Oakland Raiders Film Room: Week 11 (Chargers)

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The Miles Burris Cup Check

LB Miles Burris is by no stretch of the imagination an elite NFL linebacker. Or even really an average starter for that matter. However, Burris has shown improvement over the season. After being thrust into a tough position the progress has been gradual, but it has been there, and this following play is evidence of that.

Credit: NFL Game Rewind

At the end of the first quarter San Diego uses a hybrid passing concept from 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE, 2 WRs) in order to exploit the Oakland zone defense. After the motion they have a 3×1 receiver alignment – the three receiver side runs a smash concept (outside receiver runs quick in route with the furthest inside receiver running a corner route) and the single receiver develops into a flood concept with TE John Phillips running the deep corner, WR Malcom Floyd coming across at the mid level crossing route, and RB Ryan Mathews drifting into the flat.

Conveniently enough, Oakland runs a hybrid coverage on this play from their 4-3 defense (4 DLs, 3 LBs, 4 DBs). The corners are in man coverage against WRs Keenan Allen and Floyd, while the linebackers match up with receivers through their intermediate zones but release them to the safeties on vertical routes. Burris plays it perfectly – riding Phillips through the vertical stem while keeping his eyes on the QB and breaking on the crossing route in front of him for the near interception. Though it’s hard to catch an interception with your crotch, he still breaks up the pass. This is the type of play Burris really struggled with earlier in the season.