Spread Option Offense Part 1

Boomergump

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I guess we all have our own definitions. Teams don't put 8 in the box against us because we have narrow splits with a TE and the backs are in power I. Let me ask you
this: if the ball was in the middle of the field, running the flexbone, would the backside DE have farther to run to the play side boundary or not? Are the DLs lined up farther apart or not? Because our offense is different than Oregon doesn't make it not a spread.
 

Fatmike91

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921
OK, I think I have this figured out now:

Spread offenses are good.
If you like our offense then it's a spread.
If you don't like our offense, then it's absolutely not a spread because we don't throw the ball (or substitute some other reason).

(BTW - It's a spread because we have 4 potential deep threat receivers (2 WR + 2 A backs) lined up within a yard of the line of scrimmage)

What happened to our X's and O's conversation?

/
 

Boomergump

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OK, I think I have this figured out now:

Spread offenses are good.
If you like our offense then it's a spread.
If you don't like our offense, then it's absolutely not a spread because we don't throw the ball (or substitute some other reason).

(BTW - It's a spread because we have 4 potential deep threat receivers (2 WR + 2 A backs) lined up within a yard of the line of scrimmage)

What happened to our X's and O's conversation?

/
Well, I hate to try and diagnose other people's motivations, but this sounds about right. Look, our offense is what it is (pardon the CPJism). It is different from other offenses. Detractors, or those who recruit against it, want to characterize it as archaic. The "spread" is new and chic. Style points or perception of style points are what matters I guess.

When you think about it, the only thing we could do, formation-wise, to spread defenses out more is put both ABs out wide. That move alone would kill 2/3 of our potential running attack, and force a pass happy scheme (which could work and does work for some programs). What else could be done? Move the OL even wider and go 5 foot splits?
 

daBuzz

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965
Well I can't speak for the motivation of others but I was the one who introduced the "it's not a spread" to the thread and I can assure you it's not because I'm trying to take shots at the offense. I've been patently clear about it...I hate our offense and I find it boring.

But I truly enjoy threads like this one started out and has, for the most part, maintained. I'm a baseball coach and I love talking about the intricate details of playing the game of baseball. I've never coached football but I absolutely love the X's and O's of the game and could sit all day and talk/read about why coaches do what they do because I think an educated fan is a good thing.

That's why I read the stuff about Chip Kelly. There was also an incredibly good video interview with him, done this year while he's coaching the Eagles, where he breaks down 3 different plays and explains the QB reads on the play. It was during this interview that he first explained why they split all 4 WR's and how that is, to him, where the word "spread" offense came from. Since he's one of the coaches who is credited with making the spread an "in vogue" offense, I thought it was interesting what he was saying and immediately realized that Ga Tech's offense therefore doesn't fit his definition of spread on most plays.

If I am able to find a link to that video later, I'll post it but a quick, cursory glance of Google yesterday didn't turn it up for me.
 

nodawgs

Jolly Good Fellow
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366
OK, I think I have this figured out now:

Spread offenses are good.
If you like our offense then it's a spread.
If you don't like our offense, then it's absolutely not a spread because we don't throw the ball (or substitute some other reason).

(BTW - It's a spread because we have 4 potential deep threat receivers (2 WR + 2 A backs) lined up within a yard of the line of scrimmage)

What happened to our X's and O's conversation?
/

Has nothing to do with whether I like the offense or not. Like I said, your basic I formation has 5 players who can go out on routes. Our base formation has the defense bunched up in the box. That is a sure fire sign that it is NOT a spread.

Look, you can call CPJ's offense what you want, but I highly recommend not calling it a spread outside of a GT message board as you will get laughed at and not taken seriously with any further football discussions. Not being ugly here, just shooting straight with you.
 

Squints

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That's why I read the stuff about Chip Kelly. There was also an incredibly good video interview with him, done this year while he's coaching the Eagles, where he breaks down 3 different plays and explains the QB reads on the play. It was during this interview that he first explained why they split all 4 WR's and how that is, to him, where the word "spread" offense came from. Since he's one of the coaches who is credited with making the spread an "in vogue" offense, I thought it was interesting what he was saying and immediately realized that Ga Tech's offense therefore doesn't fit his definition of spread on most plays.

I've seen that video and actually remember that quote. But my point is that the concepts of what we run are similar. I'm not buying the argument that the formation is the only indicator of a spread offense.

Our base formation has the defense bunched up in the box. That is a sure fire sign that it is NOT a spread.

If you think it's only about the formation. That to me that seems like a shallow and close minded analysis.


Look, you can call CPJ's offense what you want, but I highly recommend not calling it a spread outside of a GT message board as you will get laughed at and not taken seriously with any further football discussions. Not being ugly here, just shooting straight with you.

Except you wouldn't. This isn't some radical fringe idea that only GT fans hold. Hell one of the broadcasters for one of our games (I think it was the Virginia game but not sure) was talking about exactly this.
 

nodawgs

Jolly Good Fellow
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366
Except you wouldn't. This isn't some radical fringe idea that only GT fans hold. Hell one of the broadcasters for one of our games (I think it was the Virginia game but not sure) was talking about exactly this.

Anyone with a good voice can be a broadcaster/announcer. They are not experts. It's kind of like the "read option". Read option refers to the "Zone Read Option" which we do not have anywhere in our play book. Yet broadcasters just throw the term around during our games.
 

gtg936g

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We have it in our play book. CPJ has had it in there since he was the OC at Hawaii. He even ran it out of the gun with 4WR.
 

Fatmike91

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Anyone with a good voice can be a broadcaster/announcer. They are not experts. It's kind of like the "read option". Read option refers to the "Zone Read Option" which we do not have anywhere in our play book. Yet broadcasters just throw the term around during our games.


FYI - Vad ran the zone read option against USC in the Sun Bowl last year.


/
 

AE 87

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We ran it against Duke this year and unc iirc. Seems like somebody pushed the n when they meant g in their name.
 

nodawgs

Jolly Good Fellow
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366
Oh wow! Guys...PJ does not believe in zone blocking. We do not run the inside or outside zone. It would be obvious looking at the Oline movement. Everything PJ does is man blocking. We may "zone" the backside of a play, which refers to 2 linemen working a combo to the backer. That does not mean that we run a zone play. The play may have mimicked a zone read, but it was not a zone read blocking wise. PJ calls zone blocking pillow fighting. Everything our linemen requires them to fire out and not give ground. Zone blocking starts with a flat lateral step. You would see that if we ran a zone play.
 

nodawgs

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366
We have it in our play book. CPJ has had it in there since he was the OC at Hawaii. He even ran it out of the gun with 4WR.

The inside/outside zone wasn't around until the late 90's. The zone read didnt come about until 2003ish.
 

nodawgs

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
366
We ran it against Duke this year and unc iirc. Seems like somebody pushed the n when they meant g in their name.

Hard to have a legit conversation with someone so blinded in their love for CPJ. Not basing CPJ, I'm telling you what he does and does not do. Take it or leave it.
 

IEEEWreck

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587
Hey ya'll-

Not that arguments about semantics are ever very interesting, but this stuff is gibberish for me and, I suspect, many readers who lack context for any of these one sentence warrantless claims.

If you're going to argue about what is/isn't called [thing] why don't you explain it for everybody?
 

daBuzz

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Messages
965
Hey ya'll-

Not that arguments about semantics are ever very interesting, but this stuff is gibberish for me and, I suspect, many readers who lack context for any of these one sentence warrantless claims.

If you're going to argue about what is/isn't called [thing] why don't you explain it for everybody?

Here's a link to a site that I think has great Xs and Os explanations.....sort of a Football 101. This specific article is about the basic DL gaps, but you can look around the site and find more articles. There's a really good article on the differences in the 4-3 vs the 3-4 that is linked in the first couple of sentences of this article.

Link
 

gtg936g

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I want to try to keep this discussion here as much as possible. So lets break it down.

At the root of this discussion is how should the offense, in particular the O line, block a play? Let's assume I am a left tackle on a play where we are going to read the defensive end, if he takes the fullback the QB will keep, if he takes the QB the full back will get the ball. A basic read option play.

Man Blocking:
If I have an assigned defender to block then I am man blocking. Let's assume it is the weak side (called a Will in football lingo) linebacker. At the snap of the football, I go find him and block him. I may cut, I may block him straight up, but no matter what the weak side linebacker does, I block him.

Zone Blocking:
If instead of a particular player, I have a particular area (zone) to defend I am zone blocking. At the snap of the football I proceed to my zone, and I block whomever comes in there. In a nutshell that is a basic definition between the two types of blocking.

The Zone Read:
The zone read means the offense is going to block with a zone blocking technique, but the play is actually an option play. Typically a read option uses a man blocking technique, so the read option name was already taken. Ala the zone read.

The History Lesson:
In football what is old becomes new again when there is a tweak to how it is done. Zone blocking is an old concept, and most people give credit to Vince Lombardi for creating the scheme when he was with the Packers (circa 1965), but it looks a bit different then than it does today. Man blocking is less complex for players to execute because they have a specific assignment. As offenses developed, they began to pick on defensive weakness based on pre-snap reads. Offenses would motion people (they still do this today) in order to determine the type of coverage the defense was playing. Defenses began to be more adept at disguising coverage, making the pre-snap read more difficult. Let's say you were many blocking, and the defense overloaded one side by bringing extra linebackers to sack the QB. A true man protection may not be able to account for the extra linebackers, because the person that has responsibility for picking up a particular player may be on the opposite side of the offensive line. If pass oriented offenses were going to succeed they needed a better way to protect the QB. One key thing I have omitted about zone blocking is the stance of the Offensive linemen. It is very hard for the big boys to get out of a three point stance, and move to their particular zone. Enter the two point stance, and the era of pass happy football. The West Coast style offense needed a better way to block blitzing defenders, so they started lining their offensive linemen up in a two point stance. They would retreat at the snap of the football (instead of fire off the line), and protect zones that could clog up the blitz lanes, and tie up the oncoming defenders. Remember they were able to do this because they did not necessarily need a defined running lane, as their offense was pass oriented. Now we enter into the mid 80s and a guy by the name Steve Spurrier makes a few tweaks to the pass happy offense. I personally give a lot of credit to Spurrier for the zone read as we know it today. The first zone read play I ever saw was from Steve Spurrier while he was at Duke, but the linemen were in a three point stance.

Today if you watch the 49ers they run a lot of read option, but the only thing that has really changed is the stance of the linemen. That was the major tweak. The two point stance is easier for the big boys to get out of and pass protect, as well as zone block for a run. CPJ has multiple zone blocking schemes, but he hates the two point stance. That does not fit in our offense today. His comment about zone blocking is taken out of context a lot. He zone blocks, but he does not do it the same way "most" offenses do it, and does not to my knowledge use the two point stance for the linemen.

To say the zone read is new, or zone blocking is new is incorrect. It is an evolved way of running a really old concept.
 

Fatmike91

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921
Zone read 101:

The WR comes in motion pre-snap. The lineman step down the line of scrimmage then block whoever is in front of them. The QB does a mesh with the WR. Can keep or give depending on how the defense is aligned.

Lots of variations on this, from the pistol, diamond, etc.

You probably recognize the play from watching Aubie and Clemson. But you saw Tech run it vs. USC last year and against the Dukies this year.

/
 

nodawgs

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
366
Zone blocking is not about blocking an area. Zone blocking is a series of 2 OLinemen blocking 1 down lineman, while reading the LBer. The 2 OLinemen try to drive the DLineman into the 2nd level. Whichever way the LBer goes, one of the OLinemen will chip off and block that particular LBer. Depending on the front and formation, you will have up to 3 of these double teams across the front, all chipping to one of 3 LBers.

In a traditional inside zone play, the backside defensive end will go unblocked by OLinemen, so the fullback will block the overhang (DE). When there is no fullback to block the DE, the QB can run the zone read play to basically "block" the DE without even touching him. If said DE does not respect the qb and pinches down to support the run, the QB will pull the ball and keep it.
 
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