This piece is going to be about Te’Cory Couch, but it’s also going to be about how offensive coordinators evaluate players in their game planning process using language systems like the R4 coaching system created by Dub Maddox (Twitter: @CoachDubMaddox).
Couch is a former consensus four-star prospect per ESPN, Rivals and 247 Sports. Coming out of high school Couch was an Under Armor All-American and a state champion in Florida’s 3A classification at Chaminade-Madonna in South Florida.
As a freshman at The U, Couch made his name on special teams. The undersized defender played in 13 games as a true freshman. As a sophomore, Couch took over a starting role in the final four games of the season. In 2020, Couch played in all 11 games and logged 37 tackles, an interception and seven PBU’s.
Above- you can see Couch’s tape as put together by good brother @Holloway__52 on Twitter.
So what do OC’s look for during game planning in order to “game plan” for certain players on the other side of the field? In Dub Maddox’s newest book, Capology, the author and football coach digs deeper into what Coverage, Alignment, and Personnel stand for, and how coaches can use a common language to streamline the decision making process for quarterbacks and OC’s to talk through issues in real-time. Coach Maddox hinges his Caplogy language on whether a route is Capped or Uncapped. Capped means a route is covered while Uncapped means it is not covered.
When it comes to the C of C.A.P., Coverage is the “...spatial language for Capology, “ says Maddox (p. 56). Per Capology, a defender can be over and outside, over and inside, under and outside, or under and inside of a defender (p. 57). Over and under are based on the hard deck or the line 7 yards from the line of scrimmage.
Over means deeper than the hard deck pre-snap, and outside means aligned outside of the WR. Over and inside means deeper than the hard deck and inside leverage, while under and outside means under the hard deck and inside the WR, while under and outside means under the hard deck and inside leverage of the WR (p. 30).
When it comes to the A of C.A.P., Alignment is the “...time language for Capology” (p. 60). This can include the info from Coverage, but also the ‘hip angles’ of the defender. There are four hip angles according to Capology. Those four are Square, Full, Man, and Zone. On page 30 of Capology, Maddox explains the post-snap hip angles in full detail. Square being straight ahead towards the line of scrimmage (LOS), Man being turned to the sideline, Zone being turned to the middle of the field, and Full being turned to the end zone behind the defender.
The P in C.A.P. is called Personnel and that’s the individual talent or “locomotive language” of Capology according to Maddox (p. 62). Remember that ability can overrule a space being capped or uncapped. Think about Devonta Smith being covered by Tuf Borland (above) in the College Football Playoff Championship Game. Pre-snap Mr. Borland can cap Mr. Smith but not post-snap.
Smith may start the play capped but bros let’s face it, Tuf Borland is about as swift on his feet as Al Borland was at dodging a prank during a Halloween special edition Tool Time episode on Home Improvement.
Couch and Capology
In my piece, “What college coaches look for in a defensive back prospect,” I spoke to a G5 and a P5 assistant about what they look for in a cornerback prospect. Both coaches were looking for: Ball judgment, plant & drive, catch-up speed, burst to close (what Dub calls Closure), and the ability to play man-to-man. But what if a high school coach could share over his Capology report (I made that phrase up, but I’ve posted my mock up of Dub’s grading sheets from p. 67 below) to a college recruiter?
Couch started the Virginia Tech game in 2020 and that’s the All-22 film that I will use to break down his play using Maddox’s C.A.P. Accelerator Grading sheet. Against the Hokies, Couch logged 5 tackles, 0.5 TFL’s, 0.5 sacks, one PBU and one INT.
The chart below will break down Couch’s play from the nine plays (six on the chart and three more in the bonus box) in the video above. Cushion means that Couch is playing off, while Collision means he’s playing on and looking to jam the WR and knock him off his route. In order to rate positive for Cushion there needs to be a 4-yard window, for Collision, the route needs to be re-directed via the bump.
So what does this mean for Mr. Couch? How about we compare the recruiting characteristics to the CAP chart.
Ball judgment- Couch has a nice interception on the post where he leaves his man on an overthrown ball for the INT.
Plant and drive- Couch came away with one positive (+) and one negative (-) rating against the hitch, with a neutral against the speed out, leaving him neutral in this ability.
Catch-up speed- Couch scored neutral (0) against the slant to corner (Shake concept?) but stuck right there with it the entire way (maybe I was too harsh on my rating).
Man-to-Man- The areas for concern would be how often Couch missed on his collision or it didn’t derail the route. He’s undersized so bump and run might not be his expertise, but he also lost his 4-yard window when using a cushion technique.
Areas for improvement: Consistency and tackling (the entire roster) will be his areas for improvement for Couch moving forward in 2021.
2021 season prediction: 35 tackles, 3 interceptions, 7 PBU’s.