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Thursday, September 19, 2013

FILM STUDY: Rutgers' Kevin Snyder's tasks at linebacker without Jamal Merrell

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

With linebacker Jamal Merrell out until at least Rutgers' Oct. 5 game at SMU, Kevin Snyder will remain a busy man. 

In Merrell's absence, Snyder figures to play both strongside and weakside linebacker — SAM and WILL, respectively — during certain drives. Personnel — redshirt freshman Davon Jacobs and sophomore Quentin Gause, specifically — will dictate Snyder's position.

"It's just another form of energy coming out there " middle linebacker Steve Longa said Monday. "We have speed from Davon Jacobs. We have physicality from Quentin Gause."

MORE: Meet the people making Rutgers key decisions off the field

How does that manifest on the field? Here's our first glimpse, Rutgers' 28-10 win Saturday against Eastern Michigan:
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Play 1: Jacobs starts the game at WILL on Rutgers' first drive. Snyder jams a slot receiver in man coverage in Rutgers' base defense.
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Play 2: At SAM, Snyder is responsible for more coverage looks, often taking on slot receivers and tight ends. He dummies coverage before blitzing off the edge.
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Play 8: Snyder flexes out and covers an underneath receiver in a cover-2 scheme. Eastern Michigan's quarterback overthrows the slot receiver in the end zone.
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Play 1: Gause appears at SAM for the first time on Rutgers' fourth defensive possession, shifting Snyder to WILL. Snyder drops into a zone as Eastern Michigan runs the ball.
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Play 2: Even at WILL, Snyder takes on more coverage responsibility. In Rutgers' scheme — with Merrell at SAM — the WILL plays less in coverage and serves more as an edge rusher. On this play, Snyder plays man-to-man against a slot receiver.
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Play 6: In a more traditional look, Snyder lines up away from the tight end and blitzes the edge.

This is only a sample of two drives. Throughout the course of game, Snyder will be responsible for a bevvy of pre-snap looks, coverages and blitzes. In Rutgers' 30 package, for example, Snyder lines up as a 3-4 edge rusher.

"I don't think Kevin Snyder minds," Longa said. "I think, just like me, he's a football player. Whatever position he's put into, he's looking to make plays. Same with every single one of us."

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Blogger David Anderson said...

Good analysis.

I think the change in personnel in passing situations will be key for Rutgers the rest of the way.

September 20, 2013 at 1:35 PM 

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