Welcome to yet another edition of ‘Coaches Corner: Make The Call’ – the series where we get into the nitty-gritty of play calling like never before! Since we’re finally done with all the NFC division, we’ve got the AFC North coaches kicking us off for this conference (minus one) and like always we’ve thrown a random football scenario at them to see what they’ve really got. So sit down, check out the snapshot and scenario, 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. Its the 4th quarter, you’re up 20-19 with 1:01 left, and it’s 3rd and 16 from your own 25. Your opponent has no timeouts left. DE #56 on the defense has been wrecking shop and has 2 sacks and 1 safety. Your QB is not mobile but he has a cannon and is accurate. What’s your call?
“So a first down essentially means you win, so you want to give yourself a chance to get it but most important thing is to make them earn it and be willing to punt instead of forcing an INT. For my call I’d shift the o-line to the right and double #56, motion the RB to left side of QB to block, and put #9 on a deep post to create room for #80 going on a 15 yard in route. I’d put #83 on a streak to get the cornerback out of the way for the TE to go on a corner route. Not much the defense can do besides run cover 3 and maybe send some extra guys so we will be looking at the right side of the field to see if I’m correct in the fact that the cornerback will run with #83 deep, and then see if that OLB can get deep enough to stop my TE. If it looks like he is dropping back to guard the 1st down line with his first few steps we will look over the middle to hit #9 on his in route in between the linebackers.”
“The goal of football is to win the game, not get as many first downs as possible. 3rd and 16 isn’t really convertible without putting the ball at risk of being turned over. I would shift to 5 wide, but the play would be a jet pass with the option to audible to a run. If it looks like he’s got the boxed stacked then do the jet pass, if it looks like he’s playing the pass with a weak box then audible down to the run. The play should take at least 5 seconds off the clock which would leave 16 seconds left if u take up the whole play clock before the next play. From there I’d just punt the ball and play defense.”
“Switch concept on the doubles side. The number 1 receiver runs a deep post while the number 2 receiver runs a corner route. Lets put that TE on a chip and release to the flat for the dump down. Make sure he knows to stay in bounds so the clock continues to run. The Z will run a deep in-route at the sticks. Put the HB on a wheel. Kind of creates a switch concept on that side as well. It could serve as a safety valve if primary targets are covered or exploit a mismatch against a slower linebacker in man coverage.”
“I’d press full court to increase the pressure then fall back into a Boehiem 2-3 to really force the offense into taking deep uncontested shots. As long as #56 doesn’t penetrate the zone, we should be free to link up later tonight for the penalty kick. Because we all know nobody likes melted ice cream, unless the safety blitzes.”
– DK (who declined because he’s “never been a fan of giving out free game”. )