Tag Archives: Tight End

A Quick Look at Spread Systems

20 Jul

Overhead_Spread (rustytanton)

The spread offense has become the dominant philosophy across most of football. For years the game was about moving big, powerful people around to create angles and advantages at the point of attack but specialization and skills development have led to the forward pass becoming the dominant aspect of the game.

It’s hard to have the strongest and most powerful team, especially if you’re a program at the high school or collegiate level that doesn’t have access to a wider talent pool. However, lots of teams can find a quick-thinking leader who can fling the ball around. Eventually the bigger programs in college football also realized that putting their speedsters in space only helped their cause and even helped their run games. As a result, now you only tend to see bigger, pro-style formations forming the basis of the offense for schools who’s talent pool consists primarily of big, powerful people.

Now that the spread has proliferated across multiple leagues there is a ton of variety to the systems you see on a given Saturday. This is going to be an attempt to try and categorize some of the main schools of spread offense that have developed and to describe their philosophies of how to use spread formations to score points.

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Offensive Play: Bootleg

28 Mar

bootleg (combined).jpgA bootleg is schizophrenic or something.

For starters, it’s a misdirection play.  The Quarterback fakes a hand off in one direction then rolls out to the other.

It’s also a play-action pass in that it starts out looking like a running play.  The run fake does two things: it confuses the defense and it slows down any pass rush.

And, lastly, it’s an option play — sort of.  Depending upon how the defense’s backside reacts to the Quarterback’s sudden appearance with the ball, the Quarterback has the option to either run or pass.

The defense, in this case, is specifically the force defender.  He’s the lone wolf in a defense’s perimeter who’s entrusted with “forcing” a ballcarrier back into the pursuit.

When he sees the Quarterback with the ball to his side of the field, he has two choices: he can lay back and protect against the pass, in which case the Quarterback can run.  Or he can rush the Quarterback who will then throw to the open receiver.  When executed properly, a bootleg is basically a no-win situation for the defense.

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