Ack's Virtual Playbook

This week we go with a play action pass designed to get the ball down the field. Our 90 series is our five step passing game and protection. To add play action we just call it 80 which alerts the back and quarterback to go through the draw fake. Last week we drew up the draw and now we have the perfect downfield compliment to it in the passing game. 

Click here for an explanation of key terms and principles and here for diagrams of different defensive coverages.

The play is 90 Mills and/or 80 mills if we choose to actually have the quarterback go through the play fake. You can run this play out of the I formation, Split Back formation and even One Back Formation. The two back sets give you full protection for this play and also keeps the defense on it's heels because the formation is one that indicates run. This is a good downfield pass to run on first down after having some success running the ball early in a football game. In the 1993 SEC Championship Game Terry Dean hit Jack Jackson to break the game wide open on a 50 yd plus touchdown with this play out of I formation.

We will give you the look of motion this week and also show you who is responsible for the blitzing linebackers. On this play X runs a post, Y runs a wheel and Z runs a dig. Both running backs will step in then run a five yard stop. This play is a three level read that is predicated on the free safety. At times the safety will jump the dig and that is when you can hit the homerun. The backs are safety valves in case protection breaks down vs a four man rush.

Diagram 1A.

This is versus a cover two look. Going left to right the X receiver will take a slight inside release then go up the stem to 15 yards and run a cover two post. A cover two post is designed to challenge the playside safety by aiming at the goal post nearest the receiver. A regular post is splitting the middle of the goal post. The cover two post will be more towards the hash mark. The H back will hop inside with eyes on the will linebacker. If he comes, H must block him and if not run five yards and turn outside sitting down. F will do the same thing to the right side but he will key the sam linebacker to the strong safety (if he is walked up and comes). He must also take a fake in the belly from the QB if 80 is called. Y will release at a three yard depth to the numbers then wheel up the sideline. Z will take and inside release then go up the stem to 15 yards then run a dig across the field looking for the ball in the window.

QB Reads: X to Z then dump to the backs.

Diagram 1B.

This is the I back version with the quarterback under center. The tailback's fake is off if the strong safety or sam walk up on the line of scrimmage and blitz. The center and left guard are responsible for the mike linebacker if he blitzes. If the strength of the formation is to the left with the tight end then all the responsibilities switch.

Diagram 2A.

This will be the Blue formation with motion versus cover three. This is the ideal coverage to run the play with a young quarterback. First the QB will move Z over to the other side. He will still run his 15 yard dig but without an inside dig. Z must make sure not to get to wide to bottle up X on his inside release. Timing on the snap and motion are very important. When the Z goes in motion if the corner stays home then the quarterback knows it is zone defense. He then must read the free safety. If the FS is still backpedaling at the fifth step then the quarterback must come to the dig and find Z in the window. The key to hitting the dig is the play action which will hold the linebackers. If the LB's do not honor the fake and drop deep into the 7-10 yard zone then the quarterback must take the five stop with the running backs and live to see another day. If run correctly and called at the right time, the quarterback should be able to throw the post or dig vs Cover 3 all day.

Diagram 2B.

This play is drawn versus Cover 2. Some teams will line up in cover 3 and switch to cover two when a receiver motions away and leaves no receivers on his side. This is called 2 squat and is usually run vs a tight end alone formation. If we see this the first time or on film we will "Tag" our play call with a route adjustment. The tight end will run the 8 route instead of the wheel for two reasons. First by running a 15 yard corner it may pull the strong safety away from the dig route and open the zone. Secondly, a corner route vs cover two is a nice safe throw if the quarterback thinks he can get it. The quarterback can come off his first read at his fifth step and fire the corner in the zone.

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