Absolutely fascinating post over at Smart Football about the chess match going on between offensive coordinators successfully deploying spread offenses, defensive coordinators and their moves to get more speed on the field to counter spread attacks and offensive coordinators’ counters to those counters that’s well worth your time to read.
For example, take a look at this.
… Even if you don’t have a tight end in the program, start to develop one. Over 80 percent of coaches polled by X&O Labs attack odd defenses by using various tight end formations. Whether by using 11 personnel (one tight end, one back), 12 personnel (two tight ends, one backs), or 21 personnel (one tight end, two backs), the tight end is pivotal in the run game.
We’ve all seen how productive spread offenses like Oregon, Boise State and Florida have been within the last three years. What separates those teams from traditional spread teams is the implementation and execution of the tight end on normal downs. According to our research, using a tight end in spread personnel accounts for two valuable advantages:
1. It changes the structure of the defense: No longer can that safety/linebacker play in space, which is exactly what he wants to do. Now he’s forced to cover down on a bigger, stronger opponent giving you leverage to get to the alley.
2. It provides for an instant mismatch in the run game: Many of these hybrids don’t like to get their hands dirty. These types, who usually weigh in the 180-210 pound range, are forced to balance up and fit in the framework against bigger tight ends.
It’s definitely food for thought for those of us who believe that programs like Georgia’s which continue to run pro-style offenses have an advantage recruiting that position over spread teams. And that pro-style offenses offer the best way to attack three-down linemen defensive schemes with power running games.