Justin Simmons Hides His Cards Early For The Pick!

By FirstDown PlayBook on Dec 3, 2020

Today FirstDown PlayBook and The Scouting Academy will look at Justin Simmons. On most Thursdays FirstDown PlayBook brings you a special treat here on the Coaches Community website. We feature a breakdown of personnel and technique provided by our friends over at The Scouting Academy who are our go to experts in this field

Having a high-level safety patrolling the middle of the field is a huge security blanket for a defense. It allows for underneath defenders to be much more aggressive to take away the short stuff. They know that they’re protected in the back end.

However, it’s not enough to park a guy between the hashes and tell him to make a play on anything that comes near him. Passing attacks in this league are just too good for that. In this clip, Broncos safety Justin Simmons shows how a little disguising and anticipation make a huge difference when playing that free safety position.

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Simmons is tasked with playing the deep middle zone, but pre-snap aligns almost to the numbers to avoid giving it away. On the snap, he rolls towards the middle while reading the eyes of the QB. With the trips on the left side of the offensive formation, Simmons knows that something is coming back his way.

In this case, the outside receiver runs a post route right into the deep middle area. Simmons is assigned to cover this third of the field. The QB decides to throw the post, but fails to see Simmons creeping over from the backside. He is able to undercut the route and make the interception.

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With that pre-snap alignment, Simmons baited the QB into throwing that post, resulting in a huge play for the defense.