The Indianapolis Colts are officially in the dead of the off-season. The news cycle is completely dry and it is difficult to create football content at this time out of season. When the local media / fan base buzzes for a star player who missed a volunteer mini-camp, it’s time to take a break from the Colts news.
For me, I like to use the off-season stay to look for trends in the Colts scheme that can be carried over to the next season. My Twitter friend, @TheHonestNFL, worked in the NFL and has extensive knowledge of Frank Reich during his time with the Eagles. Yesterday, he responded to my article on the web by talking about triangular readings in the Colts attack:
Although talking to Honest is always exciting, it made me think – triangular readings are a fairly simplistic element of a passing game that most fans probably don’t know about. So today I decided to immerse myself in triangular readings of how they have changed in this crime over the last two seasons and what they might look like in 2022 with Matt Ryan.
What is a triangle reading?
Triangular readings are a key element in the West Coast attack. They are commonly used in the short intermediate game, but have gradually expanded down the field as NFL violations have become more explosive. The main purpose of these readings is to isolate two defenders in a difficult situation, three against two.
Let’s look at an example with the help of one of the web clips from yesterday’s movie article. Notice how in this game there are two internal defenders who stand about 5-7 yards from the ball. The three indications of this mesh concept are either from the two sliding tracks below or the crossover that goes behind the line defenders.
These three routes, all around the midfielders, put both players in difficulty. They could go deep and remove the cruiser, but that would leave the routes below open. They could both rise and attack from below, but that would leave the crusader behind.
While the quarterback has good eyes and trusts their readings, this game design should cause enough hesitation in defense to complete:
A triangle reads under Philip Rivers
Reich, like all great offensive players, adjusts his attack to the preferences and style of his quarterback. As a result, it can often affect what type of triangle it reads that it performs in a given year. In fact, it was quite fascinating to see the dichotomy between 2020 under Philip Rivers and 2021 under Carson Wentz.
Starting with Rivers, he preferred the same type of triangular route that Reich likes to run – attacking midfield. This is where the offensive influence of the West Coast in the Reich’s book comes into play, as he likes to isolate these two inner defenders with triangular readings.
Rivers, as one of the smartest quarterbacks I’ve ever studied, managed to find great success by attacking in the middle of the field in these games. This video below is one of many examples of Rivers attacking the vacated window above the middle for a solid profit.
The next video against the Green Bay Packers was a perfectly drawn blitz game. The reported triangle puts the midfielder in a difficult place, as the outstanding rookie Michael Pittman Jr. came across the formation without security during the drag route.
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The midfielder’s slight hesitation gave Pittman Jr. all the space he needed to catch this pass and improve the field for a huge result. Rivers has thrived on networks, levels and Hi-Lo concepts using triangular readings in 2020.
A triangle reads under Carson Wentz
However, Carson Wentz was the complete opposite of Rivers in 2021. While midfield games were still part of the offense, their use dropped dramatically last season. Wentz certainly preferred surprising routes, where he could attack down the field with much more freedom than in the middle.
While there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to preference, it was certainly interesting to see a completely different style of play in 2021. When Rivers preferred net and level concepts, Wentz liked to attack the frontier with sprint outs and routes. sailing.
Below are some examples of how triangular readings were used last year. Wentz falsifies the transfer and has high-low reporting outside. This game is designed to put the two most distant defenders in bonding and works to perfection. The outside corner bites when running and is caught too inside to play an out-break to Michael Pitman Jr.
The next game includes a triangle that isolates safety and the outer defender from the outside. The safety elements of the intermediate pass, which opens the deep pass for Wentz to throw on top for the result.
What does this mean for Matt Ryan
By acquiring Matt Ryan, the Colts essentially get the best of both worlds. Ryan is an experienced veteran who likes to attack defenders at different levels in the middle of the field (ie Rivers). He also has a history of Shanahan violation and can thrive with designed sprints and external pass concepts (ie Wentz).
This does not mean that he will be perfect in these talks in 2022, but there is certainly reason for optimism that Ryan can combine these two styles. His anticipation, along with a live hand, could lead to great results in the Reich’s scheme for the upcoming season.
The goal of designing an effective pass violation in the NFL is to isolate matches and create favorable opportunities for your playmakers to shine. Triangular readings are one of the ways Frank Reich can do this for his scheme. He composes combinations of routes that put two defenders in difficulty, trying to cover three players.
With the addition of Matt Ryan, Reich may be able to reveal his full arsenal for the first time since 2018. He finally has a quarterback who is able and willing to attack all areas of the field with these game designs. This upcoming season could be fun if Ryan starts playing these games early.
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