Play Breakdown: Dolphins' Clemons Fails Fundamental Task

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As Goodson moves up-field in his run, the play is dictated by what Clemons has done.  The defender highlighted with yellow arrow has been forced to abandon his angle because Clemons stepped into the pursuit line forcing Goodson to continue straight.  The cornerback is arrowed in blue and tried to break his block by spinning away thus leaving his back to the ball carrier.  Clemons in red is already re-adjusting his angle to pursue instead of meet.  Given the straight run by Goodson and the 2 yards that separates him from Clemons, Clemons is out of position to make an impact on this play.  A rewind of this play shows that Clemons over committed to this run long before Goodson reached the 50.

 

This is a rewind of about 2 seconds from the previous image to illustrate more clearly the difference the correct angle can make.  The large black circle was the point of up-field turn for Goodson off the screen.  The standing defender was already out of pursuit when Goodson made it to the outside.  At this point, five yards from the 50 we already see a flat footed Clemons behind the block of Bey on the corner.  Goodson isn’t even looking at him but instead looking at the defender (highlighted with the blue arrow and yellow vision line).  Goodson knows that he can’t cut inside, not because of Clemons but because of the other defender who has the right angle and containment.

 

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