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Wing Formations

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by Off The Grid, Nov 17, 2010.

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  1. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

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    #3 Jersey

    I'm advancing way over my depth, here, but I thought I'd throw this out there, anyway, as it's been on my mind for a while. I should also preface this by acknowledging that it's a "general" FootBall question, but I hope that the Mods ~ hey, Mods! :) ~ will allow it to remain here, for such length of time ~ if any ~ that it is discussed. It is actually with a decidedly "Drafty" perspective that this subject always recurs to me. Also, the lady and gents in this room tend to be interested in the deeper aspects of FootBall, so it seems a better venue, in my opinion, then the general forum.

    ***

    Here it is: As the NFL advances increasingly in the direction of Faster...and Smaller...ere the last decade or so, I can't help but wonder if a unique opportunity to catch the rest of the league leaning in the wrong direction might present itself in the years ahead.

    MIND you: I would propose no such move until General Tom Brady has hung up his cleats, and I'm hoping that that date is 5-10 years away ~ perhaps in 5 years, when ~ at the age of 38 ~ he walks away because, in Brady's words "I'm out of digits. The Gods never intended rings to be worn on thumbs."

    Many folks don't realize that the QuarterBack's role has changed dramatically, over the years: He used to be referred to as the "Blocking" back, back in the day. And there were no Wide Receivers.

    Knute Rockne's Four Horsemen had 2 guys who could throw the ball, and all 4 were running threats.

    We're talking 90 years ago, here, mind you...

    Even so: I can't help but wonder if it might not become a shocking advantage, were we to develop a team that had 5 Athletic Grizzlies on the Front Line who could Pull and Trap as well as anyone, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez at Offensive Ends, and a BackField with something like QB Cam Newton, HB Michael Vick, HB Steve Young, and, say, FB Sam Gash.

    Were I drafting for that team, this year, I might go with something like:

    1st ~ QB Cam Newton ~ Auburn Tiggers
    3rd ~ HB Robert Griffin ~ Baylor Bears ~ IF he comes out.
    FA ~ FB Brett Morse ~ QB'd his High School team.

    I may be completely out of my mind ~ and I am certainly MILES over my pay grade ~ but it strikes me that aligning that crew against today's sets would offer countless Match Up advantages and schematic possibilities.

    Have I completely lost it??* :eek:




    *Rhetorical question. ;)
  2. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    If an offense is not two dimensional, then an NFL defense will own it.

    Why are there no option teams in the NFL? One dimensional teams are easier for NFL defenses to stop.

    What is the first thing BB does when planning against an opposing offense? Take away the thing they do best and make them play the game left handed so to speak.

    Why is Vick playing so well this year, because Reid taught him how to throw and teams have to respect that leaving him and the HBs tons of room to run.

    Balance and/or a superstar QB is the key to successful NFL offenses.
  3. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

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    #3 Jersey

    I'm sure most would agree with you.
  4. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    I'm not so sure. I believe a triple option like Tebow ran at UF could be successful. It would come down to blocking, physicality, speed and quickness.

    The problem is that it still requires a triggerman that is highly skilled (meaning rare)...and one of the primary options is for the QB to run the ball off tackle. If I were defending this formation, I would assign a Chung-like safety to spy the QB and erase him as soon as he left the pocket. Not in a dirty way, just drill him and take him to the ground hard. Your QB may not last the game and would definitely not last the season.

    Even ignoring the financial implications of having your highest paid player limping off the field all the time, you would never be able to win consistently when you can't keep your best player (effectively your point guard) on the field.

    If you had the players mentioned above as backups on your depth chart and your linemen/TEs were athletic enough, running this as a package (particularly when you are near midfield and the goal line) could be viable. Denver is doing something similar with Tebow. With limited roster spots and salary cap space, I don't think it is practical for most teams.
  5. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa Rookie

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    I love the Delaware Wing-T. It's great for high school. Many teams in our area run it and it's pretty hard to defense. It's a great running offense. Tricky mis-direction plays, run power plays with fb, option with halfbacks in motion. But, if you have a qb that can throw. The two half-backs can easily get into pass routes. Ga Tech and Navy's option attack is a variation of it. And, it works well there too. I love to watch Ga Tech run it. If Nesbitt could throw the ball just a little. They'd have been awesome the last couple of years.

    BB has mentioned that the spread can work in the NFL. Ochmed mentioned you have to be multi-dimensional. And, there are some qb's coming who might be able to pull it off. Michael Vick of course. Vince Young just wasn't dedicated enough. He had the skillset though. Tebow might be able to in a couple of years as he works on his passing. Cam Newton might be able to pull it off. He can throw the ball. Don't think T.Pryor will be able to because of his lack of passing skills. But, IMO it's pretty obvious this is where offenses are headed.
  6. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

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    Excellent contributions, gentlemen, especially yours, Brother PennPat. Thank you all. :cool:

    My position, right or wrong, is simple: Surprise is overrated. If you have an intrinsic advantage on the Enemy ~ as I propose to construct over all other 31 teams ~ then "variety" is infinitely less important than Excellence.

    Coach Lombardi always said that The Sweep ~ an Old School Play if EVER there was one!! ~ was the most obvious, foreseeable Blunt Instrument that was ever conceived...But if his boys had the dedication to master it, it would be the Bread and Butter upon which an immortal DYNASTY was founded...and so it WAS.

    YouTube - The Sweep

    I seriously doubt that our QuarterBack would be in anywhere near as much danger as Brother Metaphor projects, particularly with the modern Rules of Engagement. I don't seem to recall Ronnie Brown undergoing many injuries, playing WildCat.

    This would be a Run First Offense, which DRAMATICALLY improves the health of any QuarterBack.

    So much for Cam Newton getting knocked out.

    With Cap Money spent on 5 All Star SilverBack Grizzly Hybrid Athletic MONSTERS, instead of WideOuts, and with 2 Gronkowskis ~ never mind Hernandez, this is 2016 I'm talking about!! ~ seeking out and DESTROYING the Enemy, it seems to me that it would hardly matter if the Enemy went 11 in the Box: We'd STILL blast away 5 or 10 yards at a time...And OWN...The Field of BATTLE.
  7. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Rookie

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    Overwhelming force is fine if you have the ability to overwhelm your opponent, the problem is that you don't always have that. McDaniels big flaw IMO was that he wanted to rely on out-executing the opponent, which for various reasons might not be possible.

    I'd much rather build a fierce line of Grizzlies but also want to have plenty of surprise and deception, as well as intelligent schemes to take advantage of their weak points. Why choose one or the other?
  8. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Two problems with the Ronnie Brown point:
    1) He didn't run the wildcat enough to evaluate its effects
    2) The wildcat is (was?) a terrible choice for a base formation. Too few options to be anything but a changeup.

    As for Newton/Tebow/Vick running a true single or double wing, it would only work if you had all the options at your disposal:
    - FB dive
    - Tailback toss
    - Option wide
    - QB off tackle
    - Wing sweep

    If I don't run the option or have the QB keep the ball, the formation is way too easy to defend...which is why the wildcat is nearly extinct. If I have to defend against a wing formation, I want to isolate and punish the ball handler (the tailback/fullback in ye olde times, the QB in your example). Since he is a ball carrier and not sitting in the pocket, he loses all the normal protections for a QB. Slow him down or even force him to the bench and the offense falls apart.

    If you have a QB that is so superior athletically when compared to the defenders (think Jim Thorpe), this can work since the rest of the players just become blockers and he can generally avoid getting hit much. Even the recently crowned QB 2.0 Mike Vick can't pull that off today. Defenders are too big and fast to subject a single player to that many hits a game.
  9. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

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    #3 Jersey

    Excellent food for thought, man. Thanks. :cool:
  10. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

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    Ah, but that's precisely what argues strongest in favor of this half-baked scheme, don't you see? It is precisely because drafting and Salary Cap resources would be concentrated closer to the line of scrimmage, rending the entire Secondary mismatched, that an enormous advantage might accrue at the point of attack.

    Fair question.

    The answer is that I suspect a unique opportunity is developing, to forge an unfair advantage, by focusing on strengths that exploit the vulnerabilities that today's smaller, faster Back 7's and 8's have to an onslaught of huge, fast, and powerfull Blockers.

    The idea behind The Four Horsemen Approach would be to make countless variations possible. Surprise and deception wouldn't be even slightly compromised: The menu would change dramatically, but would offer just as many options, I would think.

    Even so, it seems to me that the greatest teams tend to focus on mastering a core of Bread and Butter plays, as Coach Lombardi put it. Deception and Variety are key, but stand in pale comparison to Dominance, in my book. One must pursue all the above, of course, but I value the latter far more.

    In any case, it's just an idea I'm throwing out there. I don't have nearly enough knowledge of the schematic intricacies of this game to say whether or not it would work. Hopefully, I'll develop enough, in time.
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