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BEREA Linki görebilmek için giriş yapmanız ya da üye olmanız gerekir. , Ohio (AP) — Somewhat lost and overlooked amid Baker Mayfield's public spat with former Browns coach Hue Jackson is that the rookie's playing at an elite level.This quarterback isn't all talk.Mayfield had a November to remember, completing 74 percent of his passes (65 of 88) while leading the Browns (4-6-1) to two wins and the edge of serious playoff possibilities. The No. 1 overall pick has thrown nine touchdown passes and just one interception in his past three games while earning a 129.5 rating — second only to New Orleans star Drew Brees.Nothing fake about those numbers.Mayfield, who threw a season-high four TD passes last week — is the first rookie in NFL history to record ratings of 140-plus in consecutive games, and his efforts earned him rookie of the month honors.Rookie of the year may be next.It's not a coincidence that Mayfield's recent rise came after Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley were fired. With running backs coach Freddie Kitchens taking over for Haley and calling plays, Cleveland's offense has played with a faster tempo, has been more versatile and efficient.Mayfield is getting rid of the ball much quicker, spreading it around to his playmakers and making better decisions.It would be easy to surmise Jackson was holding him back, but Mayfield doesn't think that's the case."No," Mayfield said. "I mean, obviously the easiest answer would be to look on that and say, ‘Yeah, I've played a lot better since then.' But that's not it. It's just been about me doing my job and doing it at a high level. So it's not about that. I wouldn't blame that at all."Still, it's worth considering where the Browns would be if Mayfield had begun the season as the starter and not Tyrod Taylor's backup.But that's irrelevant now as Mayfield has the Browns winning — they snapped a 25-game road losing streak last week at Cincinnati — and playing in meaningful December games, starting with Sunday's matchup in Houston against the Texans Linki görebilmek için giriş yapmanız ya da üye olmanız gerekir. , who have won eight in a row.With his impressive career start, Mayfield has converted numerous doubters who thought he was either too small or too smug to succeed.Texans star Deshaun Watson isn't surprised by anything Mayfield has done. Watson and Mayfield are friends, their bond beginning as college rivals and strengthened as offseason workout partners.Watson has been around Mayfield long enough to see how players, teams and cities gravitate toward the No. 1 overall draft pick."I saw that when he was playing at Texas Tech and saw it at Oklahoma," Watson said. "That is what drew me closer to him, want to be around him and get to know him a little better because I can feed off of that energy that he gives off. Everyone wants to play with him. The guy is a playmaker."He is playing very well. That is the reason why they are having a lot of success because he is leading that team, he is leading that organization and he is going to have a bright future, a bright career, win a lot of games, win championships and do a lot of things for himself and that organization."Mayfield might be in his first season, but Kitchens said Cleveland's staff isn't modifying any aspect of the game plan because of his inexperience.No time for that."There is not babying him into anything," Kitchens said. "He is doing a good job. He works hard during the course of the week. He puts time in after hours and before hours. He is doing a good job of staying focused on the task at hand inside of one play, inside of one read, inside of one practice and one game. That is how you continue to progress. It is not overwhelming him or anything like that. It is just continuing his progress on a play-by-play basis."NOTES: Kitchens joined the chorus of Mayfield supporters who had no problem with the QB objecting to Jackson taking a job with Cincinnati or calling his former coach "fake." day. Haley said Mayfield had every right to speak his mind. "If he said it Linki görebilmek için giriş yapmanız ya da üye olmanız gerekir. , that's what he feels," Kitchens said. "And I'm standing behind Baker Mayfield. … Suddenly it's big news if we don't want to turn it into a Kumbaya after the game and turn it into fist bumps and hugs. I don't think Baker disrespected anybody in what he said. He spoke what he felt." As Browns fans, you are probably familiar with (what turned out to be) the surplus of coaching talent on former head coach Bill Belichick’s 1995 staff. It included coaches such as Jim Schwartz, Kirk Ferentz, Eric Mangini, and Nick Saban (not to mention front office personnel Scott Pioli, Phil Savage, Ozzie Newsome, Michael Lombardi, and Thomas Dimitroff).Many former members of that Browns’ staff have gone on to varying levels of success but arguably none have enjoyed the kind of success that Saban is currently experiencing at the University of Alabama.Oddly enough, one of the adjustments that Saban, Belichick, and company made in Cleveland ended up being one of Saban’s most influential scheme innovations. This innovation has spread so far, in fact Linki görebilmek için giriş yapmanız ya da üye olmanız gerekir. , that it appears to have influenced new Cleveland Browns Defensive Coordinator Steve Wilks. This invention was a Pattern Match Cover 3 zone coverage, or more specifically the “Liz/Rip” adjustment to Cover 3. “Pattern match” zone coverage refers to a set of rules for playing a sort of matchup zone, and if Saban and Belichick didn’t invent this concept outright in Cleveland they at least brought it to prominence at exactly the right time. Fast forward 20 years and many of the defensive schemes that are able to contain today’s offenses rely on pattern matching.Speaking at a coaching clinic, Saban explained the reason that 95 Browns staff made the innovation. If a defense covers every receiver and keeps two safeties deep, they have a good chance to cover the pass but they lack the numbers in the box to stop the run. If the defense leaves only one safety deep, they have the numbers to stop the run but are more vulnerable against the pass. This is a classic defensive conundrum, and the 94 Browns were no exception.Above, Saban outlined two passing concepts that are commonly used against a single high safety look. “Seattle” aka “Four Verts” is designed to attack the seams in Cover 3:via the 2001 LSU Defensive PlaybookAnd “Pole” looks exactly like four verticals until the inside receivers break off their routes. Saban continued:via Brophy’s blog“Rip” and “Liz” are calls that Sabans’ defenses make to alert the defense as to which side the safety will drop into the box. And the Rip/Liz concept refers specifically to Saban’s style of Cover 3 match:via the 2008 Alabama Defensive PlaybookAs you might imagine, “Rip” is short for right, while “Liz” is short for left. In this case, the call is to alert the underneath defenders of where a deep safety will drop down and insert himself into the coverage. Note that Rip/Liz is a call that Saban uses exclusively to adjust to 2x2 sets.In Rip/Liz, Saban’s corners are going to take the #1 receiver (the widest receiver to their side) man to man unless that receiver runs inside in the first 5 yards. If #1 is inside, the corner makes an “under” call and zones off.move your cursor over the image to slide between imagesThe next defender inside will take #2 (the second widest receiver) man to man unless he runs inside within the first 5 yards. This player has the critical job of keeping their receiver out of the seam. The help in Cover 3 is in the middle of the field, both short and deep. So this defender will attempt to squeeze any seam route from the outside-in Linki görebilmek için giriş yapmanız ya da üye olmanız gerekir. , funneling the route to the middle of field safety.move your cursor over the image to slide between imagesAlso of note: this player must maintain outside leverage, which is key to defending the “Pole” concept. If this player plays with proper leverage and technique, he is responsible for defending what Saban considers to be two of the most threatening pass routes vs Cover 3. If #2 is under, this player will drop under a potential curl by #1, then look for work in the flat:The next defender inside will first listen for an “under” call from the opposite side of the formation. If he gets that call, he will cut any underneath crossing route . With no “under” call he will match #3 to his side (in this case, the RB). move your cursor over the image to slide between imagesIf #3 goes the other way and there is no under call, he will zone off:When executed well, pattern matching Cover 3 such as Rip/Liz can handle all of the common route combinations while still allowing the defense to get enough men in the box to stop the run.Up nextI’ll look at new Browns Defensive Coordinator Steve Wilks’ brand of Cover 3, which is one of the most common coverages you are likely to see from the Browns next year.
 
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