Inside The Bills

Late pre-snap disguise worked vs. Peyton

Posted by Chris Brown on December 7, 2014 – 2:28 pm

The St. Louis Rams posted an unexpected win over the Broncos a few weeks ago. Some of their success was rooted in the Rams’ ability defensively to disguise their coverages and formations late in the pre-snap process. In our weekly Coffee with the Coach segment presented by Tim Horton’s I asked head coach Doug Marrone about how risky an approach that is with a cerebral quarterback like Peyton Manning.

“I think it’s one of those situations where you have to make him just think twice before he receives the snap,” Marrone said. “It’s the thing that people talk about with all these Hall of Fame type quarterbacks, and Peyton is one of them, you just want to create some type of indecision. The reason why they’re so productive and so good is they know exactly where they want to go with that ball.”

“St. Louis did a great job of disguising and moving around. I feel like that’s one of the things we’re getting better at,” said Aaron Williams. “The last few weeks, (Da’Norris) Searcy and I, Duke (Williams), we’ve done a lot better job of communicating and to move around so a quarterback won’t know what we’re in right as we break the huddle.”

St. Louis was playing at home and Marrone is of the opinion that disguising defensive plans on a play late in the pre-snap process is easier when you’re playing at home.

“If you can disguise… and it’s a little easier when you’re at home and the opponent is using a silent count, rather than the different cadences they can use when they’re at home and we’ve seen how Peyton uses his cadence to make sure he knows exactly where he wants to go beforehand.

“As long as we move around and have our disguise not kill us, as long as we get to the spot, we’ll be fine,” said Williams.

“It’s a little bit of a cat and mouse game, but as long as they’re not snapping that ball quickly where you’re out of position most of those players will be in position by the time the ball is snapped,” said Marrone.

So although it’s a tougher task to disguise late defensively on the road than at home, it sounds as though Marrone and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz may be willing to make use of some disguised looks late in the pre-snap process.

Posted in Inside the Bills
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