In the "old days," I would call a play and we were basically locked into it unless the quarterback was savvy enough to audible us out of it. Today, we are working to package as many plays together so the quarterback can choose the best option he has based on what the defense gives us post-snap.
In previous posts, I wrote about combining Draw and Y-Stick, and our Double Screen.
Last year, we packaged Inside Zone and Counter-Trey with a quick screen. It paid huge dividends. There were a couple of obvious benefits:
- It gave us an easy 5+ yards on the quick screen if there was a big cushion on the receiver.
- It forced our Wide Receivers to block on every run play. In the past, our receivers were very lazy blocking on plays that were designed to hit inside, like counter-trey and inside zone. With the quick screen tagged, they knew the ball could be coming their way every play. Incentive to block!
For the offensive line and running back, it was inside zone. They honestly did not know where the ball was going.
We taught our inside receiver to run a "bench" or "flat" route, and then block the first threat. Ideally, we wanted him to hook the flat defender so the receiver catching the ball could get up the sideline.
The receiver running the quick screen would take two-steps vertical, then then work back to behind the line of scrimmage. Once he caught the ball, he sprinted upfield. Ideally, we wanted him to get outside and away from the extra defenders in the middle of the field.
Last year our quarterback was not a runner, so we did not want him to carry the football. We taught him to pre-snap read the cushion of the receiver and defensive back. If there was significant cushion there (+5 or more yards), he did a quick flash fake to the RB and threw the quick screen. If the cushion was not there, we handed off to the RB on the inside zone or counter-trey. If we had a QB who was a running threat, we would also give him the option to read the backside defensive end and keep the football like true Inside Zone Read Option.