What’s up people, welcome to another showcase of ‘Coaches Corner: Make The Call’ – the series where we get into the nitty-gritty of play calling like never before! This time we’ve got the NFC West coaches representing, and we’ve thrown a random football scenario at them to see what they’ve really got. Nobody used chatGPT this time so we’re getting original thoughts, for better or for worse. Check out the snapshot and scenario of the game I got for them, and get ready to dive headfirst into their thought processes. They’re breaking it down, giving us the lowdown on their strategies, and showing us how it’s done in the big leagues. Whether you’re a football junkie, a strategy geek, or just here for a good time, you’re in the right place. This series is all about getting inside the game, making those tough calls, and having a blast while we’re at it. So grab your snacks, settle in, and let’s get this show on the road – it’s time to Make. The. Call!
Here we go. It’s 4th & game. Down 21-27 with 11 seconds left. Ball on your opponent’s 10. You just had a TD called back for ineligible man down field. Your slot WR (#83) is your best player and they are doubling him. Your QB is a statue and doesn’t run well. What’s your call?
Tricky question for sure. I think there’s a couple of things you could do, it just depends on the game and film. I would motion my best player to see who’s doubling him and then use the rest of the defense leverage to score. But because of the front and the possible 3 man rush I would motion the RB out of the backfield to the right get a empty look and see if the defense is playing man or zone versus the other players. Have the slot on a corner route to bump the x to get a post to the middle. If that’s not there, on the other side you would have a spacing or drive concept on the other side but looking more so for confusion with the x and ZB but giving them field to work.
Assuming 83 will draw the double I’m letting him run a short post that breaks in the end zone to act as a decoy. 80 will get a two way go route to break inside or outside on the plane of the end zone depending on the leverage of the outside DB. That’s the first read. On the right side we’ll have the TE do a chip and fade up to the end zone as #9 runs a clearout go route. The TE is the 2nd read. The RB will stay in to protect since we’ll assume our QB can’t scramble. If neither of the first 2 reads are there and assuming 83 is indeed doubled, scramble drill commences after the TE crosses the plane on his route and we pray for the best
I would motion the slot guy first to verify if it was man, or audible to a 4×1. If it’s man I would put WR 2 on a comeback and the tight end on streak, with something that has the HB on a Texas route to occupy the middle of the field . On the side where the slot is being doubled I wouldn’t even look that way. The motion would tell me the coverage so I’d put him on a zig to draw the double to the outside and put WR 1 on a dig, and there would be a window before he got too far to the middle of the field. The first read would be if the TE beats his man since there is no help, then WR 2 on a comeback or curl. Then the 3rd read would be the dig by WR1.
This is a tough situation, and one that occurs commonly in the high-level games we see in this league. If we break the huddle and see man coverage, I would like to audible to a tight formation, with the aim of using the defense’s aggressiveness against them. Formations with route combos that force the defenders into conflict via “natural pick” routes tend to work well in tight confines. In the 2021 NFL divisional round, we saw the Green Bay Packers utilize motion to free up Davante Adams, who was in tight man coverage against Jalen Ramsey. The quick motion across the field forced Ramsey to cover a large distance across the formation, making it near impossible to cover without proper communication with the rest of the defense. If we get alignment like we see in the photo above, I prefer to motion the double teamed receiver and create a one on one matchup with my receiver on the outside, giving me the opportunity to hot route to something that allows him an opportunity to win his route. Alternatively, I could also utilize the defense’s aggressiveness against them by creating a traffic jam with the double teamed receiver and the strong side (tight end side) wide receiver running crossing combinations of sorts. The running back is in to protect due to potential pressure. If we got zone coverage, we have to give our guys the best chance to win, so a strike to the end zone would have to be drawn up once we identified what coverage the defense is in (Ideally, this would be done immediately, if base aligned, we have pre-snap keys, and would draw something up that would allow us to attack multiple coverages at once)