One Word Play Calls

One word play calls have become a hot topic lately. With this mode of play calling the word gives the personnel, formation and motion and the play. It’s been equated to going into a fast food restaurant and ordering a “number six” which includes your sandwich, fries, and drink.

My initial though was that it certainly limits flexibility, but in my mind these should be used on a limited basis having somewhere between one and eight plays that would be used with this method. Like the fast food restaurant, you can still order everything else on the menu, but giving the single number quickly moves you along.

As I reflected back, I realized I used this in 2006 prior to using no huddle. We had a call “Bazooka” which was the personnel, formation, shift and motion, and the play. Eventually this evolved to a three play package. An example of this is below. We run a sequence of shifts before snapping the ball, but all that was called from the sideline was “Bazooka” which told the personnel on the sideline to go in and gave the QB the huddle call.

I have used Bazooka in no huddle as well. In this version we run a Power after a sequence of shifts and a motion. We had no problem running this because the players think it’s fun.

More on shifts and motions can be read about and viewed in my AFM article, “Adding a Wrinkle: Strategies for Movement.”

One other thought is that the perfect types of plays for this mode of play calling are packaged plays because they rely on a post snap reaction rather than getting a certain look out of the defense. An example of this is stick-draw which I detail in the AFM article, “The Stick-Draw Concept.” I mention the advantages of these types of plays in uptempo offense in Chris Brown’s article on ESPN’s Grantland.com, “The Total Package.”

More on this topic later….

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