Ability of our RBs to read the holes in the line

Submitted by iawolve on November 5th, 2009 at 8:01 PM

I don't know how many times Brian has written, if we had just slammed it up inside it would go for 20 instead of 2 or had he cut outside he would have picked up a billion yards (ok, last bit was mine). It seems odd that our RBs struggle so much with this aspect of our offense where we are consistently missing the blocking reads.

Based on the last picture page, maybe Brown (not Roundtree) needs the glasses or making the proper cut is not his strong point. Maybe reading these cuts is very difficult task, however it does not seem more so than other zone blocking schemes (please someone chime in here).

If we get a relatively healthy back with a little bit of quicks that can read blocks really well, seems like there is damage to be done. Maybe that is Smith, not sure.



November 5th, 2009 at 8:04 PM ^

I think we were spoiled by Mike Hart being very good at making these reads. Brown and Minor had trouble with these reads even in the Carr days. They cut down on the fumbles, which is nice, but they never seemed to catch onto cut back lanes like Hart did.

Just an observation.

Hoken's Heroes

November 5th, 2009 at 10:02 PM ^

We absolutely were spoiled with Hart's ability to hit holes. His vision was fantastic. Also helped he had good o linemen up front. While Minor is ok, Brown is horrible (Hart has in the past mentioned this problem about Carlos). Unless there is a gaping hole with someone screaming to Carlos about it, the guy will just run into his own blockers. Some runners have it and some don't. Unfortunately, no one on the team really "has it" or shown they have it (including Denard unfortunately).


November 5th, 2009 at 8:04 PM ^

It seems as though Brown is the main guy reading the hole wrong. Minor is pretty good, Shaw, and Smith have not had enough chances I guess to evaluate.


November 5th, 2009 at 8:52 PM ^

i think smith/shaw is going to be a special combination in the coming years, smith seems like he has made nice cuts in his limited action, and shaw is fast like brown but unlike brown he doesn't go down when the wind is gusting


November 5th, 2009 at 10:40 PM ^

Brown does have a unique way of running the ball. He tends to run parallel to the line of scrimmage before and after he takes the handoff. I don't know if this is his way of running to the outside or giving the o-line extra time to open a hole. It can definitely backfire on him, though, if the hole closes before he makes his turn towards the line of scrimmage.


November 6th, 2009 at 12:35 AM ^

Yes to being spoiled by Hart, and Perry was pretty good too. I remember Thomas as being one of the worst for seeing holes. Unless they were so big he couldn't miss them or he ran over someone and kinda created his own, Thomas missed the hole or cut it the wrong direction quite often.


November 6th, 2009 at 6:43 AM ^

Vincent Smith showed good vision on a number of cutbacks and patience for holes to develop. With Shaw, Smith, Toussaint, and company the next few years we should be seeing less and less of these mistakes.

Brown seems to just be a speed guy and Minor is just more the brusier and neither of them seem to have that "it" factor as a running back. Hart and Perry had that and would make runs out of noithing or make one cut and turn 4 yard gain into 20-30 yards. Brown does not have the balance or lateral movement to be a great or very good RB.

NOLA Wolverine

November 6th, 2009 at 4:28 PM ^

Many college runningbacks have TERRIBLE vision. This is because their HS competition blew and they could just bounce it outside and go. That's why you see a lot of backs try and bounce further instead of plowing into the pile. Mike Hart was really a gift. Because of his lack of top end speed, he was forced to read some blocks in HS, and this carried over to college and made him wildly succesful. Now im not saying ALL have bad vision, I dont need a list of running backs as a response, they're are a couple pretty good ones out there (Noel Devine being the greatest example of a guy with vision).
Now, combine this effect, with a horizontal running offense, and you get some pretty brutal reads. Not only are they not used to it, now they have to get used to it while running sideways, difficult to break old habbits, let alone break two. (I know the pictures page showed Brown in the open field, but a majority of the problem is as they approch the L.O.S. Brown is just one of the guys with terrible vision.)

OT-slightly. Recruit Austin White seems to have pretty good vision. While his competition sucks as well, he does not have top end speed, and has a lot of long cutback runs. He could be the future.