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Football 101: The West Coast Offense

Diagrammed Packer's Plays

By Mark Lawrence

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Two Jet Aggie

This weeks play of the week is the Packerís second TD from the Tampa Bay game. After a penalty, the Packers had the ball on the Bucís 20 yard line, 2nd and goal.

        S1                     S

CB    W            M          B      C
            E1  T1    T   E
89           O  O  O  O  O           85
     83            O          80

                   30

The Tampa Bay defense was playing a cover two in which the safeties stay back and "get a lot of width". Sherman drew arrows showing them going deeper and toward their respective sidelines at about a 45 degree angle. He made the point that it was really a three deep zone as their "fast mike linebacker" (M) drops back to the deep middle. So even though itís called a "Tampa two" (cover two) it may end up being a three deep zone with four underneath (CB, W, B, & C). And on this play, they dropped T1 into coverage to about where M lined up, so the defense on this play was a three deep zone with five underneath. Also on this particular play, M "really cheated" to the wide side of the field toward the offenseís right (the ball was close to the left hash mark) and got a lot of depth. In other words, instead of dropping straight back, M dropped toward where S lined up. Only three defensive linemen rushed the passer on this play

Sherman: "Our receivers have landmarks on this play". Against zone coverage we want 89 (Ferguson) lining up about four yards from the sideline. Fergy pressed to get outside (to CBís left), couldnít get there and came inside and then was able to get back outside. That was critical because they want to hold S1 so he stays to the outside on 89. 85 (Murphy) does the same thing on the other side - his job is to get outside to hold S. Sherman draws 80 and 83's routes: "Weíre up in the seam right here". 80ís (Driver) landmark is the edge of the numbers (yard lines - 10, 20, etc. - drawn on the field and Sherman draws a route that looks like a go route. 83's (Chatman) route looks the same and he, too, uses the edge of the numbers as a landmark. The idea is to stretch the field vertically and horizontally. The RB is a key player on the play. Sherman shows him taking a couple of steps to his right and then running toward where M lined up. His job is to run an option route against M but since M is really playing safety and T1 has taken his place, 30 (Green) runs a route right where M lined up (but where T1 is when he gets there) and then cuts to his right. "If we donít have it vertically, we have a check down to Ahman Green running away from a defensive tackle". 83 gets a "great get off" and Favre does a wonderful job of looking off M - that's the reason M "cheats" - goes toward the right of the offense - because Brett "looked him off" in that direction.

On the play, S1 is going to the left and deep, M who ordinarily would be in the deep middle is going deep to the right which, as Larry says on the radio call, "you talk about finding a seam in the Buccaneer zone defense, that seam was about a half a mile wide". Chatman got behind W on what looked like a "skinny post" route (not a go route) for an easy TD. W, who should have had safety help on the play, made a futile attempt to knock the pass down.

Hound2 Y Choice

This was the Packerís 3rd TD in the game against Carolina. The Packers had the ball at the Carolina 16 yard line, first and ten. The play is "Green right slot (formation) U (personnel - 2 TEs and 2 RBs) Short, Hound2 Y Choice".

            S1               S
CB1   CB        W      M
            E1  T     T   E   B
      80     O  O  O  O  O  86
87                 O

                   FB

                   RB

(Sherman drew four "check marks" where CB1, CB, S1 and S lined up.) David Martin (87) lined up wide left, which is a "unique position for a big TE". "We got quarters coverage which is kind of a four deep zone coverage." 87 went in short motion to his right, parallel to the line of scrimmage (LOS), to about where Donald Driver (80) lined up. At the snap he went back to the left and angles toward where CB1 lined up. 80 runs a "smash route" which is similar to a "go route" only toward the left corner of the end zone. The read on this side of the field is the "flat coverage guy", CB1, who went back in coverage as CB covered 87 in the left flat. S1 "covered 80" on his route.

The play is a "play pass" (includes a run fake): The FB goes to the right flat and the RB runs a route between where W and M lined up and stops there. Brett faked a handoff to the RB. Donald Lee (86) ran a "choice route" - his route depends upon the "leverage" of S. He ran a skinny post route (runs straight and then angles toward the goal post) but would have run a corner route (toward the right corner of the end zone) if S applied "inside leverage", or didnít allow 86 to get to the inside. B covered the FB in the right flat and M was influenced that way too. W covered the RB.

The tape showed a pretty good run fake. The FB was open in the right flat, he was at about the LOS when the ball was thrown to 86. B was at least five yards off 86. 80ís route started up the field but to the left a little and did end up near the left corner of the end zone. M covered 86 about 7-8 yards beyond the LOS. 86 got inside S but S1 did not cover 80, CB1 did. S1 didnít really cover anyone but he was influenced toward 80 until it was too late. He was the player who delivered a hard hit on 86 right after he caught the ball. The protection was pretty good with the exception of RG Will Whitticker, who allowed the DT to get penetration on a bull rush and hit Favre after he released the ball.


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