Ninety percent of this game is half-mental.

It’s always great when Chris Brown gets in the swing of things at Smart Football, and this post about packaging different passing concepts in the same play is no exception.  You should read the whole piece, but there’s a part at the beginning that I really liked.

… The goal is to try to tilt the advantage back to offenses. There are essentially three strategies:

  1. Line up in a formation and let a coach or a quarterback change the play. You see this whenever Peyton Manning or some other NFL guy audibles at the line (though his options have usually been narrowed to two or three before the snap), or when a no-huddle team lines up and looks to the sideline for guidance. The idea is that, while it is still pre-snap and the defense can still move, it has given away certian clues, including personnel and general structure.
  2. Use multiple formations and motions to confuse the defense or gain an advantage in numbers or leverage. This approach tries to turn the defense against itself by never giving the defense a chance to get settled or to identify what the offense may do. Moreover, sometimes the defense simply fails to adjust, and the offense gains some new advantage. The downside of this approach is it leaves little time and fewer clues for the offense to make adjustments, but the idea is that “motion causes emotion” (to use the old adage) and the offense has an advantage in that it knows where it is going. This is the method employed by Boise State.
  3. Gives your players options on their assignments for after the snap. Just as it sounds, this is the principal governing all “option”-esque attacks. The macro idea here, pioneered by Tiger Ellison, is that backyard football is not played in a static, overly orchestrated way, and instead the natural inclination of kids to run around and make decisions on the fly — and so should it be in real football. This can manifest itself in different ways, from the triple option to the spread option to the passing game. Each play provides a superstructure but freedom within it. The idea is you don’t need much else, except for the players to begin adapting and making the rights reads. As said in Remember the Titans, “I run six plays. Split veer. It’s like Novocain. Give it time. It always works.”

Georgia’s offensive approach under Bobo started out in the second of the categories Chris lists, but mixed in some aspects of the first as the season progressed and the coaches’ comfort level with Murray’s command of the playbook grew.  Clearly, Georgia’s passing game benefits from that;  Murray’s passer rating, yards per attempt and completion percentage improved from month to month over the course of the season.  (Although there may very well be some chicken-or-the-egg aspect to that, as not even Matt Stafford, who had broad authority to check off at the line in his breakout 2008 season, managed that particular hat trick that year.)

Offensively, the big question for 2011 may turn out to be how much Murray’s continued growth offsets the loss of A.J.  If Yogi Berra’s right, we may wind up being pretty pleased with the answer.


UPDATE: Chris Low is sold.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

7 responses to “Ninety percent of this game is half-mental.

  1. watcher16

    They talked about this some in the Colts game (I think) the other day. The D got stuck in a Nickel package as Manning started running the no huddle. Not enough time for the D to change personnel and Peyton started picking it apart with formations the Nickel was suited to stop.


  2. The Realist

    I think another aspect is flexibility in the formation itself. If you lock yourself into a formation with personnel that has very little leeway in the available audibles, then the offense is at a disadvantage… even if the QB can make a change. The ability to run or pass out of a given formation whether it be a 22 or an empty set maintains the advantage for the offense. Giving up that advantage lends itself to failure. (I’m not pointing fingers… Nothing to see here…)

    I thought Brantley was the 2nd best QB in the league. Is he not still at Florida? I’m not sure Garcia playing within himself is such a good idea. There’s no telling what’s going on in there.


  3. Quack_Attack

    Look at what this Auburn fan had to say about Murray. For reals?

    auburndiehard (12/21/2010 at 10:54 AM)
    “I don’t know nor does anyone else know how good or bad a QB will be next year. I do believe that Bray will be much better then Murray, but not as good as Wilson.
    In 2012 Bray should a real stud in this conference, he will have the experience and the talent around him to have a major impact. I despise everything Tenn has to offer, but think this kid has a bright future.
    I do not see Murray being anything more then a fill in until UGA gets a decent QB which might lead them to a 10 win season, since we all know UGA can’t do any better then that no matter who is at the helm. “


    • I honestly don’t get the Tyler Bray love at this point. His numbers are decent, but he didn’t play against a decent secondary in any of his starts, so it’s hard to tell how good he really is based on that.


      • The Realist

        I think Tyler Bray will be a good QB in time. He showed flashes of talent this year that made me wonder why the heck they played Sissy Boy Simms at all. He has good arm strength, fair decision-making at this point for a true freshman, and the Tennessee offense really doesn’t ask you to do too much. I don’t necessarily think he’ll be one of the three best QB’s in the conference next season, but I think in a couple of years he will be.


    • The Realist

      Auburn fans have extremely short memories… which must help them with cognitive dissonance.

      They just beat Georgia for the first time in five years where they gave up 31 points to a Murray-led, 5-5 Georgia team at home that has not beaten a team with a winning record all year.

      They had a 7-5 regular season last year. 5-7 in 2008. 9-4 in 2007. Georgia won 10+ games twice during that same span… once more than Auburn… so which is the anomaly?

      And, who really cares what Auburn thinks anyway? F ’em. They should give Chizik an eleven-year extension with a monster buyout so Texas doesn’t come calling when Mack Brown leaves.


      • BMan

        Not to mention that the particular Aubie fan quoted above doesn’t know the f-ing difference between “then” and “than.” Stepping off my soap-box now.