The Battle At Field Corner

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The Battle At Field Corner

Field Corner:

Robbie Buckner 5-10 170

 I was his big brother when he was a redshirt freshman and loved watching this kids progression.  First off he has phenomenal feet.  The former 3-A 400 meter champion is extremely athletic and can do it all.  He has ok size, but really he’s not that much different from recent pro bowlers in the NFL.  We won’t have the tackling problems we had last year with him or any other of the field corners for that matter because he actually wraps up.  Although he does have a tendency to over pursue.

 Robbie does really well in one on one’s because of his ability to change directions.  He carries most of his weight in his lower body and is very explosive.  I would say his jumping ability is decent but not fantastic and he might have trouble with some of the bigger receivers.  His back peddle is low and extremely smooth.  I always enjoyed watching him do footwork drills because of how quick his transitions were.

One thing that I think he must change though is the helmet he uses.  I know it sounds stupid, but the old Riddell revolution with its extended jaw, doesn’t allow for a full head swivel.  The shell will hit your shoulder pads as you turn your head.  And unless you have a long neck like Larry Fitzgerald, you’re better off getting a different helmet. 

 Everyone is really excited about him because they say “he has been in the system one year prior to the mission”, yeah that’s some what true but it’s false to make the claim that he has a huge advantage.  My logic is this: he didn’t have game time experience, whereas the JC corners did.  He was on the scout team for 1 year.  Did he learn our base coverages the year he was on the scout team? Somewhat, but he really isn’t that much farther ahead because of that one year.  

Is he farther ahead? Yes, but he is farther ahead right now because Scott Johnson worked with him all summer watching film.  When the leadership counsel met with the coaches to decide depth charts and get opinions, Robbie was on top of the list at field corner.

Most importantly, when you can get the scheme down, then you can react on instincts and make plays.   So he does have that competitive advantage.  The fact that he is starting right now is huge!  Now it’s his spot to lose.  If he doesn’t make mistakes you can expect him to be starting against OU.  The intangible here is that Rich and Johnson trust him.  And that goes a long way.

 

Brian Logan 5-9 195

 Brian Logan is a stout kid with some pipes on him.  He could definitely play some boundary with is build.  Maybe they should cross train him some?   First thing I liked about this kid is that after he intercepts the ball, he takes it to the house.  What more can you ask for? When he is running in traffic after a pick, he keeps his feet well, hopping and juking as he weaves through opponents. 

The video didn’t show much of his technique in coverage.  Not one of the angles really showed me his back peddle or initial alignment.  Nevertheless, you could see that he was a playmaker and some what of a ball hawk flying around the field. 

He showed excellent tackling ability.  It seems he really enjoys contact, which is imperative in college football.  He really explodes through his opponent, but more importantly, he takes the correct angles to the ball carrier.  On one particular play he shot low through the lead blockers legs and even ended up making the tackle.  Taking out a lead blocker while making the tackle is quite the accomplishment, I get more excited seeing that than I do a pass break up.

Judging by his statistics from his 2008 season, he received his scholarship offer because of his 2007 season.  Lets hope that isn’t a foreshadowing of what is to come. From his film I counted that he racked up 5 int’s his freshmen year, and 1 his sophmore year.  Even though I’m somewhat leery of JC transfers and the hype that surrounds them.  I think Brian Logan will end up being a good player for the Cougs.  These first few weeks these JC corners and going to have a tough time getting in shape, but as soon as they get their legs under them, each will be vying for their respectable starting jobs.

 

 Corby Eason 5-10 180

 

The most positive thing about getting this kid is that we have him for 3 years instead of two.  That’s huge for developmental purposes.  I made huge strides in 05 when I did not play, As I’m sure Eason will if he has anything that resembles a work ethic in that body of his.

The first thing I noticed about him on film was that he looks a little awkward in pads.  Maybe at the JC where he played they didn’t have shoulder pads that fit him, so they gave him linebacker pads.  At any rate, he won’t have that problem at BYU.  (Thanks you private donors for the equipment)  The next thing I took note of is that he has a solid baseball turn in coverage.  As a defensive back, it is a handy tool to have in your arsenal.  Many times as you are in your back peddle, (especially against faster receivers) WR’s will close on your cushion quickly (distance between you and the receiver).  In order not to get beat deep, you have to prep your hips and turn either way.  Sometimes it’s a guessing game if he has not stemmed you inside or outside.  As soon as you find yourself turned, all of the sudden the WR will break the opposite way from where you are turned.  If you are coached well, you will naturally whip your head around and your body will follow, you won’t lose a step and you will be in great position to make a play.  He executed it perfectly on a post pattern, and consequently broke up the pass. 

Eason has great initial explosion, but on many of the blocked field goals, he went untouched by the blockers.   Honestly, the JC’s they were playing looked like high school teams with the amount of execution displayed on special teams.

I really like his back peddle.  He stays low, on his toes and is smooth.  When you are smooth in your back peddle you are able to see what is going on around you.  You can see your receiver, the quarterback peripherally and the flow of the play.  To be a playmaker you must be able to see everything IMHO. 

One thing I did not like about his technique is that he never got a quarterback read.  This means you have your eyes inside and you are seeing if the quarterback is doing a quick step, 3 step, 5 step, 7 step or boot.  This can be the difference between making plays, and just being in a good position, like we saw last year with Brandon Howard.

He was always inside shade and kept his eye locked on the receiver the whole time.  I like that on some plays, but he will need to be more versatile in our system.   The positive to this technique is that hopefully he will never give up a post pattern

I loved his tackling ability.  He stays low on tackles and drives through his opponent which is now a common theme amongst our DB’s, Hallelujah!.   I think he has a competitive mentality and wants to finish plays.  After slipping down on a break he got up and made the play.   That never give up mentality is something Bronco wants out of each of his players.

Some of the negatives that I saw:  Against the better quarterbacks he was a good 5 yards off when the receiver caught the ball.  This is due to arm strength and timing of the more efficient QB’s and WR’s, but also because he doesn’t get a step read from the QB initially and back peddles quickly too soon (thus increasing the cushion).  I would have like to have seen more int’s, but he did show his ball hawking ability.  Every time the ball was fumbled or was flung into the air randomly, he would catch the ball mid sprint and take it the other way. 

Eason has great potential and has enough time to develop it.  I don’t think he will see much PT this year, but we’ll see some good things from him in the future.

 

Landon Jaussi 6-3 210

 

I look at this kids size and speed and I start drooling.  With this build I’d be in the NFL right now lighting up fools.  I really think Jaussi could be an “Ace in the hole” for our secondary.  He is a legit 4.4/4.5 guy that can blow people away with his weight lifting marks.  Now there’s a huge difference between gym strength and football strength, but if he learns how to transition it… watch out. 

We also know he can catch, which we couldn’t say about me, or Gooch. =) It’s always disheartening when you drop a potential interception and hopefully we don’t see him drop any. 

I personally like him better at boundary corner, but I’m sure he is still having trouble transforming his finesse (like) receiver attitude into the hard nosed “I’ll take your head off” defensive attitude.  For that reason they moved him to field corner for now.  The other challenge that Jaussi will face is learning how to transition from his back peddle to the post or fade patterns.  He is long and if he doesn’t stay compact and keep his back peddle short and quick he will be tripping over himself like an uncoordinated stork.

From what I’m told, Jaussi has a good grasp of the defensive scheme and his assignments.  He’s just waiting for a chance to show what he can do.  The key for Jaussi is to prove that he can make plays in a one on one setting.  Until he starts going against the 1’s and 2’s during the one on one drills and knocks down passes, he won’t get any looks during team. 

Let me tell you why.  With all the hype circulating about these JC’s guys, the white walk-on is the last to get an opportunity to shine (trust me.. I’ve been there).  Why?  Well you have alumni and donors that want the coaches to play those that have been recruited. Those who are surrounded by hype and are “proven” players in some peoples view influences others at times.  They don’t want players to play that were not “good enough” for a scholarship.  To some, it makes it look like the coaches are bad recruiters.  Therefore, those that are recruited will for the most part, get more opportunity to shine (Although BYU is one of the best places to walk on). 

Jaussi has to be loud and make a statement whenever he can.  He needs to use his physical stature and actually do something with it.

 

 

Criddle

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