Bengals-Steelers play to watch: 82 Stay Sluggo Seam
Andy Dalton won't be mistaken for a prototypical quarterback for the West Coast offense anytime soon.
But that hasn't stopped offensive coordinator Jay Gruden from integrating parts of the scheme into the Bengals' playbook to take advantage of dynamic wide receiver A.J. Green and a pair of athletic tight ends in Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert.
One of the Bengals' favorite West Coast-flavor plays is the 82 stay sluggo seam.
It can be run with multiple personnel groupings and out of different formations, but it is geared to take advantage of an active free safety in the middle of the field to get a tight end over the top of the defense for a potential big play.
It's a play that turned around their Week 2 meeting with the Steelers when Dalton connected with Eifert for 61 yards on a first-and-10 late in the first quarter of a 3-0 game. It led to a Giovani Bernard touchdown run two plays later.
“They create mismatch issues and problems,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “They are big guys. They are vertical capable. They challenge you in that way. We have to be prepared to deal with those things.”
The Bengals like to run the play on early downs to make the play-action more effective.
Cincinnati lines up with Bernard in a single-back set with receiver Marvin Jones wide left and Green wide right. Gresham lines up to the right a yard outside right tackle Andre Smith with Eifert a couple of feet to Gresham's right and in the slot.
The “stay” indicates the right end (Gresham) must stay in and pass protect — most likely the left outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, while the “82” tells the offensive line to slide protect (block the guy in front of him).
Green will run a quick out drawing the nickel back while Bernard runs a circle route out of the backfield as a possible check-down.
The key is the sluggo, or slant and go, by the receiver on the weak side.
Dalton will take a three-step drop and pump fake to the receiver running the slant. The receiver then will go upfield, making him the first read.
The pump fake, however, typically draws the free safety to that side, leaving the tight end (Z receiver) open down the seam if there is one high safety.
Two high safeties will force the tight end to split the safeties. Either way, the tight end has to “win” the matchup with the safeties and get down the seam for what is an easy throw for a quarterback and possibly a big gain.
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.
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.
- Steelers’ Roethlisberger still hurting after hard hit from Ravens’ Upshaw
- Steelers notebook: RT Gilbert not in danger of losing his job
- Steelers veteran defenders want young teammates to step up
- Steelers not receiving big returns on their offseason investments
- Steelers’ Brown combats disruptive defensive ploys
- Mistakes multiply for Steelers in rout by Ravens
- Steelers notebook: Defense sags in NFL rankings because of struggles against the run
- Steelers film session: Missed tackles prove costly
- Play to watch: Expect Ravens to heavily use stretch bootleg
- NFL looking for boost with Thursday night games, starting with Steelers-Ravens
- Steelers’ Bell gets bulk of team’s touches