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Offensive Strategies

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There are thousands of ways to move the ball, from power-formation runs straight at the opposition, where extra backs and tight ends clear the way, to wide open five-receiver formations where


Here are some of the most common offence strategies being used today:


Pro formation offence


This traditional offence is balanced and easy to learn; therefore it is often used in youth football. But you will se more complex plays run out of this fundamental formation on the senior level and even in the NFL.


Two backs line up in the backfield and one will block for the other on both straight runs and sweeps (runs to the side). Because of the TE and blocking RB this formation has 7 run-blockers and favors a running attack, the passing game is fairly simple featuring only two WRs and a TE. The offence may be expanded to include play action passes, counter runs and various screens.


West Coast Offence


Though often run from the same formation as the Pro, the West Coast Offence is a totally different philosophy. Where the classic Pro is built around the run, the West Coast uses the pass to set up the run. A steady diet of short passes force defenses to back off to cover the short zones; this creates the opportunities to run the ball. The strength of this scheme is that it is almost immune to pressure since the ball leaves the QBs hand very quickly. Unfortunately you need an extremely intelligent and precise passer to run the West Coast Offence, and those are hard to come by.


Option or Veer offence


An option offense is an exiting offence where the quarterback is used as a rushing threat, as well as a passer. On running plays the quarterback reads the defence and has the option (hence the name) to hand off or keep the ball himself. A classic play would be first an option to hand off to the fullback on a dive, then an option to keep the ball and head up field, or finally pitch the ball to the trailing halfback. The design of the play means that the ball can end in three places, and this forces the defence to be extremely disciplined if they hope to contain it.


The disadvantage to this offence is that the quarterback typically will be punished a lot more than other offences; this is also the primary reason that you seldom see it run in the NFL.


Spread offence


At the moment the Spread Offence is very popular at both college and NFL level. By having at least four WR's on the field the defence is 'spread' thinly across the field. Often the quarterback will line up 5 yards behind the center and catch a long snap at the beginning of every play. This is called a 'shotgun-formation’; it gives the QB more time to scan the field before the defensive line can pressure him. The offence can gain yardage in large chunks since it gives the QB many targets downfield.


The downside is that an effective pass rush can overwhelm the QBs relatively thin protection creating sacks and poor throws.


Wing T


A potentially confusing offence that relies on misdirection and speed to gain yards. The base formation features a FB behind the QB and two wingbacks on each end of the offensive line. These wingbacks can sprint behind the formation at the snap, often in opposite directions, and the quarterback will often fake handoffs to several players before the actual ball carrier receives the ball.


The offense is especially effective against an undisciplined defense, but can be hard to run against a powerful defensive line.




Offesive Strategies 




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