Un-PACK the Play: Tolzien to Montgomery on 3rd and 11

Scott Tolzien of the Green Bay Packers

The interesting thing for me in the Packers’ preseason game against the Patriots was to see Scott Tolzien play like a starter. His understanding of the offense, release, and inside-out movement were vastly improved to the extent that there are several teams in the league that would be better served with Tolzien than their current prospects. Sure, on other teams Tolzien would not have the depth at receiver but again, his pre-snap reads and quick release and arm strength that has truly improved would make him a contender. Here is the breakdown of a 3rd and 11 play that not many are talking about but illustrates Tozien’s newfound confidence and physical strength. Keep in mind…this is third down with eleven yards to go. To convert this play would be a back-breaker for a defense that is thinking it has the offense on its heels:

1. The pre-snap read

Tolzien sees that nine of the Patriots’ defenders are playing up (a fact he would exploit shortly in a touchdown pass to Jeff Janis) and understands that with two deep safeties, the middle of the field is going to be soft on this play. The route on for Janis does not lend itself for the long ball so Tolzien knows that his best bet is going to be Ty Montgomery. Here is what the pre-snap looks like:

Tolzien 1

This defensive set is a challenge and the Packers O-line gives Tolzien a great pocket after the snap. But Montgomery will have to run a good route and split the two high safety look.

2. Tolzien’s release is the envy of many

Scott Tolzien’s release on this play is an order of magnitude faster than it was last season and would be enviable on many teams in this league who are still struggling to find a starting quarterback. Tolzien’s release is very short and quick and he throws a rocket to Ty Montgomery. I can’t show you the speed of the release, but I can say that the combo of Tolzien and Montgomery is one that some struggling teams would love to have.

Tolzien 3

3. Tolzien to Montgomery splits the zone

Crediting Tolzien for throwing a rocket requires credit to Ty Montgomery for catching it. The Patriots do not make any big mistakes or defend this play poorly at any level. They are simply beaten by the superior arm-strength and well prepared receiver who just happen to be the second-string qb and a rookie receiver of the Green Bay Packers.

We will continue to break down the plays that make the Packers’ 2015 pre-season special. Stay tuned to Packernation.com to see analysis such as this (along with Op/Ed, humor, and video) all day…every day!

Go Pack!


Un-PACK the Play: Tolzien to Montgomery on 3rd and 11

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