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The Tape: Cardinals @ Redskins: V Screen

Clancy Pendergast isn't the only madman with a headset. Ken Whisenhunt and offensive coordinator Todd Haley know how to unleash a little unbridled creativity of their own.

Washington 7 - Arizona 0

3-2-ARZ 47 (5:42)

Cards/Skins break


What do you call this? A "V" formation? We'll call it that. What's interesting about the V is that it's essentially a five wide receiver set. Two on the line, one recessed at flanker and two playing split back. Either split back could rush, but the spacing is such that the run would be heavily delayed or an Anquan Boldin end around. The defensive line can pin its ears back, i.e. target a gap, employ pass rush techniques and abandon gap responsibility. And they do.

Let me breakthrough

The play design is already clear.

(1)   Levi Brown pulls right.

(2)   Big white guy Jerheme Urban (#85) picks up Brown's man, situational end Demetric Evans. Don't let the shot fool you, Urban is not dominating Evans - it's a stunt.

(3)   Deuce Lutui holds down Lorenzo Alexander.

(4)   Steve Breaston pulls out to engage Leigh Torrence

(5)   Boldin gets his mean on staring down Carlos Rogers

(6)   Tim Hightower turns and awaits Kurt Warner's pass

(7)   Split end Larry Fitzgerald plays decoy.

It's a screen. A kooky, mixed up, six-parts brilliant screen.

illegal 2

What a play.

(1)   Boldin plows Rogers like powder

(2)   Urban keeps Evans out of it with a sustained, barely legal block

(3)   Lutui fells Alexander eliminating backside pursuit

(4)   And from the fog starts Hightower with

(5)   Six lead blockers and two unblocked Redskins to beat.


The play goes for six yards and the first, confirming my fear that this offense would frighten featuring a feature back. Hightower cuts in too fast, achieving the all-important first down but sacrificing a Panamanian canal along the right sideline.

Hold your hats kids. The Cardinals split the series in 2007 in two games that evidenced Arizona's superior and more modern coaching, but Seattle's talent advantage. After a little decline and a rash of injuries, that talent gap has closed or reversed, while the coaching gap grows wider by the play.