About Ken McKusick

Ken McKusick

Ken comes to us via area message boards where he has consistently posted some of the most insightful and memorable posts that you'll find anywhere.  Known as "Filmstudy", Ken is a lifelong Baltimorean and rabid fan of Baltimore sports who grew up about 1 mile from Memorial Stadium.  He attended all but a handful of Orioles home games from 1979 through 2001.   Ken bleeds orange in more ways than one.  He's a graduate of Syracuse University, where he earned degrees in both Broadcast Journalism and Math and now works locally as an actuary. The message board member name "Filmstudy" comes from his collection of video from every Ravens game ever played and his player-participation-by-play tracking system for defense that he developed in 2006.  This system is the cornerstone of his thoughtful and one-of-a-kind analysis of the complex Ravens defense.  

FILMSTUDY: In Search of Defensive Playmakers

daltywebb
In a game where the offense again struggled mightily, the defense leveraged an early lead into an extraordinary playmaking effort. Discussion about this defense over the last several weeks has centered on their inability to make big plays.  The lead for all of the 2nd half provided a lens for just how effective this unit would be if the offense can provide some points. In particular, Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb, Elvis Dumervil, Daryl Smith, and James Ihedigbo all turned in numerous big plays. The big defensive story for the Ravens...

FILMSTUDY: Spiderman Returns

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Everyone likes a sequel. And the return of Lardarius Webb to the slot on Sunday proved a blockbuster. In 2011 and 2012, Webb was used as an outside corner in the standard (4 DB) packages and matched up with the slot receiver in the nickel. Lardarius had spent the season as an outside corner exclusively prior to Sunday, presumably in deference to his 2012 ACL tear. It is quite rare that an outside corner will ever be used to rush the passer.  However, with his return to coverage of the slot...

FILMSTUDY: Pass Protection Not to Blame for Struggles in Cleveland

USP NFL: BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS S FBN USA OH
The scoring of the offensive line is based on 67 offensive snaps for the Ravens, all of which were competitive. Let’s start with a note on the phantom holding call.  The Ravens were flagged for holding (Q2, 7:20) that left them 2nd and 20 and led to the drive stalling 2 plays later.  Referee Scott Green announced the flag on number 64.  No Raven wears number 64 currently, but the announcers surmised Oher must have been guilty while the Gamebook charged the hold to Gradkowski.  I don’t believe either is...

FILMSTUDY: Ravens YAC Up Loss to Browns

Browns YAC
Defensive Notes vs. Browns 11/3/13 The Ravens lost this game on a handful of big Yards After the Catch (YAC) plays that led to scores or changed field position. Let’s review: (Q1, 11:25) Campbell threw a 9-yard pass to Little between Webb and Daryl Smith. Both Ravens went for the ball, but Little came away with it and weaved through traffic for 23 YAC past tackle attempts from Ihedigbo and Elam. (Q2, 11:22) Little caught a short crossing route 2 yards from the LOS and turned up the left sideline...

FILMSTUDY: OL Improves vs. Pittsburgh, but Gino’s Struggles Continue

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers
I wanted to provide a brief evaluation of the linemen only this week. The scoring is based on 61 offensive snaps for the Ravens, all of which were competitive. Monroe:  Eugene had his first excellent game as a Raven.  He did not make a single error resulting in a negative score and missed just 4 blocks.   He pulled successfully once, administered 2 pancakes, and made 2 blocks in level 2.  Scoring:  57 blocks, 4 missed, 57 points (.93 per play).  A.  The last LT to play as well for the...

FILMSTUDY: Defense Run Over by Steelers’ Ground Attack

bellgoesin
This year, it’s the Ravens losing a mess of close games, but this one had its own reasons for being hard to take. The Ravens surrendered 13 rushing plays of 6+ yards, something that should not happen to a team with a good run defense. Here is a brief breakdown (no pun intended) of those 13 plays:   (Q1, 14:04, 1/15)  The Steelers lined up with 4 wide receivers in the shotgun and zone blocked right.  Gilbert blocked Upshaw, DeCastro and Velasco moved Jones, and Arthur Brown was caught in...

FILMSTUDY: Ravens O-Line Missing Their Secret Weapon?

Flacco under pressure v Packers
Offensive Line Model and Notes vs. Packers Let me start by saying I agree emphatically with John Harbaugh’s decision to go for the TD on 4th and goal from the 1. I am frankly amazed that McCarthy declined the holding call on Wagner (Q2, 5:37) to allow the opportunity. In what I’ll call “the early Harbaugh years” the Ravens had consistent success on such plays centered on straight-ahead blocking with the insertion of the forgotten man, Haloti Ngata. I accumulated data for the 30 snaps Ngata played between 10/26/08 and...

FILMSTUDY: Defensive Notes v. Packers

Suggs Intro
Losing At Home is Never Good But… Like most close NFL games, this was a woulda/coulda/shoulda game that could have been decided by any number of close plays or decisions. A loss at home is never good, but if it’s going to happen, these circumstances can mitigate the impact: • Lose to a good team • Lose to an NFC opponent • Avoid injuries in the process • Play competitively such that the game doesn’t have negative predictive ramifications The Ravens appear to have met the first 3 conditions. We’ll...

FILMSTUDY: Joe Flacco Under Pressure

Flacco pressured
Success with Limited Time and Space Last week, Joe Flacco suffered through one of the worst games of his career with 5 interceptions, 4 of which came without pressure from the pass rush. This week, Flacco turned the tables on the Dolphins, delivering a big game despite constant pressure.  He had ample time and space (ATS) on just 11 of 34 drop backs (32%). Here is a look at his numbers both with and without ATS versus the Dolphins: (1) YPP ~ Yards Per Pass (includes sacks) Those numbers become much...

FILMSTUDY: Eugene Monroe’s 2013 Body of Work

NFL 2013: Chiefs vs Jaguars SEP 08
Eugene Monroe should start his first game for the Ravens against the Packers this weekend. I went back to score his first 4 games with the Jaguars. While he played reasonably well in 3 of the 4 games, he cratered in week 2 against the Raiders. Here is a week-by-week analysis followed by a chart that provides a snapshot of Monroe’s body of work to-date in 2013. KC (week 1): Eugene’s primary assignment was Tamba Hali. Hali is a quick, long pass rusher who should give a short-armed player like Monroe...

FILMSTUDY: O-Line Struggles Continue in Miami

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Offensive Line Model and Notes vs. Dolphins 10/6/13 Joe Flacco’s performance deserves a piece of its own this week, so I’ll forgo the normal Ample-Time-and-Space statistics other than to say Joe had ATS on just 11 of 34 drop backs. That should get you prepared for some of the OL grades and whet your appetite for additional review and scoring of Eugene Monroe’s play with the Jaguars (CLICK HERE). In addition to Flacco and Torrey Smith, the Ravens’ other big offensive weapon, Justin Tucker, hit 4 field goals and put...

FILMSTUDY: Keeping it Fresh in Miami

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The Ravens first road win can be attributed to pass-rushing depth, an offensive snap advantage (73 to 56), and an active rotation that kept them fresh for a decisive 2nd half in the Miami heat. Terrell Suggs is playing as if demoted from a higher league right now. After a surreal 17-tackle performance against the Bills, he continued his fine play against the run while accumulating three 4th-quarter sacks: • (Q4, 11:36) Suggs beat Martin outside and had a little extra time to return from behind the QB for a 5-yard...

FILMSTUDY: Offensive Line Issues Abound in Loss to Bills

joedownbills
Note: I wrote this piece before the news of Monroe’s acquisition came through. For my thoughts on Eugene Monroe, click here.  I frequently get asked, “What is ATS?” ATS stands for Ample Time and Space.  I define that as a pass play where the QB has at least 3 full seconds to pass beginning with the snap and has room to step into the throw in a 120 degree arc centered on the targeted receiver. A QB may have ATS on a play where he moves from the pocket by...

FILMSTUDY: Welcome to Baltimore Eugene Monroe

eugene-monroe
I wanted to give you my first impressions from watching the coach’s film of his first 4 games this season. Monroe is not Superman, but he’s a sharp contrast from Bryant McKinnie. Starting with the basics, he knows his responsibility on every play. He doesn’t end up with a befuddled look and he frequently is seen communicating with the G or TE on his side. His biggest physical asset is quickness, which he uses to gain consistent positional advantage. It would be difficult to overstate the importance of quick feet...

The Oh-and-Three Lament

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No one would want our record But the writers can climb a tree The best team in the league or maybe ever That started 0-3 The O and D are listless Axe Lebeau or only Haley? I could coach a bunch of zombies And be no worse than 0-3     Redman was so clutch for us A third-down back to see Now he’s caught a case of fumbleitis Which led to 0-3 We’ll get a top five pick at least Want Bridgewater or Clowney? Goodell, stop the Browns from...

FILMSTUDY: Osemele Passes While All Others Fail v. Texans

KO
Offensive Line Notes vs. Texans 9/22/13 The Ravens offense did a few things well Sunday despite rumors of its demise. For the second consecutive week, the team converted exactly 8 of 16 3rd downs. In addition, one of the failures was subsequently converted by Joseph’s silly taunting foul. What’s more, they relied far less on pick routes to do so. However, we discussed the Ravens’ conversion success last week and I want to talk about Tandon Doss’ 82-yard, punt-return TD (Q2, 1:05) which broke open the game. The Ravens lined...

FILMSTUDY: Defensive Analysis ~ Ravens vs. Texans

Haloti v Texans
The Ravens entered Sunday’s game a little thin on the defensive line with Chris Canty and Brandon Williams both sidelined. When Terrence Cody was injured on the first drive and the Texans ran out snapped the Ravens 22-6 in the first quarter, the situation didn’t look better. Few teams could successfully recover from being both overworked and short-handed, but the Ravens did so and won a lopsided 30-9 decision versus the Texans. To summarize the Ravens’ defensive wins: • They did not allow a pass (or any play for that...

FILMSTUDY: Offensive Line Model and Notes vs. Browns 9/15/13

joethrowbrowns
Open the stat sheet from Sunday’s game and you’ll see that the Ravens converted 8 of 16 3rd-down opportunities. Overall efficiency was excellent and the team improved to 7 for 9 in their dominant 2nd half.  What’s bothersome is the reliance on rubs and picks to get separation for their slower receivers, most notably Stokley.  The other issue is reliance on YAC to convert. Let’s review those 16 plays: (Q1, 12:43, 3rd/7)  Clark lined up left in the backfield and drifted left uncovered. Flacco threw a strike to him 2...

FILMSTUDY: Defensive Notes vs. Browns 9/15/13

weedendown
Any Ravens fan fortunate enough to have seen the 2000 defense in action has some fond memories of that unit. The 2013 Ravens aren’t going to remind us of the 2000 champions from the season statistics, but for an afternoon they reminded me of the “11 billiard balls” defense that swarmed to the football and evoked fear in their opponents 13 years ago. On multiple occasions they had 4+ men taking down the ball carrier, highlighted by the yearbook-cover sack of Weeden (Q2, 2:00) where 5 of the 6 Ravens...

FILMSTUDY: Offensive Line Grades and Notes vs. Broncos

Dallas Clark Drop
Flacco was sacked 4 times in 66 dropbacks. It’s never good to get sacked 4 times in a game, but that’s 6.1%, below the 6.7% rate at which Ravens QB’s were sacked in 2012. It’s always good to start with the positives. The scoring is based on 87 offensive snaps for the Ravens, all of which were contested. McKinnie: Bryant brain farted when he failed to zone block with the rest of the line, leaving Irving untouched to take down Rice for a loss of 2 (Q3, 12:30). He was...
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