I'm not going to pretend to hide my bias towards Kyle Orton getting a shot at being the Kansas City Chiefs starting quarterback in 2012. I just need to get that out of the way right now because it may show itself while reading this post. As I've said several times over the past week, I am not saying I believe he's going to lead us to the Super Bowl next year necessarily, but I'm more open to thinking we can fix his red-zone issues and occasional turnovers than we can Cassel's comfortability in the pocket and accuracy.
So my original intent with this post was to use clips that showed Orton going through progressions and what that actually looks like from a NFL quarterback. But while re-watching the game a few other plays stuck out that needed to be shared as well. So you all probably know the drill by now but in case you're reading this weekly post for the first time here's what's going on.
After the jump we'll have links to 10 different plays from the Chiefs victory over the Packers, and a little description of each play. I'm not any kind of film-breakdown expert, I'm just detailing what I am seeing in these plays. It's hard sometimes without the coaches film to see the field from the endzone angle, which is best for this kind of thing. But check out these plays and let me know what you're thinking as far as what's going on with them too.
Thanks again to Clay for cutting up these clips and making this possible. Follow me after the jump to see these plays.
First play. 13:50 in first quarter 3rd and 8.
It doesn't take that long for Orton to show his Chiefs teammates that he was ready to step in and make plays for this team. The very first 3rd down he faced on the Chiefs first offensive drive showed us two very important things about Kyle Orton. He will step into throws when he knows he's about to get hit and he keeps his eyes downfield regardless of what is right in front of him.
It doesn't show in this clip but Orton was adjusting the blocking scheme pre-snap when he sees the blitz coming. Anthony Becht either didn't understand, or it wasn't adjusted correctly, but a free man comes off the edge and has a free path to Orton. It doesn't get any clearer to the quarterback than what #42 has right here. Try and pause the clip right after Orton gets to his last step in his drop. You'll see the angle Orton has and that he KNOWS a guy is coming, there's no way he doesn't feel him or see him out of his peripheral. But you also get to see how long Orton knows he must wait for the wide receiver to finish off his route. It's part of the reason I love this view of the play, you can almost tell how Orton knows he's going to get hit but still has to wait to make the play. I can see many quarterbacks breaking off out of the pocket and trying to make a play outside the pocket.
A QB has to make a very quick decision right here and I don't think that this skill can be taught, you're either staying in or bailing out. Orton stayed in there and he kept his eyes downfield. He knew he was going to get hit but he also knew that he had to wait in order to throw the ball at the correct time. His reaction was staying in and making the play. Well done sir.
Second play. 12:15 in the 2nd. 2nd and 4.
This is what going through your progressions looks like and how it affects a defense. We learned Sunday that Kyle Orton is a very good play action passer, and this is one of those plays. Look carefully at how Orton is first looking towards Steve Breaston off to the left and then casually moves on to Bowe. And then notice how his first look towards Breaston affected #26 and especially #51 for Green Bay's defense in their coverage right in the middle of the field. They moved with what Orton was doing and it took them to their right initially. Without looking that way first, I'm not sure #51 isn't right there to intercept this ball.
It's nothing spectacular but it's something that we didn't see a ton of from Matt Cassel. And after re-watching every play of every game several times this season, I can tell you on one hand how many times I saw a play like this from Cassel this year. And I had actually included each of those plays in this post-series earlier in the season as proof that he had actually done it before. But I also went into several games looking for this very specific thing from Cassel and found very few examples.
Third play. 1st and 10 with 5:45 in the 2nd.
Who the hell is this guy? I had to throw this in this post because the play is too awesome to not watch again. Thomas Jones showing agility to allude the first would-be tackler, short-area burst to get by the second guy, and pure strength and determination to fight for that extra three yards on the third guy. I see you working TJ.
Fourth play. 1st and 10 7:20 in 3rd quarter.
How many times did we see Cassel throw to the open short route in these cases? On this particular play it would be Jackie Battle out of the backfield. Pope could have been the 4th progression on this play, although it's a little hard to tell. Maybe Orton was using his eyes and shoulders to move the safety and get Pope open. But Bowe looks to be the first option, then Battle and Breaston, and then finally Pope across the middle. Either way he was using the whole field and reading the defense. Something that's nice to see.
Next play. 2nd and 10 with 7:04 in 3rd quarter.
DON'T PANIC, DON'T PANIC. He doesn't.
Fifth play. 1st and 10 with 14:48 in 4th quarter.
Staying relaxed and waiting for the right time to throw the ball to the right guy. I am comfortable with saying that this is a good example of a play that Cassel would not have made.
Sixth play. 2nd and 10 with 10:02 in the 4th.
I've had examples of Tyson Jackson several times in this weekly series and I could have used several different plays from him in this game. But I also showed Wallace Gillberry and Allen Bailey struggling earlier in the season as the two down lineman in our dime defense and I thought their improvement deserved notice. Well done boys.
Seventh play. 3rd and 10 with 9:24 in 4th.
How about Bailey on the next play?
Eighth play. 3rd and goal with 4:58 in 4th.
Jon Asamoah pulls around and takes out two defenders, and then dismisses one after Battle reached the endzone.
Ninth play. 2nd and 6 with 1:42 in 4th.
The entire offensive line does well on this play but something small stood out to me and I'd like to point it out to everyone. I know that the fact that Jared Gaither is doing well in San Diego is frustrating to a lot of people and this comment isn't to disuade that in any way. But for the 17th year in a row it would seem like most of the 'experts' have the Chiefs looking at tackles in the first round and moving Albert from his left tackle position. Most of it doesn't have to do with Albert was much as it does with some of the other positions (LG). But watching his footwork on this running play shows me something that Jared Gaither couldn't do. I try and watch the OL's footwork and this is an example of the athleticism needed to seal the edge on a run and something we'll see a lot of next year with JC back in the lineup.Those are some pretty athletic moves from a guy that size at that position.
That's it for this week folks. For the first time all season I will be able to watch the Chiefs next game from Arrowhead stadium, as opposed to a bar in San Diego. Some tailgating is in my future....