance had been this season.

In Smoot's case, the lack of Safety help killed him...and us. With the new "Pro-Receiver" Rules in the NFL, the era of the "Shut Down Corner" has officially ended. Defensive backs are no longer allowed to be better than the receivers they cover...even if they are. With the help of the new rules, an enitirely new crop of "Elite" receivers has emerged. Guys who used to be considered good are now great. While Corners who once stood out are now simply speed bumps.

Add to that our inept Defensive coordinator, and you can see why our secondary is struggling. We didn't stop Green Bay until we doubled Driver. We never doubled Smith. Any question as to why the results were as bad as they were can be answered by simply stating, "Cottrell was too stupid to adjust his scheme....again".

All that said, Smoot hasn't been - yet - what we all thought he would be. He hasn't locked down his side of the field. He hasn't hawked balls. He hasn't made big plays. But that same criticism can be applied universally to our entire Defense. And with the depth of talent we have there, that simply shouldn't be happening.

So, while Smoot gets the "credit" for a horrible game, I place much more stock in the qwuote that Winfield fired off after the game when he hinted (rtather directly) that there is no leadership from our DC, the play calling is abbysmal, and that no one is being put in a position to succeed.

Firing Ted Cottrell NOW would do a lot to revive our Defense...even if we didn't replace him.

Caine

Amen my Brotha!

cajunvike
11-04-2005, 09:32 PM
Smoot got roasted...by his safeties and defensive coordinator...as much as he got toasted by Smith! NO other CB could have covered Smith under the circumstances!