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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

FILM STUDY: Rutgers' Brandon Coleman's go-to play

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: Tyler_Barto

PISCATAWAY — Brandon Coleman spoke Tuesday about avoiding speculation about the NFL Draft, his ability to do agility drills following offseason knee surgery and his aspirations for competing statistically with some of the NCAA's top wideouts.

"I'm thinking nationally," the junior said.

First, he'll have to get up to speed with new offensive coordinator Ron Prince. Coleman said he met regularly with Prince and first-year wide receivers coach Matt Simon about playcalling and Rutgers' offensive identity.

"The routes, looking at the playbook, it's pretty much the same from last year," Coleman said. "There are different kinks here and there. But it's all about what the defense presents and how we're trying to expose the defense."

Chances are Prince will want to stash this route sequence from 2011-2012 in his playbook:
Part 1
(Courtesy of JPDraftJedi)
Coleman lines up as a lone wideout to the far side Sept. 22 in a single back formation. Arkansas has a two-high safety look, but the one on Coleman's side lines up in line with tight end D.C. Jefferson.

(Courtesy of JPDraftJedi)
Arkansas dummies a blitz as Jefferson and running back Jawan Jamison remain to block. Coleman slants inside as Arkansas corner Will Hines turns his shoulders inside, and the Razorbacks' deep safety eyes Coleman.

Quarterback Gary Nova shows the ball on a pump fake.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Coleman and quarterback Gary Nova talked about the play sequence at the American media day.]

Nova: "The chemistry we have with it. It's a lot of trust, knowing he's going to run the right route and throwing up to him and letting him go get it."

(Courtesy of JPDraftJedi)

Hines' shoulders turned, Coleman runs a fade to the back corner of the endzone. Arkansas' safety over the top has yet to react.

Nova, meanwhile, has more four yards between he and the closest pass rusher.
(Courtesy of JPDraftJedi)

At 6-foot-6, Coleman's strides are too much for even an SEC corner, especially one trying to make up distance. Coleman scores the fourth of his 10 touchdowns in 2012 with ease, as Arkansas' over-the-top safety trails.

Nova on the play's effectiveness:
"I think it's just a good football play. When you have a guy like Brandon who's a big threat, teams don't want to let him catch the ball. So they've got guys really biting hard on him. He runs good routes, and it happened to be a play we got really good at. I'm looking forward to using it again this year."
Part 2
(Courtesy of MockingNFLDraft)

Coleman lines up on the opposite side of the field Oct. 27, with Tim Wright in the slot. Tight end Paul Carrezola is on that side, too, along with a deep safety.

Other than that, same formation and same aim: get Coleman one-on-one via misdirection.

(Courtesy of MockingNFLDraft)

Carrezola and running back Savon Huggins stay in to pass protect. Mark Harrison drags across underneath, and Wright (second from top) will soon tail off his route and face Nova.

Coleman (top) is breaking off his inside slant pattern in favor of a fade. Nova's pocket is, again, clean.
(Courtesy of MockingNFLDraft)

This time, there's no separation for Coleman against Kent State. But the high safety bit on Harrison's underneath route, giving Coleman another one-on-one situation.

Coleman on the play's success rate: 
"That's a hard play because of the timing between the quarterback and receiver. You work on your mismatches. It depends on the coverage, and if the coverage opportunity presents itself, then we take advantage of it. We don't want to leave points on the field."

(Courtesy of MockingNFLDraft)

Leading up to this screenshot, Coleman gets a little body separation between hand-checking and scores on a familiar route combination.
It's a formation and playcall Rutgers likes to use in a variety of situations, especially in condensed fields toward the goalline. Coleman has earned a king's ransom of his 16 career touchdowns (five shy of a school record) on the play.

He scored in a similar fashion against Army, and the play nearly worked at Tulane and South Florida in 2012.

If Coleman and Nova have any say, it'll likely remain a staple under Prince.

*Click here for Wednesday's Trentonian print story on Rutgers' defensive line and its "I, Robot".

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