Equanimeous St. Brown's 2018: Run-blocking and Speed

In part 2 of his series on EQ, Dusty breaks down his run-blocking and speed

Welcome back! Today, we are in part 2 of our three part series reviewing the 2018 season from Equanimeous St. Brown (EQ). In part 1, we looked at his route-running. Today we're going to be looking at two categories: Run-blocking and Speed. I wanted to double-up here because, while I love speed - and have a need for it - I was having a difficult time figuring out different ways to say, "Man, that guy is pretty fast." 

So let's get started!

Run-Blocking

EQ is not a big guy. At 6'5", 214lbs, he looks more like a string bean than a stout run-blocker. When I look at run-blocking from a wide receiver, I'm not necessarily looking for him to be a rock in that aspect of his game, but I am looking for him to be willing and look like he knows what he's doing. Basically, are you in good position and are you putting in effort on those plays? So let's dig in and see how EQ looked in the role of run-blocker in 2018.

EQ is lined up in the slot and the Packers are running an inside zone to Jamaal Williams. He gets inside position on his defender and walls him off from the inside, sticking with him until the whistle. It's not much, but he puts himself in a good position to do his job and plays to the whistle.

Okay, so this technically isn't a run-block, but I decided to put it in this article anyway, because I make the rules around here. (That last part is not true.)

I really love the effort here; when he finally locks onto a defender, he uses the defender's momentum against him, turning him and driving him out of the play completely.

His assignment is a tough ask. They're running a WR screen for Davante Adams, and the Lions have 3 defenders to that side; one over each receiver. The ball comes out quick, but the defender over EQ attacks when the ball arrives, leaving EQ with a tough choice. As the play develops, you can see him sizing up both defenders, trying to figure out which one to block. When one of them attacks, he picks up that one and drives him into the dirt.

I have no idea what his actual assignment was here. If EQ blocks the inner-most defender - the one aligned over Adams who drifts into EQ's area - it seems like that would have provided a better lane for Adams to run through. Of course, we have the benefit of hindsight and a wide angle of the entire field. It's quite possible that EQ did exactly what he was supposed to do in this situation. It's also possible that he was supposed to block the inside man. I can't speak to that, but I can speak to the block itself. Which is pretty great.

I love this one. The Packers are running an RPO, with one of the options as a smoke throw to EQ on the boundary. He steps back at the snap and anticipates the throw, but Rodgers hands off to Jamaal Williams. As soon as he sees the hand-off, he takes off up the field and looks for someone to block. He gets good position, engages his man and drives him down the field.

I say "drives" him, because I believe it's accurate, but he doesn't have to do a ton with the block itself. He "drives" his man, but his man is already kind of drifting. Still, to me, this shows an understanding of where he needs to be in terms of position and assignment. 

EQ doesn't do a ton here, but, again, he does his job. He engages with the initial defender on the edge, releases then works his way up to the second level and drives until the whistle blows. Given the condensed formations LaFleur likes to run, we're likely to see EQ in this position occasionally this coming year. It's nice to know he at least knows what he is supposed to do.

Releases off the line, gets good position, and locks his man up until the whistle blows.

Speed

We just watched EQ do some work as a blocker. Now let's just watch him run fast.

I don't have this one in "Route-running" because the route itself is something I would describe as "perfectly fine," but it's his speed that opens this up. He drives at the outside shoulder of his man, gets him to turn, then cuts back inside. 

And then, of course, he goes down for the catch.

EQ gets inside leverage from the jump, driving at the inside shoulder of his defender. Once he gets that position, he doesn't just use that. He veers back towards the middle to get into the body of his defender, then breaks on the crosser to get more separation. After that, he just outruns his man to the sideline. 

If you're familiar with the transition go throw, this should look familiar to you. Just beats his man clean off the line and outruns him down the field. 

No muss, no fuss. Just taking the outside release and outrunning his man down the field.

EQ does a decent job with his hands at the line to disengage from the defender, then just keeps working and fighting as he outruns his defender down the sideline.

In this clip, you can really see how EQ is able to create separation as he pushes down the field. Has a nice lateral break to create the initial separation, then creates more as he races down the field.

EQ gets the inside and just runs. He runs fast. Again, you can see how he creates separation in a straight line.

Again, this section basically amounted to "tall man runs fast," but I think these clips do a good job of showing one of the weapons at his disposal. He ran a 4.48 40, which isn't blazing speed, but is more than fast enough for a man of his size and ability.


This concludes our look at the run-blocking and speed aspects of EQ's game. Granted, it's not everything, but I feel it's a good representation of those aspects of his game. Like I mentioned at the top, he's not amazing in the blocking game, but he knows where he is supposed to be and he works hard. For the vast majority of wide receivers, that all you can ask for.

I'll be back next week with the final article in this series: coverage recognition. I don't have a ton of clips, but it will still be interesting. I promise.


Albums listened to: Hazel English - Wake Up!; Sarah Bethe Nelson - Weird Glow; Stevie Wonder - Talking Book; Angel Olsen - Whole New Mess; Marvin Gaye - What's Going On

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Dusty Evely is a film analyst for Cheesehead TV. He can be heard talking about the Packers on Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter at @DustyEvely or email at [email protected].

8 points

Comments (9)

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Leatherhead's picture

September 02, 2020 at 04:14 pm

I’m enjoying these breakdowns. The Lazard/MVS/ EQ trio brings a lot to the position.

I would not envy the guy who line up against this group. They’re all bigger than whoever you put out here.

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Archie's picture

September 02, 2020 at 05:13 pm

If the WRs come through this season, as I expect they will, Gutey will be looking good for building his offense his way w/o chasing the shiny object when it wasn't there, in the draft, as in WR value. EQ, MVS, the Lizard and Big D should be plenty when complemented by our RBS and TEs and a QB that seems to have assimilated the new offensive style in year 2. Now, can we find a solution at RT?

Losing Kamal hurts but he will be back for the stretch run. It's do or die time for Burks.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

September 03, 2020 at 10:19 am

I have been a strong advocate for ESB, MVS, and Lazard from day one. Barring injury these three will be helping the offense for some time. I also have been a strong advocate for Tonyan since very early on.

We all know Rodgers has favorites and I'm really glad for several reasons Graham is gone. If healthy Rodgers is going to have a great year as well as many of the aforementioned. I also very much like the fact Rodgers is checking down to RB's quite a bit in camp.

Depending on how Ervin, Aaron Jones, EQS, and even Adam's is being used as receivers I still wonder if a quick twitch slot receiver would be nice? They already have the slot receiver talent on the team depending on how these players are used, plus there is Sheperd. The Packers have a lot of weapons in the pass receiving game.

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dblbogey's picture

September 02, 2020 at 09:10 pm

I appreciate the time and effort you put into these.

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CHEESEHEADDALLAS's picture

September 03, 2020 at 05:27 am

Just think what the this teams would have if we would have drafted chase claypool

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murf7777's picture

September 03, 2020 at 08:23 am

A lot of unknown and potential with our wide receiving group. I think we will be fine, my main concern on offense is our RT position and depth on OL. Veldheer ears are ringing.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

September 03, 2020 at 10:25 am

Barring a real talent surprisingly sliding in round 1 of the 2021 draft I have been advocating for months the Packers need to focus on OT in round 1 next year. OT in my opinion is their weakest link on the team. Whether a 1st round selection or not OT has to be a priority. A priority even where 2 OT's are drafted high.

The Packers IMO are surpringly set (even after years of defensive draft capital) at every position on offense except at OT.

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CoachDino's picture

September 03, 2020 at 06:09 pm

Great Stuff. Hope to see much more of this,,,

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Tundraboy's picture

September 03, 2020 at 06:14 pm

Along with Confessions,this has become my go-to article., Two of the many reasons why this site is head and shoulders better than the rest. Thanks.

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