I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
Tis the season to be parsing so here is what I gleaned from yesterday's presser:
Right tackle will be Dorrestein or Huyge - my money is on Perry.
Left Tackle will be Taylor Lewan.
There had been previous speculation that Dorrestein was battling for LT and was thus not in the mix for RT, but Omameh's comments have made it clear that TL will be at LT because only the barely-competent Huyge stands in his way. Depite my somewhat disparaging comment I feel good about having Huyge as a versatile backup with game experience at both tackle and guard. We are looking very good up front on offense = big yards on the ground.
FF 101 - The Fundamentals: Syllabus & Day 1
FF 101: Day 2 – Offense
Major Edit: I modified some of the formation names for more simplicity and universality. Let me know if any more questions arise.
Author’s Note: If you played football, whether in real life or video games, you may already know a lot of this. Hopefully this won’t turn you off from the course too quickly.
This day in class we will look at the mindset and philosophy it takes to be successful on offense. After that I will discuss deeper in depth the positions, the breakdown of their positional units, and some further terminology to help you get acclimated with formations and play calling. We will end with a few simple examples.
“We have an offensive concept, an overall season plan, and strong beliefs about techniques and strategy. But we also copy what others have done successfully and adjust our plan from week to week.” – Joe Paterno.
Offense is very different than defense – obviously. On defense you rely on eliminating space with the help of the boundaries, you react, you pay for errors and try to hide weaknesses, and you stymie the unexpected (by the way, all generalizations are false, including this one, but you get the idea). On offense you attack, you strike, you surprise, you thrive in space and exploit errors and deficiencies. There are things that the two have in common though such as speed, adaptability, opportunity, utilizing strengths, having balance, and execution. Execution: probably the most important aspect of football. This is the mindset of offensive football, an approach in which you play to win, win, win, humiliate through finesse and raw toughness and everything in between. Offense is a different species, and there are many different breeds of said specie. The goal is always the same though, to degrade and exasperate the opponent and to score touchdowns. The killing comes later.
Obviously philosophies defer greatly. Philosophies depend on offensive talent and personnel as well as defensive talent and personnel. Some things remain fairly constant across philosophies though. Finish every play, every route, every run, every block. When you’re a receiver don’t take plays off, stretch the ball horizontally and vertically. As a running back, help out your quarterback by blocking and running well and help out your lineman by being patient and explosive. As a lineman, get to your spots and block through defenders. No matter the case, execute the game plan and the offense should succeed.
Positions can be broken up into three groups, with small subgroups included.
Offensive Line:Offensive Tackle (T), Offensive Guard (G), Center (C)
Backfield:Quarterback (QB), Running Back (RB).
Running Back: Tailback (TB), Fullback (FB), Halfback (HB), Wing (W/WB)
Receivers: Wide Receiver (WR), Tight End (TE)
Wide Receiver: Wide Receiver (WR), Split End (SE), Slot (SR), Wing (W), Flanker (Fl)
Tight End: Tight End (TE), H-Back (HB/H)
So most of you knew most of this and all I probably did was confuse you more. Anyway, to clarify, a split end is a lot like tight end playing wide receiver, and a h-back is a lot like tight end that isn’t on the line of scrimmage (LOS), a wing, or wing back, is either the third RB in the back field, the third receiver in a single back, single TE formation, or the forth receiver in a single back, four receiver set. Flanker is like a wide receiver, typically off the line. I will get more into their specific functions, attitudes, and goals when I break down their individual units.
For now, I will introduce some terminology that is common in football play calling and position play calling.
2: Wingback (at times considered Z receiver (see below))
3: The Fullback
4: The Tailback
This comes into account when calling plays, such as a 34 Trap (‘3’ means the fullback running to the ‘4’ hole. The weakside guard does a trap block) or 47 Sweep (‘4’ stands for Tailback running a sweep to the ‘7’ hole) for example.
X: The WR that is on the LOS. This usually means this is the split out that is away from strength (typically denoted as the side with the TE).
Y: This is typically your TE, or the last man on the LOS toward the strength side.
Z: Typically your flanker, or the receiver that is off of the LOS. This can be toward strength or away, near the offensive linemen or far from them.
W: This receiver usually subs in for one of the RBs on 4 receiver sets. Also considered different nomenclature for the Z-receiver on occasion.
I was asked a question about eligible receivers which I will attempt to explain here and supplement a little below. On every play there are 5 eligible receivers (6 if you count the QB for plays such as throw backs). At least seven players must be on the line of scrimmage. More can be on the line of scrimmage but it decreases your number of eligible receivers.
The eligible receivers consist of anyone lined up off the LOS and the two players furthest outside that are lined up on the LOS. Technically then, if 6 guys were lined up on the LOS to the right of the center, and none were on the LOS to his left, the center would actually be an eligible receiver because he is the last person to the outside on the LOS.
Most problems occur from: a) the tackle lining up in the backfield, making it so only 6 players are on the LOS; or b) if an extra person is on the LOS, either the extra person (who is lined up inside the outer most person on the LOS) to become ineligible or causing someone who is supposed to be eligible to be ineligible because the 8th person on the LOS is outside the person who is supposed to be the last one on the line of scrimmage.
The formations below are very basic in nature. On Friday through Sunday you will see some formations more complex than these. This is simply to get you acclimated with my personal terminology. (Note: any player with a letter is an eligible receiver)
*Strong - When the FB is offset toward the TE. Sometimes known as King.
*Weak - When FB is away from TE side. Also referred to as Queen.
Some teams prefer to call strength (i.e. left or right) based on the location of the Y receiver, typically the TE. However, I find this can cause confusion. In my play calling I tend to call the strength the side with the greater number of eligible receivers. Therefore “Twins I Left” means the twin set (where more people are) is to the left. Important to note is that this is not always the same as defensive strength calls.
(Another way of playing by some teams is just have a single call, such as “I-Formation” and then say “Flip” when going from “Right I” (their version of “I Formation”) to “Left I”. I still prefer my own method as I find it to be clearer in nature.)
There are also some more receiver-heavy formations.
There are some similarities in shotgun play calling, though some nomenclature is a little different. A few examples are given below.
Flex = Receiver positioning
Gun = Shotgun
Right = Position of running back
Very few plays are diagramed below. The goal is simply to get you acclimated on how plays are called, and what the meaning behind the play call is. In this set I won’t show detailed blocking for certain defensive alignments for simplicity.
Note: I Right 34 Trap should read "I Right 32 Trap" as the fullback goes through the 2 hole
For simplicity of the play calls, some pass plays simply go by names. For now I will just go over these type plays, in the future we will look at more complex plays/routes.
This is all an art form, from the necessary dialog of calling a play, to the picture that is painted prior to the implementation of the actual actors playing out their roles on stage. Offensive football is a treat to watch because of small intricacy adds up into something so grand as to make it so 11 people cannot even bring down a single person. It can stand for so many things, the strength and intelligence of humanity, as a metaphor for the power of cohesion, or it can just be seen as football. People love points, and I can’t blame them, but it isn’t where the beauty of the sport begins, but rather where it starts. In our next class we will begin our look at defensive football. Have a good day.
Note: In the near future I will try to figure out some way to have an add-on that will include a whole bunch of formations rather than just these basics. Whether I put it on a download site to as a .pdf or power point document, or if I should embed all the formations (which is a ton, and that’s just scratching the surface) on a simple blog post, I don’t know yet. I would like to hear suggestions or preferences if there is any demand for such a thing (and maybe how I would go about doing it). Either way, for a basics package to be complete so that communication can become more fluent on the board, I think a package such as this is necessary.
I have read this blog religiously for 2 years but this is the first time I have been compelled to write a diary. I realize this is not a topic people are thinking about all the time right now and that is why I am writing it. I am really tired of the tate/denard/devin and omg wings freakout. Also, I realize this is against the general opinion of most so all I ask is you wait to neg bomb me into oblivion until you have read my arguments. Feel free to rip my arguments to threads in the comments. Finally, as a proud LSA student I am using a blue book essay like format and trying to give an answer the way I would if I got a “Defend the BCS” essay on an exam.
Over the last few years, it has become the popular opinion that the current BCS system needs updating and that that update needs to result in a playoff. Just the other day I was with a group of people and somebody blurted out, “I assume you all agree we need a playoff in college football.” My comment to that was that we actually do technically have a playoff, it is a 2 team playoff. Furthermore, I don’t even like the current system, however I do believe that it is the better than the other options. Also, this is not a defense of using computers to determine the top 2 teams in the land instead of a selection committee.
The major argument you hear against the BCS is “it is not fair.” It is my belief that a 4 team and an 8 team playoff would be unfair for the same reason people claim the current 2 team system is. The first major argument I hear people bring up the 2008 Utah team because they beat one loss Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and finished undefeated. First off, people conveniently ignore the fact that the Alabama team looked like they would rather be anywhere else but playing in the Sugar Bowl instead of the national championship game. This was made painfully obvious when one of Alabama’s best players (if not their best), LT Andre Smith, decided he would rather talk to an agent and get ready to play on the NFL than play in that game. His backup was eaten alive for some unreal stat like 5 sacks. Also, I got the chance to watch that year’s Utah team live as they barely beat an awful 3-9 Michigan team by only two points and in my opinion they did not look that impressive in person. Even if you ignore those points, and still argue for either a 4 or 8 team playoff, it is still unfair because that undefeated Utah team may not have made it into either of the playoff systems. At the end of the regular season in 2006, Utah was ranked 6thin the final BCS poll behind USC (5th, PAC 10 champ), Alabama (4th, at large bid), Texas (3rd, at large bid), Florida (2nd, SEC champ), and Oklahoma (1st, Big 12 Champ). (http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings/_/year/2008/week/16) In a four team playoff (or the plus one idea), the four teams to go would be the top 4 and Utah would be left out. In an eight team playoff, 6 slots would go to the automatic bids for the BCS conferences and then the 2 at larges would go to the top 2 BCS at large teams (Texas and Alabama) leaving Utah out. There are 2 ways for Utah to get in. The first is to give an auto birth to a non-BCS provided they are top 6. In this scenario you would have to leave Alabama (a top 4 team out of the playoff), which in my opinion would be even more unfair them omitting Utah. The other option is to drop the worse BCS auto bid team, this would not happen for monetary reasons because the big 6 conferences need their team represented. What we have in the 8 team situation is no better than the 2 team option because you still don’t get Utah in. This is why we added a 5thBCS bowl; it was just too hard for mid-majors to crack into 8 teams. So where we are now at is needing some version of a 4 week playoff to find a “fair” championship.
I also believe that from a straight logistical standpoint, a 4 week playoff will not work. While I realize the four week format works at the FCS level, I still just don’t see it as an option in major college football. First off, college football is a very dangerous sport and adding 3 extra games ups risk. With conference championship games, the team that reaches the finals will play a mind boggling 17 team games as an amateur athlete. That is literally more games than are in the NFL regular season. Furthermore, I am not sure how people expect student athletes to go through the media craze of a major college football playoff for 4 weeks in December that happens to overlap with fall term finals. If you are willing to dismiss those points, I still don’t see it working because of the ultimate sticking point. Where would these games be held? There is no way the teams from the north would be willing to play all the rounds at traditional bowl sites because that means the #1 team in the nation (if it is from the north that year) would have to play 4 road-like games to win a national championship (which is so unfair it shouldn’t even be mentioned). The only reason the Big Ten agrees to play these road games now is because it is one game and the beauty of one game is northern families and the team themselves will take a weeklong trip to the bowl location making it much less like a road game atmosphere. The teams would be unable to stay on sight for a week all 4 games due to exams and fans would not be able to take 4 separate vacations. This means that the at least first 2 rounds would have to be held at a regional site (bad for attendance) or home sites of the higher seeds. This means eventually Southern teams like those from the SEC would have to take their vaunted speed up north into the cold December weather. Seeing as SEC teams currently almost always refuse to cross the Mason-Dixon Line even in September, I don’t see them signing off on this. This effectively eliminates the four week idea.
Where we now are at is a situation where 2 team, 4 team, and 8 team playoffs are all “unfair” and four week playoffs are a logistical impossibility. At this point you have to select the best of the unfair systems and I submit to you that the best of the 3 is a two team system. The reason for this is you generally get an absolutely great championship game. Even if you disagree with the top 2 teams in the rankings every now and then, you are going to get a game between 2 of the top 3 teams in the country. This means you are going to get a great championship game between 2 great teams. One of my problems with the beloved college basketball tournament is there are too many upsets. It is too random. This makes it exciting to watch but doesn’t promote the best of possible finals. I realize people love Butler but I would have much rather watched a seven game series between Kentucky and Duke, that would be great basketball. It also means you can never take a week off during the regular season because it acts as a 12 week playoff in a way keeping the season exciting. If you had a large playoff you would get a situation where conference championship games may become boring because both teams are locks for the playoffs (similar to how some great college basketball teams yawn during their conference tournaments). To be honest, I don’t think there is one team in the nation that even had an argument that they were more deserving for a championship game then either Texas or Alabama because going undefeated in a major conference is far more impressive then doing it in the WAC. I would be willing to bet if you swapped last year’s Michigan schedule with Boise State’s schedule, that awful Michigan team would have been about 10-2. Basically, in the current system, we determine the championship by having the two best teams play for it. I love this.
In conclusion, while I readily admit that the current system we have to determine a college football champion it far from perfect and can be perceived as unfair, I believe it is the best system that is actually logistically possible. This is because a fair four week playoff would not work and of the remaining options, I would much rather see the one week version that guarantees us a premier national championship game between 2 elite teams.
So my 9 year old son just started playing football this year. I'm looking forward to this season more than most, between RR clicking on more cylindersIs andy my boy playing ball.
A couple jersey questions: Is there a cheap way to pick up some appropriately sized Michigan practice jerseys for my son? Used would be fine. Obviously, I can buy new jerseys, but those get pricey. I looked on ebay,and see several selections, which can prob. work. But that brings up a second question. I'm clueless on size. Are jerseys designed to go over pads? I don't want to buy a medium jersey only to find out it is really a shirt, and not sized to go over shoulder pads.
From MLB Trade Rumors, Zach Lee, QB LSU, will likely sign with the Dodgers. It does not say whether he will continue to play for LSU or not, I assume not. If it does, it does free up a scholarship. Does this make room for Elliot Porter? Not that I want Miles to be exonerated from his shenanigans, but it would be a silver lining for the player. I hope Porter finds somewhere else to take his talents.
Edit: Confirmed he did sign with the Dodgers.'