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An Offensive Argument


Oldfan

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This thread is a change of pace in this forum and might interest fans who enjoy discussing or debating game strategies.

1. After putting their QBs under center for 65 years, football coaches have wrung out all the advantages of play-action schemes giving defenses the edge (assuming equal personnel). Therefore, future QBs will be in the shotgun.

2. Since the field compresses in the red zone, and since it is difficult to design an offense and acquire personnel to both stretch the field and operate effectively in the red zone, stretching the field is not a good strategy. Therefore, the offense of the future will be designed specifically for the red zone with the expectation that it will work even more effectively in other areas of the field with more room to operate.

3. Some of the colleges might opt for run-dominant schemes with a QB running from the shotgun, but NFL rules favor pass-dominant schemes. Therefore, the Shotgun Spread is the offense of the future in the NFL.

If my premises are correct, running backs and speedy little receivers are endangered species. Five receivers who can use their size to shield off defenders and bull their way forward after the catch (Antonio Gates) are more effective in the red zone than those who can separate.

Centers will become more important. Sharp, accurate snaps will be emphasized, run-blocking skill deemphasized.

Most pass plays will be quick (2.5 seconds) to discourage blitzing.

Tall QBs with a high, quick release will be prized. Mobility will be less of an advantage.

Am I mistaken? Do you have different ideas?

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Well the big mobile QB is the future, pocket passing is outdated. Culpepper and McNabb are the prototypes.

Your Redzone offense is interesting. I think of the redzone offenses more along the lines of west coast type. Short field Short passing game.

Stretching the field will never go out as long as there is a running game.

The game has evolved immensely, but players of all types and sizes are needed even the small guys, who are generally quicker even in short passes.

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Therefore, the offense of the future will be designed specifically for the red zone with the expectation that it will work even more effectively in other areas of the field with more room to operate.

Five receivers who can use their size to shield off defenders and bull their way forward after the catch (Antonio Gates) are more effective in the red zone than those who can separate.

A good redzone offense is great but you need something else to be able to get the team into the redzone. If the WRs can't get separation then your passes will have to be short and at most intermediate. Defenses will press up and stop the run and have enough defenders up front to take away some of the short passes. Think about the results under Marty Shottenheimer.

If your theory was really the offense of the future I would eliminate WRs entirely and replace with TEs and HBs.

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Well the big mobile QB is the future, pocket passing is outdated. Culpepper and McNabb are the prototypes.

Your Redzone offense is interesting. I think of the redzone offenses more along the lines of west coast type. Short field Short passing game.

Stretching the field will never go out as long as there is a running game.

The game has evolved immensely, but players of all types and sizes are needed even the small guys, who are generally quicker even in short passes.

You might be looking much further ahead than I am with your big, mobile QBs. Mc Nabb is a freak of nature. How do 32 teams find players like him with backups?

Personally, I wouldn't draft a Michael Vick or Donovan McNabb and build an offense around them because, if they go down, you have to run a much different offense with your backup. You are much too dependent on one player.

You are correct. The West Coast idea of short, quick passes works in the red zone also (Seattle). Compared to the WCO, the Shotgun Spread with big receivers gives better personnel and more options at the receiver positions in the red zone but at the expense of the running game.

Defensing the teams that stretch the field well dictates giving bigger cushions and bend but don't break strategies conceding field goals. It doesn't necessarily mean you can't commit enough people to stop the running game.

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Well it seems teams are using a variety of all the distinguishable types of offenses in any particular game if you know what your looking at (I normally dont).

I think the big WRs are going to get smaller, because of the "no contact" rules of today.

It also looks as though most teams are cycling back more to the running game this year to mimick Pittsburgh.

The Mcnabbs, Mcnairs, culpepper, are here to stay though. Vick is an aberration and will eventually become more of pocket passer.

Anyways you always come with good points about the topic you start Oldfan.

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What happens when the defenses adjust? Rushing 2 and dropping 9?

I see it being forever a game of balance. Speedy receivers to stretch the field, running back by committee to keep the defenses 'off-balance'. Any time you get one-dimensional, you give the defense an advantage.

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A good redzone offense is great but you need something else to be able to get the team into the redzone. If the WRs can't get separation then your passes will have to be short and at most intermediate. Defenses will press up and stop the run and have enough defenders up front to take away some of the short passes. Think about the results under Marty Shottenheimer.

If your theory was really the offense of the future I would eliminate WRs entirely and replace with TEs and HBs.

If you have five receivers out, and the defense spread, they can't stack eight up. Besides, establishing the running game is not necessary unless the scheme depends on play action.

WRs would be tall (Chad Johnson or Plaxico) with good speed, able to outleap defenders, rather than small with sprinter speed.

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I actually see it differently.

With the illegal contact rule now being called with great frequency I think smaller faster WR are going to comeback into style. When the early 90's arrived and everybody was drafting big strong WR's the next logical step was to draft big strong CB's to counter the WR's. Now all teams have these big strong physical CB's that are no longer allowed to use their strength, which is their bump and run. In essence guys like Santana Moss, Marvin Harrison, and Torry Holt are matched up against slower more physical CB's, that are no longer allowed to grab or bump them down field. Thus their speed has become a huge advantage.

:gaintsuck :eaglesuck :dallasuck

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Well it seems teams are using a variety of all the distinguishable types of offenses in any particular game if you know what your looking at (I normally dont).

I think the big WRs are going to get smaller, because of the "no contact" rules of today.

It also looks as though most teams are cycling back more to the running game this year to mimick Pittsburgh.

The Mcnabbs, Mcnairs, culpepper, are here to stay though. Vick is an aberration and will eventually become more of pocket passer.

Anyways you always come with good points about the topic you start Oldfan.

Thanks for the compliment.

NFL coaches are mostly conservative and copycats. So, I look at the colleges to find innovation. Naturally, they do some things in college that won't work at the NFL level.

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What happens when the defenses adjust? Rushing 2 and dropping 9?

I see it being forever a game of balance. Speedy receivers to stretch the field, running back by committee to keep the defenses 'off-balance'. Any time you get one-dimensional, you give the defense an advantage.

When they rush two, you block them and your QB takes all day to find his receiver.

Yes, it's a game of constant adjustment. That's why innovative coaches, like Bill Walsh with his West Coast Offense, hold advantages, sometimes for years.

When you are talking balance, you are probably thinking between run and pass. But, think about it...how much difference is there in tossing a little swing pass to the back than giving it to him on a handoff or a pitchout?

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Oldfan:

You make some very good points about the offense of the future. However, what you are describing sounds like the old Run and Shoot offense. The problem with that offense was that teams could not control the clock with the running game and could not protect leads. Also, the Run and Shoot never really worked very well in cold weather.

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I disagree.

Unless you move all games in domed stadiums, odds are you are going to have to play -playoff- games in inclement conditions where it's not so easy to sling the ball around like it is in the Madden series.

There will always be a place for a strong running game and play action off of that. Spread offenses look nice and make for great sports highlights but it's doubtful they can serve as a base passing scheme at the pro level.

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Well the big mobile QB is the future, pocket passing is outdated. Culpepper and McNabb are the prototypes.

You know, it's a funny coincidence, but while I was just watching Colts/Patriots on Monday night, I was thinking how the game has passed Peyton Manning by. It's sad, but true. And he looked like he would be so good...

:D

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What happens when the defenses adjust? Rushing 2 and dropping 9?

I see it being forever a game of balance. Speedy receivers to stretch the field, running back by committee to keep the defenses 'off-balance'. Any time you get one-dimensional, you give the defense an advantage.

if the offenses adjust so will the defenses..i agree with you man

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Oldfan:

You make some very good points about the offense of the future. However, what you are describing sounds like the old Run and Shoot offense. The problem with that offense was that teams could not control the clock with the running game and could not protect leads. Also, the Run and Shoot never really worked very well in cold weather.

Not quite. The Run and Shoot was different from the fact that you used a bunch of small, fast receivers and they got open using their speed and numbers. Oldfan is talking about having a bunch of big receivers, and that they'd outmuscle the defenders.

I can see some problems with the idea, including the current rules which take away some of that physicality.

Also, either way, you still need to be albe to run the ball. He asked what's the difference between handing off the ball and a swing pass. Well, the difference is, the runner is likely to be more punishing and take more out of the defense. One of the objectives should be to keep the opposing defense on the field as long as possible. That was one of the downfalls of the Run and Shoot, and it is a problem with this offense.

I'm also another guy who thinks that things are swinging back to the small, fast guys, considering that Steve Smith and Moss are on top of the receiving stats right now.

Jason

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Oldfan:

You make some very good points about the offense of the future. However, what you are describing sounds like the old Run and Shoot offense. The problem with that offense was that teams could not control the clock with the running game and could not protect leads. Also, the Run and Shoot never really worked very well in cold weather.

Didn't the Run and Shoot involve a running QB? I recall that it was very productive at the college level for a while.

As for controlling time of possession, if you can do that consistently by running the football (Navy) that's great. Is there an NFL team able to do it consistently? I don't see one right now. It's very hard to do and it requires a big, dominant O line which is very hard to put together and keep together in this era of free agency and salary cap.

Whether we call them WRs, TEs or RBs, I'd want five possession type receivers on the field spreading the defense.

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if the offenses adjust so will the defenses..i agree with you man

Yes they will... but it's surprising how long it takes them. Gregg Williams is using ideas that go back to George Allen and Buddy Ryan and he is ahead of the pack.

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You know, it's a funny coincidence, but while I was just watching Colts/Patriots on Monday night, I was thinking how the game has passed Peyton Manning by. It's sad, but true. And he looked like he would be so good...

:D

There is not a pure pocket passer in this league except Bledsoe, every QB has to have some mobility to survive and survey the field.

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Also, either way, you still need to be albe to run the ball. He asked what's the difference between handing off the ball and a swing pass. Well, the difference is, the runner is likely to be more punishing and take more out of the defense.

Who would you think might be more punishing on tacklers? Antonio Gates or Ladainian Tomlinson? Jeremy Shockey or Tiki Barber? Chris Cooley or Clinton Portis?

Are any of these backs more punishing when they take a handoff rather than a swing pass?

If an offense is designed for red zone effectiveness, isn't it fair to assume that it will do a good job of controlling the clock as well? Isn't it harder to control the clock when you have to take shots (with speedy little receivers) downfield if only to keep the defense honest?

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