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View Full Version : What's your solution for fixing the 3rd-and-short problem?


RunSilentRunDeep
10-20-2009, 10:01 AM
Mine is to stop lining Moreno up seven yards behind the line of scrimmage and taking forever to get the snap off. There's too much penetration before Moreno reaches the line of scrimmage. So...

-- quick snaps

-- line up big (Graham, Marshall, Scheffler, Quinn) but spread out wide. Orton can have option pulling out of run play and zipping it out to Marshall or scheff and letting them abuse LB or run over DB.

-- RB lines up four yards behind LOS

-- A QB sneak ain't the worst fricking thing in the world.

RhymesayersDU
10-20-2009, 10:02 AM
Don't run it at all. Playaction pass.

bpc
10-20-2009, 10:02 AM
Peyton Hillis.

SoDak Bronco
10-20-2009, 10:03 AM
Maybe Ben Hamilton moves outside or as the motion guy and move Hochstein inside.

TheDave
10-20-2009, 10:04 AM
we need another road grader at LG and FWIW weigman is not getting much of a push either.

Mogulseeker
10-20-2009, 10:12 AM
Don't run it at all. Playaction pass.

On third and one, call:

I-form PA z-streak

It's a touchdown every time :D

OABB
10-20-2009, 10:13 AM
wildhorse flea flicker option...

I've dreamt it up for years as a goal line play. you hand it off to the rb and he runs into the line, if there is a hole take it obviously, if you can't get the first, lateral it back to the qb. If you cross the los, than the qb has to run it...that's why you want a wildcat like player at qb...if you are stopped behind the los, like we are consistently, the wildcat qb can run or pass it.

the d will collapse on the run, so you have a te or fb break out wide if it is lateralled back..




it's so brilliant, I can't stand myself.

Mogulseeker
10-20-2009, 10:14 AM
wildhorse flea flicker option...

I've dreamt it up for years as a goal line play. you hand it off to the rb and he runs into the line, if there is a hole take it obviously, if you can't get the first, lateral it back to the qb. If you cross the los, than the qb has to run it...that's why you want a wildcat like player at qb...if you are stopped behind the los, like we are consistently, the wildcat qb can run or pass it.

the d will collapse on the run, so you have a te or fb break out wide if it is lateralled back..




it's so brilliant, I can't stand myself.

Sounds like a standard TE Waggle only takes too long to develop.

go_broncos
10-20-2009, 10:16 AM
It's very simple...Hillis

Peoples Champ
10-20-2009, 10:16 AM
I would like to try the QB sneak, looked like it always worked with the Pats and Brady, thats why it shocked me McDaniels wasnt running it. I would also like Peyton Hillis back there. If neither of those work, go back to the Air Knowshon jump and cross your fingers.

TonyR
10-20-2009, 10:22 AM
Unfortunately I think the problem goes beyond just short yardage. We struggled to run effectively in general last night against a very banged up, below average defense. This is a definite concern in my opinion.

jhns
10-20-2009, 10:30 AM
Unfortunately I think the problem goes beyond just short yardage. We struggled to run effectively in general last night against a very banged up, below average defense. This is a definite concern in my opinion.

Maybe we didn't have long runs but we have been consistent. They were going forward all the time. They even showed a stat that was like 4 of 200 (don't know the real numbers) runs have been negative. As much as I hate the thought of it, it may be time to replace Hamilton now. I think that would fix the short yardage problem. I think our run game in general has been very good all season though. I hope Hillis can start contributing again as he would also help in short yardage. He was doing very well in those situations in preseason.

Mountain Bronco
10-20-2009, 10:37 AM
I was a huge Hillis guy comming into the season, but the dude just doens't have it together, so why trust him on critical third and short situations until he earns it. Moreno will get better at third downs and what about Jordan?

Popps
10-20-2009, 10:37 AM
It still feels to me like our short-yardage stuff is too slow to develop. We've either got to use someone like Buck who can get there faster, or develop plays that will give Moreno to get a head of steam.

WolfpackGuy
10-20-2009, 10:38 AM
Mix in some play action
Run to the edges. Up the middle is not working with the Broncos light linemen in short yardage.
Quick count, QB sneak

TonyR
10-20-2009, 10:39 AM
Maybe we didn't have long runs but we have been consistent. They were going forward all the time. They even showed a stat that was like 4 of 200 (don't know the real numbers) runs have been negative.

I agree overall, but our rushing struggles were frustrating last night. I thought we'd kill them with the run. The game would have been over much sooner if we were more effective rushing.

I know that such comparisons are flawed but here's the rushing totals against SD this season:
Oak 32-148
Bal 32-130
Mia 31-149
Pit 36-177
Den 33-101

That being said, I'm probably overreacting because we're 7th in the league in rush yards per game!

Kaylore
10-20-2009, 10:45 AM
I'd like to see more PA pass in the short term. Long term, I want to see us get bigger up front.

LRtagger
10-20-2009, 10:54 AM
offset I -> fake to Hillis inside -> pitch to Moreno or Buck -> automatic 1st down.

lazarus4444
10-20-2009, 10:58 AM
play action passssss...

Garcia Bronco
10-20-2009, 10:58 AM
I know. the Oline needs to beat the defense and give the back a chance.

Kaylore
10-20-2009, 10:59 AM
Why is Hillis believed to be some kind of savior around here when he's barely played and when he has he's messed up?

Garcia Bronco
10-20-2009, 11:00 AM
It's very simple...Hillis

I'd cut Hillis today.

cabronco
10-20-2009, 11:08 AM
Why is Hillis believed to be some kind of savior around here when he's barely played and when he has he's messed up?

People remember last year that he was a solid runner that would hit the hole, and break through tackles. We know what he can do. Now that he's made a few stupid, but fixable mistakes this year, McD has lost faith in him..

BroncoBuff
10-20-2009, 11:12 AM
Maybe Ben Hamilton moves outside or as the motion guy and move Hochstein inside.
Agreed on Weigmann, sadly.

If we can't get a draft pick for Ben next year, I hope we move him to center, maybe go with Olsen at LG.

iforgotmypassword
10-20-2009, 11:15 AM
keep moving your feet, tailback AND fullback, they never do it

BroncoBuff
10-20-2009, 11:22 AM
Call the Cowboys, and trade to get Montrae Holland back ... :~ohyah!:

kappys
10-20-2009, 11:27 AM
I think Hillis is a good option. True he has blown it huge though most of his mistakes have been on special teams and it doesn't necessarily follow that he will suck at FB.

I think having Hillis in instead of Hochstein would at least provide us with some misdirection opportunities. Try Hillis inside - if nothing else he can keep his feet moving and usually gets a yard or two. Or fake to Hillis and pitch to Moreno.

More playaction might help though some threat of a run would make it a lot more effective.

Pseudofool
10-20-2009, 11:28 AM
Peyton Hillis.
This. Just hold onto the ball Peyton!

BroncoInferno
10-20-2009, 11:34 AM
The RBs have not been the problem; the OL has simply failed to create enough room to manuever in in short yardage situations. Hillis would not make any difference even if he weren't screwing up...this is strictly a blocking issue.

Drek
10-20-2009, 11:59 AM
Love that the Hillis brigade is still drinking the kool-aid.

Guy doesn't know what the **** he's doing on a football field right now. If we had another option at FB he'd probably be a healthy scratch week in and week out now. Until he overcomes the mental mistakes he's not the solution to ANYTHING.

Moreno is the answer, ideally Moreno with Hochstein or Graham lined up in the backfield. Being able to go Power I with Hochstein at FB, Graham and Quinn as two TEs would be cool, as would Quinn or Graham at H-Back with the other lined up as a TE. From the later we'd still have some legit passing capabilities.

Power offense is the key to fixing our red zone problems. If Hamilton and Wiegmann can't blow guys off the LOS in short yardage then we just need to give them more help and take the yardage that we need.

PRBronco
10-20-2009, 12:12 PM
I'm a fan of bringing in Hochstein as a fullback, but it seems like when they do, they still run behind Hamilton, who just isn't getting any push. They need to run right side, with Kuper, Harris and Graham, and Hochstein lead blocking. Knowshon runs hard, I swear everyone run he has it looks like he's stopped, and then he just squirts ahead 2 more yards.

ColoradoDarin
10-20-2009, 12:15 PM
The RBs have not been the problem; the OL has simply failed to create enough room to manuever in in short yardage situations. Hillis would not make any difference even if he weren't screwing up...this is strictly a blocking issue.

This.

Broncomutt
10-20-2009, 12:18 PM
Blue 52...

Blue 52...

hut-HUT-hut-hut

BroncoBuff
10-20-2009, 12:21 PM
Blue 52...

Blue 52...

hut-HUT-hut-hut

Yeah, trick the bastards .... "FUHST doown!"

Bob
10-20-2009, 12:37 PM
Hillis is the answer...based on what he did last year I would stick with the guy a little bit longer, but agree that unless he makes something with his next few plays he will get his walking papers.

Br0nc0Buster
10-20-2009, 12:41 PM
Perhaps we should run more off tackles instead up up the gut

One play they need to do away with is that shotgun draw on short downs

I freaking hate that play but Josh apparently loves it as he calls it all the time

cmhargrove
10-20-2009, 12:46 PM
First, i like the fact that we are committed to straight up good football, and third and 1 says run it inside. I like that we keep trying, and hope we just find the blocking pattern that will consistently get it done.

That being said, i do like play action, and I used to love that FB dump we always did at the goal line with Plummer. Fake the FB dive, roll down the line and make the outside defender commit to the FB or QB (run/pass option). I used to love that play - maybe Orton doesn't have the foot speed to make it work.

BroncoInferno
10-20-2009, 02:07 PM
Hillis is the answer.

No no no. Guys, we could have a prime Earl Campbell back there and it won't make any difference if the opposing DL and LBs push/crash there way into the backfield. This is a blocking issue, not a RB issue.

kappys
10-20-2009, 02:11 PM
The RBs have not been the problem; the OL has simply failed to create enough room to manuever in in short yardage situations. Hillis would not make any difference even if he weren't screwing up...this is strictly a blocking issue.

I agree but what's the solution assuming the Oline isn't going to improve here?

One option is to pass it more, decent but it will lead to more TO's and play action is still tough if you have no running option.

Another is try some more misdirection running plays. lining up hillis at FB close to the QB forces the defence to pause for a second while they figure out who might get the ball. That half second woulld be enough for a good power back(like hillis was last year who knows what the hell he's doing this year) to get a yard or two. Also allows for tosses which Moreno has shown a talent for given his ability to choose the right hole and good initial burst of speed.

kappys
10-20-2009, 02:14 PM
Blue 52...

Blue 52...

hut-HUT-hut-hut

You're proposing we bring Steve Buerline back for goaline situations?

BroncoInferno
10-20-2009, 02:17 PM
I agree but what's the solution assuming the Oline isn't going to improve here?

One option is to pass it more, decent but it will lead to more TO's and play action is still tough if you have no running option.

Another is try some more misdirection running plays. lining up hillis at FB close to the QB forces the defence to pause for a second while they figure out who might get the ball. That half second woulld be enough for a good power back(like hillis was last year who knows what the hell he's doing this year) to get a yard or two. Also allows for tosses which Moreno has shown a talent for given his ability to choose the right hole and good initial burst of speed.

It may be a personnel issue that simply can't be addressed until the offseason. We need to get bigger along the interior and that's something we can't do anything about right now.If that's the case, we'll have to use smoke and mirrors to get get the job done...misdrections, toss outs, play-action passes, etc. Hopefully it's an execution rather than personnel issue. It's probably a little of both, meaning we can improve somewhat but will likely be inconsistent in that area all season.

kappys
10-20-2009, 02:20 PM
It may be a personnel issue that simply can't be addressed until the offseason. We need to get bigger along the interior and that's something we can't do anything about right now.If that's the case, we'll have to use smoke and mirrors to get get the job done...misdrections, toss outs, play-action passes, etc. Hopefully it's an execution rather than personnel issue. It's probably a little of both, meaning we can improve somewhat but will likely be inconsistent in that area all season.

I agree and that's why i want Hillis in here over Hochstein. Nobody can commend Hillis' play this season, it has been absolutely awful. But there is also no denying that the talent is there to provide a threat blocking, running and cathing. Can Hillis get his act together enough to play this type of limited offensive role? Hard to say but I think its worth working on over the bye week precisely because we're going to have to start getting cute to beat teams in these short yardage situations.

DenverBrit
10-20-2009, 02:43 PM
I know. the Oline needs to beat the defense and give the back a chance.

Funny how executing the play as it's drawn up gets overlooked when looking for an answer. ;D

DenverBrit
10-20-2009, 02:43 PM
The RBs have not been the problem; the OL has simply failed to create enough room to manuever in in short yardage situations. Hillis would not make any difference even if he weren't screwing up...this is strictly a blocking issue.

Bingo!!

cmhargrove
10-20-2009, 02:48 PM
Draft Tebow and run the veer option?
!Booya!

outdoor_miner
10-20-2009, 02:53 PM
Unfortunately I think the problem goes beyond just short yardage. We struggled to run effectively in general last night against a very banged up, below average defense. This is a definite concern in my opinion.

I think we saw a San Diego defense playing for their collective lives. Their effort was questioned by the GM and they faced a "must win" game against a division rival. I'm not surprised we struggled a bit in the run game. I'm happy that we were able to consistently get 3 to 4 yards a carry. It put Orton in manageable 2nd and 3rd down situations. I really think the running game will get back on track, although we are going to be facing some really good run defenses.

Not so sure about short yardage, though... Nothing seems to be working. I'm of the mind that we need to try Hillis out again despite his struggles. I also wouldn't mind seeing some play action passes and mis-direction.

Que
10-20-2009, 02:57 PM
QB sneak on X and inches.

Que
10-20-2009, 02:58 PM
or the Wildhorse. That's a pretty huge lead that the tailback has and with Orton in motion, the defense can't stack the line like they normally would.

BroncoInferno
10-20-2009, 03:07 PM
One thing I've never understood about offensive play calling in general is why offenses are so bound and determined that they must convert 3 and short the hard way: by running the ball right into the teeth of a defense that is expecting you to do precisely that. With the way defenses stack the box and crash the line of scrimmage in those situations, there are unquestionably opportunities to make plays in the passing game off play-action. And I don't mean the two yard pass route you usually see in the rare instance when teams actually throw on 3rd and short. Facing a defense with 9 men crowding the LOS and no one thinking about the pass, there are easy plays to be made in the passing game. It's like coaches feel they need to prove some macho point that they can get a yard or two running right where the defense expects them to.

Polster60
10-21-2009, 12:36 AM
if there is one area that his team is predictable on offense, it is short yardage situations. I would like to see some tosses, pitches, sweeps, and even a few counters to make the defense less agressive. Keep running iso's and traps every short yardage situation and it gets easy to defensively stop. Also play action would be great to see. Maybe even some screen plays; that would really mess with the defense. I imagine that this is one area where McDaniels will assess and attempt to fix this bye week.

P.S. Peyton Hillis doesn't deserve to be on the field until he proves he mentally is capable of playing. I can understand why he might not yet be up to snuff; he probably has been asked to learn each play, but at multipe positions. I'm sure he has responsibilities as a FB, RB, HB, and perhaps even WR. Hopefully he can show some improvement over the bye as well.

PRBronco
10-21-2009, 12:49 AM
One thing I've never understood about offensive play calling in general is why offenses are so bound and determined that they must convert 3 and short the hard way: by running the ball right into the teeth of a defense that is expecting you to do precisely that. With the way defenses stack the box and crash the line of scrimmage in those situations, there are unquestionably opportunities to make plays in the passing game off play-action. And I don't mean the two yard pass route you usually see in the rare instance when teams actually throw on 3rd and short. Facing a defense with 9 men crowding the LOS and no one thinking about the pass, there are easy plays to be made in the passing game. It's like coaches feel they need to prove some macho point that they can get a yard or two running right where the defense expects them to.

Haha it must be the same reason that no one shoots free throws like Rick Barry, even though it's way easier and higher %age. It's just not cool ::)

Atwater His Ass
10-21-2009, 12:53 AM
short yardage is all about attitude and winnin the physical match up. if you can't man up and win the battle at the LOS for 1 yard or less, you don't deserve to convert.

i like to see more creative play calling in those situation from time to time as it will alleviate some of the pressure on the OL since the defense will be forced to respect a pass or play action call, but it still really just comes down to winning your 1 on 1 matchup in those situations.

Bronco Yoda
10-21-2009, 01:00 AM
with all the RB's who can catch on our team, you'd think we'd be doing more PAP.

lex
10-21-2009, 01:00 AM
I recommend eating more fiber.

kappys
10-21-2009, 01:39 AM
with all the RB's who can catch on our team, you'd think we'd be doing more PAP.

Its nice to have at least a threat of a running game in short yardage situations before trying the PAP.

To McDaniels credit I think he is trying the short run because if he can get it to work by the end of the season that will really help to open up our goal line packages. The problem is I just don't think that will happen with Hamilton. Then again I've been about as good at predicting what these Broncos would do as everyone else on the board.

Personally I still support Hillis getting in there. I think people need to realize that those of us who think it would be a good idea to use him aren't talking about him being in for more than a handful of offensive plays a game. I have no desire to see him as a primary RB. However as a FB who can run and catch it really would force the defense to account for both sides of the O-line evenly particularly in an offset I form.

Another option might be just to go with the spread formation on thse short downs and leave it to Orton to call the right play. He could audible between a couple quick slant/hitch routes or a RB delay. I think with Knowshown showing better vision each week this would probably work out better than smashing the ball forward.

That said nothing demoralizes a team like not being able to hold back an offense on 3rd/4th and short throughout a game. I remember the 03(?) Raiders with Zack Crockett - he just couldnt be stopped to the point where they just went for it on 4th and short almost every time.

Rock Chalk
10-21-2009, 01:57 AM
Mine is to stop lining Moreno up seven yards behind the line of scrimmage and taking forever to get the snap off. There's too much penetration before Moreno reaches the line of scrimmage. So...

-- quick snaps

-- line up big (Graham, Marshall, Scheffler, Quinn) but spread out wide. Orton can have option pulling out of run play and zipping it out to Marshall or scheff and letting them abuse LB or run over DB.

-- RB lines up four yards behind LOS

-- A QB sneak ain't the worst fricking thing in the world.

Its so obvious.

Get a first down on first or second down.

Duh.

Caveat Lector
10-21-2009, 02:18 AM
That being said, i do like play action, and I used to love that FB dump we always did at the goal line with Plummer. Fake the FB dive, roll down the line and make the outside defender commit to the FB or QB (run/pass option). I used to love that play - maybe Orton doesn't have the foot speed to make it work.

Exactly what came to mind when this thread came up. Only problem is that it can be liable to get your QB killed, if as you say they don't have the foot speed.

I actually didn't mind the play SD used on 3rd and 1 near the goal line when they had 4WR spread and Sproles in the backfield. Sproles ran it up the middle and got blown up, but there's heaps of options with that play...

cutthemdown
10-21-2009, 02:47 AM
Broncos might not get better at pushing people around on the inside of the LOS. They are good pass protectors, and pull well, but don't just fire off straight ahead that well.

It would be nice to be able to do that also but sometimes you have to give to get.

To do better on 3rd and inches we may need to do what some of the others in this thread have said. We may need to throw. Get 3-4-5 third and shorts on film where we throw, maybe even go deep, and that could lessen some of the run defense in those situations.

cutthemdown
10-21-2009, 02:50 AM
Another thing could be 2 go 2 TE with Graham and Scheff. Also use a FB, maybe someone like Hillis. Then instead of running it you motion Graham, Sheff both outside, then you send Hillis in motion also outside. Now you have them spread, only 5 olineman, but 4 WR.

Now you run it anways. By getting less at the LOS you will give Moreno more chances to wiggle for the short yardage.

DB-Freak
10-21-2009, 03:05 AM
It still feels to me like our short-yardage stuff is too slow to develop. We've either got to use someone like Buck who can get there faster, or develop plays that will give Moreno to get a head of steam.

I dont think its Moreno's short speed thats the problem.

He still seems alittle hesitant in committing to a hole.

hambone13
10-21-2009, 03:33 AM
I was a huge Hillis guy comming into the season, but the dude just doens't have it together, so why trust him on critical third and short situations until he earns it. Moreno will get better at third downs and what about Jordan?

The thought of Jordan being relied upon for a 3rd and critical situation makes me want to orally manufacture rotten dingle-berries....

hambone13
10-21-2009, 03:37 AM
I dont think its Moreno's short speed thats the problem.

He still seems alittle hesitant in committing to a hole.

Hilarious! If anything, I think he needs a bit of patience before attacking the hole....He wants it so bad he sleeps w/ a cum rag.

Caveat Lector
10-21-2009, 05:36 AM
I think what's been gleaned from this conversation is that we need variety in short yardage situations. It's pretty easy for a defense when they know exactly what's coming, as has been the case...

MVP-06
10-21-2009, 08:17 AM
qb sneak behind Kuper