1. NFL 101: Introducing the Basic Red-Zone Route Combinations

    In this installment of the "NFL 101" series at Bleacher Report, former NFL defensive back Matt Bowen breaks down the basic red-zone-route passing combinations to give you a better understanding of the scheme and its execution at the pro level...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 15 days ago 62,036 reads 12 comments

  2. For NFL Rookies, the Symposium Eliminates the Excuses

    During the 2000 Rookie Symposium out in San Diego, I, along with close to 300 other rookies, put condoms on bananas, sat through role-play sessions and watched as two beautiful women walked up on stage to reveal that they were HIV positive...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 16 days ago 24,408 reads 26 comments

  3. Lavonte David Primed for Star Turn Under Tutelage of Lovie Smith

    In just his second pro season, Lavonte David produced top-tier numbers (145 tackles, seven sacks, five interceptions, two forced fumbles) while showcasing a skill set that meshes with today’s game at the weak-side linebacker position...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 18 days ago 23,956 reads 66 comments

  4. NFL 101: Breaking Down the Basics of the Zone Blitz

    In this installment of the "NFL 101" series at Bleacher Report, former NFL defensive back Matt Bowen breaks down the basics of the zone blitz in order to give you a better understanding of the scheme and its execution at the pro level...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 22 days ago 51,454 reads 15 comments

  5. For NFL Players, There Is No Summer Vacation

    As minicamps wrap up across the league, what’s the next step for NFL players as they begin their “summer vacations” before reporting to camp in late July? ...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 23 days ago 38,250 reads 97 comments

  6. NFL 101: Introducing the Basics of Cover 4

    In today's installment of the "NFL 101" series at Bleacher Report, former NFL defensive back Matt Bowen breaks down the basics of Cover 4 to give you a better understanding of scheme and execution at the pro level...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 29 days ago 80,202 reads 16 comments

  7. Pain Is Just Part of the Game in the NFL

    Toradol shots, Vicodin , Percocet . Every player in the NFL has his own form of pain management to mask injuries for three hours of football on a Sunday afternoon with injections, pills, whatever...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 1 month ago 94,342 reads 112 comments

  8. Chip Kelly's Offense Presents Biggest Challenge to NFL Defensive Coordinators

    Breaking down Chip Kelly ’s offense in Philadelphia (with a focus on the core concepts), I have no problem calling this a West Coast-spread system in both the run and pass game...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 1 month ago 53,652 reads 263 comments

  9. NFL 101: Breaking Down the Basics of Packaged Plays

    In today’s installment of the “ NFL 101” series at Bleacher Report, former NFL defensive back Matt Bowen breaks down the basics of packaged plays to give you a better understanding of scheme and execution at the pro level...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 1 month ago 69,417 reads 12 comments

  10. Why Defensive Backs Have a Tough College-to-NFL Transition

    The top rookie defensive backs in the 2014 class have the speed, change-of-direction ability and ball skills to compete at the NFL level...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 1 month ago 39,549 reads 48 comments

  11. How New NFL Head Coaches Make Their Mark Early in Offseason Calendar

    Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve taken a deeper look at the offseason programs in the NFL through the eyes of both rookies and veterans as they start their prep for the 2014 season...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 1 month ago 51,877 reads 28 comments

  12. NFL 101: Introducing the Read-Option

    In today’s installment of the “ NFL 101” series at Bleacher Report, former NFL defensive back Matt Bowen breaks down the basics of the read-option to give you a better understanding of scheme and execution at the pro level...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 1 month ago 61,164 reads 71 comments

  13. Memo to NFL Rookies: Be Prepared to Play Special Teams

    For the majority of rookies, the ability to play special teams is the ticket to landing a roster spot when the final cuts are made before the start of the regular season...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 1 month ago 23,873 reads 17 comments

  14. Welcome to the NFL...Here's Your 1st Playbook

    As the transition to the NFL continues for rookies through OTAs, coaching sessions and the mandatory minicamps that will start next month, the playbook install is a vital piece of the developmental process...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 1 month ago 68,473 reads 68 comments

  15. NFL 101: Introducing the Zone-Running Game

    In today’s installment of the “ NFL 101” series at Bleacher Report, former NFL defensive back Matt Bowen breaks down the basics of the zone-running game to give you a better understanding of scheme and execution at the pro level...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 1 month ago 88,315 reads 26 comments

  16. The Hidden Value of NFL OTA Practices

    With NFL teams on the field for OTAs as they begin their prep work for the 2014 season, let’s discuss the hidden value of these offseason practice sessions with a focus on ...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 1 month ago 19,314 reads 21 comments

  17. Should NFL Teams 'Redshirt' Quarterbacks?

    There are positives to rookie quarterbacks taking a "redshirt" year as they learn how to study pro tape, scout opponents, work on their mechanics and improve their overall functional strength in the weight room...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 1 month ago 68,079 reads 169 comments

  18. NFL 101: Introducing the Power-Running Game

    In today’s installment of the “ NFL 101” series at Bleacher Report, former NFL defensive back Matt Bowen breaks down the basics of the power-running game to give you a better understanding of scheme and execution at the pro level...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 1 month ago 108,423 reads 31 comments

  19. NFL Draft 2014: Top Rookie Team-Scheme Fits

    Looking back at the 2014 NFL draft, let’s break down the rookies who have the opportunity to contribute early and play key roles because of their fit from a scheme perspective...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 1 month ago 96,398 reads 150 comments

  20. So You Just Got Drafted...Now What?

    Sitting in a window seat on a short flight from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to St. Louis just four days after the 2000 NFL draft, I felt like a young kid, or a freshman, on the first day of class...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 2 months ago 105,276 reads 104 comments

  21. Picks I Loved, Picks I Questioned from Day 1 of the NFL Draft

    With the doors closed on the first round of the 2014 NFL draft, I'll run through the picks that were high on my list along with some that I questioned based on need and fit at the next level...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 2 months ago 37,078 reads 62 comments

  22. An Inside Look at the Draft-Day Experience

    The first call came at the beginning of the fourth round. Sitting at the kitchen table at my parents' place in suburban Chicago during the 2000 NFL draft, I made my way through ...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 2 months ago 34,724 reads 35 comments

  23. Johnny Manziel: Tale of the Tape for 2014 Draft Prospect

    Johnny Manziel showcased a unique ability to make plays during his two seasons at Texas A&M versus top-tier SEC competition...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 2 months ago 27,906 reads 103 comments

  24. NFL 101: Introducing the Basics of Cover 3

    In today's installment of the "NFL 101" series, former NFL defensive back Matt Bowen breaks down the basics of Cover 3 to give you a better understanding of the game. Click here for a breakdown of Cover 1...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 2 months ago 86,377 reads 35 comments

  25. 2014 NFL Draft: Who's on Matt Bowen's Draft Radar?

    With the opening night of the NFL draft just over a week away, let’s run through the prospects who have the skill sets needed to transition to the pro game...

    Matt  Bowen Written by Matt Bowen about 2 months ago 29,807 reads 21 comments