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Football 101: The West Coast Offense

Diagrammed Packer's Plays

By Mark Lawrence

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Scat Detroit X Shallow

        S1                          S

CB1        W            M              B             CB
       E1     T     T       E
         86  O  O  O  O  O  87
89                 O                   80             WR

Because this show occurred after the bye week, this is another TD play vs. the Saints. The Packers had the ball 2nd and 20 at the Saintís 26 yard line after the phantom holding call on Mark Tauscher. The play is called out of Tiger personnel (2 TEs). "Scat" means "free release by everyone". The five down linemen have to block the 5 "most dangerous" rushers, none of the receivers have blitz pickup responsibility and this is the first "empty backfield" formation in the plays of the week so far, so no back is available to help the pass blocking. "Detroit" is a term theyíve used to describe a certain concept. Sherman guesses theyíve used it for 5 years and it was probably first used against Detroit, so they called it Detroit. "X Shallow" describes what the X receiver is going to do on the play.

N.O. was in quarters coverage - each DB had zone responsibility for one-quarter of the field. That was the predominate coverage by the Saints in the game.

Robert Ferguson (89) is the X receiver and he ran a shallow "over the middle" route. He ran to about where CB1 lined up and then cut toward where W lined up. He was the #1 read on the play. Sherman, "Ferguson pushed it up (he drew the beginning of 89ís route to the point in front of CB1 before he cut inside) which allowed Donald Lee (86) to get an outside release on a high angle corner route." Sherman then drew 86ís route which looped outside (to the left) of E1 and then angled directly toward the corner of the end zone at about the midpoint between where CB1 and S1 lined up. Sherman then finished drawing 87ís route toward W. On the other side, David Martin (87) ran a vertical route trying to beat M on a post route. Donald Driver (80) ran a corner route toward the right corner of the end zone and WR ran a "smash" route. Sherman, "A smash route is an angle route run to about 4 to 5 yards from the sideline and it just stops there". It sounds like what we used to call a "button hook" (run straight ahead a certain distance and stop and turn toward the QB) only run on an angle.

89 was the primary receiver but Favre recognized what the D was doing. CB1 "squatted a little before he got depth" meaning that CB1 hesitated before he went back to cover the deep quarter of the field he was responsible for. S1 took a step to the offenseís right because Favre was looking right at the snap. As a result, CB1 was late getting back and S1 took a step to the right. That left the deep left corner of the field vulnerable and thatís where 86ís route was going.

The tape showed CB1 hesitated as 89 cut to his inside. 86 had him beat the entire route and CB1 never got closer than about 2 yards to him. S1 backed up a few steps and then took a step to his left ( the offense's right). He ended up not covering anyone on the play. WR was wide open on the smash route - the nearest defender was more than 5 yards away when the ball was thrown. 87 just ran a straight route right down the field. Mark Tausher (RT) was beaten on a pass rush to the inside. His man did not hit Favre but was right in his face as the ball was released. Chad Clifton (LT) was beaten to the outside but his man also arrived just late enough for Favre to get the pass off. The pass hit 86 in stride.

Quick Scat Dino U Angle

This week's play of the week is the TD pass to Chatman during the game at Minnesota. The Packers had the ball at the MIN 4 yard line after gaining a couple of yards on a draw play. "Formationally itís called spread right B right" (Iím not certain he said "B" but it sounded like it). This play was called using Tiger personnel - 2 TDs, 2 WRs and one back. MIN was playing a 3-4 defense with "quarters" coverage (zone coverage with each DB covering a quarter of the field), which "really equals about 7 across down there in their zone" (Since they are so close to the end zone.)

      S1                            S
CB1     W         P     M       B        CB
               E1    T     E
        86     O  O  O  O  O     87
80                   O                   83


Tony Fisher (40) was the FB on the play. He went in motion by taking a couple of steps forward and then running to the right parallel to the line of scrimmage. That motion caused P and M to move toward 40ís motion to the right. The Plugger, P, blitzed up the middle and the rest of the LBs stayed back in coverage. "Scat" is the protection the Packers were in. It means that the OGs "use inside to outside reads". The LG blocks P if he is coming on a blitz. If not, he "peeks" or looks outside for W coming on a blitz. The RG does the same thing: He looks to M and blocks him if heís blitzing. If not, he looks to B to see if heís coming. On this play, only P blitzed and he was blocked.

"Dino" means double post. Sherman drew a line from David Martin (87) to the post (the goal post) and said this route is designed to "drive hard inside on the middle post" route. 87 was the primary read on this play. Antonio Chatmanís (83) route involves a "shake and bake" move (he draw a route toward CB with some squiggles to show the "shake and bake" and then drew a straight line on an angle from just in front of where CB lined up going slightly behind where S lined up, parallel to 87ís route. 83 was the second read on this play.

40, "we call him the FB on this play", continues his route (he was in motion) into the right flat, trying to "displace" or draw B to cover the right flat. On the left side of the formation, "we have three over two" - the Packers have two receivers but there are 3 defenders, "so itís not a good combination to win with" (it isnít a favorable match up). 86ís route is a toward S1 and then towards the left corner of the end zone and 80ís route goes toward where P lined up. Sherman, "Brett stayed on the strong side where we had three on three. Because P blitzed and B went to the flat, we were able to get over the top of the S."

The tape showed how spread out the formation was. Donald Driver (80) was about three yards outside (to the left) of the numbers and 83 was about that far to the right of the numbers on the other side. There was a good five yards between the OTs and the TEs. 87ís route was not as Sherman described it. He went straight to the goal line and once he was in the end zone he just went to the left. S seemed to be really fooled by 40ís route to the right flat. Even as Brett is releasing the ball, S took a false step toward 40. Even so, there was very little room to squeeze the ball between S and B because CB covered 40 and after B took a step or two toward the right flat he then went back into his spot in the zone. It took a great throw to complete the pass.

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