FanDuel - WFBC

August 13, 2008

Are you ready for some (weird-looking) football?: Piedmont (CA) High School is running a novel new offensive package. How novel? How about two quarterbacks and all 11 men potentially eligible to catch a pass? College and pro coaches are calling, but not everyone thinks it will translate.

posted by wfrazerjr to football at 10:38 AM - 14 comments

It seems that this scheme would be totally dependent on a super fast, super quick, Vince Young type of quarterback. At least at the higher levels of the game. Corner blitz the quarterback and nail him with a few late hits to bruise and bully him to slow him down and that ought to take care of this scheme. Could you imagine seeing Peyton Manning trying to outrun Julius Peppers every single play?

posted by NoMich at 12:31 PM on August 13

I'm a natural skeptic, so I'm sure there has to be a flaw in this somewhere that will be exploited soon (possibly what NoMich said.) However, it is really interesting what can be done when all of the conventions are thrown away and something completely revolutionary is invented. I hope this gets implemented by more teams on more levels, so its progress as a system will be easy to track. If nothing else, it looks like a hell of a lot of fun to watch (but so was the run and shoot.)

posted by tahoemoj at 12:58 PM on August 13

I agree, tahoemoj. Even if this isn't the future, innovation is good. I like the forward pass.

posted by bperk at 01:13 PM on August 13

I like the forward pass

Whippersnapper

posted by tahoemoj at 01:17 PM on August 13

Interesting to think of what's possible when you blow things up and then start to rebuild. Wondering how this approach may affect baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, etc., if at all.

posted by diastematic at 02:04 PM on August 13

However, it is really interesting what can be done when all of the conventions are thrown away and something completely revolutionary is invented.

I agree all the way with this. I love change and innovation as well. This scheme, though, just leaves the quarterback waaay too unprotected. I think this will work fine at the high school level, but when you move up the skill ladder, the defenseive players are, at times, just as fast as the quarterback. The coach does have a great point in that a thrown ball is always faster than a person. I would love to see a big time college program try to implement this scheme.

posted by NoMich at 02:44 PM on August 13

definitely interesting. seems like the ball would HAVE to come out a few seconds after the snap or else the QB would get creamed. i guess having the extra QB in the backfield gives you the option of a screen or lateral if everyone is covered.

posted by gnutron at 02:27 PM on August 14

Yeah, the thrown ball is faster than a person is the same reason basketball has things like triangle offenses. But as NoMich said, on the pro level you'd be putting a lot of pressure on your QB to get rid of the ball, fast. Those NFL defenses are comprised of very large, very fast athletes, and if you're just going to cede 7 yards in the hopes of buying time, you might be disappointed when you're knocked for a 10-15 yard loss every time you can't throw a pass.

Also, I'd hate to be QB1 when he laterals to QB2- would the roughing the passer rules still apply?

That said, it'd be interesting to see what that would look like in the NFL. It would be hard to defend because you'd basically be doing a man-to-man, where as soon as you got 3 steps away the ball would be zipped laterally, and the defense would be confused as hell. The premise is that you'd move the ball like they do in basketball, but every throw is an increased chance to drop the ball, and that could get dicey. Every play would look like something from a Harlem globetrotters routine.

It sometimes seems to me that in the two footballs- especially the more boring non-US version- there's a frightening lack of innovation. When I ask soccer fans why soccer teams and coaches don't try out radically innovative strategies, I get laughed at. But every great idea usually has forgettable innovations that didn't work out- you just don't know which is which until you try.

posted by hincandenza at 09:44 PM on August 14

It sometimes seems to me that in the two footballs- especially the more boring non-US version- there's a frightening lack of innovation. When I ask soccer fans why soccer teams and coaches don't try out radically innovative strategies, I get laughed at

But they do, Hal. International football (soccer) is constantly innovating. The game is radically different to that played 10, 20 or 30 years ago. For example, no-one plays with a Beckenbauer-style sweeper any more, even though everyone did in the 1970s. The game has a rich history of innovations in formations, approaches and styles. Further, good coaches will ensure that teams can alter tactics and formations during actual games e.g. 4-4-2 to 3-5-2, and so on.

I would write more, but I realise this is about quarterbacks...

posted by owlhouse at 11:52 PM on August 14

Huh- apparently I've been talking to ignorant soccer fans. :)

Sounds like there's a lot more going on than I see with my eyes- much like basketball novices won't appreciate things like pick and rolls, screens, or the triangle offense- but I still don't understand why soccer hasn't innovated ways of routinely putting 10+ goals a game in. I know soccer needs no help becoming popular, but I think the principle reason soccer never interests me is that it's frustrating watching pass after pass get kicked 50 feet from any teammate as the two teams jerk off around midfield. Is it against soccer rules to do shit like, I don't know, form a 6 man phalanx around the player with the ball while he patiently and slowly dribbles it upfield?

That was meant semi-sarcastically, but from the casual viewer's perspective it almost seems like soccer players have an unspoken agreement that no one would do anything as gauche as repeatedly and brutally attack the goal by any means necessary.

posted by hincandenza at 07:57 AM on August 15

Is it against soccer rules to do shit like, I don't know, form a 6 man phalanx around the player with the ball while he patiently and slowly dribbles it upfield?

What, you seriously think that would make for a better game? (And yes, it would be an indirect free kick for obstruction.)

Listen. Association Football is by far the most popular spectator sport in the world. It doesn't need Americans monkeying about with the rules to make it more popular over there. (In fact, MLS got rid of the innovations which marked it out as different: Fixed clock, shootout, etc.) As owlhouse pointed out, there have been plenty of rule changes over the last 30 years, and plenty of innovations in tactics. Just because you don't see them doesn't mean they don't exist. I don't know of tactical or rule changes in basketball, but I'm sure they exist.

Back to the a11 offense. I'm sure it could work at high school level, and it might even work at college level. But NFL? Sounds like a great way to get both of your quarterbacks out for the season.

posted by salmacis at 11:29 AM on August 15

Football has evolved to the point were no more innovation is needed, a pinicle few can share. American Football, however, is a much slower and more rigid sport; the recent innovations such as the West coast, the spread, no-huddle, and run-and-shot actually make the the game faster and more fluid. I'm not sure the A11 stratergies would hold up in the NFL, but it sure was fun watching the little clip on Rivals.

posted by Goyoucolts at 12:57 PM on August 15

you can't edit your posts anymore?!? Now everyone can see my horrible spelling...

posted by Goyoucolts at 01:00 PM on August 15

High school teams have always had various schematics in which interior linemen were eligible to receive passes. My favorite was our guard eligible play that had about a 20% success rate, but it was fun to watch the 250 pound guy we named Moose try to catch a ball.

Defensive units will quickly adapt to this. You switch out your bigger linemen for faster linebacker/d-back types. While all offensive players might be eligible on various plays, on any specific play most will not be eligible. Since the running game is very limited, once the defense learns to read which players are eligible, that will free up others to rush the QBs.

I think this will quickly become a "trick play' format as opposed to something many teams will institute as their primany offense.

posted by dviking at 03:15 PM on August 16

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