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flexbone
(@flexbone)
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We are a Flexbone run-heavy team. I've read (and agree) DC and others state about passing every 5th down to keep defenses honest. Here is my question for you coaches, if you are in a weak scouting league (I almost want to say no one films here but don't want to make such ludicrous claims) and feel like teams won't pick up on the tendency: I want to take shots every time we are in "2nd and 4 or less". I'd like to think of this as a "Free down". We don't throw very much but when we do we try to score. It usually is off a PA.

Pros: Big play potential
Cons: Could get sacked and put us in a bad 3rd down situation. Incomplete pass could feel like it takes the "wind" out of our sail and ruin the rhythm of our offense.

What do you coaches think?


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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
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Some how I am not a fan of PA being used as a Scoring play.  Especially by a Ground and Pound Type Scheme. Ruffles my fathers when teams are 2nd or 3rd and short and throw 20 yards down field.  Flat footed is flat footed, why not throw for 6 and get 20?

Just this Old Farts opinion

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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bignose
(@bignose)
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Joined: 10 years ago
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Why take your offense out of their "run rhythm?"

My theory of passing in a run oriented offense is this:
If you are completing about 50% of your passes, you must average twice as much per completion then you would achieve by running the ball.
So if you are averaging 6 yards per carry running, you would then you would have to average 12 yards per reception.
Otherwise you as wasting your time.

BTW, I am not opposed to occasionally taking a shot once you cross midfield. But way too often, I see a team drive the length of the field, only to try get a cheap score once they get inside the 20.

Gotta dance with who brung ya.

You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles!


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Rockets11
(@rockets11)
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This is a situation where I like the pass. We won't do it everytime and it usually isn't a bomb.

Like Dusty mentioned we often throw something shorter but i think it's a great way especially early to see how the other team plays the pass without being in a crucial situation.

Teams we play are often are blitz heavy in this situation so something quick  can break big if you can get it off.  We won't sweat an incomplete pass, only worried about sack or int. Qb is in open or run it now mode


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Pantherlinecoach
(@pantherlinecoach)
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I like to take those shots in that situation as well. Really depends on the team I am working with. Last season, I had a Qb who could sling the ball 40 yards on a dead run, so 2nd and 3 was gonna be 47 boot, 27 boot or a play we call Y/Z roll, about half the time. That was also the case if we crossed midfield, we were taking a shot, especially as we got to playoff time. Next season's group may not allow me to operate in that manner, we will see.


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davecisar
(@davecisar)
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I LOVE to pass on 2nd and short
if we dont hit it- we still have 2 downs to get 4 or less yards

Just teach your QB it is an open read throw it away- if he's not a good runner

If he is a good runner- it's not open- run

For us several of our PA passes- the QB is running toward the LOS already

We threw for 16-18 TD passes last year- probably half were off of PA
and many of those passes were very short passes- 6-8 yards
We completed better than half of our attempts and had something like 4-5 INts

In the end- those passes help the D to stay off your run game

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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headtrip
(@headtrip)
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Joined: 12 years ago
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It's a free down to take a shot downfield. Why not?

Also, I have noticed that quite a few of my longer runs have come after almost completing a pass. It's almost like the defense starts respecting the pass again. In one case, we were having a pretty hard time moving the ball against this one team in particular. Called a pass and the receiver fell down. The very next play was a 60yd TD run. May be coincidence, but i choose to believe it's not.


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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
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I can say from experience that the success rate of a 20 yard PA pass, regardless of down and distance, is far less than a well executed short pass off the same PA.  The completion percentage is exponentially higher and, I submit, the number of TD's obtained from same is higher as well. 

Ball Control!  🙂

Notice I never said don't take a couple shots down field. 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
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Joined: 11 years ago
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When i think flexbone im thinking about Paul Johnson at Navy. My man ran on 2nd n 4..or 8 or 15. ... soooo just run the ball n stop trying to be cute until you need to.

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


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PSLCOACHROB
(@pslcoachrob)
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I would really consider running whatever I ran on 1st to get 6 yds.

If we are moving the ball well I would probably just run our best run play, especially if we are winning. Field position and time would possibly change the answer as well.

My old header was a much better football mind then I am but I would sometimes have to tell him to stop being cute and just run power.


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PSLCOACHROB
(@pslcoachrob)
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Oh yeah, if I wanted to go for the home run it would be a waggle type play with a clear run option as stated above.


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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I don't think of 4 yds. to go as a waste down.  2 yds,, yes!


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GP
 GP
(@gpenn44)
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No down is a "waste down." If you have a proficient passing game, 2nd & short is a great low risk, high reward passing situation.

There is merit to Rob's 'if you got 6 on first, consider running the same damn play on 2nd' esp if you're a tempo team like us. A lot of the time that is advisable.

However against better teams, passing on 1st & 2nd down:

1) Has potential to create "chunk" plays which are tougher if you do what good defenses expect (ie run when they expect run, pass when they expect pass); and
2) Keeps the defense honest (ie pass sets up the run)

Our passing game is much more efficient on 1st & 2nd down than 3rd & long esp against defenses that come out with their ears pinned back to stop our run game. Once we burn them on a couple early down passes, our running game becomes more efficient. It ain't rocket science.

"Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated." - Lou Holtz


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PSLCOACHROB
(@pslcoachrob)
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Clark has posted many times on here about passing once every 5th or 6th play. It makes sense. Kids get primed to play the run even on obvious passing downs. We passes a little less yhan that but we passed more than most. If it was completed it was usually a big play as the whole defense was thinking run.

The thing is, we can all sit here and make valid arguments on what philosophy to use. The reality is, from team to team, game to game, and even play to play there are going to be a bunch of variables to influence your play calling. Don't be Jimbo Fisher amd take up 44 seconds to come up with the exact right call. Know ahead of time what you are going to do in each situation. Play calling is very rhythmic. When the offense gets in a rhythm you need to keep them in it. If you think a play is going to work, regardless of the situation, pull the trigger. Get the ball in your best athletes hands and let him do his thing.


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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No down is a "waste down."

Eh, you just probably don't like the word.  You probably don't like "waste pitch" in baseball either.

I like the idea of a waste down so much that if I could get kids to step out of bounds on 1st down a yard or less short of the marker instead of a yard past it, I would.  I mean, I wouldn't try to get them to do it inside the opposing 5 yard line,but elsewhere, yeah.  It doesn't have to be to take a shot passing, either, but generally to improve percentages with all plays on the table.

Why isn't this thread in the Situational Football section?  It has so little traffic.


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