Dress Your Pass Concepts Up With Formations
By FirstDown PlayBook on Aug 7, 2019

The age old debate about how much offense is too much as opposed to being to too simple and predictable will always be a huge topic in football meeting rooms across the country at all levels. If you’ve coached long enough you have surely errored on both sides of this argument.

Many things that offensive coaches think is complex to defensive coaches is actually not that difficult at all. I have been fortunate to  spend time on both sides of the ball.

A lot of what I believed to be change ups and confusing to defenses was just shrugged off because the defense has their own way of categorizing concepts. The irony is that the offense is normally spending time teaching new routes to their players and this means that their players are thinking too much and playing slow. Once this happens the defense is in total control.

So what then? How do you find a way to mix it up enough to keep the defense from sitting on route concepts. Well, another thing that I have learned from my time on the defensive side is that the offense can run the same concept very effectively out of many different formations, shifts and motions. This is effective in a couple of different ways. First, your QB is normally going through the same read  over and over. If your QB is playing fast and with confidence you have over half of the battle won.

It is important for the Offensive Coordinator and position coaches to teach concepts and not just routes but that becomes a lot easier when you reduce the number of pass plays you are running. Take the age old Snag concept above. It’s a simple high low read with the Corner route down to the Flat vs Cover 2 and a horizontal read of Flat to Snag vs Cover 3. The Corner route is a natural vs man coverage not to mention the Snag if that player has a little wiggle. Your quarterback is doing the same thing over and over and that’s a good thing.

Obviously, Snag is just one concept that could be part of your offensive playbook. It’s your job to find what your players do best and find ways to make sure they are doing that a lot more than they are a set of plays you are running just to trick the defense.

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