Base Plays, Constraint Plays, and Series Football

I love studying old football books. Though we think that this idea or that idea is cutting edge in football, you see that the coaches from the past had similar ideas. The game just evolves so that what we see on the field looks revolutionary, but really that idea existed somewhere in the past. For example, I found a video on the internet of the ball being snapped in three seconds. This was before the days of helmets, but even, some kind of communication system had to exist to let the players know what to do on that particular play.

In reading through Tiger Ellison’s Run and Shoot Football -The Now Attack, I read a section that seems to be a topic of interest:

Definition of Run and Shoot
…We made every pass look like a run and every run look like a pass. Offenses that pass from a pocket split their attack into two phases-their running game and their passing game. The setting up of the quarterback in the pocket screams “Pass” to every defender on the field. Even though pocket-passing teams often fake the ball to a runner before setting up in the pocket, still the fake wards off detection for only a moment, after which all defenders spring into anti-aircraft action. The Run and Shoot offense did not split its attack–it was just one game, running and passing performed anywhere anytime with no distinguishing clue to signal run or pass.

Whether we are talking packaged plays in which the offense is either running or passing based on a pre or post snap key, or whether we are talking “constraint” plays which look like and work off of a base play Tiger Ellison’s philosophy of attacking a defense holds true today. The concepts and schemes we use may be different, but the philosophy is the same.

For more on base plays read my post on USA Football.

For more on Constraint Plays
Joe Daniels
Chris Brown

For more on packaged plays check out my resources link.

My iBook 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays uses a similar philosophy as that described as Ellison in creating a run game and pass game that look the same.


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