Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kirwan watch continues

It's been a long time since I did a "Kirwan watch", mainly because I gave up reading Pat Kirawns articles on But today I stumbled across his most recent work; a look at if/how Cover 2 defenses contribute to helmet to helmet hits. It is truly a masterpiece example of an analyst who only knows half the puzzle of football. What makes me laugh is the comments section, where some people praise Kirwan for his "expert analysis". Jesus. My main point of contention is diagram 2 and the description that goes with it. Thankfully the person who made the diagram for Pat has a bit better understanding of what they're doing. I say this because Kirwan describes a shallow cross route as being run "... at a depth of about 10 yards." Really Pat? I was always inclined to believe that it was run at barely 5 yards deep. The clue is kind of in the title my friend; Shallow Cross. But even then, when we get to figure 3 the guy doing the diagram drawing loses the plot as well. Maybe he was just confused by Kirwans instructions. In diagram 3a the point is made about what happens to receivers running a shallow cross through a zone coverage; they often get hit hard during/shortly after a catch. Yet in figure 3b the slot receiver is shown as "sitting down" (that is, finding an open space between two defenders and stopping) at pretty much the exact spot that was just highlighted as being dangerous. The receiver on the crossing route should ideally be sitting in the throwing lane aligned between the MLB and SLB. Then you catch the ball, turn up field and try not to get your head taken off. It just amazes me. There are ex-players working for the NFL Network and Cant one of them point out to someone in a position of power that Pat seems to know as much about the ins and outs of football as the dude I'll be going to Wembley with on Sunday? It just seems odd. is a big hub for the league. Articles like this just make the whole thing look stupid and amateurish. Oh, and if anyone knows how to make fancy graphics like in Kirwans article, let me know! ( Have a great day everyone.


Teoita said...

Lol i was actually coming to tell you about that article, i thought you would "like" it :)
It's also idiotic how he mentions that "some routes are taken away by zone coverage". Really? 3 verticals is one of the best ways (if not THE best) to attack cover 2, and guess what, some of its variations include a seam route.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused. You make some pretty smug comments about Pat's expertise in football, yet I suspect your background and eperience in football is no where near his, and never will be.
Kirwan coached at the high school, college and pro level in addition to being in director of player personnel for the Jets.
Does this make him the end all, be all of football? Absolutely not, but your assertion of being on "Kirwan watch" and how you gave up on his articles, makes it seem you you think you know more.
Your next comment about an example of his being an "analyst who only knows half the puzzle of football" is laughable. Again, what's your experience compared to his? Minimal. You don't even know his background.
Show me a place where your definition of shallow cross is written as the rule. Or Pat's for that matter. you won't. There may be generally agreed upon rules of thumb, but his definition may be different than yours. What's wrong with that? Different teams have different names for thier routes and how they're run. Based on how you come off as a football person,you should know that.

Anonymous said...

And Teoita, yes really, the cover 2does take awat some routes. Your assertion that 3 verticals is one of the best ways to beat cover 2 is correct, if the team has the WR's/QB to do it. Seam routes are good, but like Pat could get you hurt.
If you've ever read smart football, he has a GREAT pair of articles that back-up part of what your saying about 3 verticals and 4verticals being effective on the cover-2.
My point is there are certain things that certain defense are really good against. The cover-2 is no exception. It will take away some things, like Pat was saying.

Anonymous said...

and yes I need to check my spelling...

Chris said...

You're confusing time spent doing a particular job for knowledge. For example, the father of a friend has spent 20 years doing various jobs in the electrical industry, but still regulalry forgets which wires in a wall plug are "live" and which is "Earth".

As for the Shallow Cross, yes people have various definitions for different things, but some definitions are pretty much universal. A quick hitch is just that; a hitch route, run quickly, usually off a 3 step drop (if under center).

The "shallow" cross can vary between systems from as deep as 5-6 yards to as shallow as being run over the original line of scrimmage. I think you'd be hard pressed to find somewhere that a "shallow" cross is run at a 10 yard depth. You should remember as well that the very diagrams produced for him in the article demonstrate the cross as I know it, not how he described it.

As for "Kirwan Watch" it's just a convenient heading that does the job of explaining to regular readers what is in the article, along with "Lombardi Watch" (for Michael Lombardi).

And yes, the claims are pretty smug. This is fairly simple to explain; Kirwan gets paid good money to write these articles in order to "educate" people on the ins and outs on football. I feel that in this case, I -- an unpaid blogger -- do know more than Mr. Kirwan. I find this amusing and therefore am quite smug about it.

Ultimately I look at it like this: It's my blog, I speak as I please, and if you don't like it then don't read it.