This Requires Faking It
By FirstDown PlayBook on Aug 13, 2018

We were re-watching a documentary on Peyton Manning last week and in one part of it he is making the point to the Denver Broncos coaching staff that he felt like the fake to the running back wasn’t deep enough or long enough to convince the defense on one of their play-action passes.

Manning had watched a ton of video in the off-season and had arrived at this conclusion by putting himself in the play, not at the position of quarterback, but instead as a linebacker or a safety. He understood all to well that if the play-action pass did not look exactly like the actual run play there would be little chance of fooling an opposing NFL linebacker who watches a ton of video themselves.

It was just one more example of how Manning understood that often times it’s the little things like footwork or selling a play-action pass fake that can doom a play before it ever gets started if not executed properly.

As we were installing new boot leg and naked pass plays last week the same thing was on our mind. Every time you call up a bootleg or a naked boot or a waggle pass play you are banking on the defense biting on the run fake. The best way to do that is to make it look exactly like the run play.

As a fellow coach we used to work with at the Chicago Bears would say over and over about play-action and boot pass plays, “you have to make it look like something”. That something is at least one run play in your playbook that the defense has seen before and is going to aggressively try to stop.

As you are watching today’s video where we break down one of your newly installed bootleg pass plays try to look at it as a linebacker as see if we have successfully made this look like the run play.

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