Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, July 25, 2021

A big reason why I like football is because of the inherent gameplay flexibility it offers. The rules are the rules, but within them you can cook up any number of different formations, limited only by their effectiveness at actually moving the ball. It’s actually pretty unique among sports.

I only wish I had a better understanding of gridiron mechanics, so I could fully appreciate the innovation behind the A-11 offense, a hybrid of the spread option, West Coast offense and the run-and-shoot in which all eleven players are (technically) eligible receivers. Because, even though it’s strictly high-school level for now, it’s likely to spread up the football ecosystem soon enough:

The base offense is one in which a center and two tight ends surround the football, three receivers are split right, three more split left and two quarterbacks stand behind in a shotgun, one of whom has to be at least 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage…

Yes, per the rules of the game, only five players are eligible to catch a pass during a particular play and seven players have to set up on the line of scrimmage. But in the minds of [developers and coaches] Bryan and Humphries, you can develop an infinite number of plays with an infinite number of formations.

Talk about confusing a defense.

Apparently, it’s already crept into college games. Will it eventually make an appearance on Sundays, during National Football League games? It’ll be jarring to see two QBs line up on the field.

Actually, for all the talk about how much the A-11 will transform the game, I have a feeling defenses will come around to countering it. In particular, the NFL has proven to be killing field for gimmicky systems that otherwise thrive on the college/high school level. Prime example is the run-and-shoot, which enjoyed a heyday in the ’80s and ’90s but eventually was neutralized by superior defensive speed in the pros; it effectively became the “chuck-and-duck”.

In any case, news of the A-11 should gladden David Letterman. He has a running joke about introducing a new rule into football where you can put two quarterbacks on the field at the same time — although the rest of that joke is that they also get two balls as well. I’m thinking there’s not much chance of seeing that innovation in the game anytime soon.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 07/25/2008 08:19 AM
Category: Creative, Football
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  1. WE USED THIS FORMATION IN 1952 TO19557 WE NEVER LOST A GAME THE ONLY DIFFERENCE WE HAD TWO TACKLES NEXT TO TOW GAURDS NEXT TO THE CENTER THE HAZELWOOD SATEELERS PGH
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    Comment by SFITZHENRY — 07/31/2008 @ 2:09 PM

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