You are on page 1of 5

Combining two concepts into one for a more dynamic play | ...

http://usafootball.com/blogs/fundamentals-and-performance/p...

Combining two concepts into one for a


more dynamic play
5/14/2014

By Coach
Keith
Grabowski

Synergy is combining multiple elements so that the result is greater than the sum of the
the individual elements. The synergy principle applies to packaged plays in oense. In any
packaged play, the quarterback is given both presnap and postsnap keys that help him
determine which concept to distribute the ball to. The packaged plays concept has been
around for a while. It became popular within the spread oense with the advent of the
zone read-bubble play. The play packages the inside zone with a perimeter bubble
screen, and the defense is forced to defend the entire eld.
While this may seem like a great way to operate oense on every play, it takes plenty of
repetition in order to create the synergistic eect. In general, it uses formation, a run or
pass coupled with dierent run or pass to place stress on a single defender. When read
correctly, the defender cant be correct. It provides additional benets in using tempo to
attack the defense. The same concept can be used multiple times in a row while giving
the appearance that a dierent play has been called. A prime example of this can be seen
in the video below from the 2012 Ole Miss oense against Pitt. Ole Miss goes 49 yards in
ve plays using a packaged play with four options. Moving at a high tempo, they use all
four options and score in 1:01.

1 di 5

24/09/15 20:52

Combining two concepts into one for a more dynamic play | ...

http://usafootball.com/blogs/fundamentals-and-performance/p...

The Ole' Miss play is illustrated in the diagram below.

Another example of this play is the stick draw. In this concept, the quarterback has the
option to choose the quick passing game stick concept both presnap and postsnap. His
presnap decision is to throw to the single receiver side on a hitch. If the linebacker to that
side is tucked in the box and the corner is soft, the quarterback can catch the snap and
throw the hitch. (diagram)
If the quick game to the boundary isnt there, then the quarterback is treating the mike
linebacker as his key defender. If the mike linebacker expands to the stick route, the
quarterback pulls the ball down and runs the draw.

2 di 5

If the mike linebacker sits in the box, then the quarterback throws to the stick. He can progress to the quick out if the
next linebacker is sitting on the stick.

24/09/15 20:52

Combining two concepts into one for a more dynamic play | ...

http://usafootball.com/blogs/fundamentals-and-performance/p...

If the mike linebacker sits in the box, then the quarterback throws to the stick. He can progress to the quick out if the
next linebacker is sitting on the stick.

Ian Formaz and Mike Ward at Ohio Wesleyan University provide another example of a
packaged play that uses this stick type of concept. It can be paired with the inside zone
where the running back becomes the ball-carrier. The concept is great for teams
preferring to protect their passers and keep them out of taking hits in the run game.
Instead of reading the defensive end on the zone read, the mike linebacker is the run key.
The idea in this play is to see if he steps up to t on the run, or if he tries to drop to
defend the inside receiver running his route into the void behind the mike linebacker.

3 di 5

24/09/15 20:52

Combining two concepts into one for a more dynamic play | ...

http://usafootball.com/blogs/fundamentals-and-performance/p...

The whole realm of packaged plays can get creative in developing new ways in which
plays are packaged Rich Hargitt, head coach at Ashbrook High School in North Carolina,
uses several packaged play concepts. His book "Packaging Plays in the Air Raid Oense"
will be out late this summer. One concept Hargitt uses is packaging a slow screen with the
quick game. This gives the defense some dicult keys to read and allows the oense to
get the ball to the area that is least defended.

Hargitt gives a great recommendation in how to go about structuring a packaged play in


his book:
The rst thing that must be done when building packages is to decide what cannot be
packaged together. For instance, the dropback in game can only be packaged with other
dropback concepts or quick passing game concepts. The reason for this is that dropback
pass concepts take several seconds to develop, and so they would not be compatible with
a run play, because if the quarterback holds the ball for three seconds and then throws a
pass, there would be multiple ineligible receivers downeld on the run play. Therefore,
some care must be taken to build concepts that naturally go together. Generally, the
quick passing game and screens work well because either the ball is thrown behind the
line of scrimmage in the case of screens or thrown within a second or two after the snap
in the case of the quick passing game. These factors allow these plays to be married
easily with the run game or with other screens, whether they be slow or fast screens, as
well as other quick passing game concepts.
4 di 5

The creativity that packaging plays allows gives the coach the ability to develop a
diversied attack while easing the burden of making the right call every time. This is an
area of oense that seems to expand every season. Every oense can benet from the

24/09/15 20:52

Combining two concepts into one for a more dynamic play | ...

http://usafootball.com/blogs/fundamentals-and-performance/p...

well as other quick passing game concepts.


The creativity that packaging plays allows gives the coach the ability to develop a
diversied attack while easing the burden of making the right call every time. This is an
area of oense that seems to expand every season. Every oense can benet from the
synergistic eect of packaged plays. Be sure to work out the timing and defender keys for
your players. Once they have been taught and given the proper amount of repetitions,
you will have condence as a coach to call these plays often.

Keith Grabowski recently completed his 25th year in coaching, serving as quarterbacks
coach and oensive coordinator at his alma mater, Baldwin-Wallace University in Berea,
Ohio. He previously was a head coach at the high school level for eight years. Grabowski
is a columnist for American Football Monthly and writes his own blog
at coachgrabowski.wordpress.com. He's the author of "101+ Pro Style Pistol Oense
Plays," available on Apple's iBookstore and operates Coaches Edge Technologies. Follow
him on Twitter @CoachKeithGrabowski.

5 di 5

24/09/15 20:52