Film Room Answers : Players Revealed!

Welcome back! Let’s dive right in and reveal the answers to yesterday’s film room questions. We’ll break each question down using the three identifiers we’ve been talking about this week: number, context, and roster.

Question 1: Identify the following players and their position: 84 (Falcons), and 43 (Panthers)

Number: Let’s start with 84 for the Falcons. From his number alone, we know that 84 on offense is either a tight end or a wide receiver. Since defensive backs wear numbers between 20-49, we can be nearly 100% certain that 43 for the Panthers is a defensive back.

Context: 84 is aligned on the outside of the formation and runs way down the field to catch the ball. All signs point to him being a wide receiver. 43 is in the mix with the receiver trying to break up the pass, further proof that he is indeed a defensive back.

Roster: To double check our work, all we have to do is double check the roster for both teams in 2012.Roddy White, 84, is a wide receiver for the Falcons, and Haruki Nakamura, 43, is a free safety for the Panthers.

Question 2: Identify the following players and their positions: 39 (Patriots), 25 (Broncos)

Number: This is a case in which both numbers only have a single option: 39 is within the range for running backs, and 25 is within the range for defensive backs. It doesn’t get much easier than that! But let’s take a closer look just to test ourselves further.

Context: We see 39 come out of the backfield and run the ball. He’s wearing a number that only defines running backs. It’d be a pretty far stretch to say that this guy is anything other than a running back. As for 25, we see him lined up at the far side of the formation at the start of the play and move across the field to the ball to make a tackle. His uniform number and method of pursuit make a pretty good case for defensive back.

Roster: The roster confirms it! Danny Woodhead, 39, is a running back for the Patriots, and Chris Harris, 25, is a cornerback for the Broncos.

That one was way too easy. So I gave you a challenge with this next one.

Question 3: Identify the following players and their positions: 75 (Packers), and 99 (Texans)

Number: 75 on offense is either an offensive lineman or possibly a center. 99 on defense is either a lineman or a linebacker. Tricky, tricky!

Context: Here’s the litmus test: does 75 snap the ball? No. So he’s not the center. He’s aligned two spaces to the right of the center, which would make him the right tackle. Let’s take a look at 99. He’s on the defensive line, but he’s not on the outside edge and he’s not in a two-point stance – two defining factors of linebackers. Since he’s of larger build and he’s an outer defensive lineman, all clues point to him being a defensive end. There’s also a tell-tale jump as the ball is being thrown that may give you a hint as to which player this is…

Roster: Bryan Bulaga, 75, is an offensive tackle for the Packers. And J.J. Watt, aka “J.J. Swatt,” is 99, a defensive end for the Houston Texans. J.J. has earned his nickname – if he knows he’s not going to get to the quarterback, he does a great job of distracting him while he throws, often knocking the ball off-course with his huge hands and feared jump.

Question 4: Identify the following players and their positions: 44 (Bucs), and 50 (Saints)

Number: 44 on offense could either be a tight end or a running back. 50 on defense could either be a center or a linebacker.

Context: I kind of feel bad for 44 that we have to watch him take these hits; he runs into a wall of Saints every single down. His responsibility on all 4 downs is to block, not run, and he’s not aligned in the backfield on any play. Those signs point to him being a tight end, not a running back. As for 50, let’s go back to our previous litmus test: does he snap the ball? Nope! So he’s not a center; he’s a linebacker.

Roster: Roster says…Dallas Clark, 44, is a tight end for the Bucs, and Curtis Lofton, 50, is a linebacker for the Saints.

So how’d we do, gang? Any problems? Do you feel more than ready to tackle the regular season once it finally arrives?!?!

Film Room : Name That Player

We’re going back in time in today’s film room post to further break down film we’ve already broken down. Because we’re just that intense! We’ll be taking a closer look at the first four weeks of film and identifying two players in each big play using the lessons we learned in Monday’s fundamentals post.

And because it’s been far too long since we’ve had a good old fashioned quiz around here, we’re going to up the ante and do questions today, answers tomorrow.

Gazelle-like intensity, I tell ya.

Ok peeps, here we go. In each video, I’m going to ask you to identify a specific player on the offense and defense. Use the workflow we talked about on Monday to figure it out: uniform number, context, roster. Watch the video, jot down your answers to the question, and check back tomorrow to see if your answers are correct.

In our first film room post we learned how the Falcons worked together to create Roddy White’s phenomenal catch against the Panthers.

Question 1: Identify the following players and their position: 84 (Falcons), and 43 (Panthers)

The following week we moved on to the Patriots vs. Broncos and saw the Patriots do what they do: turn a 3rd and 17 into a first down.

Question 2: Identify the following players and their positions: 39 (Patriots), 25 (Broncos)

Next, we moved onto my favorite film room week: the big Packers victory over the Texans on Sunday Night in Week 6.

Question 3: Identify the following players and their positions: 75 (Packers), and 99 (Texans)

Finally, we went back to the Creamsicle game.

I’m sorry.

Question 4: Identify the following players and their positions: 44 (Bucs), and 50 (Saints)

Ok, gang! Hop to it! See you all back here tomorrow for the answers.

(You’ll all be 4 for 4, I’m sure!)

History Lesson : Theismann’s Big Break

By now, you’ve probably seen or at least heard about the gruesome injury suffered by Louisville men’s basketball player Kevin Ware. I was working upstairs with the TV on mute while the game was on so I could look up at the score every now and then, but it was on live downstairs so I could still faintly hear what was going on.

football, players, theismann

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The commotion that followed Kevin Ware’s injury, however, was anything but faint. I looked up just in time to see the second replay of what has to be the worst injury I’ve ever witnessed with my own two eyes on a television screen. If you’ve not seen it…don’t seek it out. It’s one of those injuries you can’t un-see. Just know that Ware’s leg snapped beneath him like a twig through a lawnmower, his teammates were so dismayed that they were throwing up on the sidelines, and his head coach was in tears.

Joe Theismann, former quarterback of the Washington Redskins, is probably one of the only people who can truly empathize with Ware.

Today's History Lesson features the only person in the world who understands exactly what Kevin Ware is going through: Joe Theismann.

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Theismann was a star at Notre Dame in his college days and was initially drafted to the Miami Dolphins in 1971, though he decided to spend 3 years as a quarterback in the Canadian Football League instead due to problems with contract negotiations with the Dolphins. In 1974 he was obtained by the Washington Redskins and finally got his chance to be a starting quarterback for the Redskins in 1978. Another 4 years later, in 1982, he led the Redskins to their first Super Bowl win in 40 years.

His career as the Redskins starter continued until a Monday night in 1985 in a home game against the Giants. In the second quarter, Theismann handed the ball off to RB John Riggins, who pitched it back to Joe on a flea flicker pass. He dropped back to find an open receiver and was sacked by Hall of Fame Linebacker Lawrence Taylor. It would be the hit that ended his career.

Theismann’s leg immediately snapped in two, and was so badly broken that Lawrence Taylor was the first one to jump up off the pile and frantically motion for the Redskins training staff to come onto the field to help. It was so badly broken that L.T. didn’t stop there – he ran over to the Redskins sideline to get their orthopedic surgeon, Charles Jackson, who had been on the job for three weeks. In an interview about that night he recalled, “I just remember L.T. coming over and grabbing me. I hadn’t seen the play, and when I went out on the field, I looked down at Joe’s leg and his bone was sticking through his sock. Remember, I’ve only been doing this for three weeks, and I’m saying to myself, ‘Oh, man, what have I gotten myself into here?’ “

Perhaps the best part of this story is Joe’s memory of being transferred from the ambulance to the hospital: “When we pulled up there, as they were transferring me from the ambulance to a stretcher, they actually forgot to pick up my right leg. It just kind of flopped down. I remember saying to the attendant, ‘Hey, can you just grab the rest of me?'”

No big deal.

Sadly, Theismann would never return to play in the NFL again. And neither he nor Taylor would ever watch the tape of the play that ended his career.

Theismann, always the class act, has reached out to Kevin Ware this week during his recovery and has let it be known that he’ll be supporting Ware 100% throughout his recovery.

Because if anyone knows what he’s going through, it’s Joe.

Player Profile : Vick Ballard

I had to look up this kid’s name before I put it in the title of this player profile. That’s how little of a splash the rookie running back made in the draft (170th pick) and in the season so far.

But on Sunday, he scored his first touchdown of the season. And it just so happened to be the winning TD in the Colts overtime victory against the Titans. And it also just so happened to be one of the most amazing touchdown plays you’ll ever see:

Here’s what Ballard had to say about his breakout performance, as per Peter King:

“I knew I was going to dive for the pylon. I did it twice in college and didn’t make it. Once, I fumbled through the end zone. The other time, I got stopped […] just an inch or two away. This time, I knew I couldn’t run to the end zone. I was going to have to dive. When I jumped, somebody hit my legs, and I rolled over in air.

“I know the rule, you hit the pylon without going out of bounds, it’s a touchdown.”

Sure is! And a beauty at that.

Ballard is currently second on the depth chart behind Donald Brown. If he keeps playing like he did in OT on Sunday, he’ll have no trouble keeping that spot or potentially moving up in the ranks.