Film study offers insight, raises questions

Updated: January 10, 2006, 4:31 PM ET
By Gary Horton | Scouts Inc.
Playoff matchups give us endless story lines, and the film room gives us endless X's and O's to dissect. A week of watching film on this weekend's wild-card participants has provided a lot of insight into how each might approach its opening-round playoff game while also raising some questions about where their opponents might attack them.

Here are a dozen observations on wild-card weekend:


Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Scouting report | Take 2: Edge to Skins | Inside the matchups

1. Watch out for Redskins TE Chris Cooley

Chris Cooley
Cooley
Cooley, who has become one of Washington's most effective vertical weapons, will work out of the traditional tight end position or as an H-back. He will go in motion, work out of the slot and even line up at fullback. A better receiver than blocker, Cooley will be a tough matchup for Tampa Bay's linebackers in coverage. If the Buccaneers blitz and play man-to-man, Cooley will torch their linebackers. But if they rush only four and stay in their Cover 2, he has the ability to attack the intermediate perimeter or deep middle between the safeties, giving immobile QB Mark Brunell an easy and safe target.
Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.