FLORHAM PARK – In his previous football life, Dawan Landry often shook his head when he saw a defensive back get beat by a deep pass.

“The guy is in position,” Landry would think. “He should make a play on the ball.”

Then Landry experienced the reality of the deep ball, and learned why defending it is among football’s most stressful experiences. Landry played quarterback in his first season at Georgia Tech, 2001, and then switched to safety. He has played there ever since, and will begin his ninth NFL season Sunday, when his Jets host the Raiders.

From the moment he moved to the other side of the deep ball, defending it instead of throwing it, he realized why making a play on this ball is not as simple as it seems.

“From the outside looking in, it always looks easy,” Landry said. “It’s a lot more technical than it looks.”

Often last season, it appeared far too challenging for the Jets. They finished 22nd in the NFL in passing yards allowed, largely because of deep completions.

In the first 11 games alone, they surrendered gains of 30, 31, 38, 40, 46, 53, 53, 60 and 60 yards on deep passes. And those were just the long balls that didn’t result in touchdowns. Opponents scored on deep completions of 43, 51, 55, 66 and 77 yards. Those 14 completions accounted for 25 percent of the passing yards the Jets allowed in their first 11 games, during which they went 5-6.

The Jets spent countless hours of practice and film study working on improving their deep ball defense this offseason.

“We have to be better,” said Dennis Thurman, their defensive coordinator. “It is not something that we are going to just keep talking about. It is something that we have to get.”

But the deep ball has a chance to test the Jets even more this season. In Sunday’s opener against an Oakland team that loves throwing long passes, the Jets will start a converted safety, Antonio Allen, and a career backup, Darrin Walls, at cornerback. Even when Dee Milliner returns from a high ankle sprain, one of those two players is likely to continue starting.

The Jets’ cornerback issues come in a season when the NFL is aggressively trying to limit contact by defensive backs more than five yards down the field. This could hamper one of the longtime tactics for defending the deep ball — the “look and lean” technique.

“A lot of these offenses, they’re going to throw the deep ball just to get a pass interference,” said former Cowboys safety Darren Woodson, now an ESPN analyst. “They’re not just looking for the big play. They’re looking for the penalty also.”

For the Jets especially, one of football’s most stressful defensive plays just got even more nerve-wracking.

THE MOST ANXIOUS OF MOMENTS

The deep ball can put an anxious pit in a defensive back’s stomach. All it takes is that sound – the simultaneous gasp of thousands of fans when they see a quarterback flick a long pass to a receiver who is a step ahead of a defensive back.

“The times I’ve gotten beat in games on a deep ball, the first thing you hear is the crowd,” Woodson said. “You can hear that, definitely. You know the ball is in the air. Now you have to absolutely track the ball, and that can be a kick in the ass.”

Defending the deep ball is about more than just running as fast as the receiver, or being able to catch up to him. But that is a legitimate part of it.

“If you don’t have that type of recovery speed, I don’t care what type of skills you’ve got, you’re going to get beat with the deep ball,” said former NFL receiver Desmond Howard, who now analyzes college football for ESPN.

When physical skills are equal, as they often are in the NFL, precision and patience take over. This is where Landry failed at first, as a young safety at Georgia Tech. When a receiver beat him deep in a one-on-one practice drill, Landry decided to turn around and play the ball. That might feel like a natural reaction, but it is all wrong, because you lose track of the receiver, drift away from him and slow your pursuit, all at once.

Landry said defensive backs are always taught to never look back for the ball until they are “in phase” with a receiver – basically running next to him, hip-to-hip. Once in phase with the receiver, the defensive back should “look and lean,” Landry said. That means simultaneously turning back for the ball while slightly leaning into the receiver’s area.

The purpose of the lean is twofold: It lets the defensive back physically track the receiver while not looking at him, and also closes the spacing between the two players.

By his own admission, looking and leaning is the toughest part of playing the deep ball for Walls – locating the ball in the air while maintaining “control” of the receiver. He called it “the hardest thing for DBs to do.”

For as challenge as the “look and lean” is to perfect, Tim McDonald, the Jets’ secondary coach, hopes the NFL’s downfield contact emphasis doesn’t completely eliminate the tactic.

“We’ve got just as much right to that space as they have, as long as we lean, not into them, but we lean to that space,” McDonald said. “We don’t give him space to come in and get the ball.”

What if a defensive back gets beat, and trails his receiver? In this situation – “out of phase” – the defensive back must look at the receiver’s hands. When he sticks them out to catch the ball, the defensive back has to jab his own hand ahead to disrupt the play. The best receivers, like Randy Moss and Reggie Wayne, wait until the last minute to extend their hands on deep balls, and rarely tip off defensive backs by turning their heads early, to look for the ball.

There is a delicate balance for a defensive back trying to determine when exactly to turn, locate the deep ball and momentarily lose sight of the receiver. When in phase, he can glance at a receiver’s eyes, to see when he looks up for the ball. But this can present problems for a corner trying to time his initial contact, because a receiver usually looks up first, and then stretches his hands out. So, watching his hands can be safer.

“It’s better to just play through (looking at) their hands than their eyes, because you might make early contact,” said Milliner.

Despite standard teaching points, every secondary coach and defensive back has a preference. McDonald wants his players to watch for outstretched hands, wait for the “blur of the ball” to appear in their field of vision, and then reach out to break up the pass. Former NFL cornerback Eric Davis liked playing outside-in technique on deep balls. This means being closer to the sideline than the receiver, so you keep both him and the ball in your field of vision when looking up to track the pass.

Even if, after all this, the defensive back finds himself in the ideal situation to go after the ball, he can still screw it up. Say a cornerback is running stride for stride with a receiver down the right sideline, and he is to the inside of the receiver. A common mistake is for the corner to turn his head left, to locate the ball. When the corner does this while running, he fades toward the inside of the field, away from the receiver. He also loses sight of the receiver. The corner should look over his right shoulder instead, said Davis.

“You have to turn your head up, toward the sideline, and look up,” said Davis, an NFL Network analyst who played 13 seasons in the league.

PREPARATION IS KEY

As a kid, Ed Reed loved playing a game with his friends, though it only required one friend. Reed would stand on the field, and his buddy would stand 50 yards away, and they would simply throw the ball back and forth. Reed watched it spiral through the humid Louisiana air, tracking the arc of the pass into his hands.

“Looking back at it, you never know the things that you do as a kid, how it’s going to bless you later in life,” Reed said.

Few players in football history tracked – and picked off – deep balls better than Reed, a future Hall of Fame safety who joined the Jets midway through last season and now appears on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.”

Tracking deep balls is one of a defensive back’s hardest duties. A corner can position himself perfectly, in phase, but if he looks at the wrong moment, or just can’t spot the ball, he is toast. There is more to both skills than just reacting to outstretched hands.

Davis said a cornerback must know the quarterback’s arm strength. Against a quarterback with a cannon, like Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, a corner must wait longer to look, because the deep ball will travel farther. A quarterback with a weaker arm, one that maxes out at 35 yards, requires the corner to look once he is about 15 yards off the line, since “that ball is in the air because we’re halfway there,” Davis said.

Positioning matters, too. If the receiver Davis guarded happened to “outside release” off the line — which means trying to get between Davis and the sideline — Davis knew there were only a few routes the receiver could run, one being a deep “go” route, straight down the sideline.

If the receiver kept running straight at the 15-yard mark, especially with a weaker-armed quarterback, Davis knew he could expect the deep ball, and turn to locate it. And depending on whether the play began from the far hash mark, near hash mark or middle of the field, Davis would have an expected angle in mind: Would the ball drop in at 11 o’clock, 12 o’clock or 1 o’clock in his field of vision?

Ball tracking in the deep middle of the field seemed to come naturally to Reed, who said he developed hand-eye coordination by playing basketball and baseball in high school. Even in the NFL, he would catch punts during pregame warm-ups, to mimic deep balls.

“I loved to catch punts before a game because that’s ultimately tracking a deep ball, 60, 70 yards down the field,” Reed said.

Woodson, the former Cowboys safety, found a similar solution to problems he encountered with tracking the ball from the middle of the field. Mike Zimmer, then the Cowboys’ secondary coach, would shoot balls from a Jugs machine, arcing them almost like punts, and have Woodson and the defensive backs turn, run, locate the ball, chase it and catch it.

Woodson said this taught him to do what the best defensive backs, like Deion Sanders, so often do — “become the receiver” when the ball is in the air. You can’t ever develop into a great deep ball defender unless you learn this. And you can’t learn it if you don’t locate and track balls properly.

“When we go out looking to draft people, one of the things you ask is: Can he find it? Can he catch it?” said Jets head coach Rex Ryan. “Because the great ones can catch it. You have to be able to find it, or there’s no way to play the deep ball.”

Once a defensive back masters the foundation of playing the deep ball, such as looking and leaning, and he can track the ball, he must then put himself in the receiver’s brain. For a safety, playing the deep ball is “truly all about angles,” Reed said.

Reed often determined the angle he might need to break on a pass by surveying the offensive formation. He looked at the receiver alignments and splits, considered the route combinations they might present, and determined the angles at which he could need to break toward a pass — 45 degrees to this route, 90 degrees to that route. He processed it all before the ball was even snapped, a human protractor.

Reed, a sage of film study, was with the Jets for the final seven games last season. The Jets signed him largely to patrol the deep middle of the defense and prevent deep balls – something that occurred with mixed results. In the final five games, as the Jets went 3-2, they allowed just two completions of longer than 26 yards on deep attempts. Neither produced a touchdown. At the very least, they did not get burned as badly as earlier in the season.

Reed’s most significant contribution, though, probably came off the field. He frequently held film analysis sessions with the younger defensive backs. When he spoke to them about deep balls during these meetings, he emphasized the importance of understanding down-and-distance and formation situations in which opponents tend to take the most deep shots.

“Most of it is just realizing when that situation is, and just being able to recognize it,” Walls said of Reed’s message.

As the Jets tried to build on Reed’s lessons this offseason, McDonald put his defensive backs through all the usual deep-ball drills in practice – what to do when you’re in phase, what to do when you’re out of phase, how to look and lean. All the while, McDonald wanted them to understand that sharpening deep ball defense is not entirely robotic repetition, nor just reacting to a receiver’s movements during games. Much of it depends on identifying the receivers on film every week who are likeliest to take the Jets deep – and put them in this potentially harrowing, game-changing situation.

“To me, it’s as much mental as it is physical,” McDonald said. “That (mental aspect) is the part of the game that we really have to be better at.”

Posted by

Related Posts

292 Comments
 
  1. Pingback: Reba Fleurantin

  2. Pingback: MILFCity

  3. Pingback: Lila Lovely

  4. Pingback: premium-domain-names

  5. Pingback: College Assignment Help

  6. Pingback: Assignment writer

  7. Pingback: personalized newborn gift

  8. Pingback: Click Here

  9. Pingback: Click Here

  10. Pingback: Click Here

  11. Pingback: Click Here

  12. Pingback: Click Here

  13. Pingback: Click Here

  14. Pingback: Click Here

  15. Pingback: Click Here

  16. Pingback: Click Here

  17. Pingback: Click Here

  18. Pingback: Click Here

  19. Pingback: Click Here

  20. Pingback: Click Here

  21. Pingback: Click Here

  22. Pingback: Click Here

  23. Pingback: Click Here

  24. Pingback: Click Here

  25. Pingback: remote control robotics

  26. Pingback: spaceros

  27. Pingback: robotics case study

  28. Pingback: Click Here

  29. Pingback: Click Here

  30. Pingback: Click Here

  31. Pingback: Reputation Defenders

  32. Pingback: Click Here

  33. Pingback: Click Here

  34. Pingback: Click Here

  35. Pingback: Click Here

  36. Pingback: Click Here

  37. Pingback: Click Here

  38. Pingback: Click Here

  39. Pingback: Click Here

  40. Pingback: Click Here

  41. Pingback: Click Here

  42. Pingback: Click Here

  43. Pingback: Click Here

  44. Pingback: Click Here

  45. Pingback: Click Here

  46. Pingback: Click Here

  47. Pingback: grand rapids dentist

  48. Pingback: Click Here

  49. Pingback: grand rapids same day crowns

  50. Pingback: Click Here

  51. Pingback: https://gquery.org/

  52. Pingback: Click Here

  53. Pingback: Click Here

  54. Pingback: Click Here

  55. Pingback: Click Here

  56. Pingback: Click Here

  57. Pingback: Click Here

  58. Pingback: Click Here

  59. Pingback: Click Here

  60. Pingback: 카지노인증사이트

  61. Pingback: Click Here

  62. Pingback: Click Here

  63. Pingback: Click Here

  64. Pingback: Click Here

  65. Pingback: Refer and Earn

  66. Pingback: Click Here

  67. Pingback: Click Here

  68. Pingback: Click Here

  69. Pingback: Click Here

  70. Pingback: Click Here

  71. Pingback: Click Here

  72. Pingback: Click Here

  73. Pingback: Click Here

  74. Pingback: 라이브 딜러 카지노

  75. Pingback: 카지노 게임 플레이

  76. Pingback: best-domain-portfolio

  77. Pingback: bestdomainportfolio

  78. Pingback: athletic leggings

  79. Pingback: reputation defenders

  80. Pingback: curso formula negócio online funciona?

  81. Pingback: 2023 Books

  82. Pingback: proven football betting system

  83. Pingback: Chirurgie esthétique Tunisie

  84. Pingback: National Chi Nan University

  85. Pingback: top university egypt

  86. Pingback: البرامج الاكاديمية بجامعة المستقبل بمصر

  87. Pingback: مهارات حل المشكلات

  88. Pingback: political mass media degree

  89. Pingback: Credit Hour System

  90. Pingback: مميزات كلية الصيدلة بجامعة المستقبل

  91. Pingback: College systems

  92. Pingback: الابتكار الأكاديمي

  93. Pingback: Academic Advising

  94. Pingback: Information literacy

  95. Pingback: Dental Implant Courses

  96. Pingback: خطابات توصية لجامعة المستقبل

  97. Pingback: التقديم جامعة المستقبل في مصر

  98. Pingback: Business administration

  99. Pingback: Marketing courses

  100. Pingback: وظائف خريجي ماجستير إدارة الأعمال في مصر

  101. Pingback: Bachelor degrees in Marketing

  102. Pingback: Spectrophotometer

  103. Pingback: Registration Procedure

  104. Pingback: Dental Continuing Education

  105. Pingback: research and innovation

  106. Pingback: student life at the College of Engineering

  107. Pingback: Dr. Khaled Azazy

  108. Pingback: منح ماجستير إدارة الأعمال في مصر

  109. Pingback: متطلبات القبول في ماجستير إدارة الأعمال

  110. Pingback: meritking giriş

  111. Pingback: madridbet giriş

  112. Pingback: political economy

  113. Pingback: meritking

  114. Pingback: Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology

  115. Pingback: Future University

  116. Pingback: meritking

  117. Pingback: meritking

  118. Pingback: Dental curriculum

  119. Pingback: Dental specialization programs

  120. Pingback: Credit Hours System computer science

  121. Pingback: FCIT Future University Egypt

  122. Pingback: متطلبات كشف الدرجات لجامعة المستقبل

  123. Pingback: عملية التقديم لجامعة المستقبل

  124. Pingback: Maillot de football

  125. Pingback: Maillot de football

  126. Pingback: Maillot de football

  127. Pingback: Maillot de football

  128. Pingback: Maillot de football

  129. Pingback: Maillot de football

  130. Pingback: grandpashabet

  131. Pingback: porn

  132. Pingback: fuck google

  133. Pingback: striscia led cucina

  134. Pingback: pannelli luminosi led

  135. Pingback: taijutsu

  136. Pingback: mur ninja warrior

  137. Pingback: appareil fitness

  138. Pingback: butterfly sport

  139. Pingback: kerassentials

  140. Pingback: fuck google

  141. Pingback: Fiverr Earn

  142. Pingback: Fiverr Earn

  143. Pingback: Fiverr Earn

  144. Pingback: Fiverr Earn

  145. Pingback: Fiverr Earn

  146. Pingback: Fiverr Earn

  147. Pingback: Lampade HOOLED

  148. Pingback: Introduzione al profilo led cartongesso

  149. Pingback: fiverrearn.com

  150. Pingback: fiverrearn.com

  151. Pingback: Advance-Esthetic LLC

  152. Pingback: kos daftar sdn bhd online murah ssm

  153. Pingback: syarat daftar syarikat sdn bhd ssm

  154. Pingback: shipping broker

  155. Pingback: french bulldog houston tx

  156. Pingback: clothes manufacturer usa

  157. Pingback: clima hoy

  158. Pingback: fiverrearn.com

  159. Pingback: french bulldog puppies

  160. Pingback: fiverrearn.com

  161. Pingback: fawn brindle french Bulldog

  162. Pingback: frenchie san francisco

  163. Pingback: french bulldog blue eyes

  164. Pingback: Seo marketing

  165. Pingback: Yo.fan approval

  166. Pingback: London Piano Movers

  167. Pingback: Piano Moving Quotes

  168. Pingback: Best university in Egypt

  169. Pingback: Best university in Egypt

  170. Pingback: Best university in Egypt

  171. Pingback: Top university in Egypt

  172. Pingback: Top university in Egypt

  173. Pingback: golf cart rentals isla mujeres mexico

  174. Pingback: ciro’s golf cart rental isla mujeres

  175. Pingback: blue french bulldog

  176. Pingback: miniature french bulldog for sale

  177. Pingback: big rope french bulldog

  178. Pingback: vietnam tourist visa

  179. Pingback: vietnamese restaurants

  180. Pingback: vietnam visa for us citizen

  181. Pingback: Google Rezensionen löschen lassen

  182. Pingback: weather new hope

  183. Pingback: french bulldog texas for sale

  184. Pingback: tech

  185. Pingback: future university

  186. Pingback: rent a golf cart isla mujeres

  187. Pingback: frenchies for sale houston

  188. Pingback: isla mujeres cart rental

  189. Pingback: seo company tampa

  190. Pingback: seo company charleston

  191. Pingback: porn

  192. Pingback: frenchie puppies

  193. Pingback: fue

  194. Pingback: golf cart rental isla mujeres

  195. Pingback: french bulldog

  196. Pingback: six sigma

  197. Pingback: Secure piano storage

  198. Pingback: Grand piano storage

  199. Pingback: FUE

  200. Pingback: FUE

  201. Pingback: FUE

  202. Pingback: FUE

  203. Pingback: FUE

  204. Pingback: FUE

  205. Pingback: Efficient moving

  206. Pingback: Residential moving

  207. Pingback: Packing expertise

  208. Pingback: برنامج ادارة الاعمال بمصر

  209. Pingback: FiverrEarn

  210. Pingback: FiverrEarn

  211. Pingback: Streamer

  212. Pingback: FiverrEarn

  213. Pingback: FiverrEarn

  214. Pingback: Porn stars Australia

  215. Pingback: Pupuk Organik terbaik dan terpercaya di pupukanorganik.com

  216. Pingback: Pupuk terpercaya dan terbaik di pupukanorganik.com

  217. Pingback: pupuk anorganik terbaik

  218. Pingback: partners

  219. Pingback: Political Science

  220. Pingback: STUDY ABROAD AGENCY KOLLAM

  221. Pingback: cachorros de bulldog frances

  222. Pingback: Betting

  223. Pingback: live sex cams

  224. Pingback: live sex cams

  225. Pingback: FiverrEarn

  226. Pingback: FiverrEarn

  227. Pingback: FiverrEarn

  228. Pingback: FiverrEarn

  229. Pingback: french bulldog dogs for sale

  230. Pingback: FiverrEarn

  231. Pingback: FiverrEarn

  232. Pingback: FiverrEarn

  233. Pingback: FiverrEarn

  234. Pingback: FiverrEarn

  235. Pingback: FiverrEarn

  236. Pingback: FiverrEarn

  237. Pingback: preset filters for lightroom

  238. Pingback: sns

  239. Pingback: Best University in Yemen

  240. Pingback: Scientific Research

  241. Pingback: Deliverance from demons

  242. Pingback: Kuliah Termurah

  243. Pingback: FiverrEarn

  244. Pingback: FiverrEarn

  245. Pingback: FiverrEarn

  246. Pingback: FiverrEarn

  247. Pingback: sikiş

  248. Pingback: cheap sex cams

  249. Pingback: french bulldog

  250. Pingback: grandpashabet

  251. Pingback: live sex cams

  252. Pingback: live sex cams

  253. Pingback: live sex cams

  254. Pingback: freeze dried candies

  255. Pingback: freeze dried

  256. Pingback: marketplace

  257. Pingback: frt trigger

  258. Pingback: grandpashabet

  259. Pingback: grandpashabet

  260. Pingback: 늑대닷컴

  261. Pingback: Agen slot online

  262. Pingback: cream chargers delivery

  263. Pingback: superslot

  264. Pingback: freelance web developer

  265. Pingback: allgame

  266. Pingback: 918kiss

  267. Pingback: หวย24

  268. Pingback: Best skincare brands

  269. Pingback: pg slot

  270. Pingback: child porn

  271. Pingback: leak detection london

  272. Pingback: la bonne paye règle

  273. Pingback: cybersécurité

  274. Pingback: aplikasi slot online free spin

  275. Pingback: Relationship Therapy in London

  276. Pingback: east wind spa and hotel

  277. Pingback: health supplements

  278. Pingback: apply evisa online

  279. Pingback: 300 win mag ammo

  280. Pingback: sicarios baratos precio

  281. Pingback: SaaS Contracts Attorney

  282. Pingback: itsMasum.Com

  283. Pingback: itsMasum.Com

  284. Pingback: deux categorie de logiciel malveillant

  285. Pingback: systeme d exploitation

  286. Pingback: nangs Sydney

  287. Pingback: Nangs delivery 24/7

  288. Pingback: réparation chauffe eau Tours

  289. Pingback: url

  290. Pingback: boy chat

  291. Pingback: text with strangers

  292. Pingback: child porn

Have you done this? What can you add to this tip?