These are the running plays for both Green and Smith. Last night I replied that I'd let both guys get 14-18 carries as long as both were producing to keep them fresh, given their sizes and styles make each interchangeable with the other. And I replied that my OL would be Cole-Mags-Glasgow-Kalis-Braden going into S. Bend. Conclusions at end.
(Made it a separate thread b/c some people don't like lengthy posts like this!)
1. First and 10, draw to Green for gain of 1. Cole and Miller do nothing but clog the middle as each gets pushed back by their man. Green could have bounced outside but DB was filling gap. Hole not as bit as it seemed when watching live.
2. Green loses a yard on a stretch run from shotgun. Joey B shits his pants, lunges at his man who sidesteps him and drops Green for a loss.
3. Green again runs left from shotgun formation, forced outside when AJ Williams gets pushed into backfield. Rest of OL does its job. Gain of 3 or so.
4. Smith for 15 running out of the I. Cole and Mags flush their guys inside opening huge hole.
5. Smith out of I for 4. Everyone hits their assignment, Miller correctly leaves double team to attack MLB but whiffs.
6. Smith from pistol, Mags gets pushed back throwing off play. Smith still gets 4 but again, one guy out of five not doing his job.
7. 3rd and 1, Smith from I, power run gains 3 off RG. Miller and Joey B get no push.
8. Green single back, gains a yard off RT, Kalis in game and pancakes his guy on first play in, RT Braden and TE Williams double team defender, then both abandon doubleteam and that guy makes tackle.
9. Green from shotgun gains 19, shows good burst once in the hole. Williams and Chesson key to the run as both sealed the outside.
10. Green again from shotgun gains 6, should have been more but Mags a bit slow pulling from LG. Backside pursuit b/c Williams doesn't hold block long enough and b/c Kalis appears to step on someone's foot and faceplants before even touching anyone. (Next play is the sack Cole gives up and one after that is draw play on 3rd and 12 with Kalis getting beat inside. Didn't realize until rewatching game now how big that gain of only 6 was when play should have gone for much more.)
11. Green still in (3rd drive for him, Smith only had 1), running from I, Miller gets pushed back in middle, Kerridge has no idea where to go, Green follows him and loses 3. Play had no chance once middle of OL gets pushed back. Drive ends a couple plays later with midded FG
12. Green in again for 4th drive out of 5, single back set, Williams serves as lead blocker, Miller gets inside his guy nicely on zone block, sealing it for Mags then Miller moves to second level, sealing off the LB. Braden, Kalis, Williams open up right side and Norfleet blocking downfield. Miller was incredible on this play. Beautifully done. Green for 62 and if he looks to his left as DB is pursuing, a stiff arm may have allowed him to get into the end zone for 82 yard TD. But can't say enough about Miller on that play, and I'm most certainly not his biggest fan.
13. Smith from shotgun formation (his second drive of game comes with 2:17 to go in 1st half), runs stretch play to left. Braden seals backside, Kalis pulls nicely, Williams forces his guy insde, two guys coming at Smith, Kalis blocks inside guy, Smith follows him (great vision), Mags is 8 yards downfield blocking, Chesson mauling the DB, Smith gets 61. Great pull by Kalis, seal by Mags, and downfield blocking by Chesson. Wish Smith had more of a burst when that hole opened up.
14. Smith from shotgun, 12 yard TD run (2 play drive), Braden and Cole get great push allowing both guards to attack second level of defense, Kalis and Mags destroy LB and DB, Kalis and his man get into end zone with Smith. End of 1st half
15. Green single back from pistol, Miller, Kalis, and Mags upen up huge hole for Green who isn't touched until he's 8 yards downfield. He gets 9 but is standing way too upright when DB cuts out his legs.
16. Green single back on 2nd and 1 against 5 man front on 2nd and short, Braden and Kalis seal, Miller's guy pushes him into hole and Green runs right into Kalis' man for no gain.
17. 3rd and 1 from I formation, Kalis and Braden push their guys inside, Heitzmann seals it nicely, Kerridge picks up blitz from outside, Green good acceleration into the hole, sees cutback lane and hits it, Miller running downfield blocking with him. Ball snapped at 34 yard line, Green not touched until the 10 and he really does lack that breakaway speed.
18. 1st and Goal from 5, broken I, Cole misses on cut block, his guy makes tackle from backside pursuit. Right side of line good, not great push, Green gets 1
19. Smith single back, run to left side, Miller seals VERY nicely and moves to second level, great push by Mags and Cole who doubleteam same guy and leave one man untouched, that guy hits Smith at 4 but he plows down to goaline and is ruled just short.
20. Green from broken I in for TD. Kalis flops on his cutblock, two guys end up in the gap, Green plows through them both for TD.
21. Smith from pistol, runs left, Joey B back in game, adequate seal on backside, Cole great push, Mags and Braden do their job, Smith makes guy miss, shows great vision, runs behind Cole for 13 yard TD.
22. Morris in game, Green from pistol, Kalis back in at RG, entire OL bunches up in middle, Khalid Hill seals from left, Green shows nice vision and cuts back left behind Hill, outruns outside rush, 6 yards downfield shows good burst, hit at 48 yard line and falls forward for 5 more yards. Spoiler alert: This is the play that convinces me of the RB situation.
23. Green single back, runs right for no gain (looked tired after previous physical run), Miller and Mags stand up their guys, Green misses obvious cutback lane and gets stuffed when 8-10 yards were there. Gets up, and frustrated, pushes defender (has to be b/c he realized he ran the wrong way - which happens in a zone blocking scheme)
1. The WRs blocked REALLY well. Incredibly well.
2. Kalis is ahead of Joey B. No question. No doubt. He wasn't perfect yesterday, but was CLEARLY the superior guard.
3. I responded to the starting OL question with Cole-Mags-Glasgow-Kalis-Braden. But after watching Miller more closely, two undeniable observations. 1) When Miller has to powerblock or iso block on the guy lined up over him, he struggles mightily; just doesn't have the size and strength. 2) When Miller checks or chucks the guy over him and moves down the line laterally, he seals VERY well, SHOCKINGLY well. I am stunned right now by this observation! The problem will be for coaches to find ways to get Miller away from DLs who will try to beat his ass b/c if they attack him straight up, it's not tough for them to do.
4. Cole is very technically sound, but he HAS to get bigger/stronger. Noticeably undersized. If I'm going to change the OL when Glasgow comes back, I'm thinking Glasgow at LG and Mags at LT. Miller played better than Cole yesterday.
5. And finally, Derrick Green is my feature back. His vision isn't as good as Smith's, but it's passable, and he's just better with the ball. If there's a game where the OL reverts to last year's form, Smith gets more carries because he'll find seams and get a couple yards here and there, or if a special circumstance necessitates Smith, he's good enough to help the team, but I go into the coming weeks anticipating that Green gets 20-25 carries with Smith getting 8-12.