TOJ New York Jets Film Room Breakdown – Isaiah Crowell 2017 (Short Form)

Joe Blewett with a TOJ New York Jets film room breakdown of New York Jets RB Isaiah Crowell…

Back with another film room breakdown, today focusing on newly acquired New York Jets RB Isiah Crowell. Don’t miss our recent breakdowns on Spencer Long, Jordan Jenkins and Brandon Shell…

Crowell is a decent receiver out of the backfield but isn’t a consistent pass blocker as sometimes he has bad form or looks disinterested. He picks up the blitzer but receives the blow instead of delivering it. Which allows the blitzer to get his hand on the QB.

Another thing that affected some of Crowell’s numbers was the Browns offensive line which wasn’t a strong unit to say the least in run blocking. Browns run an outside zone, the center can’t successfully reach block the 1 tech. The RT can’t cut block the 3 tech.

(I picked a bad game first) Browns run a inside zone read option. Steelers run a stunt where the play side 2 tech crashes in occupying the OC and RG, allowing the backside 2 tech to scrape down to the play side a-gap. Crowell shows some inconsistent vision, needs to widen/bounce.

Miscommunication here between Crowell and the RG. Both think the other are going to be blocking inside/out and are going to pick up the LB blitzing through the a-gap. When Crowell realizes its already too late for Kizer.

Again with the pass blocking. Crowell is blocking opposite and sees the blitzes coming through the b-gap but sets right next to Kizer. Giving himself no room to absorb the blitzer. Again plants and just throws his arms up there with not a ton of effort. Sack on Kizer.

Browns right a tight zone out of this 11 personnel gun set. Crowell reads the play side 2 tech, then the backside 3 who is working hard to get horizontal to the play side. Crowell bends the run back, showing some nice burst and athleticism.

Browns run dual opposite swing routes out of with wing t formation. The center comes out to be a lead blocker. Crowell receives the pass with a DB collapsing with outside leverage. Crowell makes a quick cut upfield and then breaks the tackle of the OLB.

Crowell releases out of the backfield on the check route. Sticks hard on that right foot to cut upfield, breaks a tackle, losses his balance then plants with his hand to regain it. Avoids one blocker then another with two cuts, then breaks two more tackles. Shows that he is a shifty and powerful runner

Here we see some hesitation with Crowell. 3rd and 1 and he only needs to pick up a yard to keep the drive alive. If he just puts his head down he could get it through the c-gap but he hesitates. Gets hit before he can put his head down and doesn’t pick up the first.

Another example of Crowell not being helped out by his offensive line. Browns run a lead zone out of 21 personnel. RG gets killed by the 4i tech, center doesn’t create any space in the a gap and Crowell is forced to cut back where the DB is crashing in hard.

Kizer hits Crowell on the swing route. Crowell cuts upfield along the sideline and breaks 3.5/4 tackles (terrible tackling by Titans) and keeps his legs churning for ay additional yardage. Crowell isn’t a 1v1 head down type power runner but he doesn’t go down vs arm tackles.

Crowell maintains outside leverage not allowing the DB to get around him. Would like to see him close the gap here a little bit but does his job and makes the tackle.

Kizer hits Crowell on the arrow route. Nothing spectacular but like the balance Crowell shows after breaking the tackle, able to get his hand on the ground to keep the play alive. Keeps his legs driving for extra yardage.

Browns run power out of 11 personnel. The backside LB plays is terribly but Crowell notices the huge hole on the backside and hits it. Crowell doesn’t have terrific long speed but he does have good burst/acceleration where he gets to his top speed quickly.

Browns in 32 personnel wing-t set. Browns o-line opens up a big hole, aided by the Lions 2 tech and the LB behind him. Crowell creates some more yardage for himself and breaks two arm tackles.

Browns run power from 11 personnel. Crowell gets the ball and presses the c-gap but once he sees the LB approaches he bounces it outside in the d-gap. Breaks two arm tackles. Gain of 13 yards, usually see Crowell falling forward for extra yards.

Power again out of 11 personnel. Crowell presses the b-gap, holding the LBs/db’s inside and setting up his block. Then bounces around the outside for the TD.

Going to go out on a limb here say somebody F’d up. Either Kizer not making adjustments at the line/ or the lineman not communicating. But there isn’t suppose to be a unblocked defender in the c-gap on a inside zone.

Browns run a lead zone out of 21 personnel. Crowell does a good job staying patient and looking for holes. The b/c gap are cluttered but Crowell sees the a-gap open up, burst through for an additional 7 or so yards.

Browns run a lead pin and pull out of 22 personnel. Even though Crowell does run high, he shows good balance. Here breaks a tackle behind the LOS and then again as he hits the hole. As he breaks that second tackle he has to quickly cut outside. Able to make really quick cuts.

Really good play from Crowell. Browns run a inside zone-split out of 11 personnel. The play-side is all clogged up so Crowell looks to bend the run back, which he does. Then sees the backside b-gap open up, gets low through the hole. Picks up about 10 yards on should’ve been 0.

Crowell again making something out of nothing. Browns run a inside zone read option. As the 3 tech crashes into the play side gaps, Crowell doesn’t have anywhere to go. He presses the LOS and the EMOL/DE on the backside crashes inside. Crowell avoids him and picks up some yards.

As good as Crowell’s vision is sometimes its inconsistent. Here on the power run, he needs to cut it upfield as the OLB crashes down where there is a lot of room. Gets tackled for no to little gain.

Forget the run/gaps etc on this play. Just looking at Crowell’s body mechanics when he goes to take on #47 head on, can see how his mechanics/technique here isn’t the best. Comes into the contact with legs close to straight and bending at the waist (which generates little torque).

Browns run a lead counter out of 22 personnel. The pulling LG doesn’t get to Matthews (OLB) in time forcing Crowell to alter his path. Which he does and picks up about 10 yards.

Power and balance showed on this play. As Crowell cut though the b-gap he gets sandwiched by the DT and a LB at the same time and still falls forward for another 4 yards.

Last play of this review. Browns run another inside zone read out of 11 personnel. Crowell bends the run back into the backside c-gap, stiff arms the OLB and gains 40 yards on the run. Wish he didn’t lose his balance towards the end of the run.

In conclusion, Crowell is a decent running back but nothing ground breaking. I personally see him as inferior to Bilal Powell and believe the Jets should use Powell in a bigger role then Crowell. Crowell is going to split carries with Powell on 1st/2nd down but I don’t see a way where Crowell beats out Powell or even McGuire for that 3rd down role. Its not that Crowell can’t catch but his lack of understanding pass blocking and even effort in doing so, at times is alarming. Will also be interesting to see if the Jets use Crowell in short yardage/ goal line situations. Reason being Crowell has inconsistent vision and is sometimes hesitant to put his head down on 3rd and 1/2 and just pick up the necessary yardage. Prior to this review I thought Crowell was more of a frontside power runner but there is more to him then that. Crowell shows ability to make quick cuts in the open field, cutback or bounce runs multiple gaps away and has some good burst to get to full speed. In terms of Crowell being a “power runner”, its a bit of a false narrative. Now yes Crowell does show some strong legs and consistently breaks arm tackles. But in terms of being a Chris Ivory type of power runner, he isn’t that. There are multiple reasons that I’ve come to this conclusion. Crowell doesn’t run with a consistent base, he doesn’t show good form when lowering his shoulder to truck somebody over and doesn’t decisively pick a whole to explode through on short yardage situations. I do like Crowell as a pickup and think he could be a decent 1B type of runner to Powell but I do think he was a bit misrepresented. Something else to note in terms of those boom or bust numbers is just how bad the Browns offensive line was at times. Just as some of Powell’s numbers are misrepresentative of his game last year. The same goes for Crowell, as his offensive line was terrible in their execution on multiple occasions in every game I watched of Crowell.


  • Burst.
  • Burst out of cuts.
  • Powerful breaking arm/ankle tackles.
  • Quick to change direction.
  • Always drives legs.
  • Willing to shoulder any contact.
  • Always falling forward and fighting for extra yardage.
  • Good balance when taking on hits.
  • Patience to look for cutback lanes.
  • Can cutback or bounce multiple gaps away.
  • Good hands.
  • Will press a gap to bounce or cut, also sets up blockers.


  • Runs straight up.
  • Not a good pass blocker.
  • Long speed.
  • Looks disinterested at times.
  • Hesitant to pick a hole on short yardage situations.
  • Form when taking tackles head on isn’t good.
  • Inconsistent vision.
  • Inconsistent leverage and technique.
  • Bad balance on cuts.