Analysis: Can John O'Korn Execute Multiple Reads?

Analysis: Can John O'Korn Execute Multiple Reads?

Submitted by stephenrjking on September 25th, 2017 at 11:43 PM

John O'Korn is the man of the hour. He was terrific against Purdue. We are busily considering how far he can take the team as the starter, trying to understand his strengths and weaknesses.

One of the potential weaknesses: does John O'Korn lock on to receivers, neglecting to progress through reads? It was a worry after Indiana. It has been observed by fans this week. Speight's continued hold on the job suggested that it might still be an issue. How'd he do Saturday?

Let's look at the tape. 

This is taken from the WD highlight video. We are analyzing the key drive of the game, the go-ahead drive in the third quarter, the drive in which O'Korn miraculously avoided a sack to hit Perry in stride. I am not overly concerned with that play, however; I'm interested in his pocket passes. The important plays begin at 10:53 of the video, and the plays are listed by video time (I will embed the video in comments). Note: I disclaim any actual knowledge or expertise. 

It is 1st and 17 at the Michigan 7, midway through the third quarter. From a heavy set Michigan snaps the ball and O'Korn looks to the right, where the TE is releasing to an out route. There is zone coverage and the TE has three guys surrounding him. O'Korn then looks to the center of the field where Gentry is crossing underneath the zone, wide open thanks to a Wheatley clearout. He fires and Gentry turns upfield for an 11 yard gain.

2nd and 6 from the Michigan 18. O'Korn throws on the first read, a quick out to Gentry. It's the first read, but he fires as Gentry makes his cut, before the defender can respond. It's not a perfect pass but Gentry has a good opportunity and drops it. This was not a progression but it was a correct read and a decisive throw.

The escape. O'Korn is locked in on Perry here, waiting for him to come open, a bit of a lock on. It's not actually that relevant to this analysis but we all want to watch this play again anyway because it's awesome.

3rd and 7 from the Michigan 34. Michigan is 5 wide. At the snap O'Korn looks right towards Evans wide right and the slot receiver. Evans is running a vertical and the slot receiver is crossing with man coverage. O'Korn then looks center, sees Mckeon crossing beyond the slot and nails him instantly for a huge gain.

I'm no expert, but I doubt that Chris Evans running a fly is the first read, so either O'Korn was looking right to read the coverage (the slot man may have been the primary target if Purdue had dropped to zone) or that was a designed lookoff. But he clearly didn't turn to Mckeon until the moment it was time to pass, and his execution was perfect.

The Eubanks targeting play. It's playaction with Perry split wide left running a deep out, which appears to be the primary read. O'Korn appears to hesitate a bit, waiting on Perry to get open, before looking to Eubanks and throwing instantly. Eubanks was open in a space in the zone, but it wasn't a great throw. 

This is a very encouraging play. 1st and 10 from the Purdue 22. O'Korn looks first downfield left to a TE running what I believe to be a seam route into the endzone, then right to either a TE running a post or the WR in the corner (both covered). He checks down from these reads to Evans, who is open for a short gain. Not a huge gain but a very impressive job of quickly and decisively making the correct reads and checking to an open man, gaining some yards and giving a playmaker a chance to move with the ball in space.

First, the negative: O'Korn can occasionally wait too long for a primary receiver to get open, and he has some rough edges. And I believe his decisiveness could allow clever defenses to bait him into errors with disguised coverages.
However, the positive is very impressive. On this drive, the crucial one of the game, O'Korn executed the plays that were called and moved the team down the field. He made multiple-read progressions on several plays, including a solid third-read checkdown that kept the ball moving and set up the subsequent run for a TD. 
And his decisive throws upon moving his eyes to a second read were great. As soon as he saw his man he pulled the trigger, something Speight has had trouble with this year. And the throws he made weren't just correct, they were accurate as well. 
As a bonus, on the one play where he held on for too long and things broke down, he deftly avoided tacklers, rolled, and found an open man for a perfect throw. 
This drive answers a lot of the (valid) questions about his ability to sit in the pocket and make progressions, in my opinion. Very different from the Indiana game. Decisive. Accurate. Smart. 
I can't wait to see what he does next.

Wrestling the Alaska-Fairbanks Ice Bear Hockey Hype Video

Wrestling the Alaska-Fairbanks Ice Bear Hockey Hype Video

Submitted by MGoBorracho on January 21st, 2011 at 9:58 PM

I am crazy for the Alaska ice hockey hype video that Brian has re-posted.  It's like watching a Kurosawa or a Kubrick film.  Or a vintage Chuck Barris game show.  You just know you're in the hands of a master.  I mean, every time I watch this video-- and I have watched it many, many times-- I have a new question about the ultimate meaning of the piece, or the inspiration for certain radical creative choices.  This time I'm wrestling with questions about the bear's motivation.  

Obviously I get the motivation behind the inciting incident in the opening sequence. He's pissed about how global warming, caused by western industrialized nations'  gluttonous appetite for self-gratification, as represented by the icebreaking Carnival cruise ship, has upended the nature's cycle by disturbing his annual iceberg-encased hibernation.  He reacts on instinct, as any giant mutant electro ice bear would: by summoning his lighting stick and wreaking complete destruction upon the ship.

And, though it took me a a couple of repeat viewings, I feel like I get why he takes things to the next level by scrambling his fellow giant mutant electro ice bear wingmen into the giant mutant ice bear sized F-16 fighters.  Oh the delicious irony!  Man's hubris ("Sure we'll build you some giant mutant ice bear fighter jets!  What could go wrong?") returns to  deliver a hellfire apocalypse upon those well-established symbols of human excess:  the college hockey arena.

And sure, I totally understand why the lead ice bear finds it necessary to nuke Earth in order to save Earth.  This is the human condition distilled.  Only through death do we truly know life.

But what I simply can't figure out is why he doesn't give his ice bear wingmen a head's up on the forthcoming planetary destruction.  What did they do to deserve that?  They were his wingmen-bears, man!  I know from a whole bunch of Jerry Bruckheimer movies that you don't leave your wingman-bear.  And you definitely don't NUKE your wingman-bear.  I mean, unless they specifically say: "Forget about me, do you hear?  I'm a gonner,bra.  You nuke this rock!"

This is not to say that there isn't a very good reason the filmmaker made this choice, because I know there is.  I just don't get it.