Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Spread Run to Attack a 7 Man Box

The Patriots are in an 11 personnel Y flex formation on 1st and 10 against the Chiefs in a even front Cover 1 from Dime personnel.

The motion brings the 7th defender into the box going from a 4 out formation to a Y in the core alignment. 

New England is running a split zone run scheme. The RB's path is aiming to the backside inside leg of the Center and he is reading the Mike Backer.

1 high concept has two basic choices to fit this play.

The first run fit is to use the 3 box defenders (Dime, Mike, Nickel)  as a 3 man funnel. It is a 3 vs. 2 concept on the Y and T. When the Y cuts across the formation it pulls all 3 defenders into their fits. The Dime pulls over the top and plays the extra gap created by the Y as well as taking the Y in man coverage. The Mike pulls to the opposite A gap and the Nickel pulls into the open B gap. The RB is reading the Mike. When the Mike pulls back to the backside A gap the RB jumps the ball playside to the B gap. The crack block of the X from a compressed split is there to handle the Nickel and hopefully occupy the Corner. The Corner is forced to come off his man responsibility late to make a tackle on a full speed RB.

The second fit for the defense is to fill the open A and B gap with the Dime and Mike. This requires the Nickel to pull all the way over the formation with the Y. The Nickel has the Y man to man and needs to fit the extra gap created by his block. The RB is reading the Mike. If the Mike stays playside the RB works A gap to cut back. The stress falls on the Nickel to get over the top and make the tackle on a full speed RB hitting the cut back off the backside of the zone blocking.

The motion creates confusion on the fit. The Nickel is trying to pull all the way over the top like run fit number 2 but the LB looks like he is thinking they are going to play it like a funnel. The Dime also looks like he is filling the open A gap again showing fit number 2. The RB reads the Mike the Mike appears to be playing over the top of the double to the backside so the RB jumps the ball frontside. With the Mike late to the B gap the result is a reach and grab tackle on a full speed RB. The crack block sucks the Corner in and blocks the Nickel making the Corner is late to get involved. 

The plan of showing a 4 out formation and motioning back into Y in the core is a something I think more teams will use to attack defenses. With more teams playing Dime personnels, 3 high safeties, etc. offenses will look to attack those schemes with concepts that show spread then force DB bodies to play into box run fits. Zone schemes reading the Mike aren't new. They may gain more popularity as teams look to attack defenses that rock back the fit with a LB vs. spread sets. The LB is trying to be in two fits at once, the read of the RB is trying the make the LB wrong either way.

Nice design from Josh McDaniels and the Patriots.

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