In the week four game versus the Memphis Express, Fleet’s quarterback Philip Nelson suffered an injury. Head Coach Mike Martz announced Monday that Nelson sustained a fractured clavicle in the teams 26-23 loss to the express. The Injury will sideline Nelson for at least a month. The Fleet will turn to week one starter Mike Bercovici to take over the starting job with Nelson out.
Our latest on the @AAFFleet quarterback carousel. @MikeBerco is back in as the starter. @phil_nelson9 is out 4-to-6 weeks with a broken collarbone. @aross004 remains the backup. And Alek Torgersen has been signed to the roster. https://t.co/T2D27Mlswx pic.twitter.com/NedyCtJArc
— SDFleetBeat (@SDFleetBeat) March 5, 2019
No matter who the starting quarterback is the Fleet will need to protect the quarterback better. The Fleet’s offensive line has given up 16 sacks in four games, that’s an average off four sacks a game. If the Fleet want to keep the quarterbacks healthy, they need to protect them better
One way to slow down a pass rush is to keep a tight end and running back in to block. This type of blocking is max protection; it is used to help protect the quarterback when the offensive line has trouble pass protecting. Coach Martz might not be a big fan of this, but he has to Make sure Bercovici is protected especially after taking that big hit in week 1. Max protecting would help out on critical passing downs to keep Bercovici clean.
Chip block is an unexpected quick-hitting block performed by a tight end or running back before releasing into there route to help offensive line with the challenging assignments. The chip block can throw defensive lineman off balance and give the offensive line advantage in pass blocking. Doing this would provide Bercovici extra time to get the ball down the field.
Quick Passing Game
If your offensive line is struggling, the fleet should go to the quick passing game. Running quick slants and hitches to get the ball out of Bercovici hands. Employing this method should lessen the pressure on the struggling offensive line. As a result, Mike Bercovici must not hold on to the ball a long time when protected well. There was a couple of times last week when Alex Ross hung on the ball way too long and took a sack. As a quarterback, you must have a clock in your head to get rid of the ball or take off scrambling.
Run The Ball
Running back Ja’Quan Gardner leads the AAF in rushing with 287 yards, and Terrell Watson has 175 rushing yards on the season. A nice duo in the backfield, the Fleet need to lean on these to guys to help out the offensive line. Therefore running the ball well slows down the pass rush because it will tire out the defensive line. A tired defense line means a slow pass rush, and you will have tons of time to pass.