The Passing Chronicles: Light in the Darkness (or, Coco Stitch)

The Packers came off a thrilling comeback victory against the Saints, then immediately got their teeth kicked-in by the Lions a few days later. I was at Lambeau for the Saints game. For this game, I was in a local sports bar that seemed to be simultaneously having end-of-year-parties for a rugby club team and a little league baseball team. 

And there, in the middle of it all, were the Packers getting depantsed on national TV. At least the wings were really cheap. Good memories, man. 

We’re looking at the call itself and the responsibilities. As a reminder, this is how the Packers structure their calls:

  1. Motion/Shift
  2. Formation & Strength
  3. Formation Variation
  4. Motion
  5. Run Concept or Pass Pro
  6. Pass Concept

Playcall: Gun Dyno RT 2 Jet Coco Stitch

Formation & Strength: Gun Dyno RT

“Dyno” is actually a combination formation/strength. It’s their Dice formation with an Open tag for the Y tight end (where he will align 5 yards away from the tackle). Instead of the normal “Dice RT Open,” they just combine it to “Dyno”.

Pass Pro: 2(00) Jet

Slide protection call. Against this look - 4 man split front on the defensive line and the Sam LB lined up across from the ball - 2 Jet calls for the left tackle, left guard and center to fall into pass pro on the left, while the right guard and right tackle set up on the right. The running back (H) reads inside-out in pass protection, then releases through the line. 

Pass Concept: Coco Stitch

(As always, I used Dan Casey's Play Caller's Club book as a template for the above image. It's a really fun book to mess around with.)

“Coco” is a two-man concept, which gets its name from smashing the names of the two routes together. It’s comprised of a C.O. route and a Corner route. I get a kick out of the C.O. route. It’s a Choice route that removes the choice and locks to an out route. It is a route that once knew free will, but now only knows predetermination. 

“Stitch” is a two man concept with a Hitch/Fade on the outside and a Coin route from the inside. Where “C.O.” is a Choice route without choices, “Coin” is a Choice route that two possible choices: sit down at the top of the route or break outside. Slowly working our way to complete freedom.

You’ll see a note on the Hitch/Fade about running the fade vs. “Tuff”. Without getting into all the specifics, “Tuff” is a single-high coverage that starts as a two-high shell pre-snap. One safety rotates down to the line post-snap to pick up the flat while the other safety rotates back to the middle of the field. That would give a one-on-one on the outside, which is why that would convert to a fade.

Here’s how that breaks down by section:

The read here is tricky. Stitch is a three-step concept (Hitch/Fade #1, Coin #2), while Coco sees the C.O. route as the primary read, but the Corner route is the Alert. As we talked about last week, Alert isn’t truly part of the read, but if the QB sees favorable coverage pre-snap or immediately post-snap it becomes his only read.

It becomes a half-field read. What concept does Love want to work? Based on the linebacker’s inside leverage over Luke Musgrave [88] in the right slot - and the two-high coverage the Lions are showing - Love is likely looking to check the safeties, hit his back foot and throw to Musgrave on the Coin. After the snap he checks the safeties, and that’s what drives him to throw the Alert.

On this play, Samori Toure [83] is the X running the Corner route while Jayden Reed [11] is the F running the C.O. route. When Love checks the safeties, he sees the safety over Toure backpedaling at the snap, so he believes he has a favorable match-up. The Packers are also down 34-17 late in the 4th quarter and the Packers need points fast, so he’s looking to take a shot if it’s there.

As Toure pushes vertical, the safety bails to the post, opening even more room for the throw. 

Aidan Hutchinson [97] beats Zach Tom [50] around the edge, so Love slides to his left and throws the ball up to Toure, who makes a nice contested catch for a 35 yard gain.

Nicely done all the way around.

Even in the darkness, a little light slips in.

Albums listened to: Bnny - One Million Love Songs; The Black Keys - Ohio Players; Chappell Roan - The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess; Maggie Rogers - Don’t Forget Me; English Teacher - This Could Be Texas; Pavement - Wowee Zowee




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].


3 points

Comments (4)

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T7Steve's picture

April 18, 2024 at 07:02 am

Thanks, Dusty. I thought I'd missed you this week.

This repetition is starting to work on me. I'm not having to go back and forth too many times to get the order of the call like I did at first.

Guess that's why it helps the players when they keep practicing. It must be frustrating for the coaches with the limited time they have for live practice, so these "Passing Chronicles" prove to me that you can get this stuff across in the classroom to even us with limited brains and knowledge.

Do they set stuff up like this on their devices for the guys to study on their own at home? I always think of the playbook in terms of the old loose-leaf binder that I used in school that looked like your sketches above.

1 points
jont's picture

April 18, 2024 at 02:38 pm

"Guess that's why it helps the players when they keep practicing."

This is it. Mid-season last year all those young receivers started to truly grasp all of this at more or less the same time-- that 'stop thinking and just play' part-- and all of a sudden X made the right read, Y got around the CB, and the pattern worked like they drew it up.

2 points
GB@Germany's picture

April 19, 2024 at 02:03 am

Another great article.
What is most fascinating to me is, how these complex plays boil down to a one or two look decission, enabling the QB to make the right call very quickly.
It also explains, why it was so hard to complete targets in the beginning of last season. With so much anticipation in many of these throws, the route running need to be as much on point as the throwing.

2 points
T7Steve's picture

April 19, 2024 at 07:04 am

Also, have you noticed (and I've commented to Dusty about it) that on virtually every play he shows, there are others wide open.

Towards the end of last season, Love seemed to have the confidence to go for the big play rather than the easy open receiver that would only get a few yards. Earlier he was just taking the first close option.

It's so exciting watching this team grow together. Sort of unprecedented in my experience of the NFL. More like college where the guys are all young and about the same age learning together.

0 points