Jameis Winston: #Smart

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This off-tackle run had the potential to go for a big gain, thanks to Jameis Winston.

Notice at the beginning of the GIF, New Orleans has a defender crashing the edge outside of the second tight end. If the tight end stays on the line, the defender has the advantage at the point of impact because it is a compacted area and, generally, if a defender has a few steps to gain momentum like that, he can set the edge. Seeing this disadvantage, Winston removes the outer tight end from the line of scrimmage, tipping the space advantage in the tight ends favor as he would then have plenty of room to set up his engage.

To no surprise, the defender adjusts accordingly and steps back, theoretically giving himself enough room to beat the block in a different way. What this is really doing is clearing out the space between the two tight ends, giving the running back a clear lane. On paper, this adjustment would have lead to a huge gain. Instead, the inner tight end gets blown off of his block and the right tackle fails to get to the second level quickly enough to pick up the linebacker.

No matter what adjustment Winston had made, this play was doomed because of the talent that Tampa Bay sports up front, but this adjustment on a good team leads to a big gain. Winston, in just his second NFL regular season game, made a critical adjustment that he knew *should* have opened up the play.

Winston is a special player. He is going to be really good for a really long time because of this level of mental processing.

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