One-Play One-on-One: Patrick Kugler

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 14th, 2017 at 11:02 AM



I sat down to do my usual Sunday-night film dig and didn’t have to dig far to find the play I wanted to go through on Monday. I started with Chris Evans’ vault because a human wearing full pads shouldn’t be able to jump over another pad-wearing, presumably angry human whose only object is to fling their mass into said person. I didn’t even get to the vault itself before something at the top of the screen caught my eye: the numbers printed on the back of a Maryland defensive lineman’s jersey. Like leaping a person, that, too, is a sight to behold on the football field. To gain additional insight, I asked Patrick Kugler about the technique behind how he and Ben Bredeson spun that guy.

Let’s start broad: were the defensive linemen tipping anything during the game?

“No. The formation that we were in, we knew kind of what they were going to be in and we knew that inside zone scheme was going to be pretty good because it’s a box-sensitive play which means you can only have [redacted] in the box usually for the play to work but by spreading them out with the three-receiver set we knew that one of the linebackers was going to go out and cover the slot, so it allowed us to get good double teams up to the backers and yeah, got to see Chris make the pretty sweet play.”

So I wanted to talk about the art of the double team. Take me through that. What’s most important? Is it speed off the ball or is it leverage or is it something else?

“I think the most important thing is getting hip to hip, definitely. With the 2i, because he’s playing on Ben [Bredeson], Ben’s got to get a good initial lift on him. Then I come in and get really tight with him, and if I bring a lot of power to that we’re going to get some good movement, so it’s all about that initial pop and getting hip to hip and being able to drive them off the ball.”

How’d you end up turning that 2i?

“Like I said, yeah, Ben got two really good steps down and was able to turn his shoulder a little bit which allowed me to get in there and kind of get squared up on him, allowing Ben to work up to the backer.”

To go back to double teams for a second, does it depend at all on chemistry and time on task with the guy next to you, or is that something where if you’re both sound technically you can kind of plug and play?

“It definitely helps when you have a lot of practice at it. Coach Drevno does a great job. We work at double teams countless hours during the week. Yeah, but it definitely becomes an art form. I think me and Ben got a pretty good feel for most of our double teams because we’ve been doing it all season. Me and Mike [Onwenu] as well and Cesar [Ruiz], just getting everyone in there. But it definitely takes a lot of work to get a really good double team.”



November 14th, 2017 at 11:20 AM ^

That double was nice, but watch the others blocking, too.  None of them missed the assignment.  Cole plowed his DE under.  Ruiz and JBB destroyed the DT.  McKeon pulled from over Cole to destroy the DE that Gentry left to go hunt the safety - who just gave up on the play instead of trying to take on the block and make a tackle.

That was just a beautifully blocked play all around.


November 14th, 2017 at 12:08 PM ^

The only one that seemed to miss was Gentry.  Ideally I think he'd be blocking his guy out toward the sideline, but his guy got inside leverage so Gentry used that momentum against him.  However, that caused Evans to have to bounce around him.   That block however also made the defender (#1 LB) have to go around the block so it was a net/net win even though that LB eventually made the tackle.


November 14th, 2017 at 12:32 PM ^

JBB doesn't come off the double team with Ruiz to pick up their linebacker. It didn't hurt them here because the linebacker flows so hard playside that he can't do much on the cut back. But JBB really should see that and come off to pick him up once he flows back over the top. That linebacker is actually the one that makes the play eventually.




November 14th, 2017 at 1:41 PM ^

Its zone, so they should know they play can cut all they way back. And with the linebacker flowing back over the top over his double team like he did, that is telling him that the play has cut back. If the Evans stayed to the playside or cut up tighter it would be Ruiz coming off to get the backer. Thats why on a combo block like this on a zone play you're taught to stay on as long as you can until the backer commits. Rewatching a bit closer it is a really tough decision because he does nearly commit to the playside before reacting with Evans.

Maybe you're right and I'm wrong here, I have no idea exactly what they teach. Regardless, it looks like his head is buried in that double and he has no idea where the linebacker is.

(Edit: Looks like I replied to your initial response before you edited. I agree not the end of the world, but I still think he's got to get his eyes on the LB)



November 14th, 2017 at 3:53 PM ^

That's not blueberries in a pancake, that's blueberries on a pancake.  

Now this here is blueberries in a pancake:

Of course, that is more of an oven-baked "puff pancake."  If you want blueberries in a more traditional skillet-style pancake, I give you:




November 14th, 2017 at 12:34 PM ^

I appreciate the "nuts & bolts" look at what it took to get the great play.  Evans making that leap was sweet and is what most people focus on but (obviously) there are a lot of other guys on the field making that possible and it was a great play by Kugler & Bredeson.  


November 14th, 2017 at 1:35 PM ^

Kugler has been decent this year, actually better 

than I had thought,

he's not all B1G or anything but for the most part

not terrible, so there is that...