Trillon Burkes a bright spot in the attack

Let’s all be honest about it: The first two weeks were tough for fans of the Tennessee Titans. There was a lot to worry about, but one of the few sunshine was Treylon Burks’ rookie wide receiver.

Burke had an up and down start to his career at the Titans, but all the off-season noise proved bullshit. Not only does Birx play well by any measure, he does so in Attack of the Anemic Titans.
Buy Titans tickets
As of this writing, Burks has the seventh highest Pro Football Focus score of any NFL receiver at 80.9. He’s 12th in getting a score of 79.1, 20th in yards after the catch, and of the 19 receivers in front of him, only one has fewer targets.

Now, seven catches for 102 yards don’t seem like that much, but given Birx’s ranking in some of these categories, it’s hard not to be excited about a novice.

Well, you know, this is an article about a movie, so prepare to be more excited because I can show you exactly why it should be.

The production was fine, but the movie shows that not only is Burks doing the plays, but he’s actually being used in a clever way that fits his skill set.

If this continues, Burks should be in a position to put on big plays so he can grow up as a player.

As we do every week, let’s dive into the movie to see exactly what Birx does and why he is so well placed.

AP Photo / Adrian Kraus

First, we should talk about the methods it is required to run. We’ve been taught out of the draft that Birx is the guy who will do best early on with the waves, curls, and crunchy ways.

The Titans found a better way to take advantage of it in all of them.

Birx’s physicality was one of his best traits when he graduated from school and we see it on display here. The corner is in tight leg coverage, but Birx just runs through him, uses his arm in the lead to create some space, and makes a hard catch.

George Walker IV – USA TODAY Sports

Another path that requires physical ones is the plexus path.

Using this upper arm to create a touch of space is a delicate movement that, for a beginner, will give you high hopes of being able to master this early in his career.

He’ll be bigger than nearly every corner back he sees, so using his strength in these tough situations will allow him to win when there isn’t a lot of room. I can’t expect to win every time as a beginner, though…

Andrew Nellis – USA TODAY Sports

Birx is the only man in the crime of titans who’s afraid to get too deep. This is exactly why the Titans need him to do more of him; Only he can make room for slower players like Woods, NWI, Burks, and Hooper.

Not only that, but even attempting some of those deep shots, in theory, should open things up for the entire attack. Burks have speed for header skills and ball skills to win the top.

Love these two tries from the first week.

The first time, Birx makes a gentle move at the line of scrimmage to release him on his way. This is 100 percent pass interference and if pyrex is not dealt with directly, I think it will end with it. At least, this should be a spot bug and a fall first, but Bogger…

Gregory Fisher – USA TODAY Sports

The second is nowhere near the opening, but just having the Burks attract two of the databases would be important going forward. I’d like to see Pyrex squeeze the outer corner a bit before leaning in, but hey, the guy is a newbie!

Guild: Tennessee

It’s nice to see the Burks succeed in the ways we thought he would, but the other component is the way the Titans plan the Burks touches. I like what I’ve seen so far. Take the main ingredient in Titans: Play Action Glance.

I’ve seen this play play a hundred times [REDACTED] Over the past few years Burks has had a chance to slide straight into similar success. Fake to Henry Road, bang right over the middle.

AP Photo / Mark Zaleski

One of my favorite examples of striped touches is this theatrical scroll that comes out of the gun.

The giants run intense shaping to create a space on the outside and run pyrex through the formation to the opposite apartment. This creates an easy position for the ball to catch and places the ball in space so he can do what he does best.

AP Photo / Mark Zaleski

This is a similar idea, but on designer drag. One of the things I’ve noticed this season is that teams play a much bigger role in covering men in the early touchdowns to try and clear out the space that recipients get in PA passes.

The Titans see this too, so here they go with the drag path concept that uses two narrow ends as screens for the Burks.

Sadly, NPF and Nate Davis give up on spot pressure; A tough throw, too, but sports QBs can play that play. Either way, Birx could have run for days if the trail got there. Love the opportunity that was created.

AP Photo / Mark Zaleski

Our next play may make me more excited than ever. The Titans need explosive plays and Burke, as I mentioned earlier, is the only one who can give them that in a scrolling game.

Here is a nice deep crossing path. The Giants are players that, again, teams play a lot against the Titans with their lack of dynamic threats. Birx comes down Robert Woods to create a pickaxe and run wide open in the middle of the field. Please come back.

AP Photo / Gail Burton

Similar idea here where the Giants want to push Birx across the field, but this is meant to attack the area. Birx is the middle man of the three ways passing over the middle. This is called the flood concept.

Having the Burks be the perfect target in these plays will be key. Now, Burkes is a newbie, so I get it, but I’d like to see him cut this inside and score. He’s so ready to just indulge men and get down. I think when the game starts to slow down for him and he’s in peak condition, he’ll be able to.

AP Photo / Matt Durisko

The last play I want to show you is just clever design. Titans try to get cute with things like this a lot, in my opinion, rather than just running regular plays, but in a really long third situation, I see why.

The defense will back out and protect the first line. Downing says it’s fine and runs a tailored screen to Burks. I love the way Tannehill is constantly directing Birks in advance to try and get perfect timing.

What I like the most is how the three blocks work on the other side. Hopper takes the inner man, NWI pinches down again to close, then Haskins like a lead blocker rises to CB. Very clever, but the defense must react exactly as you think or it will not work. Oh yeah, it won’t work for anyone else except Birx either.

Well, you lied. Again. Watch this awesome back crack from week one!

Burkes is a rookie and I’m getting titans not wanting to give him too much too soon. However, for this season, the Giants need to double or triple what I showed above.

Pyrex may be a bright spot, but if you don’t turn on the light enough, darkness will devour the team. I beg you, Todd Downing, please make the ball out of Pyrex more.

And Titans fans: get excited, we might have another one!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: