Cole Beasley is Key to Offensive Success.

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Cole Beasley is the best receiver on the team in the absence of Dez Bryant and garnered the utmost respect from the New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick. His game plan clearly showed that.

cole beasley

I have repeatedly said the coaching staff needs to get more creative in the way they use Cole Beasley. Limiting him to all short underneath routes and not having him on the field for many of the run plays allows defenses to keep the box loaded.

Beasley was doubled on almost every play in the game against the Patriots. Bill Belichick recognizes a legitimate threat like Cole and game plans to take him away. The reason being, he doesn’t have a Dez Bryant. He has a Cole Beasley (Julian Edelman) and a Jason Witten (Rob Gronkowski). The difference is, Josh McDaniels gets much more creative in the way he uses Edelman.

Most successful coaching trees

I am not taking a shot at Scott Linehan here, because for the most part, they are still using Jason Garret’s offense which comes from the Don Coryell coaching tree. Scott Linehan is a direct descendant of the Bill Walsh coaching tree. The Air Coryell offense is predicated on a lot of deep routes and Bill Walsh was the master of dissecting defenses with the short to intermediate routes which in turn set up the deep ball to stars like Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens.  However, if you take notice, there is a lot jewelry among the above coaches. Don Coryell is 3-6 in the post season and doesn’t have any jewelry.

Josh McDaniels is listed as part of the Bill Parcells coaching tree primarily because he is a Bill Belichick protege. However, his offense is influenced by Charlie Weis who  learned most of what he knows as Parcells acolyte in the Giants organization of the 1980s teams running the Erhardt-Perkins system.

In New England; sometimes it was predicated on the run, other times it was predicated on the pass, but always the most effective on the play action. The unique thing about it was, it wasn’t a set system. It changed periodically because it was schemed to the strengths of the personnel. This is why year after year, the Patriots offense is so effective. Josh McDaniels does the same thing.  Jason Garrett tries to make the players fit the system and this where Cole Beasley gets hung out to dry.

Beasley was a guest on the Ben and Skin Show on KRLD-FM 105.3 The Fan earlier this week and I included his thoughts on the Patriots game plan.

“There weren’t many times where it was just one-on-one. They made it tough for me that day, so I don’t know what we’ve got to do going forward. I guess just throw to somebody else really. But I’m hoping there are still some ways I can get open.”

optional routes for Cole Beasley

If I was Jason Garrett and saw a four time Super Bowl champion coach pay that much attention to one of my receivers, I would appreciate his value. The problem is, he is so stuck on his system, I highly doubt he allows much input from Scott Linehan. Coming from the Bill Walsh tree, he knows exactly how to use him. I don’t come from any tree, but as a former linebacker, I know how I would use him and I am going to explain how I wouldn’t want them to play him against me.

Pretty much all we see from Cole Beasley are shallow crosses and quick outs. The problem with that is, defenses know what he is going to do before he ever leaves the line. It also makes it much easier for them to take him out of the game. He is running routes within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage too often and not carrying anyone out of the box.

cole beasley wins contested ball battle
Cole Beasley showcases that size doesn’t always matter by going up for a contested ball and winning the battle.

All we keep hearing is Dez Bryant draws double coverage which frees up other receivers and keeps them from loading the box and taking away the run. Golly sarge, Cole Beasley can do the same thing if they let him. I keep hearing he is too small to line up on the outside and would be hard to see running deep routes. Damn people, there is a whole lot of field to be utilized out of the slot without sending him on the 9, 7, or 8. They usually pull him on 1st down because they run the ball on 1st down 99% of the time. This makes it too easy for defenses to shut down the offense.

I am going to answer Cole Beasley and tell him there are still some ways he can get open! (Trust me, he knows this, but has to be politically correct to the media and dropped a hint to the coaches to get creative) It’s actually quite elementary and would help the running game as well. Why not send him on the (2) slant, (3) out, (4) hook, (5) comeback (not on above tree diagram), or (6) in? Hell, even a fade once in awhile.

He is drawing double coverage, but by sending him 10-20 yards down the field instead of keeping him underneath, he is carrying that extra defender out of the box (helping the run game plus freeing up Witten) and can take advantage of his speed, foot quickness and elite change of direction to use all of that open space to his advantage. Think about it: 7-9 defensive players are all crammed in that little area he has to run a route and he is still getting open! Despite the constant double coverage in that small area of the field, he still managed to haul in 4 catches for 40 yards vs the Patriots. Damn it’s not rocket science.

Jason Garrett flat out got out coached by the Patriots. Belichick knew exactly how they use Cole Beasley and Jason Witten and took them away. The Patriots are so effective because they scheme to the strengths of their players and Jason Garrett doesn’t.

They win games with Edelman and Gronkowski and no Dez all the time because they know how to use them. Jason Garret’s system is predicated on the deep vertical routes and he is too damn stubborn or not able to figure out that Cole Beasley can do the same thing for this offense Dez does if he is used properly. He will still draw double coverage, but up the field in space where he can use his quickness to beat it.

You don’t have to throw 40-50 yard passes to win in the NFL. You have to outsmart the defenses and calling the same plays, running the same routes and lining up in the same formations wont work. There needs to be shifts, motions, stacked formations and run plays out of the shotgun etc. This keeps a guy like me, the signal caller on the defense guessing. By making your offense as confusing as possible it causes a lot of communication on the defense and when there is a lot of communication, you can bet there will be miscommunication which leads to blown coverage’s and big plays.

This very principal is why Kellen Moore was 50-3 in college. Take some time, watch some Boise games and see for yourself. That offense was much more complex than what Garrett is running in Dallas. In fact, don’t take my word for it, listen to Jon Gruden (One of the best descendants of Bill Walsh ever) discuss it with Moore in the video below. We all see what happened to the Lions offense in the absence of Scott Linehan as well.

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  • BigDIndiana

    Patriots were covering him with a LB some. On the snap the LB was sprinting to the out route…which is where CB was going. They are indeed being predictable with his routes and need to get him up the field. If for no other reason than to let the D know he runs those routes and respects them. But it might have to do with the game plan for the QB (Weeden) at the time…which I would guess had a lot to do with it.

  • Californy

    I always like Beasley when I first saw what he did at SMU.  Beasley to me is a RB in a WR position.  He is best in the slot and attacking the underneath stuff.  I would love to see Beasley in Motion and taking hand off from Romo as he takes snap underneath the Center or even in shot gun formation.  I would like to see Beasley like Eagles used Deseasn Jackson when he first got their in Philadalphia