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The ‘Cosell Doctorine’ (1 Viewer)

Faust

MVP
The ‘Cosell Doctorine’, Part 1: Wild-card receivers set the tone more than ever

By Greg Cosell | Shutdown Corner – Fri, Apr 12, 2013 12:30 PM EDT

There are two players in this year’s NFL draft that I find compelling in so many ways. Both are wide receivers: Cordarrelle Patterson and Tavon Austin. Each is fascinating as an individual prospect, with explosive athleticism and multi-dimensional skills that mesmerize and captivate. Even for an old tape hound like me who rarely gets excited with the remote in my hand, evaluating Patterson and Austin was a lot of fun. There were many times I found myself audibly saying ”Wow”; believe me, that does not happen too often when I’m watching tape.

In certain respects, Patterson and Austin were similar; in other ways, they were different. The most visible distinction was size: Patterson is almost 6-foot-2 and 216 pounds; Austin is just over 5-foot-8 and weighs in at 173 pounds. The similarities were a function of utilization and talent; both aligned all over the formation, including in the backfield, and each possesses an extraordinary combination of flash quickness, lateral explosion, stop and start acceleration and top end speed. Both are live wires with the ball in their hands: shifty, elusive and unpredictable, with the ability to turn routine plays into impact, game changing masterpieces. Was there a better singular performance this past college season than Austin’s work of art versus Oklahoma? Aligned as the running back behind Geno Smith in the Pistol formation, Austin rushed 21 times for 344 yards. They were all basic zone runs that are the foundation of many running games. Let that sink in for a moment. 344 yards.

Then there was Patterson versus Troy. He caught a number of short passes in front of the corner, and then turned them into video games. He has open field instincts and movement that you cannot teach. When you watch him weaving and cutting his way through a defense, you lose sight of how big he is. Keep in mind that he has much work to do as a receiver. At this point, with his lack of experience, he is not as quick, fast or explosive running routes as he is with the ball in his hands. My guess is that won’t dramatically affect his draft status; there are not many players that size with that kind of ability. Those that have it get drafted in the top half of the first round.

Austin, on the other hand, is a more intriguing projection to the NFL, simply because of his size. The argument, and I intellectually understand it, is that there have not been many 173-pound receivers/backs that have been successful in the NFL. The principal concern focuses on durability. He’s a small man in a big man’s game, and therefore it is just a matter of time before he gets hurt. Of course, that’s a purely speculative contention based on some vague and nebulous sense of percentages, the notion that slightly built players are far more prone to injury. It sounds right, so we accept it. And it may be true. It will eventually become an “access to the result” argument. If Austin gets hurt, those who vehemently expressed it will say, “I told you so.”

This is where I present my philosophy as to the changing nature of the NFL game, the direction in which I see it moving, and what I believe may well become the “new normal”. Broadly, we’ve seen a number of factors take shape in recent years. We all know the NFL is now predominantly a passing league, driven by the quarterback. We’ve all seen the continued integration and fusion of college spread concepts with NFL passing game principles. None of this is revelatory. I have given a lot of thought to what I think this all means when you drill down deeper, put it under the microscope, and look ahead.

To start, let’s look at the New England Patriots. Visualize what they have done the last couple of seasons. They have aligned with “12” personnel (one back, two tight ends and two wide receivers), the “tight ends” being Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. The reason I put tight ends in parentheses is that Gronkowski, and more specifically Hernandez, align anywhere and everywhere in the formation. I can’t tell you how many times watching tape I have seen Hernandez in the backfield, and Gronkowski flexed or split. That puts a major burden on the defense, both in terms of personnel, and coverage. Do you stay base, or do you play nickel? Can you match up man-to-man, or must you play zone? I spoke to a defensive coordinator who told me “12” personnel in general is a very difficult matchup, and against the Patriots in particular.

Now look at the Green Bay Packers. They presented a different personnel grouping with four wide receivers on the field, either with a back or a tight end. When it was a tight end, it was often Jermichael Finley, and he presents his own set of problems. Randall Cobb was the wild card. He aligned in every receiver position, including the backfield, where he was a threat as both a receiver and a runner. You have to think about this from a defensive coordinator’s perspective. There’s so much you have to have an answer for. Start with alignment. Normally when a player is offset in the backfield, he’s not dealt with by the defense as an immediate vertical threat since he’s not on the line of scrimmage. But with Cobb, and his speed and route running quickness, you must treat him that way, or he could be down the seam in a heartbeat.

Let’s expand the concept. It’s Aaron Rodgers in the shotgun, Cobb offset in the backfield, Finley split, with three wide receivers. Defensively, it’s more than likely you have to counter that with dime personnel. If you play man-to-man, who matches up to Cobb: the single linebacker, a safety? You can pose the same question for Finley. Either way, the answer you get is not one you’re comfortable with. In man coverage, you have matchup problems.

One final point, and it leads me directly into the “Cosell Doctrine”. I wrote about the Seattle Seahawks a number of weeks ago, specifically relating to the trade for Percy Harvin. I made the point that Seattle did not acquire Harvin solely to line him up at wide receiver. He will be so much more than that. He will align everywhere in the formation, the ultimate chess piece that can attack from anywhere on the board. Just like Cobb in Green Bay and Hernandez in New England. This is the light bulb moment. That’s exactly what Austin should be in the NFL. Those who see him solely as a slot receiver are stuck in conventional thinking, and missing the larger, more expansive point. Austin is not a static, inert player. He’s a movement player, a peripatetic ball of energy that creates all kinds of matchup issues for defenses.

I believe Austin, Hernandez, Cobb and Harvin are representative of where NFL teams would like to go with their personnel, and their passing concepts. The objective is to have five receivers, and certainly four, who can align all over the formation. Traditionally, they can be wide receivers, tight ends or running backs. It can be the Patriots with their “12” personnel. Or the Packers, with their four-wide receiver personnel. From a schematic perspective, it doesn’t matter how you define them by position. The overriding, and superseding point is that they are all movable chess pieces, all “Jokers”, to use the term that I’ve used before and I think is aptly descriptive. That’s the “Cosell Doctrine”, and that’s the direction I see the NFL game trending. It’s about passing, and how you can create, and ultimately dictate favorable matchups. You do that with players that are amorphous and fluid in their ability to be utilized in ways both multiple and expansive, yet somewhat unstructured based on conventional definitions.

Of course, you have to have receivers capable of that, but more often than not it’s just a matter of thinking outside the box, seeing things with a slightly different perspective. There are far more receivers, including the influx of athletic tight ends that continue to come into the NFL, with the physical attributes to be multi-dimensional “move” players than one might think at first glance. And don’t forget running backs with these capabilities. Believe me, there are more players like Darren Sproles in the college game, with the receiving skill set to be deployed in diverse ways. It always takes a small leap of faith to try something a little different, but I sense strongly this is where we’re headed. It’s another step forward in the evolution of NFL offense. It may be in its early stages, but don’t be surprised when the “Cosell Doctrine” becomes the new normal.

 
The ‘Cosell Doctorine,’ Pt. 2: Ranking the receivers is an impossible task

By Greg Cosell | Shutdown Corner – 4 hours ago

At this time of year, leading up to the NFL Draft, everyone wants lists. Who are the top five quarterbacks? The top five running backs? The top five wide receivers? I get asked those questions all the time. They’re difficult to answer, for the simple reason there are far too many variables to categorize individual and distinctive players with the same set of standards and criteria. Part of the equation, as well, is that different teams, based on schemes and utilization, have divergent visions of how best to deploy those players. For instance, how can you possibly compare Matt Barkley and Mike Glennon? If your offense features intermediate and downfield passing as a foundational element, you would not evaluate Barkley very highly. Maybe you have him as a fourth-round pick, if that. Glennon, on the other hand, fits your approach. You might well grade him as a late first, or early second round option.

There’s no question every team in the league puts together a draft board, both overall, without regard to position, and more specifically, by position. But they do that with their particular systems and concepts in mind. Certainly there are players who are scheme transcendent. Andrew Luck immediately comes to mind. Two years ago, at the wide receiver position, A.J. Green and Julio Jones fit that template.

Let’s focus on wide receiver. In my last column, I spoke of what I believe will be the evolving trend in the NFL: multiple receivers, at least three and ideally four or even all five eligibles, capable of aligning anywhere in the formation. As I postulated, it will not be relevant as to the traditional positional designations as long as they are “Jokers”, chess pieces that can be arranged anywhere on the board. I remember watching the Falcons-Redskins game last season, and seeing Roddy White shift from the slot to an offset position in the backfield, next to Matt Ryan in the shotgun. From that backfield alignment, White ran an angle route, a common route almost always run by backs. The conventional defensive matchup is a linebacker playing that route, due to the location of the receiver, and the strong percentage likelihood that it’s a back, not a wide receiver. That’s what the Redskins did with London Fletcher. In this case, it was not a matchup, but a mismatch. 20 yards later, it was "First down, Atlanta."

White simply reinforces the point I made in my previous article, that there are more wide receivers capable of being multi-dimensional “move” players, as long as coaches are not confined and restrained by the more conventional definitions and limits that have persisted for years, and allow themselves to think outside the box. Don’t get wrapped up in the conformist classifications: he’s an “x” receiver, he’s a “z”, he’s a slot. That just reduces the utilization of broader concepts of expansive offense in this age of the pass.

With that as prologue, let’s look at Keenan Allen from California. Allen has excellent size at 6’2” and 206 pounds. He fits the “Joker” profile I described. He has extensive experience both outside and in the slot, and is more than capable of being an effective weapon out of the backfield, given his punt return background and his strong run-after-catch ability. More often than not he looked like a big running back with the ball in his hands. One thing I really liked about Allen was that he had a very compact vertical stem, making every route initially look the same. Corners will always tell you that that presents problems because there is no tell, no indication of what the route might be.

Allen is a fluid route runner with excellent quickness in-and-out of breaks. As I mentioned, he was very efficient with free access off the line of scrimmage, but he also showed the quick feet to defeat press man coverage, with the kind of short space burst and explosiveness that’s needed. He had a wide catching radius, consistently displaying the ability to snatch the ball with his hands, and away from his body. Many might see him more as a short to intermediate receiver, but I evaluated him as a smooth accelerator with deceptive speed, if not timed speed, and the ability to get on top of corners. Watching Allen reminded me of a pretty darn good NFL receiver when he came out of college in 2001 as the 30th overall pick in that draft: Reggie Wayne.

There are three receivers in this draft that have somewhat similar traits, and I liked each one of them on tape: DeAndre Hopkins of Clemson, Kansas State’s Chris Harper and Tennessee Tech’s Da’rick Rogers, who led the SEC in receptions at the University of Tennessee in 2011. All three are big bodies: Harper is the shortest at 6’1¾”, and Hopkins weighs the least at 214 pounds. They each attacked the ball, and they consistently made contested catches with excellent timing, body flexibility and strong hands. They were very competitive with the ball in the air. In that sense, they were reminiscent of Anquan Boldin. By the way, Boldin ran a 4.7 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine in 2003. That has not seemed to negatively impact his NFL career.

Rogers was the most surprising to me. Not only did I look at his Tennessee Tech tape, but I went back and evaluated his SEC tape the year before, including a fascinating slot matchup with LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu. It was a matchup Rogers dominated with his utilitarian combination of size, strength, aggression, short area quickness, and run-after-catch. The more I studied Rogers, the more I liked him. He played with an edge, demonstrating physicality, toughness and competitiveness. What I kept seeing was deceptive acceleration as a route runner. He did not have top end, or long speed, but he understood how to use his vertical stem to break down, or close the yardage cushion that existed at the snap of the ball between his alignment and the corner. That allowed him to get on top of corners and beat them deep. It’s a subtlety of route running that I saw from Rogers on a consistent basis.

Rogers, Harper and Hopkins raise fascinating questions about the value of wide receivers that would not, based purely on attributes, project as number one receivers, like a Calvin Johnson or an A.J. Green. Again, value is a word that’s freely tossed around this time of year, as if it’s more important when a player is drafted as opposed to what seems to me to be the whole point of the draft, which is to acquire good players who will improve your roster and your team. I would not have a problem with any of the three being chosen in the second round, or even late in the first, for a team that needs a receiver, such as the Houston Texans or the Baltimore Ravens. Again, the academic discussion of “value” has no meaning when it’s week six of the regular season and you’re lacking quality receivers, which handicaps your quarterback in a passing league, and thus limits your ability to win.

Two more receivers that intrigued me were Aaron Dobson of Marshall, and Aaron Mellette from Elon University. Again, both are big, which clearly seems to be an increasing trend as the game evolves. The 6’2½”, 217 pound Mellette carries the small school label, immediately diminishing his value in the eyes of many. His three year domination at a Division I-AA school is routinely dismissed due to the dreaded “level of competition” moniker, the ultimate cross to bear. I went back to 2011, when Elon played Vanderbilt. You may recall that Casey Hayward was on that Commodore team. Lo and behold, he had a difficult time with Mellette’s impressive mix of size, hands, and plus athleticism. Overall, Mellette gives you a lot to work with, with his size/movement combination.

Dobson, at 6’3” and 210 pounds, was a strong blend of size and fluid movement. He was quicker than fast, regardless of his outstanding 4.42 40 time at his recent pro day. Yet, like many tall wide receivers, his height and stride length generated deceptive speed on vertical routes. What continually stood out the more I evaluated Dobson were his vice grip hands, and his body control and flexibility to adjust to the ball in the air, resulting in both contested and difficult catches. He’s not quite Larry Fitzgerald (few are, plus Fitzgerald’s play speed is a lot faster than people think; just talk to NFL corners), but I saw some similar traits in Dobson. A year ago, Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, Kendall Wright and A.J. Jenkins were all selected in the first round. Are they significantly better NFL prospects than Dobson, Rogers, Hopkins and Harper? I would argue they are not.

I will end with Justin Hunter from Tennessee, the most physically talented wide receiver prospect in this draft class. He is, without question, the most explosive as a route runner with his long body (6’4”), route fluidity, vertical speed and playmaking ability at the catch point. Like every receiver entering the NFL, he is not a finished product. (Sometimes we forget that). He displayed inconsistent hands, with too many easy drops. And the lingering effects of his 2011 ACL injury, likely more mental than physical, cannot be dismissed in any evaluation. But he has legitimate acceleration and vertical explosion that clearly projects to the NFL, and it will impact games.

Hunter is the most intriguing receiver on the board. The tape shows you how he moves: he’s smooth, supple and explosive. He looks like AJ Green with his body type and his fluid strides. He’s not the receiver at this point that Green was coming out of Georgia two years ago, but if Hunter develops and grows as a professional, always a question with all but a few prospects, he has a chance to be a Pro Bowl player. I’ve talked to some who see Randy Moss comparisons. Regardless, there are not many with his height, length and movement. I’d be surprised if his name wasn’t called on the first night.

The common thread with all the wide receivers I’ve touched on: size. It’s a fascinating dichotomy that is now crystallizing in the NFL. Smaller receivers have increased value due to the expansion of the multi-dimensional “Joker”, the player who can align anywhere in the formation. On the other hand, bigger wideouts provide matchup problems for smaller corners on the outside. The NFL has always been cyclical. Is offense a step of the defense right now? Defensive coaches think so.

 
always great to see what he has to say.

i liked and agree with his allen take and it his thoughts of hunter's potential are spot on imo.

 
Cosell presents a nice summary of the positives aspects but puts less emphasis of the negatives with each receiver. The fact that he calls the article the "Cosell Doctorine" irks me. It makes it sound that he is doing ground breaking work when he is rehashing much of what other scouts have already pointed out.

 
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Cosell presents a nice summary of the positives aspects but puts less emphasis of the negatives with each receiver. The fact that he calls the article the "Cosell Doctorine" irks me. It makes it sound that he is doing ground breaking work when he is rehashing much of what other scouts have already pointed out.
Or he sees what others see in the same WRs.

He's earned his stripes IMO; he can use whatever catch-phrases he wants to for his work.

 
Cosell presents a nice summary of the positives aspects but puts less emphasis of the negatives with each receiver. The fact that he calls the article the "Cosell Doctorine" irks me. It makes it sound that he is doing ground breaking work when he is rehashing much of what other scouts have already pointed out.
I'm with you on your feelings. Who's this guy kidding? This NFL trend is at least 2 decades in its evolution but obviously snowballing in the last 10. Trying to claim it under his own genius is a tad ridiculous.

 
Cosell presents a nice summary of the positives aspects but puts less emphasis of the negatives with each receiver. The fact that he calls the article the "Cosell Doctorine" irks me. It makes it sound that he is doing ground breaking work when he is rehashing much of what other scouts have already pointed out.
Or he sees what others see in the same WRs. He's earned his stripes IMO; he can use whatever catch-phrases he wants to for his work.
Has he really, though? He just got into the rookie scouting business fairly recently. Before that he mostly kept to analysis of veteran NFL talent. A lot of his experience applies, of course. But projecting a college talent into the NFL is a lot more difficult than evaluating players already playing on an NFL field. Or if not more difficult, then at least completely different.
 
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Cosell presents a nice summary of the positives aspects but puts less emphasis of the negatives with each receiver. The fact that he calls the article the "Cosell Doctorine" irks me. It makes it sound that he is doing ground breaking work when he is rehashing much of what other scouts have already pointed out.
Or he sees what others see in the same WRs. He's earned his stripes IMO; he can use whatever catch-phrases he wants to for his work.
Has he really, though? He just got into the rookie scouting business fairly recently. Before that he mostly kept to analysis of veteran NFL talent. A lot of his experience applies, of course. But projecting a college talent into the NFL is a lot more difficult than evaluating players already playing on an NFL field. Or if not more difficult, then at least completely different.
i disagree. how is it different or more difficult? knowing what it takes to be successful in the NFL is majority of what rookie scouting is about. with the access he has to the NFL vaults, he probably has some of the best eyes around for NFL talent.

 
Cosell presents a nice summary of the positives aspects but puts less emphasis of the negatives with each receiver. The fact that he calls the article the "Cosell Doctorine" irks me. It makes it sound that he is doing ground breaking work when he is rehashing much of what other scouts have already pointed out.
I'm with you on your feelings. Who's this guy kidding? This NFL trend is at least 2 decades in its evolution but obviously snowballing in the last 10. Trying to claim it under his own genius is a tad ridiculous.
Really egotistical to take what NFL teams are already doing then naming it after yourself.

 
Cosell presents a nice summary of the positives aspects but puts less emphasis of the negatives with each receiver. The fact that he calls the article the "Cosell Doctorine" irks me. It makes it sound that he is doing ground breaking work when he is rehashing much of what other scouts have already pointed out.
Or he sees what others see in the same WRs. He's earned his stripes IMO; he can use whatever catch-phrases he wants to for his work.
Has he really, though? He just got into the rookie scouting business fairly recently. Before that he mostly kept to analysis of veteran NFL talent. A lot of his experience applies, of course. But projecting a college talent into the NFL is a lot more difficult than evaluating players already playing on an NFL field. Or if not more difficult, then at least completely different.
i disagree. how is it different or more difficult? knowing what it takes to be successful in the NFL is majority of what rookie scouting is about. with the access he has to the NFL vaults, he probably has some of the best eyes around for NFL talent.
Seems pretty obvious to me. Watching college players, you have to project them into a situation you haven't seen yet, playing against better competition, etc. Evaluating NFL vets is different in that they've already made it onto an NFL roster, and possibly have made it onto the field and run NFL concepts, against NFL-caliber players. They're a more well-known quantity. It's very different. It's the reason many teams have a Director of Pro Player Personnel and a Director of College Scouting, or some variant, under the GM. It's a totally different skill-set in SOME ways. Obviously some of it is applicable to both, but they're certainly considered two separate, specialized fields by many teams around the NFL.I'm not saying that Cosell isn't fit to do both. I'm merely pointing out that he's fairly new to publishing his thoughts about incoming rookies--for all I know he privately scouted them for years. But from all we can tell for sure, he doesn't have much of a track record with rookie scouting, in comparison to his work watching tape of NFL veterans.
 
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He spelled doctrine wrong.

If I understand what he is saying, I do think it is somewhat of a new thought. He is basically saying that outside of your QB and 5 OL, you want all 5 of the other guys to be pretty much interchangeable. You want your TE (Hernandez), slot WR (Cobb), and your outside WRs (Patterson) to be able to lineup anywhere. Even in the backfield as a RB. He also says you want to have each of the 5 able to play outside or in the slot and move the pieces around on every play to exploit mismatches as it becomes extremely hard for defenses to adjust on the fly.

I do think we saw some teams experimenting in this way more last year than I ever remember in the past. Cobb, Harvin and Hernandez are the highest profile. But the Bengals were using Mohammed Sanu at RB and had a ton of success with it. The Falcons used Roddy White at RB a couple times and got at least one big play from it. In college, both Austin and Patterson got carries when lined up in the backfield as a RB.

I do not think he deserves credit for inventing the idea, but he may deserve a little bit of credit for how he is using the idea in terms of analyzing skill position draft guys. He is saying to throw out old concepts like "#1 WR", "only a slot guy," etc. when looking at these guys. Those are terms I have heard a lot in reference to Austin from other draft analysts. He is saying that there has to be a paradigm shift in thinking both by OCs and GMs that realizes the true potential and true value of guys like Austin, Cobb, etc. Cobb should not have fallen to pick 60 or whatever and if he was the exact same prospect entering the draft now, I do not think he would fall that far. The smart teams (Seattle, GB, NE, etc.) are catching on to the true value these type of guys have.

 
So for all of the criticism tossed on how Musgrave runs the Vikings offense by many folks around here. I just want to point out that the way he used Percy Harvin in this unimaginative run 1st offense is the same thing that teams are now copying all across the league. Not that it is new at all, but this more recent trend, started with Welker actually, Harvin is the dynamic player that adds rushing ability and kick returning, so a more versatile threat. Hernadez is too but the rushing attempts he saw was when they did not have other healthy viable RBs. They have some of those now so I don't see them using him in this role nearly as often again in his career unless they are again desperate for a RB. The Packers countered Harvin by drafting Cobb and using him in similar role. Several other players across the league were used in similar ways such as Amendola and others, just none really executed as well as Harvin did. So this recent trend of multiple threat players that can exchange positions after a formation shift is in my opinion largely about what Harvin showed the rest of the league they could do with high percentage passing plays to good yac receivers. The uncreative Bill Musgrave drawing up plays that causes guys like Greg Cosell to want it to be named after them.

 
He spelled doctrine wrong.If I understand what he is saying, I do think it is somewhat of a new thought. He is basically saying that outside of your QB and 5 OL, you want all 5 of the other guys to be pretty much interchangeable. You want your TE (Hernandez), slot WR (Cobb), and your outside WRs (Patterson) to be able to lineup anywhere. Even in the backfield as a RB. He also says you want to have each of the 5 able to play outside or in the slot and move the pieces around on every play to exploit mismatches as it becomes extremely hard for defenses to adjust on the fly.I do think we saw some teams experimenting in this way more last year than I ever remember in the past. Cobb, Harvin and Hernandez are the highest profile. But the Bengals were using Mohammed Sanu at RB and had a ton of success with it. The Falcons used Roddy White at RB a couple times and got at least one big play from it. In college, both Austin and Patterson got carries when lined up in the backfield as a RB.I do not think he deserves credit for inventing the idea, but he may deserve a little bit of credit for how he is using the idea in terms of analyzing skill position draft guys. He is saying to throw out old concepts like "#1 WR", "only a slot guy," etc. when looking at these guys. Those are terms I have heard a lot in reference to Austin from other draft analysts. He is saying that there has to be a paradigm shift in thinking both by OCs and GMs that realizes the true potential and true value of guys like Austin, Cobb, etc. Cobb should not have fallen to pick 60 or whatever and if he was the exact same prospect entering the draft now, I do not think he would fall that far. The smart teams (Seattle, GB, NE, etc.) are catching on to the true value these type of guys have.
He spelt doctrine correctly 3 times in the part 1 article, perhaps the Yahoo headline creator is the one that needs the sack.

Some of those above missed the point, the Cosell doctrine is what bengalbuck is pointing out, not his takes on a variety of rookies. The bolded part really nails it

 
I really don't care what we call it. Who are the players who best fit this "doctrine"? (and who are the guys who might be undervalued currently but fit it?)

Obviously Harvin, Cobb, Hernandez, Gronk, Sproles are already mentioned.

Do David Wilson, James Casey, Jermaine Gresham, Marcel Reese qualify?

ETA: I may have misunderstood the point here. Seems to me the NFL is asking players to do more than their position's typical role; but the NFL has been doing this for a long time. Is it that we are now looking at everyone on the field as needing to do more?

 
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The other identification point is the NFL teams, which offenses are most likely to make the most of these players. For example, if say Dexter McCluster had been drafted by Seattle, NE etc, would we be talking about him. The pre Andy Reid KC Chiefs couldn't work it out.

 
He spelled doctrine wrong.If I understand what he is saying, I do think it is somewhat of a new thought. He is basically saying that outside of your QB and 5 OL, you want all 5 of the other guys to be pretty much interchangeable. You want your TE (Hernandez), slot WR (Cobb), and your outside WRs (Patterson) to be able to lineup anywhere. Even in the backfield as a RB. He also says you want to have each of the 5 able to play outside or in the slot and move the pieces around on every play to exploit mismatches as it becomes extremely hard for defenses to adjust on the fly.
People have been putting speedy WR's in the backfield in Madden for over a decade..... ;)

 
He spelled doctrine wrong.If I understand what he is saying, I do think it is somewhat of a new thought. He is basically saying that outside of your QB and 5 OL, you want all 5 of the other guys to be pretty much interchangeable. You want your TE (Hernandez), slot WR (Cobb), and your outside WRs (Patterson) to be able to lineup anywhere. Even in the backfield as a RB. He also says you want to have each of the 5 able to play outside or in the slot and move the pieces around on every play to exploit mismatches as it becomes extremely hard for defenses to adjust on the fly.I do think we saw some teams experimenting in this way more last year than I ever remember in the past. Cobb, Harvin and Hernandez are the highest profile. But the Bengals were using Mohammed Sanu at RB and had a ton of success with it. The Falcons used Roddy White at RB a couple times and got at least one big play from it. In college, both Austin and Patterson got carries when lined up in the backfield as a RB.I do not think he deserves credit for inventing the idea, but he may deserve a little bit of credit for how he is using the idea in terms of analyzing skill position draft guys. He is saying to throw out old concepts like "#1 WR", "only a slot guy," etc. when looking at these guys. Those are terms I have heard a lot in reference to Austin from other draft analysts. He is saying that there has to be a paradigm shift in thinking both by OCs and GMs that realizes the true potential and true value of guys like Austin, Cobb, etc. Cobb should not have fallen to pick 60 or whatever and if he was the exact same prospect entering the draft now, I do not think he would fall that far. The smart teams (Seattle, GB, NE, etc.) are catching on to the true value these type of guys have.
He spelt doctrine correctly 3 times in the part 1 article, perhaps the Yahoo headline creator is the one that needs the sack.

Some of those above missed the point, the Cosell doctrine is what bengalbuck is pointing out, not his takes on a variety of rookies. The bolded part really nails it
:goodposting:

 
I really don't care what we call it. Who are the players who best fit this "doctrine"? (and who are the guys who might be undervalued currently but fit it?) Obviously Harvin, Cobb, Hernandez, Gronk, Sproles are already mentioned.Do David Wilson, James Casey, Jermaine Gresham, Marcel Reese qualify? ETA: I may have misunderstood the point here. Seems to me the NFL is asking players to do more than their position's typical role; but the NFL has been doing this for a long time. Is it that we are now looking at everyone on the field as needing to do more?
some others that come to mind....Sanu? Cook? D. Walker? McCluster? Clay?
 
The first guy to comes to mind is Eric Metcalf. Here are some of his highlights with the Browns

Maybe he should Cosell should change the name of his doctrine to the Metcalf principle.

 

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