Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Ibleedbrown

Jacob Phillips

Recommended Posts

I watched the cut up of the Texas game above a few times trying to form a basis of opinion on Phillips. I think like a lot of you my initial reaction was, “Huh. So they went with that guy?” since there were a few more popular LBs left at the time. 

At times he looks like the guy eating up a block so that another guy can make a play. When a blocker does engage him he doesn’t look great shedding. However, he’s not one bit shy about jumping into the fray when he gets his chance on a ball carrier, and seems to navigate traffic pretty well.

I also think he’s quick to recognize the play and his assignment in the play. Certainly has some quicks and athleticism too. 

He looks well rounded to me in that he’s got the goods to defend both run and pass. I don’t see why he couldn’t be an every down backer. 

He strikes me as more of a technique tackler instead of a thumper, which l’m ok with as long as the ball carrier greets the ground in prompt fashion. I think we’re quickly approaching the days where a perfectly legal vicious hit might beget a yellow hankie simply because it looks like the vicious hit that it was. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched a few films, and imho, I'm interested in his skills. He shows excellent recognition, patience, and shows a fast closing speed, tracking down the qb/ball carrier. A good bit of the time he's a tech tackler, sometimes he has met a rb at the los and nailed him.

He has shown he can really cover - and his one reception - he was a lot faster than I thought he'd be.

Athleticism?

He ran the same 40 that Malik Harrison did (4.66). His vertical jump is 3" higher than Malik Harrison's. One inch higher than Patrick Queen's.

His vertical is 2" less than Kenneth Murray's, his broad jump 3" less than Murray's... Murray ran a 4.52, ...

The Browns drafted SMART, high character football players. Of his weaknesses, and has there ever been a player with zero weaknesses in these profiles ??? lol - some can be coached. He can get stronger. He's a leader, loves the game - he has serious possibilities. I think we'll hear his name on special teams.

Pretty nice value for the round they picked him in.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/25/2020 at 9:50 AM, Ibleedbrown said:

Every snap against Texas:

Appreciate you diggin these up and posting them, Ibb... on all the draftees...

 

My laughing reaction to this OP was in error and has been replaced...

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate you starting with the earlier game this season for LSU.  Mostly because Texas is a team that uses a lot of QB draw, screens and misdirection.   Going to go through, toss out some time stamps and my initial thoughts.     Starting with the very first play.

*** Warning. Long winded post****

- I like the initial eye and feet control to not over commit to the motion from the swing pass.   JC knows his safety is all over that one so if he needs to help, he's working inside to out.   He is also double checking the QB once the ball isn't out.  But that's where he gets in trouble - stepping further upfield as opposed to getting his depth.    He lost a good 10 yards of space on that one pretty easily.    You see some signs of being cognizant and checking your own aggressive tendencies, so the little light from the mental side can be seen.   But the footwork and stepping down was unnecessary.   Don't get so caught up starring at the QB that you forget your own assignment.  Check and reflex. 

 

- @12 seconds

... is another example of evidence on recognition, but not beating his man to the spot.   Granted ANY time you play against a team will to use their QB like Texas does, It's always a bitch when you're in the box.  Conflicts of assignment happen all the time.  The extra film work, trusting your eyes and playing off that fast instinct is key.      Texas shows a field side toss/swing lead, but pulls the backside tackle and guard.   Phillips does a good job staying square with the line and not over-pursuing here.  Most importantly, he recognizes the pulls coming and redirects immediately.   Follow your lead and you'll find your man quite a bit.   The only thing I wanted to see here was the angle of attack.   You're not going to be able to get underneath that pull barring a small miracle.  So when you see him break down and take on the OL to the inside shoulder, what he should have done was maintain that momentum and plant his ass to the outside shoulder of the OL.   Make that ball carrier, especially a QB, turn back inside to pursuit and make him run into contact.   If Texas wants to expose their signal caller to hits - then fucking hit him.

@ 32 seconds.

3rd and short with an empty set. This is a QB choice.  He does a box count and makes his decision.  Take the ball and follow the double pull if the numbers are favorable - OR- go to the built in flanker screen if numbers and leverage are favorable there.     To Ellinger's (spell check) credit, he makes the right decision.   The 3rd DB is 14 yards off of the receiver. So long as your #1 and #2 get decent blocks, that should be cheap and easy yardage.    The problem is, the QB takes WAY too much time getting the laces, squaring his shoulders and not putting the ball slightly ahead of his receiver.  This gave #7 enough time to fly down hill and recover for a great tackle.            Back to Phillips on this play.   He see's a similar pull to the last play I broke down and attacks in a position that would have kept his outside shoulder free.      That's learning on the fly, that's good eye discipline and trusting what you see + filling your assignment.

 

@ 42 seconds 

Great example of a fill as a mike backer vs that same double pull.  JC immediately see's it, attacks downhill while keeping his outside shoulder free. Hits the pull behind the LOS,  stands his ground and this forces the RB into the teeth of the interior.   Damn near textbook.

1:02 

This miiiiight be an issue.  But it's an issue of both assignment and technique.     The first part - assignment.  I *THINK* Phillips fucked this up.   Because at the top you have a slant flat combo from the X and the Back.  Pretty commonly run to the boundary side like you see here.     Only Phillips pursue's to the flat like he's tracking in man coverage.  Normally that wouldn't be an issue except the squat corner couple with the lack of hard rotation from the boundary safety makes this look like some kind of cover 2 or possible cloud cover.  Either way, that corner is sitting on the out/flat and yelling "under" to the backer should the #1 slant, hitch or drag inside until the ball is out or Phillips passes him off to the next under defender.    I don't have the all-22 at this moment, but I'm going to put this one on our new LB for the time being.  Reserving the right to change my mind later.

As for the technique,  if this was man coverage, then he needs to clean up his alley and footwork.  You have to bust ass to get over top of that pick and take away the wheel.  Something these teams LOVE to run anymore, especially to the boundary (short side of the field)  If you see a DB follow that in man inside, you work over top of his hip.    I'll try to come back to this later and double check the accuracy of what I'm seeing.  But the X receiver on the drag ends up being picked up by the will backer once he crosses the formation - looks like a spot zone call IMHO.

 

1:32 

Ellinger fucked this up because he had a big gain to his #3 down the seam.    As a linebacker when you have nothing in front of you,  you need to immediately get depth.   But I guess that's also the issue with facing a QB who is willing to pull it down and run first.    I'm reading a cover 3, which means the #3 receiver to the strength has to be carried a few yards down field before turning him over to the safety if he pushes vertical.  If the back releases, then whichever side he releases to, THAT LB will pickup the responsibility.    Pause the video @ 1:35... and check the #3 receiver as he clears the linebacker.  He's looking for that pass.  Because that's exactly where it should be going.    This is a field general sort of thing.  The linebackers should be communicating in a zone call who carries the #3 upfield and who is dealing with the check down.    It's not Phillips fault per-say, but when you're the man in the middle, what you say goes. 

 

@ 2:22 

It sucks playing a light box count on 2nd and medium.  Because the offense is ahead of schedule and can hit you with so many things.  That having been said, I very much don't agree with how LSU's DC asks their SAM or Rover (depending on name, but field side linebacker) to play his alignment here.     This is quads to one side.    You have to consider the swing to the HB and blocking numbers, but you also have to consider the play action and screen back across to the receiver stack.   Either way, my DB depth and alignment shut down the last time Texas showed this look. So to prevent an easy check to run and 1st down, I'm going to have my WILL park his ass 2x1 off the end and let him play outside to in on that HB swing.     Sadly that isn't what happens but I'm just going over a scenario.    Phillips should understand that when you get this look, and your closed end (the nearside dline playing heads up on the RG) is to the field, the natural crease is going to be the cutback over the left tackle because said tackle is just going to step down and seal that closed end.     Ultimately I'm just talking about playing instinctively and on the fly.    LSU's DC put JC in an absolutely no win bind here and the eyes of Ellinger froze the field backer.     

 

@ 4:09

Quarters coverage vs a 2x2 and it's played pretty damn great by JC.    This is similar to what I highlighted earlier. Get your depth, wall off the inside receiver and make life easier on your safety who has to pick up the #2 pushing vertical.  Then eyes forward to break on the check down to your side.  Arrive then wrap up and prevent yardage.    Great play.  

 

@ 5:23  HEY! We're learning!

 

Remember the play I time stamped at 32 seconds?  Go back and watch if you have to.  But this is the built field side toss/swing with the lead I was talking about.    Only JC has seen this before and stays at home for his assignment.    He sees that familiar double pull and, if you will please pause @ 5:25,  he attacks the outside shoulder of the pull. Which means the QB, if he kept it on the draw, is going to be forced inside to traffic.    Sure, it's a conflict of assignment. But THAT is his primary assignment, following the pull and filling vs the run.   The rest is on the DB's.   The deep middle though - #7, he was late getting down hill and rallying for a tackle.    This isn't on JC in anyway.  I'm just highlighting the mental aspect of him not forgetting some of the looks Texas threw at him earlier and seeing signs of correcting his play.

 

@ 6:45 

Working to get ahead of the pull. Pull ends up turning inside, JC sees it, rally's and wraps for minimal gain.  Good shit.  It's hard to arrive as an "enforcer" when you have to downstep while working laterally around the scrum.   That's about as good as you can play it from that situation.  

 

@ 7:44

This is what I talk about when I mention having the need, but also the room for further mental growth.  Taking that processing and instincts to the next level in coverage.   As a DB or LB, when you're looking to key pass or run, there are a few little subtle details to help make your read easier.  But you have to make it second nature.  One of them, when facing play action, is the level of the Oline and their blocking technique.    Start the video, then pause at 7:45.      Your eyes have develop a fast 2nd nature, but what you're looking for is 2 things.   1st - the aggressive run block by the lineman.  You don't see them firing off the ball and the EMOL is in his kick step.    The 2nd is pad level.  In this case with play action, the Oline are showing  "high hat".   If this was the oline drive blocking, you'd see a lower pad level and thus, lower helmet height.      You're not going to win up front without first winning the leverage game.    That's a big tip diagnosing your keys and not floating around tight to the line getting sucked up by the action in front of you.      @Tour2ma can back me up on this at any time. 

Unfortunately Phillips gets sucked into the run action hard and floats around down low a bit longer than he should be.   BUT to his credit, he still works to get depth and damn near gets this throw. Pretty sure he even got a finger on it.   But that extra second, that one right there you just watched... that's the difference between college and the NFL.  That's the difference between your average linebacker and Luke Kuechly, Bobby Wagner, Darius Leonard and KJ Wright.

 

 

That's what I've got right now from that clip alone.  Took me a while just working on that.      I still feel JC may have been available a little later in the 3rd, but we're passed that point by now.  He's a Brown and that's what matters.   I don't see this kid ever being a big hitter, but that isn't a requirement for the position.  I just need him to reliably play his assignment and get to spots to limit gains to a minimum or no gain. Big hits are just a plus.     So far, I'm still on the fence but I think I can see the 'why' as to the pick.   There is real development potential here and you see glimpses of the mental gymnastics on the fly being corrected.   There's not one thing Phillips does so poorly that you worry about it being overly attacked as a liability.  But there isn't one thing he does so really well that you're willing to sacrifice a part of his game for the monster part he shines in.    Any and all improvements with him will be done equally across the board IMHO.  Much like the tide, it will raise static and evenly.  The quicker vision to the hole, the faster understanding of play fakes, being active underneath along with the improvement in discipline and technique in man coverage.  

I see some encouraging things so far and I hope I continue to see those things the more I watch further into his 2019 season.   But at this very moment I expect our linebackers to be a bit raw and the early concern with our defense.

 

 

 

  • Thanks 2
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, tiamat63 said:

To Ellinger's (spell check) credit

Ehlinger... only nit to pick in quite a write-up...

 

... unfortunately I am now out of reactions as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, tiamat63 said:

  LSU's DC put JC in an absolutely no win bind here and the eyes of Ellinger froze the field backer.     

Above from the @2:22 bit...

Can you tell if it is it up to JC to call adjustments as we would expect a Mike to do at Browns level?

I saw some signalling at the 0:32 mark, but with the cutdown many plays start about a second shy of the snap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Tour2ma said:

Above from the @2:22 bit...

Can you tell if it is it up to JC to call adjustments as we would expect a Mike to do at Browns level?

I saw some signalling at the 0:32 mark, but with the cutdown many plays start about a second shy of the snap.

About 0:32.  If I'm taking an educated guess, it's a quick speak on how they're playing the QB run.  A keeper sweep to the strength isn't out of the question here either.  Basically Phillips just telling his WILL to stay at home and not overplay because he has to clean up that backside power if it comes. 

As for being able to call adjustments? Can't tell at the moment as to how far his command goes.  Would help by seeing a team that uses more pre-snap movement which I'm hoping I find as the season goes on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Tour2ma said:

Ehlinger... only nit to pick in quite a write-up...

 

... unfortunately I am now out of reactions as well.

Meh.  He's a white QB from Texas.  I'll call him Moxon and move on. 

I will trade you a post today for a react tomorrow (Popeye style)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, tiamat63 said:

(Popeye style)

That was Wimpy's hamburger line...

 

Stick to football... ;)

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Tour2ma said:

That was Wimpy's hamburger line...

 

Stick to football... ;)

Sorry.  Yeah, Wimpy.   It was an awful cartoon anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well.... no one promised unanimity...

Quote

NFL Draft Experts Wary Of Browns’ Third-Round Pick Jacob Phillips

By Mark Bergin - April 26, 2020

The Cleveland Browns liked LSU linebacker Jacob Phillips enough to select him in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft with the 97th overall pick.

Perhaps other LSU defensive players overshadowed Phillips at times during the last two seasons, in which he was a starter for the Tigers’ defense.

NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein wrote the following about Phillips:

“Phillips is a reliable option but lacks the alpha field demeanor and explosive athleticism teams look for. He has backup talent and should step into a special teams role quickly. Early tape was better than later tape as the competition level increased. He does an adequate job of handling his assignments but won’t make that many plays outside of the scheme.”

Zierlein projected Phillips to get selected in the third or fourth round.

The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs wrote the following about Phillips:

Football IQ – Slow processor that doesn’t anticipate gaps to shoot or quickly transition into scrape or drops. He’s often caught flowing away from the ball and is late to redirect himself. Lacks confidence in space to carry routes and doesn’t appear to illustrate desirable peripheral vision.

“Jacob Phillips projects as a depth player and developmental linebacker at the NFL level. Phillips struggles with consistently processing action in the backfield and too often looks lost on the second level. Without high end anticipation and with only modest redirection and scrape ability, Phillips is going to need significant development to reach starting caliber. . Instead, he can be utilized in kick coverage, where his straight line speed and viable tackling habits can make positive contributions.”

The Draft Network ranked Phillips below several linebackers selected later in the draft.

Bleacher Report NFL Draft scout Matt Miller compared Phillips to Malik Jefferson and Darron Lee.

Jefferson — who is now on the Los Angeles Chargers roster — registered one tackle in nine games for the Browns in 2019.

In December 2019, Jefferson signed a futures contract with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Lee had 31 tackles in 16 games for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019.

Miller wrote the following about Phillips:

“Phillips is a natural athlete who pops off the tape because of his size and movement skills, but his football IQ is low for now. He isn’t ready to take meaningful NFL snaps, especially in coverage, without major development and classroom time. He has plenty of potential, but he’s a boom-or-bust prospect.”

https://www.brownsnation.com/nfl-draft-experts-wary-of-browns-third-round-pick-jacob-phillips/

So develop here... and raise IQ there...

STs in 2020 and start in 2021 would be perfectly acceptable for a Round 3 kid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Ibleedbrown said:

I watched the cut up of the Texas game above a few times trying to form a basis of opinion on Phillips. I think like a lot of you my initial reaction was, “Huh. So they went with that guy?” since there were a few more popular LBs left at the time. 

At times he looks like the guy eating up a block so that another guy can make a play. When a blocker does engage him he doesn’t look great shedding. However, he’s not one bit shy about jumping into the fray when he gets his chance on a ball carrier, and seems to navigate traffic pretty well.

I also think he’s quick to recognize the play and his assignment in the play. Certainly has some quicks and athleticism too. 

He looks well rounded to me in that he’s got the goods to defend both run and pass. I don’t see why he couldn’t be an every down backer. 

He strikes me as more of a technique tackler instead of a thumper, which l’m ok with as long as the ball carrier greets the ground in prompt fashion. I think we’re quickly approaching the days where a perfectly legal vicious hit might beget a yellow hankie simply because it looks like the vicious hit that it was. 

I think he'll be solid, not spectacular. They have enough talent to be good on D. The LB unit probably isn't dominant, but they could gell to be decent. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Tour2ma said:

Well.... no one promised unanimity...

So develop here... and raise IQ there...

STs in 2020 and start in 2021 would be perfectly acceptable for a Round 3 kid.

I agree. Probably won't play much this year, STer. But he could develop to start in 2021. He's a 3rd rounder, not like he was taken 1 or 2. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meh. I read an article today that said he was an absolute steal where the Browns got him and he was the main signal caller for the defense.... so low IQ? 
 

None of these guys know jack. I wish I had one of their jobs. They make predictions that have the same correct ratio of a third rate weatherman... yet keep their jobs year after year. How that Muppet looking goofass Kieper still has a job is beyond me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, hx214 said:

so low IQ? 

Football IQ...

Not inconsistent with what tia saw in one game tape. But he also saw "learning" in that tape as well... and that is the important thing.

 

11 hours ago, hx214 said:

How that Muppet looking goofass Kieper still has a job is beyond me.

lol... Muppet-looking... that was really the look during this virtual draft, wasn't it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×