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HD Formation Playmaker's Dream, Camera Man's Nightmare

When you have a team with so many weapons, one of the challenging things isn't necessarily being able to use them all, but threatening to.  For those reasons, I love this set:


The concept is simple: get all of the playmakers on the field.   However, the way it's set up is efficient enough to make me excited about pointing it out.  Just to break this down, let's point out what we are looking at:

  • Under center, a 235 lb quarterback who can throw the ball
  • Six yards back, one of two explosive backs, each one bringing a different style that makes it hard for defenses to sit on a particular pattern
  • On the near side, one of two very sure handed receivers who have the speed to force the secondary to protect against the deep ball
  • Just to the right of the QB, a FB ready for the blast or used to pick up blocking.  He is also available to clear out a lane created by what is probably the best offensive line in the Big Ten
  • To the right of the FB, a playmaker who can move toward the center for the ball or go downfield into a passing pattern
  • Oh, and don't forget about the TE

Now just to get this rolling, lets look at one of the more traditional options:

Now that obviously went for big yardage, but it doesn't have to in order to be effective.  You get the play opened up by leaving the TE on the line for a block and bringing in the FB to clear out a lane.  The LBs can't sit on the play because they have to worry about Williams sweeping around to the sideline, not to mention the possibility of a QB keeper.  The result?  Green needs only to get past the line of scrimmage and all of the sudden things are wide open.

Now that won't work with any kind of regularity unless you force the defense to play it honest, enter the second option:

You sell the run, which brings the LBs to the line of scrimmage, but then give the ball to Williams, already at full speed.  On the near side you've already brought the FB over to help Williams turn the corner, and as a bonus you have the WR blocking the corner and giving the ball carrier more room. 

Something that should be clearly pointed out here is that the coaching staff may have finally figured out a way to get Williams the ball without the terrible telegraphing we've grown oh so accustomed to over the past couple of years.  All the different threats on the field mean the former #1 overall recruit is getting a fair shot at a big play.  If he learns to run through traffic it is only a matter of time before he starts breaking a couple of these.

Moving on to a third option:

Ah yes, the pass.  What originally looks like a running set is, only moments after the play fake, a passing play with options all over the field.  You hope someone bites on the fake to Williams and then get the chance to look for the big play to Bulter (or Norwood) streaking across the middle or the TE who has by now released his block and gone straight north.  If those options aren't there?  You have Williams or the RB available for a quick dump off.  Also, The way this clears out the box, Clark can easily gain positive yards without even giving up the ball.

I'm going to stop here but it's only because I'm out of video; we've hardly covered all the different options of this set.  I never claimed to be and X's and O's guy, so I'll leave the finer details alone, but the bottom line is this thing is going to work.  They won't run it every play, or even every series, but four to eight times a game and you are looking at solid yardage with big play potential.  All of the best football players are on the field and all of them are a liability to the defense.