Welcome back! Let’s dive right in and reveal the answers to yesterday’s film room questions. We’ll break each question down using the three identifiers we’ve been talking about this week: number, context, and roster.
Question 1: Identify the following players and their position: 84 (Falcons), and 43 (Panthers)
Number: Let’s start with 84 for the Falcons. From his number alone, we know that 84 on offense is either a tight end or a wide receiver. Since defensive backs wear numbers between 20-49, we can be nearly 100% certain that 43 for the Panthers is a defensive back.
Context: 84 is aligned on the outside of the formation and runs way down the field to catch the ball. All signs point to him being a wide receiver. 43 is in the mix with the receiver trying to break up the pass, further proof that he is indeed a defensive back.
Roster: To double check our work, all we have to do is double check the roster for both teams in 2012.Roddy White, 84, is a wide receiver for the Falcons, and Haruki Nakamura, 43, is a free safety for the Panthers.
Question 2: Identify the following players and their positions: 39 (Patriots), 25 (Broncos)
Number: This is a case in which both numbers only have a single option: 39 is within the range for running backs, and 25 is within the range for defensive backs. It doesn’t get much easier than that! But let’s take a closer look just to test ourselves further.
Context: We see 39 come out of the backfield and run the ball. He’s wearing a number that only defines running backs. It’d be a pretty far stretch to say that this guy is anything other than a running back. As for 25, we see him lined up at the far side of the formation at the start of the play and move across the field to the ball to make a tackle. His uniform number and method of pursuit make a pretty good case for defensive back.
Roster: The roster confirms it! Danny Woodhead, 39, is a running back for the Patriots, and Chris Harris, 25, is a cornerback for the Broncos.
That one was way too easy. So I gave you a challenge with this next one.
Question 3: Identify the following players and their positions: 75 (Packers), and 99 (Texans)
Number: 75 on offense is either an offensive lineman or possibly a center. 99 on defense is either a lineman or a linebacker. Tricky, tricky!
Context: Here’s the litmus test: does 75 snap the ball? No. So he’s not the center. He’s aligned two spaces to the right of the center, which would make him the right tackle. Let’s take a look at 99. He’s on the defensive line, but he’s not on the outside edge and he’s not in a two-point stance – two defining factors of linebackers. Since he’s of larger build and he’s an outer defensive lineman, all clues point to him being a defensive end. There’s also a tell-tale jump as the ball is being thrown that may give you a hint as to which player this is…
Roster: Bryan Bulaga, 75, is an offensive tackle for the Packers. And J.J. Watt, aka “J.J. Swatt,” is 99, a defensive end for the Houston Texans. J.J. has earned his nickname – if he knows he’s not going to get to the quarterback, he does a great job of distracting him while he throws, often knocking the ball off-course with his huge hands and feared jump.
Question 4: Identify the following players and their positions: 44 (Bucs), and 50 (Saints)
Number: 44 on offense could either be a tight end or a running back. 50 on defense could either be a center or a linebacker.
Context: I kind of feel bad for 44 that we have to watch him take these hits; he runs into a wall of Saints every single down. His responsibility on all 4 downs is to block, not run, and he’s not aligned in the backfield on any play. Those signs point to him being a tight end, not a running back. As for 50, let’s go back to our previous litmus test: does he snap the ball? Nope! So he’s not a center; he’s a linebacker.
Roster: Roster says…Dallas Clark, 44, is a tight end for the Bucs, and Curtis Lofton, 50, is a linebacker for the Saints.
So how’d we do, gang? Any problems? Do you feel more than ready to tackle the regular season once it finally arrives?!?!