27 September 2011

"Everybody out for a pass"

From today's Wall Street Journal online:
Buffalo may have won the early prize for the innovation of the year—one that is playing a leading role in the team's surprising early-season breakout. You can call it the "stack," the "bunch," or maybe even the "spread scrunch..."

For nearly the entire game Sunday, the Bills had four wide receivers on the field, and often used five. (A traditional NFL alignment consists of two wide receivers.) They also sometimes lined up their tight ends as wide receivers and flung their running backs off to the corners.

At first glance, these formations look much like the spread offense that's popular in college football. But in practical terms, they're not necessarily all that alike...

Essentially, the players are setting a pick, the way a basketball player might. Picks are normally against the rules in the NFL, but there is one loophole: When a pick happens because of the simple design of the passing routes, it's not illegal. 
When I was a kid playing touch football in the yard after school, the standard "play" was "everyone out for a pass." More re the NFL version at the link.

Photo credit nfl.com/rewind


  1. What's a pick? All I can find looking around the net is related to pick as in picking teams.

  2. Skip, you may know it as a "screen" -


  3. The single side wide receiver stack is really, really popular in college. It also takes a really strong corner to make the stop, otherwise, you have to bring the safety over for help. That leaves the middle deep field fairly vulnerable.

    I wonder if the NFL will ever have any "Pistol" sets in the near future?

  4. Ah - that's a bit clearer. Trouble is that the only sport I have much connection with is rugby union, and they'd all be offside.

  5. Well then, it's my turn for a (stupid?) question. Is "rugby union" the same as just "rugby", and if not, when does one use each term?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...