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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Scheme Notes

These don't apply speciflcally to Carolina (sorry) but scheme is
important to me, and I wanted to touch on a couple of things. You'll
hear plenty of these things in the offseason, so here's where I stand on

*The Pistol "offense"

If it's being run in the pros, the pistol is just an alignment.
Really, anything anyone does with the Pistol is simply adding it to what
they do, and that's all Nevada's Chris Ault did to "create" the O. It's
simply a formation, and to a point a technique used with it. Lining up
in the pistol in the pros isn't an offense. It's a scheme infusion, of
sorts. An addition to what's being asked. For it to be an offense,
especially in the old-school thought of what an "offense" is, it'd have
to be all, or the vast majority, of what's being used, i.e., lining up
with the pistol every down and rarely doing anything else.


Similarly - the Wide-9 is an alignment. It's not a defense. It's just
a playcall. It's just a way of lining up the DL (specifically, letting
the DEs align wider, and having two 3-technique DTs instead of running
one NT and having one end head up on the TE) and having the LBs fill
behind it.

Only a few teams run it - it might or might not find a home stopping
the option for some teams, and here's why. The option has you reading
the playside DE, or in some forms, the DT. If both ends and tackles are
crashing from the outside, your read is always going to be inside. Ask
any DC about the read option, and that's what their hope is, inevitably.
Force it inside.

Now, you only have LBs, and you'd be blocking them with linemen (a
wide-9 alignment flaw anyway), which might cause a team to put up a SLB
like Jarrett Johnson (a DT in build, but has made a living setting the
edge in the 3-4) that can take on blocks better. But, the wide-9 might
be able to work the option better than some other 4-3 arrangements,

Also,'s Chris Brown also had a great article on
grantland (I will try to update later with a link) about the Pats'
Ehrhart-Perkins scheme and its evolution. Great article, as his stuff
tends to be.

But, I disagree to a point about its argument. The article suggests
that the outdated ground-and-pound EP scheme (heavy in the lineage of
the Parcells guys, and Steelers) is modernized because route combos are
easier than the heavily wordy West Coast systems or the Coryell's number
systems - which, in a spread, becomes more complicated because, if your
Y and the surrogate F (in a spread, now a WR) are split, you can't just
name the routes with the formation. You have to drop in the F Post so
the F knows what to do (absence of a call means being part of the
protection, which would be kinda silly for a split WR), sure.

But here's where Brown and I disagree. For one, Brady isn't calling
out route combos at the line with playbook names. So Brown's
suggestion is inherently a falsehood - whatever shorthand he uses to
call out plays, or alignments, at the line or walking to the line, is
likely no different than a standard audible system.

So, it's not like Coryell teams running the no-huddle are going to walk
to the line, and say Queen Right, Jet Right orbit, 940 H Swing. They're
going to have a different, shorter nomenclature for audibles and
no-huddle calls. I don't know that particular language, but it's going
to be shorter for any offense. So I disagree that running the archaic
Ehrhart Perkins system gives any sort of real advantage. Kudos for the
Pats livening it up the way they have, but the no-huddle bit is
independent of the verbiage used in the huddle.
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