Browns play to watch: 3 Wide Y Shallow Cross
The NFL is all about offensive matchups.
Coaches go to great lengths to try to create matchups that will result in big plays, and Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress is no different.
It starts with trying to get one of their speedy receivers matched up on a linebacker, and the way to accomplish that is through formations, especially on early downs.
The Browns did that last month against the Steelers on the first play of the game when Lawrence Timmons got matched up on Josh Gordon on a “3-wide shallow Y cross.”
Gordon crossed the formation and picked up 26 yards — 23 after the catch.
The play is simple but confusing because of its formation, with a lot of movement before the snap.
The Browns line up in an I-formation with trips tight to the left and receiver Greg Little wide to the right.
Before the snap, tight end Benjamin Watson flips to the right side and sets at the end of the line, while Cameron Jordan splits out wide left at the numbers. Gordon moves a couple feet to his left and into the slot.
At the snap, Jordan runs a deep curl and Little a deep slant to take the free safety and strong safety out of the middle of the field.
Watson runs a curl in the middle and takes an inside linebacker with him, while running back Montario Hardesty flares into the left flat to bring the right outside linebacker with him.
That sets up Gordon for one-on-one coverage with an inside linebacker.
Gordon avoids the jam of the outside linebacker, who then covers the running back in the slot, and runs a shallow cross across the formation.
Quarterback Thad Lewis, making his first start, will wait until Gordon clears the far hash marks before delivering the ball in stride. Gordon will be able to turn up the field for big yardage if he beats the linebacker trailing him.
The Browns want to get the ball to Gordon, a speedy receiver who was a rookie supplemental pick out of Baylor.
Gordon (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) has 46 catches for 766 yards and five touchdowns. His 308 yards after the catch is 10th in the NFL.
Gordon has struggled lately.
He caught one pass for 6 yards in Denver last week when the Browns were throttled, 34-12. A week earlier, he was held to three catches for 27 yards by the Redskins.
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Stupid Steelers
- Steelers running backs Bell, Blount will face drug charges
- It’s only exhibition, but these Steelers could solidify roster spots vs. Eagles
- Commitment by Steelers’ Gilbert pays off
- Steelers are hoping to mirror Eagles’ full-bore, no-huddle offense
- Run game not primary focal point for Steelers
- Steelers re-sign Keisel to bolster depth on defensive line
- Rossi: Blount brings back Steelers’ swagger
- Steelers notebook: Polamalu not concerned with being old man among safeties
- Steelers defensive end Thomas is finding success on the field
- Steelers believe Wheaton ready to step in as No. 2 receiver