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Football 101: The West Coast Offense

Diagrammed Packer's Plays

By Mark Lawrence

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Green Right West H2 BOB U71

Mike Sherman diagrammed very successful play in the pre season game against NE. Green Right West (thatís the formation) H2 BOB (thatís the play - BOB stands for Back on ĎBacker) U71 (which is the personnel package - Kevin Berry at 2nd tight end.) The Pats lined up in a 3-4 defense.

     S1                 S
           P     M
CB   W  E1    T     E   B  CB
O       O  O  O  O  O  U
              O           TE
              FB
              RB

This play was called on 3rd down and less than one yard to go. Itís a misdirection play off one of their core play, a weak side isolation play - which means the LB on the weak side is isolated. Itís the FBís responsibility to block W (the weak side LB) one-on-one.

One of the aspects of this play I found interesting is it contains three combination blocks where two Packers have to coordinate their blocks. The first combination block occurs vs. E1: LT blocks E1, and the LG "chips" E1 on his way to block P (Plugger).

A chip can be just a check to make sure the other blocker has his guy or it can be delivering a hit to help the other blocker and then leaving that defender to block another. Or, it can be double teaming the defender, but if the defender has to be double teamed, the defender assigned to the "chipper" is left unblocked. On a play like this, if E1ís responsibility was to stunt or charge hard inside, it would be difficult for LT to handle him one- on-one, but LG would be well positioned to block him.

The next combination block is the C and RG on T (the NT over the C). Again, the C blocks him and the RG chips T on his way to blocking M. This is a critical block on this play. The RT handles E one-on-one and should cut him off from getting penetration to the inside (left). The last combo block occurs with U and TE. This is the trickiest one. U and TE would like to make sure B, CB, and S donít make the tackle. They begin with U blocking B and TE chipping on B. If CB blitzes, TE comes off the chip block and picks him up. If he doesnít, TE takes over the block of B while U disengages from B and blocks S.

One more factor makes these combo blocks tricky: Itís 3rd and short - all the blockers have to be sure defenders donít get penetration. If, for example, TE and U arenít coordinated, B could be left to make the tackle for a loss or no gain. (U could think TE has B and go after S while TE comes back to get CB.)

The RB takes a step to his left attempting to influence the D to think the play is going toward the weak side (opposite TE & U). Most defenses key the FB, so the FB blocking W along with the first step of the RB provide the misdirection attempting to get the LBs to take a step to the Packerís left. The RB then takes the handoff and runs towards the inside (left) shoulder of the RG (where the RG lined up). The play should be run between where T and M lined up.

Nall was the QB and Walt Williams was the RB. S was left unblocked because TE had to come back to block CB because after a hesitation, he rushed. But S missed the tackle. However, even if he had made the tackle, it still would have been a gain of at least 5 yards so it was blocked successfully. S1 ended up making the tackle after a 13 yard gain.

Ruegamer lined up at C, Wells at LG and Herrion at RG. Ruegy handled the T by himself although T got a little penetration, Ruegy positioned himself between T and the RB. Because Ruegy did such a good job, Herrion just put a hand on Ruegy (as if to "check" his block) and then blocked M. He delivered a good first blow and then M went to Herrionís right - Herrion then "helped" him continue in that direction. In other words, after the initial block M took himself out of the play. Wells didnít have to help on E1 either and met P head on. He didnít get position, in fact, P ended up between Wells and the RB. But P couldnít get off of Wellsí block. Wells ended up knocking P over S as he was missing the tackle. Both T and P took half steps to their right, so they were influenced by the misdirection.

One of the keys to the play was the RT won his battle vs. E. I think Barry was at RT on the play and he positioned himself very well - between E and the RB - in spite of the fact E was pushing up either his face mask or his chin.

The combination blocks are an example of why O linemen have to be "thinking" players and why itís tough for rookies, like Tauscher a few years ago and perhaps Whitticker this year, to start.


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