Friday, August 17, 2007

Football 104

Let's take a look at a couple of specific plays on offense for Miami, as they happened against the Chiefs.

Please note that these screen captures were taken from the ESPN broadcast of the game, and I'd like to show much respect to ESPN, the NFL, and the Dolphins. My intention here is to create a learning environment, and not in any way to infinge on any copyrights.

I will remove the pictures at some point in the next week or so.

[picture removed]Play #1 was a running play.

You had a 4-receiver set, with two to either side, and one running back. The eligible receivers are circled. Typically, this formation would be used for passing, because it provides a lot of targets for the QB.

But, in this case, the receivers all ran blocking routes meaning that they're job was to block someone. Who they were to block is shown by the red lines.

The offensive line, meanwhile, set up in what appeared to be pass blocking mode. Rather than driving the oppoenent forward, they took a step back, and then blocked him forward. The idea was to create the illusion that there would be a pass: a 4-receiver set, and the lineman moving into what appeared to be a pass blocking stance.

Brown got the handoff, and ran between the tackle and the guard on the right, and wound up with about 11 yards rushing. So, it turned out to be a rather successful play for the Phins.

[picture removed]
Play #2 is a passing play later in the game.

In this set, Miami was in a standard pro set (2 RBs, 2 WRs, and a TE). The offensive line again set up a pocket at the snap, and all of the eligible receivers (again circled) ran the routes shown.

The tight end was lined up to the left side of the formation, so it was a strong side left. This had an effect, as the Chiefs had to have their safeties switch roles in the zone defense they were running (that is, the saftey lined up on the same side as the TE now had to pick up the TE, rather than covering a part of the field as he normally would in a strong side right).

The route I show here for the TE is shorter than he actually ran; he actually was about 25 yards downfield when the pass was thrown, and had a pickup of 30 on the play.

Note how the other receivers were further up the field and spreading the defense out, thus leaving the saftey to cover the TE with no help. That's why it worked.

...I think I'm going to like seeing some of Cam's play calling this year.
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