Thursday, April 16

The More I Look...

The more I see:

This is my favorite clip from MLU's 2014 season.

It starts with the PHL's Dave Brandolph splitting of the double.  
It continues with the comical reaction from the Boston defender who seems to be asking for spurious travel calls to save him.
Then the nicely angled slicing pass between two unprepared Boston defenders released in slightly modified stride.

Just brilliant

But then I noticed something else just today.  When #25 (Trey Katzenbach) bounces the disc back to Brandolph, it has an IO tilt on it.  This is a teachable moment.

Brandolph's momentum is taking him at a diagonal toward the lower left of the screen.  He has beaten two defenders and is maintaining his advantageous leverage over the defense through quickness and speed.  He's driving toward the next two Boston defenders, forcing them to decide what to do (fall back or step up) and collapsing the timeline for their ability to react to the aforementioned through pass.

Katzenbach does a great job waiting to give Brandolph time to improve his positional advantage without tarrying so long that the remainder of Boston's defense catches up.  However, he throws a quite suboptimal pass to Brandolph.

The little IO backhand he throws has a short flight path which forces Brandolph to catch it at a specific moment rather than giving him the option of either catching immediately or delaying.  An IO backhand which sits out in front of the receiver, and then floats in the direction Brandolph is running would be a far better option.

However, the other issue that the short IO backhand causes is that Brandolph must look further to his left than he would desire.  The path of the disc starts on from the left side of his head and eventually gets to a point where he can see with both eyes.  This forces his vision to adjust from keeping his head downfield to picking up the disc from the corner of his left eye.  You can see this starting from frame 99 to frame 108 (controls are on the lower right of the image), give or take, as Brandolph's body is facing one direction while he is turning his head to see a thrower behind him and to the left.

The solution here would be for Katzenbach to throw either a slightly arced OI R-backhand which would sit out in front of Brandolph in the same field of vision as the direction he is running and then bank back toward him, or a flat R-backhand with a little more lead on it for Brandolph to run onto. Or, if we're really aiming for perfection: Katzenbach should keep his shoulders square to Brandolph (rather than turning away) and look to the IO L-Backhand which will sit in front of Brandolph, and then softly bank toward him.

A two-handed thrower, in this context, would have the ideal throw for the situation. A single-handed thrower has many slightly less good options.

95% of this play is perfect, and Brandolph does a fantastic job picking up the downfield state quickly enough to deliver the next pass, but his job would be made even easier by a perfect throw from Katzenbach.