Football Outsiders on the Secondary

I asked Bill Barnwell at Football Outsiders 5 questions based on the chapter on the Green Bay Packers in their Football Outsiders Almanac 2009, which is one of the many great publications they have available for the upcoming season.

My fifth question: The secondary is switching to an off man coverage scheme from man to man. I've also seen some reporters call it a zone. How do you think an off man (zone) coverage scheme might help CB Tramon Williams, who got beat on a number of double moves last season?

Depending on how much cushion Williams is giving on a particular play, he should be able to get a better sense of how a route is developing and not be caught up in simply sticking in his receiver's back pocket.

The curious thing about double moves is something former NFL DB Matt Bowen noted in an excellent piece for the National Football Post (http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/a-defenders-look-at-man-defense.html) -- they all take place about eight yards downfield, but every "single move" route breaks 12 yards downfield. So a good DB, then, should be able to recognize the depth of a double move and then adjust his coverage accordingly. It will be interesting to see whether Williams can make that adjustment with the play in front of him more frequently in 2009.

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