2014 Play of the Week – WK17

As I did last year, I will once again be selecting one play each week through the 2014 season where I felt as though special movement was displayed. In the post I will then breakdown some things that I felt contributed to the movement performance. In my normal fashion, I will also be very likely to make note of things that maybe could’ve been done differently, as well.

Game: Raiders at Broncos

Play: CJ Anderson making Raiders miss (again)

Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders

What makes this the BTS Play of the Week?

It’s here already; week 17 of the NFL season. As a Performance Coach/Advisor for players across the League, the season can often seem like it is both flying by as well as dragging on (some of this depends on how well each respective player is actually performing). With us all now nipping on the heels of the NFL Playoffs (any football fan’s favorite time of the year), it’s also time for our last Movement Play of the Week for the 2014 NFL season.

Week 17’s Play of the Week goes to the performance of a guy who finds himself with this accolade (it’s such a glorious one) for the 2nd time around this season. The last time that he received it he was part of the infamous 5 play breakdown of week 10 from this season. This time he gets it all to himself though ironically enough he was playing against the same team that he did in week 10. The guy I am talking about is the formerly unheralded Denver Bronco RB CJ Anderson and the play I am referring to was the last of his 3 touchdowns from Sunday (he must kinda-sorta have the Raider’s number).

What happened movement-wise on the play?

CJ Anderson begins offset to Peyton Manning’s right (next to #18 is a pretty solid place to be for any RB) who is standing in the gun with Anderson just a touch past the Raider’s 30 yard line. In recent weeks, it seems as though the Broncos have started to focus more on having a sure rushing attack headed into the playoffs so on this play Peyton is more than content to give the ball to Anderson though much of the defense is left back on the heels looking for the classic Manning play fake here.

As soon as #22 gets the ball he has to rely on one of a RB’s most valuable (but sometimes under-trained) traits and that is the combination between his vision & decision-making. He quickly scans his surroundings utilizing tremendous vision while also anticipating a flash of daylight to open up in front of him. He sees this opportunity and at the 28 yard line is quick to react, cut, and accelerate. He uses a controlled (at submaximal intensities/speeds) speed cut off of his outside foot (his left foot) that is subtle yet snappy due to his movement control & efficiency (note: he remained patient and only hit the cut and gas pedal when he was sure on his desired movement action).

Anderson play pic 4

Anderson then shows a fantastic explosive burst to quickly motor himself from the 28 to the 23/22 yard line in a blink where he is then forced to ‘get skinny’ between two on-coming Oakland defenders who have a bead on him. Because of that explosiveness as well as the craftiness to elude a great deal of contact the two defenders are able to slow him down but not get any further clean shot on him nor are able to bring him down.

At the 18 yard line then Anderson executes an open-field, narrow stance (this works here b/c of the high velocity and lesser degree of movement freedom to go after the cut), outside foot jump cut. This jump cut just so happened to occur on sure-fire, first ballot Hall-of-Famer Charles Woodson and is one that Anderson will be sure to show his kids and their kids highlights of for many years to come.

Anderson play pic 5

Many RB drills are designed for a player to get accustomed to executing a jump cut. However, it’s usually in transition behind the line of scrimmage and it is actually much harder to perform in the open field traveling at higher movement velocities than it is when an athlete is more coiled or not moving at higher speeds. Thus, Anderson’s execution in those conditions here is superb.

Anderson play pic 2

Additionally, quite possibly the most aspect of it (and maybe of the whole run) was how efficiently and effectively he was able to get himself back into reacceleration after the cut was completed. Of course, I also say, that the essence of decelerating or changing direction is how effectively you can get back to reaccelerating and I love to see a young RB doing just that on the field and then being rewarded for it.

From there, it’s nothing but green grass racing and finishing the play with no Raider possessing the opportunity to bring him down before he is able to notch his 3rd TD of the game and 2nd Movement Play of the Week of 2014.

To watch this sweet run by Anderson, click below right here:
http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap3000000450655/C-J-Anderson-25-yard-touchdown-run

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