Biomechanical Review: Dwayne Haskins Update/ Revision

(To see the original top 3 QB article, click here)

When evaluating tape and building biomechanical profiles, there generally comes a point when the profile “clicks”- when predicting the outcome of a play changes from a matter of mystery to a matter of mechanics. While I reached this point with Drew Lock several weeks ago, I never truly reached this point with Dwayne Haskins- when continuing to review his tape, I would still find myself surprised with the outcome of certain plays. Given that I had carefully mapped 5 out his 6 major areas (anterior cervical/ thoracic/ lumbar and posterior thoracic/ lumbar), it was therefore clear that I had to focus my attention on Haskins’ posterior cervical area if I were to reach a satisfying biomechanical catharsis.

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Large-Scale Trends and the 2018 Season (part 2)

(part 1 of this two-part season review can be found here)

While anterior-dominant wide receivers such as Emmanuel Sanders, Corey Davis, and Tyler Boyd bounced back from injury-induced inefficiency in recent seasons (and pretty much every anterior-dominant WR saw at least some boost in productivity), arguably the biggest beneficiary of recent rules changes has been pass-catching anterior-dominant RBs.  The combination of the rule banning tackling defenseless receivers with the rule removing the helmet tackle has made stopping these RBs (the most dominant being Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley) extremely difficult. In previous eras, these two RBs would likely have been confined to 3rd downs- their lacking posterior lumbar efficiency (run power) makes them ineffective at pushing the pile, and on short catches they would have absorbed many damaging hits.  However, first the removal of hits to defenseless receivers, and now the removal of the helmet tackle, has made these types of players extremely productive every-down players (and able to sustain the hits). While they may not push the pile or grind out consistent 4 yds gains, their short-area quickness and pass-catching versatility make them indispensable offensive playmakers in the post-2017 era.

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Large-Scale Trends and the 2018 NFL Season (part 1): Revenge of the Ants

The 2018 NFL offseason saw some of the most impactful rules changes in recent memory. The new rules reversed years of NFL biomechanical trends. Scoring was vastly increased, while injuries decreased. In combination with other recent rules changes regarding tackling helpless receivers, certain types of players/ offenses benefited disproportionately from these changes, even as all offenses saw their production increase. From a biomechanical standpoint, 2018 saw the return to prominence of the anterior-dominant players- cheekily referred to here as the “Revenge of the Ants”.

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Biomechanical Review: Joe Flacco

In the biomechanical review of Gary Kubiak, we discussed how Kubiak designed a technical approach to playing QB that maximized vertical accuracy at some cost to horizontal throwing range (if you haven’t already, you can read it here).  This approach complements the systemic design of the Shanahan/ Kubiak offense, which schematically stretches defenses wide with the run game, while attacking defenses vertically with the pass (often from a half-field read off of a bootleg).  

From a biomechanical perspective, Joe Flacco is a perfect fit for this offense.  His strengths and weaknesses as a passer perfectly mirror the strengths and weaknesses inherent to the offense designed by Gary Kubiak and Mike Shanahan.  Where Kubiak designed techniques to borrow from posterior lateral areas to enhance vertical throwing accuracy, Flacco is naturally extremely efficient in his posterior lateral areas.  Where Shanahan designed an offense with simplified reads and limited horizontal throwing range, Flacco excels when he can avoid full-field reads and quick changes of horizontal direction (due to compromised anterior medial efficiency).  

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Biomechanical Review: Gary Kubiak

Gary Kubiak is a coach who blends a technical approach to the QB position with a complementary offensive scheme.  When Mike Shanahan and Alex Gibbs brought the zone-blocking scheme to the NFL, Kubiak (as Shanahan’s QB coach) added a specific way of playing QB to this scheme, designed to maximize vertical throwing accuracy.  His technical approach enabled many QBs in the Shanahan/ Kubiak ZBS to play more effectively than might be presumed by their general talent level.

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