(NOTE: This film used in this article is of the 2013 Eagles/Bears game. All the snippets (none longer than 34 seconds), are culled from a video I got off of YouTube. There’s more film out there, but this was the most extensive example that wasn’t just scoring plays.)
LAST year the speed of DeSean Jackson forced defenses to begin many downs with their FS practically lined up in the parking lot. This did two things for our Offense.
- Made the FS late to help in run support, and even to most tackles after a pass.
- Forced OLB’s to frequently play inside the DE and back from the Line Of Scrimmage (LOS). They’re of almost no use as blitzers, late to fill against the run, and out of position to defend the outside pass. Remember our LB’s in the Wide 9? This is what we reduced opponents to.
And we gained these advantages prior to the snap of the ball!
The OLB’s playing on the DE’s inside hip changes everything from an Offensive Tackle’s perspective. The OLB being “in and back” means the OT doesn’t have to worry about two players on the edge. Since there’s no LB “out and over”, there’s no stunt or outside overload blitzer for the Tackle to worry about. Everything is literally in front of the OT. As an ex-O-lineman I can tell you, that’s the easiest block you can make without being on Hollywood Squares.
Remember how Jon Runyan would have to turn to his outside to block Mike Strahan? Take notice how on this running play Jason Peters completely ignores Julius Peppers
Here it is again
The FS isn’t so far back here, but again watch the OT ignore the DE
Gotcha didn’t I?
In almost every one of these plays the FS lines up in in the press box, the OLB is inside the DE, and the OT just steps forward, ignores the DE and makes himself a problem for a LB. (Big people beating up little people.) It’s 1-2-3.
Against the pass it’s almost sad to watch. Almost.
There is nothing remotely resembling Safety help underneath; and due to the run game’s success, TE’s are getting easy releases off the line and into those underneath patterns. Here’s an example
Hold up, I have one more
Okay last one, I swear
Since the FS had to move so far back, teams had to compensate inside with a LB to fill what would normally be the FS’s run support lane. If teams didn’t do that instead of seeming unstoppable, our run game might literally have been unstoppable. And it was ALL, (every play you just saw) dictated by the one player.
This is what we have to make up for in 2014.
That’s not saying we have to find a player that moves a FS out again (though it would help). But we need to find a way to routinely make blocking schemes easy; get TE free releases; and practically renders one of the defensive players non-existent.
Yes. It is indeed a tall order.
The scheme’s keys weren’t hard to decipher, so believe me if an ex-semi pro OT can do it, you can bet your ass that NFL DC’s would have been too. This is partly of why I think Chip Kelly is going to a truer version of the Spread this year. But again, if I’m onto that, you can guess who else will be.