Friday, August 31, 2018

Inside the Playbook: Michigan Defending Flat-Back Alignment and OSU/PSU Response

One of my favorite types of articles is discussing what one team does, and does well, and then seeing how other teams adjust to take advantage of that thing. I did it previously in the chess match between Wisconsin and Iowa that we saw in one game. In the future, I want to touch on Wisconsin's offensive gameplan against Iowa to see it from a scouting perspective. But this post is about the Michigan defense and how they tend to play a flat-back formation, and then the different responses we saw from it from OSU and Penn State.

I love Don Brown. I want to run through a brick wall for Don Brown.


Ok, let's talk some football.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Inside the Playbook: Penn State, Wisconsin, and Michigan and the Use of False Blocks

As a defender, you are tasked with reading your keys in order to properly diagnose the play and fulfill your assignment. Gap responsibility and run fits and execution all start with properly seeing what is happening in front of you, and based on what the offensive line does, will change your path to success. But offenses know this. To a degree, and offense does what it does because that's the easiest and most efficient way of finding success. Other times, they find success with mind games, by showing something and doing another. This post is going to look at "False Blocks", the art of pass setting on runs and false pulls.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Let's Speak Technique - Blocking the Draw Play

The Draw play is one of the most effective run plays in any playbook. It's versatile. It works just as well on 1st and 10 as it does on 3rd and long. It presents a false read to the defense which sows seeds of doubt for the remainder of the game by looking initially like a pass play and then firing out and knocking some guys around. But it also allows an offensive line to get by without tons of movement. Sure, it's great when a DL gets into a pass rush and then you shotput him out of existence, but just as often you only need to utilize good footwork to position yourself between the ball carrier and the defender. In this post, I'm going to discuss the techniques employed on draw plays in a little more detail.


Monday, August 27, 2018

Written in Chalk - RPOs from Pro Personnel - Utilizing FBs/TEs in a Spread World

A lot of talk surrounding Michigan's supposed lean on more RPO schemes has had to do with what is at the base of Jim Harbaugh's scheme: lots of heavy personnel sets and a complex number of run concepts. Some have wondered how the two ideas can converge, despite the fact that Harbaugh himself had previously incorporated RPOs into his offense (albeit with a different type of QB). I've already discussed how Harbaugh can utilize many of his run concepts within an RPO framework, but the question still remains, how do you do that and utilize the bevy of TEs and FBs that are currently on the roster. This post is going to explore utilizing 12 and 21 personnel (pro personnel for short) within an RPO scheme.



Football Fundamentals - RPO Run Concepts

If you've been following along, we've offered up a lot of pass concepts that can be paired with a run play to make an "RPO". We looked at passes behind the LOS, quick passes, and even downfield reads. We've also looked at pass first RPOs, known here as PRO. And if you've been really paying attention, you'll have noticed that those RPOs were attached to pretty much every kind of run scheme. Here we are going to summarize those run schemes and discuss briefly the types of routes to look for given the type of run.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Football Fundamentals - Pass First RPOs - PRO and PPO

We are now going to turn our attention to something similar to an RPO, but instead of the first option being run (i.e. there is always a mesh point in the backfield), the first option is to pass. This is going to not only include plays where both a run and pass option exist, but also plays where there are separate pass options in a single play, that we've labeled Pass-Pass Options.



Thursday, August 23, 2018

Football Fundamentals - RPO Pass Concepts - 3rd Level Read

We've now touched on the basics of a "read offense", route concepts behind the LOS, and then the quick routes that are often attached to the RPO schemes. Now let's take it a little bit deeper and look at third level RPOs. We already looked at a few of these that are attached to quick pass concepts like the pop pass. In this post, we will look at a handful of concepts that attack third level reads.


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Football Fundamentals: RPO Pass Concepts - Quick Hitters

Now that we've covered the "read" offense and concepts that occur behind the LOS, let's now turn our focus down field a bit. This is where the RPO scheme is currently most dangerous, both at the lower levels, as well as at the college and NFL level. This is the quick passing concepts that are tied to the run threat. Let's take a look.

Football Fundamentals: RPO Pass Concepts Behind the LOS

I previously set the foundation for "read" offenses. In this post, I want to build on that foundation to give a feel for the pass concepts that can be tagged onto various run schemes. There are a few different ways to break up this post to make it manageable, and the way I decided was to first look at the pass options that result in throws behind the LOS. In this case, illegal man down field doesn't come into play at the college level, so getting more than 3 yards down field isn't a concern.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Football Fundamentals: The Offensive "Read" Concepts

Alright, fine, let's talk the concept du jour. What's the concept du jour? It's the play of the day.

But really it's about RPO - Run-Pass Option. Ever since the 2018 Super Bowl football has been all about the RPO. I've talked about it a little bit in the past, first with Illinois, and then tagged onto an OSU post recently. But I want to provide a little more depth because there still seems to be some confusion and misconceptions. And to do that, I want to first lay the ground work for the basics. This first post is going to try to set a foundation with explaining "the read game".




Thursday, August 9, 2018

Inside the Playbook: Wisconsin's Inside Double Post

Double Post is one of the go-to concepts in modern football. Like slants, for the QB, this concept provides a relatively clear and concise movement key: the concept side safety. Concept side safety works over top of the first post, you throw the second post. Concept side safety stays home, throw the first post. It's more popular cousin - Mills - made famous by Steve Spurrier, is similar in many ways, but double post keeps the attack vertical.

Wisconsin took the double post concept and merged it with an All Verts or Seattle concept, and moved the double post inside. While All Verts can end up looking very similar, knowing that you have double posts can simplify life for your QB. It can also allow you to modify the timing of other routes to work within the double post scheme. In this post, we will look a little closer at how Wisconsin utilized this concept and why.


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Inside the Playbook: Ohio State's Book and Run Scheme and Arrow/Slide RPO

Everybody knows the basic zone read scheme. Block inside zone (or one of many types of zone) while leaving the backside DE unblocked for the QB to read. If the DE crashes the mesh point, the QB pulls and runs off the backside. If the DE stays home, the QB gives to the RB who runs basic inside zone.

But as defenses get more athletic and more nuanced in their defense of zone read, making this "read" becomes more challenging for the QB. You now have games like scrape exchange, where the DE crashes and the LB fills behind. You have more athletic edge players that can force a give but get back into the play from the backside. One option is to change the read defender, another option is to utilize additional backs to modify the blocking scheme. In this post, I'll talk about an option that utilizes a little of both which dates back to Meyer's time at Florida, in the Book and Rifle schemes.