Thursday, September 26, 2013

Film Review: Looking at Gardner's Struggles in the Pass Game

Michigan showed some recurring issues on offense against UConn, and none crept up more obviously than Gardner's lingering problems with throwing the ball accurately. My presumption has been that he is mentally affected, and this has caused him to struggle with his timing and his mechanics. Since the last quarter against ND, he has looked markedly differently. He is staying on reads longer, he is aiming his passes, and he is really trying to fit the ball into areas even when he has other receivers open. In this article, we will narrow the look to UConn, and see what it will take to get DG back on track.

Play 1
This play is going to be Gardner's first INT against UConn. Michigan is going to put two receivers on each side of the formation and run a simple mesh concept. I discussed the mesh concept a bit in my preview of PSU. Gallon, correctly reading zone, sits between two zone defenders. Gardner comes of his first read, which appears to be Funchess, and comes down to his second read in Gallon.

But watch Gardner's feet. When he steps deeper into the pocket, his front foot opens up his body and he is pointed near the sideline. On top of that he doesn't step into the throw. By throwing across his open body and not stepping into the throw - his body weight fails to transfer forward to bring his release point to a proper angle - it causes the ball to sail. He's double compounded things that will cause the ball to go high. His lapse in footwork has forced the ball high.


To see four more plays from Gardner against UConn, and what mistakes he made, and what improvement he was able to manage, follow the link to Maize n Brew.


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