Cosell Coaching Tape: 2020 Robert Tonyan


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Cosell Coaching Tape: 2020 Robert Tonyan

NFL Films/ESPN legend — and one of the best talent evaluators in the business — Greg Cosell has gone through a metric ton of 2020 tape to provide insights on some interesting players headed into the 2021 NFL season. Here, he brings you his raw notes and observations from those tape sessions.

It’s a chance to get inside the mind of one of the greats of the industry.

Today’s study is of one of 2020 breakout fantasy contributors, Packers TE Robert Tonyan.


  • What consistently stood out was that Tonyan has intermediate and vertical ability with his size, stride length, and speed, and the Packers featured him on intermediate crossers and deep routes by design.

  • Tonyan showed a good feel for adjusting his route when the timing and structure of the play broke down, He gave Aaron Rodgers a place to throw the ball.

  • Tonyan lined up in multiple locations in the Packers’ offense and was used as a schemed receiver off play-action concepts, attacking anticipated coverages.

  • When aligned in the tight slot, Tonyan showed the strength to run through press coverage by safeties without route disruption.

  • Tonyan was featured crossing the formation behind the line of scrimmage off play action boot concepts, to get him the ball on the move and take advantage of his athleticism and run-after-catch – this was a staple of the Packers play-action boot pass game.

  • Tonyan saw a lot of targets in which he was detached from the formation, often part of two- and three-man route concepts like bunch. He was featured at times as a WR by formation in 12 personnel packages.

  • Tonyan was effective in the red zone (both tight and high) versus man coverage, showing the strength and speed to beat both safeties and LBs.

  • There were 11 personnel snaps in which Tonyan was the boundary X on the back side of trips. There were also 3x1 sets and empty snaps on which Tonyan was #1 to trips.

  • The Packers did an excellent job featuring Tonyan on vertical route concepts when they anticipated what coverage they would get based on personnel and formation.

  • My sense watching all of Tonyan’s 2020 pass targets is that he can be further developed as an intermediate and vertical dimension within the context of the Packers passing game.

One of the preeminent NFL analysts in the country, Cosell has worked for NFL Films for over 40 years. Due to his vast knowledge of personnel and matchups based on tape study, Cosell regularly supplies us with valuable and actionable insight and intelligence that cannot be found anywhere else.