2014 Offense Prediction: Return of the Midline Lead Option

Yaller Jacket

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I didn't know exactly what that play was called nor everything going on in it. But it seemed to me every quarterback who touched the ball in our T game had great success with it. Maybe that says something about our DTs, I dunno. We ran it a lot but there always seemed to be a hole.
 

iceeater1969

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Coach Johnson calls the plays. That's what he does. It's not going to change while he is head coach here. It is his offense and no one knows it better than he does.
Agree he will call the plays until he leaves. Just seems like there are other things on auto while he calls the plays. It's his style and I am fine with it till end of 2015.
Guess you agree his best action during the game is to be on sideline telling the running back what the play he should run in and tell the qb to call.
 

dressedcheeseside

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What is more eye-opening is the quality of the blocking with the team new to the option vs today. WOW. Man what is going on...we need to fix this...if we do this offense would set records.
Maybe it's more a function of the guys being blocked not knowing what is going on? Guys who've seen us a 2 and 3 times before would know a little better how to defeat our blocks and that goes double for DC's that have game planned against us several times.
 

takethepoints

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I don't think Thomas will have as much trouble with the midline as many here think. It isn't a power play; if you look at successful examples posted here, if the read is right, the player getting the ball is seldom hit solidly.

Also, if you look at some films of Keenan Reynolds running the midline, you will see that he is quite good at hiding behind blocks and then using his speed to get through to open territory. Last year Reynolds was the same size as Thomas this year. If JT learns how to read the play I don't think he'll have any big problems running it.

Oh, and on the OL: the main reason that the blocking looks better is that everybody is scared of Dwyer. That means they hold back on their initial move. Last year Vad was running almost all tosses and double options. That made things easier for the Ds. Also, I expect that BB will be a bigger threat this year. Not up to Dwyer, of course, but big enough to get that sudden hesitation that's all the O needs. We'll know if I'm right soon enough.
 

bke1984

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We've struggled a lot when VT and Miami shoot the A-gap, and I'm not entirely sure why. It seems like the solution would be to narrow the gaps between the guards and the center to make this an easier block. However, it seems like instead we just keep the gaps wide and rely on the center to make this difficult block.

While I think Vad made some poor reads on the option last year, he wasn't getting a whole lot of help from our o-line in these situations...particularly the VT game, where it seemed like their tackles were in the backfield on just about every play in the early going.

We can do a hell of a lot better job adjusting our blocking schemes to what the defense is doing than we have been.

...then again, Bud Foster will just readjust whatever you throw at him, so it's tough to stay a step ahead.
 

zhavenor

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We've struggled a lot when VT and Miami shoot the A-gap, and I'm not entirely sure why. It seems like the solution would be to narrow the gaps between the guards and the center to make this an easier block. However, it seems like instead we just keep the gaps wide and rely on the center to make this difficult block.

While I think Vad made some poor reads on the option last year, he wasn't getting a whole lot of help from our o-line in these situations...particularly the VT game, where it seemed like their tackles were in the backfield on just about every play in the early going.

We can do a hell of a lot better job adjusting our blocking schemes to what the defense is doing than we have been.

...then again, Bud Foster will just readjust whatever you throw at him, so it's tough to stay a step ahead.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong but the answer to Safeties and LBs blitzing the A gap is to run rocket not to shorten splits. You shorten your splits and it screws up the whole system.
 

awbuzz

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Maybe it's more a function of the guys being blocked not knowing what is going on? Guys who've seen us a 2 and 3 times before would know a little better how to defeat our blocks and that goes double for DC's that have game planned against us several times.

I think it's still more to do with who is doing the blocking and who they are blocking than the number of times teams/players have seen it.
How many years in a row has Alabama, insert your lest favorite factory school here, etc. run their offense and yet they continue to win despite the fact that others teams/players have seen in for 4 or mores years?
 
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I think it's still more to do with who is doing the blocking and who they are blocking than the number of times teams/players have seen it.
How many years in a row has Alabama, insert your lest favorite factory school here, etc. run their offense and yet they continue to win despite the fact that others teams/players have seen in for 4 or mores years?
But the pro set power I relies almost not at all on deception, misdirection, and trickeration. They dominate with technique and power and talent. Our offense is dependent on fooling at least one key defender most of the time. Familiarity with the system has a lot to do with successfully defending it.
 

Ash

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Oh, and on the OL: the main reason that the blocking looks better is that everybody is scared of Dwyer. That means they hold back on their initial move. Last year Vad was running almost all tosses and double options. That made things easier for the Ds. Also, I expect that BB will be a bigger threat this year. Not up to Dwyer, of course, but big enough to get that sudden hesitation that's all the O needs. We'll know if I'm right soon enough.

I hope you are right. I did feel that our playbook seemed more limited in the outside running game with Vad. A legit B-Back threat is a key to opening up so many more things for us.
 

Ggee87

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I hope you are right. I did feel that our playbook seemed more limited in the outside running game with Vad. A legit B-Back threat is a key to opening up so many more things for us.
I agree with him. Laskey hits the hole hard and doesnt trip and fall down once he breaks through. Hes not a burner, but his technique works really well. Better football players make this offense look that much better. Upgrades in speed and decision making will help our Olineman tremendously.
 

33jacket

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Maybe it's more a function of the guys being blocked not knowing what is going on? Guys who've seen us a 2 and 3 times before would know a little better how to defeat our blocks and that goes double for DC's that have game planned against us several times.

I don't know maybe, but just looking at blocks that are not unique, ie interior drive blocking and seal blocking....stuff teams see everyday from every scheme...it was alot better/crisper in 09 than today....I think the perimeter cuts and arcs etc I agree, you have to get used to that...but the interior OL blocking that was opening these holes was nothing 'special' or unique
 

Longestday

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I have not seen many midlines where the QB does not have to break through "hands" at the least. JT is matrix fast but "hands" can bring him down.

JT's main weapon that Byerly does not have is explosive speed and twitch. Byerly is pure power with no fear.

I am hoping both have equal good ability to pass and read the TO.
 

Longestday

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I think the first two years people took the option lightly. Preparation is huge no matter what offense you run. People now plan to play us during preseason practice.

We had a good offense in 2011 and 2012. The defensive coach/special teams held us back.

2013 was a offensive back step for the OL first and then the QB. The defense/ST improved yielding the same wins.
 
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AE 87

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I have not seen many midlines where the QB does not have to break through "hands" at the least. JT is matrix fast but "hands" can bring him down.

JT's main weapon that Byerly does not have is explosive speed and twitch. Byerly is pure power with no fear.

I am hoping both have equal good ability to pass and read the TO.

I disagree with the first part of this post unless you mean well into the second level. Watch the QB keeper in the video I posted again. That was not rare, imo, when it's run well.

Because the playside DT is unblocked, both the center and the playside guard are going up to block the next level. Because at least one A-Back leads (we typically run midline lead and sometimes midline blast in which both A-backs lead) through b-gap vacated by the read DT, the QB often has space into the next level. Here's other looks:




Now, obviously, any play can be blocked poorly and get blown-up, but I'm not sure it's a particular problem with the midline. Perhaps you're confusing the midline option with the QB follow. In the follow, there's no option; the b-back acts as the lead-blocker, and the QB comes in behind him.
 

Longestday

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You may be right on me mixing up the midline versus the QB follow, but I was under the impression it would be a very similar play. Either way, I am thinking about the better defenses vthan Wake and San Digeo. There are times when the offense sets up the defense outside and then runs inside to blow them up.

You are right, if we dominate on the OL or setup the defense, JT will have no issue getting yards up the middle.

I was watching the spring game and Byerly never had a clear up the middle run. But, this might be the QB follow and our D is really prepared for our O.
 

GTNavyNuke

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....................

Thanks for the videos.

Question: Who is the player that you option off of in the midline option? The unblocked DT? If he doesn't go for the BB, QB gives to the BB, otherwise keep?

It seems to me that the reason our option has been less effective is because our option decisions were slower and the defense would wait for Vad to make a decision and then commit. Otherwise, the D if they had the capability, would just blow up the OL and take away the play flow to the sides of the field. I know this is a gross simplification but seems to be the case to me. Thoughts?
 

AE 87

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Thanks for the videos.

Question: Who is the player that you option off of in the midline option? The unblocked DT? If he doesn't go for the BB, QB gives to the BB, otherwise keep?

It seems to me that the reason our option has been less effective is because our option decisions were slower and the defense would wait for Vad to make a decision and then commit. Otherwise, the D if they had the capability, would just blow up the OL and take away the play flow to the sides of the field. I know this is a gross simplification but seems to be the case to me. Thoughts?

The answer to your first paragraph is yes.

As for Vad, I think the issues were complicated. Mostly I think it was mental when under stress. Yes, he was slower, but he wasn't a whole lot worse than 2008 JN. He just didn't trust it, and he had a much worse D. People seem to forget how much better our D was in 2008.
 
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