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Football 101: The West Coast Offense

Diagrammed Packer's Plays

By Mark Lawrence

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H7 Y Corner

This play was the second TD scored by the Packers in the Cincinnati game. The Packers had the ball at the 1 yard line of the Bengals and were trailing by 14 points with about 3 minutes left in the game.

The formation and personnel were Green Right Tight with "Y 71" personnel in - which is Kevin Barry (71) in as a TE and two additional TEs.

            B1      B
     S1                        S
        E1   E   T T  E     E
        88  O  O  O  O  O  71
                  O           V


This play requires very aggressive blocking by the OL. The OL "gap block" to their right (the linemen from LT to RT each block the defender nearest to them, to their right. This play is blocked as if it were a run. Sherman, "The FB comes right off the edge and blocks the end (E1) and the safety (S1) and goes into the flat." Sherman drew the FBís route right at E1 and then continuing into the left flat. I think he meant to say he fakes blocking one of those defenders as if it were a run. The goal on this play is to get B1 to take a step forward and they try to accomplish that by making this look like a run to the offenseís left. 40 (Tony Fisher) is the RB and Brett fakes to him and he "cuts" or blocks E1.

"Bubba comes off and runs a high angle corner route to the back pylon". Sherman draws a route for 88 (Bubba Franks) which goes straight to about the level the LBs are lined up (B1 and B) and then draws a straight line at about a 45 degree angle towards the back left of the end zone. The FB runs his route toward the front left pylon. The formation and play design put a lot of pressure on S1 and tries to get B1 to take a false step forward so 88 can beat him on the corner route.

Sherman did not explain why the second TE is represented by a "V" on the board. And he didnít say anything about 71 or Vís responsibility on the play except to say that side of the formation protects the QBís blindside. This is the first play of the week that involves a run fake but the name of the play doesn't indicate that fact. The OL has to be sure that while they are blocking the play as a run, they can't get downfield since it is a pass. (It wasn't as big a concern on this play as it is on some because this is a quick developing play.)

The tape showed Franks took four steps and then angled toward the back pylon. B1 was former Packer LB Hannibal Navies and he took about 3 and one-half steps forward and then almost grabbed Franks with his right hand as he went by him. The throw was right on the money. The line blocking was very good. Fisher got a great cut block against E1 who ended up completely prone. Vonta Leach was in at FB and he didnít fake anything. He ran a route directly toward the front left pylon. S1 came up without hesitation to cover him. There wasnít much of a fake to 40 but there really wasnít much time for a fake. It looked as if the play action of the FB and RB got B1 to bite hard on the fake.

99 G Lead

This weeks play of the week is the TD play that culminated a 12 play drive that opened the second half of the game against the Steelers. It pulled the Packers within 3 points at 13-10. It was called on 3rd and goal from the one yard line. It was the first TD scored by RB Samkon Gado. The Steelers play a 6-2 goal line defense with gap principals that Sherman said is very sound.

     S1        B2    B3      S
        B1  E1  T1  T   E   B   CB
        71  O  O  O  O  O  O
                  O          88


Kevin Barry (71) has to get a very solid block on B1. "Barry jumped on that defender and did a great job for us". The LT has to block down on E1 - blocking him to the inside, or to the right of the offense. The C has a difficult job on this play. His responsibility is to "reach block" T1. In other words he is supposed to keep a defender who is lined up to his left from getting to the play which is going to the left. The LG, Adrian Klemm, pulls to the left and "blocks the first force off the edge". Sherman drew a line showing S1 coming across the line of scrimmage and the LG pulling and blocking him.

"The backside is the trick." The RG "reach" blocks T and "somehow some way" the RT has to get to B3. Sherman drew a line from the RT to the middle of where B2 and B3 lined up. "It doesnít always happen but in this case Mark Tauscher, the RT, got a push on B3 and pushed him into a pile". The FB, Vonta Leach, searches out the front side LB, B2. Sherman drew the FBís path between 71 and the LT. Leach did make that block and created the "pile" that Tauscher pushed B3 onto. The TE and 88 on the right side are responsible for cutoff blocks against E and B.

The RB, Samkon Gado, wants to take this on an "outside course because many times we canít get this guy" (B2). Sherman drew the RBís path right through where B1 lined up.

The tape showed 71 didnít get push on B1 but got position. By the time the RB went by him, 71 was completely between the defender and the RB but the defender was still at about the one-yard line. The LG met S1 at the goal line and delivered a good block knocking him backwards. The pile created by the FBís block occurred at about the one-yard line as well. And the RT just pushed B3 onto the pile. The RB got into the end zone untouched. In fact, the only player to touch him at all was S who was not blocked but didnít get to the RB until he was a couple of yards into the endzone.