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Offensive play calling

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Sunshinepacker, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    It's been explained to you in posts 3, 6, 7, 13, 15, and 16. In summary: 3 WRs set spreads Ds out which means fewer defenders in the box.
     
  2. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    Hmmm...i was trying to actually understand why we were the most passing set oriented offense in the entire NFL even minus Rodgers and Cobb. Hackneyed explanations of "spread out the defense" don't really fulfill what I was hoping to learn. If "spreading out the defense" was the answer then why are the Packers the only team doing it to this extent? Are all of the other teams just stupid?

    Now, I appreciate everyone's input and I certainly don't mean to come off as rude to anyone else but your post is dismissive and unhelpful. If you would like to help me understand then please explain to me HOW our offense with 3 WRs and poor quarterback play was helped by "spreading out the defense" while every other team in the NFL was actually helped less.
     
  3. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    It's already been explained to you, you apparently don't want to accept the obvious explanation.
     
  4. Carl

    Carl Cheesehead

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    Spreading out the defense = more space for the running game

    Not spreading out the defense and a loaded box = having to win only with poor QB play as the running game would be stuffed.

    When our running game was better than our passing game, it made sense to get the defense in formations that would help it. Our passing game would have struggled regardless of the defensive formation.

    Other teams not down to their 3rd/4th string QB options could have not had a 3WR set, yet still not face a loaded box because the QB would have found open guys in the passing game.
     
  5. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you're saying that our QB was so bad that we had to go 3+ WRs so that we wouldn't face eight or nine guys in the box while other teams had solid enough QB play that they could trot out 2 wide receivers and the defense wouldn't dare put nine guys in the box. If that's the case, then my initial thought would be, let 'em crowd the box and trust that Nelson could win a one-on-one matchup for a jump ball. Tolzein's only real problem last year was turnovers and they weren't 50/50 jump ball turnovers. Tolzein tended to throw into coverage but, if I understand what you're saying, coverage wouldn't have been as complicated if they were crowding the box to stop the run game. Tolzein would have had simpler reads to make in a passing game with two WRs. Plus, the play action fake out of a 1/2/2 set would be much more believable.

    I'm really not trying to be obstinate. I'm actually trying to understand the coaches motivation. A few posts ago I mentioned that Bakhtiari graded out as a terrible run blocker which could be a key reason for spreading out the offense. So, for instance, is it possible that even in a two-TE set other teams would be confident enough in stopping our run game that they wouldn't stack the box? So we went spread sets as often as we did to do our best since other teams weren't going to respect the run game no matter what we did and therefore the only possible way to throw the ball was to go 3+ WRs? If that's the case (and I'm not saying it is, just that this is a what if) then it wouldn't speak highly of our run game that we couldn't take advantage of defenses that were set on defending the pass no matter what.
     
  6. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    It's NOT an explanation. It's an empty expression devoid of any actual analysis. It's like players saying they just "have to execute better". What aspect of spreading out the defense was SO advantageous to the Packers last year that we used 3+ WRs on 4 out of every 5 offensive plays? Conversely, what elements of other formations were so terrible that the Packers didn't dare use them more than a couple of times a game? Let's say there are 60 offensive plays a game. The Packers used 3 or more WRs on approximately 48 of those plays in every game (on average). That's only 12 plays a game that we didn't use at least 3 wide receivers. Consider too that Finley played five games last year so we had to go even MORE WR heavy after that to get the entire season average to 80% three or more WRs.
     
  7. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    Good lord... Honestly I wouldn't think I'd have to explain this: It's easier to run the ball when the defense has fewer defenders in the box. (Do you know what the "box" means in this context? BTW, that's an honest question since you are struggling with a simple concept.) For example, if the Packers lined up with two TEs tight and a FB along with Lacy in the backfield it would be even more difficult than it already was for the Packers OL to run block. The Packers are mostly finesse run blockers so by lining up 3 WRs, there is likely to be fewer defenders in the box and even with backup QBs, the D is less certain any particular play will be a run.

    I admit that's not deep analysis but that's because it's a simple concept and that pretty much explains it, along with the fact McCarthy wasn't going to re-write the playbook and magically acquire stud run blockers. That's all I've got for you. If you still don't get it...
     
  8. Poppa San

    Poppa San SB I trophy First of four Staff Member Moderator

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    Without having access to the playbook and someone to explain it to me, I've heard it said that most alignments have a run/pass option and which one is done is called by the QB at the line. If the defense crowds the line or loads the box, chances are they'd pass. If the defense stayed back, the running lanes would be more open. We also were missing our best TE so his receiving threat was gone. We probably used the 3rd WR to replace the passing threat that Finley would have offered as the second TE.
     
  9. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    So, if your condescension is justified, why are the Packers the team that's taking advantage of this the most in the NFL? Why aren't we running these sets 100% of the time if the answer is so simple? Should every other team not also realize that this simple explanation of yours (though devoid of any actual analysis) and be "spreading out the defense"? I mean, if we get an advantage with by spreading out the defense with Tolzein at QB, imagine how stupid the Seahawks are for not doing it with Wilson at QB! Maybe the Giants need to better understand what the box is so that they can finally catch up with the times and understand that the key to football is just "spreading out the defense"?

    Or, and this is just a thought, could there be an actual REASON that some teams spread out the defense and other teams don't? Might it be possible to actually look at the Packers' personnel and evaluate WHY a 1/1/3 set is so much better for the Packers than a 1/2/2 set?
     
  10. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    I think that´s only true when Rodgers is on the field. It´s hard to imagine that any of the three guys who started last year were allowed to do that as they didn´t spend a single day with the team during the offseason.
     
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  11. Poppa San

    Poppa San SB I trophy First of four Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm hypothesizing Flynn had almost the same freedom afforded Rodgers especially the last few games. That said between those two was almost 13 games this past year. Tolzien and Wallace split the remainder of the 3+ games. Not sure if that accounts for the appearance of more 3 wideout sets of not but that alignment does look to be the preferred set this past year.
     
  12. tstej

    tstej Cheesehead

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    I did mention that some teams run better in tight sets and others in spread. That's absolutely a personnel thing as I'm sure Boykin was much more of a threat that Bostick(I don't think he's much of a run blocker either). Another thing to think about is Lacy came from a one back system at Alabama and he probably runs better without Kuhn than he did with. I think I read on twitter one day that 3 WR 1 TE and 1 RB was far and away are best personnel grouping.
     
  13. rodell330

    rodell330 Cheesehead

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    No reason to get all deep. MM needs to continue to call what works and scrap what doesn't. My biggest knock on his play calling is the predictability and stubbornness he shows at times.
     
  14. Carl

    Carl Cheesehead

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    This is getting ridiculous. The strength of the team without Rodgers was the running game. Therefore, they used formations that favored the running game. Did you see the Bears load the box when Wallace game in? Running against that is pretty tough.

    Nobody is saying anything about using is 100% of the time, which would get make the offense very predictable. Nobody is saying anything else about what other teams should use. Nobody is comparing Tolzien to Wilson. Nobody is comparing the Packers to the Giants. Slippery slope fallacy right there.
     
  15. NOMOFO

    NOMOFO Cheesehead

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    Again...people always think play book instead of skill sets when talking about this. Flynn can't make many of the throws Rodgers makes, rendering some options useless.
     
  16. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    I get out, you're not interested in trying to understand the actual skill position limitations on the team and how those affect play calling. Fine. I, however, do care. I would like to try and better understand the rationale of why passing oriented sets are better for this team (even minus Rodgers and Cobb).

    Also, your comment about a "fallacy" was off base. The statement I referred to said that spreading out the defense was advantageous. There was no stipulation or analysis about HOW that was better. According to that blanket statement, spreading out the defense is better, therefore it must be better for everyone. That's how Wilson and Giants were brought in. I was bringing up examples to prove that simply saying "spread out the defense" isn't real analysis since it doesn't pertain under all circumstances; it's better for some teams than others. I'm trying to understand WHY it's better, even when we're missing Rodgers and Cobb, for this team.
     
  17. Carl

    Carl Cheesehead

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    I'll answer your concerns using only things that have already been posted as it seems you haven't read them. If you read them carefully, you'll see how and why spreading out the defense was better for the Packers. You'll also see reasons it was good for them, but how it wouldn't be better for every team.

    I have no problem with you disagreeing with them, but to continually ask for reasons over and over when they are being presented to you makes no sense.

    Previous posts:

    "I did mention that some teams run better in tight sets and others in spread. That's absolutely a personnel thing as I'm sure Boykin was much more of a threat that Bostick(I don't think he's much of a run blocker either). Another thing to think about is Lacy came from a one back system at Alabama and he probably runs better without Kuhn than he did with. I think I read on twitter one day that 3 WR 1 TE and 1 RB was far and away are best personnel grouping."

    "Honestly I wouldn't think I'd have to explain this: It's easier to run the ball when the defense has fewer defenders in the box."

    "To my eye, Lacy runs better out of spread sets."

    "The Packers don't have a dominant run-blocking OL and they don't great run-blocking TEs or a great run-blocking FB. If they had those elements going away from 3 WR sets more would have made sense once Rodgers got injured. But because the Packers are more of a finesse run-blocking team it made more sense to spread the defense out and run the ball against a more spread out defense. If they did what you suggest IMO Lacy would have had a much tougher time with defenses keying on the running game more than they were."

    "The key to me would be to having as many passing sets start off looking just like the running sets so that the defense has to respect both. Rodgers can spread the field with 3+ because defenders are scared of that. They aren't scared (yet) of Tolzien doing the same."

    "When our running game was better than our passing game, it made sense to get the defense in formations that would help it. Our passing game would have struggled regardless of the defensive formation. Other teams not down to their 3rd/4th string QB options could have not had a 3WR set, yet still not face a loaded box because the QB would have found open guys in the passing game."

    "The strength of the team without Rodgers was the running game. Therefore, they used formations that favored the running game."
     
  18. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    This was good, I was hoping for more information like this. Now, what I was hoping to elicit from this topic was a more in depth discussion on WHY the 1/1/3 personnel is better. For instance, I know that Bakhtiari is a poor run blocker but wouldn't a grouping with Kuhn in the backfield (I'm sure Lacy would get used to it and Kuhn is certainly a better blocker than Boykin) have threatened the run and allowed more room for Jones and Nelson to work (also has the advantage of making reads for the QB easier)?

    This isn't analysis. The first comment is patently false since many teams in the NFL run the ball VERY well out of offensive sets that feature fewer than 3 wide receivers. As for the second comment, we used 3+WRs almost 80% of the time, the eye test isn't really going to remember the other plays in comparison.

    Another comment that started to get into what I was hoping to discuss (however the topic kept getting derailed by the "spread the defense" crowd). Our interior oline was actually pretty good at run blocking, our ends not so much. I would agree that with Rodgers in the game it makes a lot of sense to spread out the defense. However, people keep assuming that defenses will automatically respect the passing game just because we put 3 WRs on the field. Not sure that's the case with Tolzein and Wallace at QB. The other side of the coin is that going to fewer spread sets would put the passing game in a better chance to succeed since defenses would respect the play-action a little more, allowing our mediocre quarterbacks a better chance to complete the ball. Kuhn is actually fairly decent at catching dump off passes, wouldn't it allow for some easier completions if they lined up in a 2/1/2 and sucked the defense in on a fake run play? Wallace and Tolzein weren't going to scare the safeties no matter how many receivers were on the team so getting them to bite on the fake might have given our receivers more one-on-one. Plus the added element of Kuhn helping block would allow more time for an indecisive quarterback to throw the ball, maybe Tolzein doesn't throw as many picks if there's less pressure? These aren't certainties in my mind, simply thoughts.

    I'm hesitant to address this one because I'm not real sure what it's saying. I think it's saying that because our QB was bad we had to go to more passing heavy sets? Again, I could be misreading it, but that makes no sense.

    Please, tell me where the actual analysis is in this comment? I could just as easily say that the Seahawks were succesful when Earl Thomas played safety, therefore they let him play safety. How does that provide ANY insight?
     
  19. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    Why not just discuss what you were "hoping to discuss"?
     
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  20. Poppa San

    Poppa San SB I trophy First of four Staff Member Moderator

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    The personnel grouping may have been 1/1/3 but did they line up that way? Could they have been in a 2/3 with the TE lined up as an H-back? You could go 4 wide with a TE and have Cobb take a hand-off with a H-back lead. The personnel on the field does not dictate the alignment, just restricts it. I recall Dorsey Levens split wide quite a few times back in the day. Three wide receivers should usually put the defense in nickel alignment no matter the QB. This would pull one of the bigger bodies out of the front seven. Lacy seems to excel at evading the first tackler which gets him to or through the line to where the smaller backs are. He probably got there through a hole created by the lack of a lineman. Don't have a clue as to why other teams don't do this more often. It is fairly effective.
     
  21. Sunshinepacker

    Sunshinepacker Cheesehead

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    Mainly because posts like this kept taking this off track. However, your contribution is very much appreciated. The insight you brought to the topic was invaluable.
     
  22. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    You were and are free to discuss, in depth, whatever you would like relating to Packers football here. But when you ask a question and then refuse to “hear” an answer, particularly what is (IMO) the obvious answer, you should expect some negative feedback. For example, look at post #43. Carl posts, “I’ll answer your concerns using only things that have already been posted…” And he then proceeds to do so. Your reply: “This is good, I was hoping for more information like this.” That was information already posted!

    In that same post you responded to two more previous posts quoted by Carl by writing, “Another comment that started to get into what I was hoping to discuss (however the topic kept getting derailed by the "spread the defense" crowd).” You apparently didn’t read carefully enough to realize the first post quoted was made by me, in post #15 of this thread and the next one was from the second post in this thread by El Guapo. So according to your post, I was providing comments that you were hoping to discuss and also derailing the thread.

    In that same post you say that the statement “It's easier to run the ball when the defense has fewer defenders in the box.", is “patently false” because some teams run the ball very well out of sets featuring fewer than 3 WRs. So I guess you mean some teams run better against defenses with more defenders in the box. IOW, a team in a 2 TE set would prefer more defenders anticipating the run than fewer. No, that is what is patently false. No matter the formation of the offense, it's easier to run the ball when the defense has fewer defenders in the box.

    As I said, it looks like you weren’t interested in the answers to the question you posed since some had to be posted twice before you read and responded to them.
     
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