HERE’S an example of something I hope to see the Eagles do quite a bit. Keep in mind it doesn’t have to be this exact play (though it should), but something that does what this play does would be a great go-to play. Particularly for 2nd and 9, or 3rd and 3 situations.
This is a real bare bones set-up, as any go-to play should be. It includes no motion, or shifts. It’s run directly out of the base formation with base personnel. It features dummy routes to the left. The play isn’t designed to go that way, but if you can get a freebie, the last thing you want, is to have diagrammed a receiver to block. (Not every WR is a genius, and on their own some may miss a chance to steal a cheap 6. We’ve all seen it.)
I’m a believer in the “Pick A Bitch” theory of Offense. That’s where you pick a defender and draw up a play that makes every decision that defender could make, the wrong decision for that play. For this play our bitch is the SS.
You may notice that even though there’s a fake (F) pitch-out, the Offensive Line is set for pass blocking instead of run blocking. This is deliberate. This is a passing play, and the QB will need a second to read the SS. Protecting the QB is always more important than selling a fake, and for the way this play is designed, run-blocking would allow more pressure than on most play-action plays (many which also feature roll-outs).
If the SS buys the fake, then he’s committing down and to the outside to contain the RB. This means the TE can find a seam right in the area that SS just vacated, even if the OLB is still in coverage. (In this case, if the CB also bites then it’s an easy 6 along the sideline.)
If the SS doesn’t buy the fake and stays along the seam, then the RB is loose in the flat, and the WR is one on one with the CB.
If the SS goes to help the CB, then he (yet again) has left the seam open.
Like I said, everything he does on this play, is wrong. There is no way for him to be right. All the QB has to do is identify where the SS is, and then put the ball anywhere he isn’t.
Again: Staple play out the base formation, using base personnel, good on 2nd and 3rd downs. It’s a Spread formation employing West Coast principles, turning the TE into a high percentage option and helping to loosen the deep coverage on our WR’s.