January 14, 2012

OKAY, SO YOU PUT A ROB GRONKOWSKI ON OFFENSE BECAUSE HE'S UNCOVERABLE...

The spread offense has grown up (Gregg Easterbrook, 1/10/12, ESPN)

Dutch Meyer used four wide receivers in the 1940s, the trips formation has been seen for three decades, 20 years ago the no-tight-end "run and shoot" was an NFL meme, while the empty backfield has been around since Doug Flutie. These and other gonzo offensive tactics are not new developments. What is new is the near-ubiquitous proliferation of the shotgun spread and its cousin, the seven-on-seven league.

About a decade ago, multiple wide receivers with the quarterback in a shotgun began to catch on in high school and college. Using this look, in 2001, Clemson quarterback Woody Dantzler became the first player in NCAA annals to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season. Shotgun spread offenses sprung up like dandelions, soon joined by the zone-read variation.

Around the same time, the seven-on-seven concept began to flourish. High school coaches looking for a way to evade contact-days restrictions, and make football a year-round sport, formed "passing leagues" -- essentially football without pads or linemen -- and began to play seven-on-seven all winter and spring. Seven-on-seven tournaments, unknown a generation ago, became common.

The children of the shotgun spread are advancing to the next levels. Players who spent their teen years in passing leagues -- and in seven-on-seven, everybody wants to play offense, nobody wants to be on defense -- have headed to college. A generation ago, college coaches put their best athletes on defense and tried to shut people down. In recent years, with a few exceptions such as LSU's cornerbacks, colleges have put their best athletes on offense. The boosters like shootouts. Players like to perform in shootouts, which lead to YouTube interest. "Basketball on grass" is the order of the day in college football.


...but why not use his as an outside linebacker on passing downs?  
Enhanced by Zemanta

Posted by at January 14, 2012 7:18 AM
  

blog comments powered by Disqus
« JUST ANOTHER AMERICAN FAITH: | Main | THE HYGIENISTS: »