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View Full Version : Arians to implement Pony Backfield


tony hipchest
05-12-2008, 05:11 PM
this is a nice explanation of why to use this sub-package, the versatility it brings, and the mismatches it creates.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story;jsessionid=546FAA6C5A901B0749D4B25C2ED74555? id=09000d5d8083bda6&template=with-video&confirm=true

Offenses building backfield packages to challenge defenses
By Pat Kirwan | NFL.com
Senior Analyst


The period of the year following the NFL Draft is when teams assess their talent and begin to develop personnel packages that feature their best player combinations.

Finding the most effective matchups against offensive personnel groups is the biggest challenges facing defenses today. Defensive coaches may want to pay attention to the latest trend for offenses across the league to create those matchup nightmares.

It's not a new concept, but more teams are building the possibility of using the "Pony Backfield or Rocket Backfield." The package features two running backs in the game at one time with no fullback. In fact, teams with two good running backs who feature similar skills -- like Baltimore with Willis McGahee and recent draft pick Ray Rice -- aren't the main candidates for this concept.

In New Orleans, the Saints have an ideal pairing of a pony backfield in Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush -- a power back and a speed guy -- to challenge what defenses will try to do. If a team can present a power run series, plus a player who can win an individual matchup against a linebacker or safety, it has the formula to create the chess match offenses want to see. It forces defenses to decide between their base package, nickle package (three corners) or big nickle package (three safeties).

"We have the players to utilize a pony backfield package now, and we know the threat of the reverse by the speed back off the inside zone play and even a QB bootleg will hold the outside defenders and give us a front we can block to keep the running game moving down the field," said one head coach. "If teams still commit to the run then we feel our speed back gets the matchup we will take advantage of in the passing game."

We've been hearing how NFL teams believe the running game is a two-headed situation, and consequently we see a team like Minnesota draft Adrian Peterson when they already had a proven 1,000-yard back in Chester Taylor. If the Vikings challenge themselves with the old coaching adage that they want to play the best eleven on offense at the same time, then there's a place for both backs on the field.

Peterson has the speed to scare most secondary players. What if he lines up on the line of scrimmage on the opposite side of the two wide receivers? A quick slant route versus a safety and he's in an open field situation right away. Walk a linebacker out to help the safety and here comes Taylor on a run play in the guard/center gap.

As Titans head coach Jeff fisher said to me this week, "We need to get the ball in space of the good players."

Here's a look at four NFL teams that took a big step towards building the pony backfield package during the draft. As they experiment, defenses around the league have to decide how they will combat the ermerging challenge.


1. Pittsburgh. Willie Parker can fly, and rookie Rashard Mendenhall has the power and burst to deliver big runs. If Parker lines up in the slot, with Mendenhall in the backfield, all things are possible. Mendenhall could motion out of the backfield and Parker could take a speed sweep. The Steelers may be known for the old fashion power run game, but they are ready to change that look on a moments notice.

Preacher
05-12-2008, 05:17 PM
With the way things are changing in football...

Pretty soon we are going to find a way to send a guard on a receiver pattern legally.

Dino 6 Rings
05-12-2008, 05:18 PM
Big fan of both guys in the backfield. It makes the defense have to stay honest on the run first, opening the passing lanes behind the linebackers just a little more. When you have a fullback, the LBs can just focus on his movement and attack the hole, ignoring the potential of him actually getting the ball except when the moon is blue in the third month that mars is in the southern sky. With 2 backs, they have to focus on the potential of both of them getting the ball.

I look forward to next season very much.

Dino 6 Rings
05-12-2008, 05:18 PM
With the way things are changing in football...

Pretty soon we are going to find a way to send a guard on a receiver pattern legally.

technically, if the guard declares as elligable and lines up outside the tackle like in a goal line formation...well...that could work :tt02:

Preacher
05-12-2008, 05:21 PM
technically, if the guard declares as elligable and lines up outside the tackle like in a goal line formation...well...that could work :tt02:

:buttkick:

Facetious... I was being facetious!

:chuckle:

tony hipchest
05-12-2008, 05:28 PM
its important to note this WILL NOT be our base package.

but with the pony backfield vs rented mule defense, who do you think wins that battle? :wink:

with the 3 TE sets we have worked on, our 4 WR set, plus our base package power running game, we will definitely present alot of versatility and give opposing defensive coordinators headaches gameplanning for.

Dino 6 Rings
05-12-2008, 05:37 PM
And with them not being able to Tape our signals now...things could be even better on the defensive side of the ball!!!

:rofl:

steelreserve
05-12-2008, 05:39 PM
So, what they're saying is, it's better not to be one-dimensional? Good! I'm glad we got that.

Preacher
05-12-2008, 05:45 PM
So, what they're saying is, it's better not to be one-dimensional? Good! I'm glad we got that.

quite amazing after HOW many years of being just that?

TackleMeBen
05-12-2008, 05:57 PM
And with them not being able to Tape our signals now...things could be even better on the defensive side of the ball!!!

:rofl:

just make sure we dont issue any guarantees:chuckle:

lilyoder6
05-12-2008, 07:17 PM
since we got the off and def where we want it to be hopefully the ST can play better

Black@Gold Forever32
05-12-2008, 08:17 PM
Like Tony said it won't be the base offense....But I think using this Pony Backfield at times would be very good idea....This is another way to slow the pass rush down as well.....I can't wait to see both Mendenhall and Parker together out there....

19ward86
05-12-2008, 08:46 PM
I am really excited about this season, since 2000 we really havnt drafted a guy in the first round who we all knew would make a big impact quick (plaxico). Ben is an exception since he is a QB and QBs can be bust at any time.

TackleMeBen
05-12-2008, 08:50 PM
implementing is one thing, but executing it is something totally different

Steel_Bus_24
05-12-2008, 08:55 PM
implementing is one thing, but executing it is something totally different

Yeah....Oh how we all forget how they stumbled around with that "No Huddle/Manning offense" out of the gates last year.


But hopefully with time, they can get the feel

JanBr7
05-12-2008, 09:19 PM
I am really excited about this season, since 2000 we really havnt drafted a guy in the first round who we all knew would make a big impact quick (plaxico). Ben is an exception since he is a QB and QBs can be bust at any time.

We may not have 'known' they would make an impact, but most of them developed into great players. Let's see...Palamalo, (I know I spelled it wrong), Miller, Santonio. All are or will be great players. And Timmons still might make it onto that list -- this season will be telling.

My point is, Steelers do well in the draft, esp in early rounds. I'm not surprised we have a 'player' like Mendenhall

ESPN has us number 7 in the power rankings, and 'superbowl contenders'

tony hipchest
05-12-2008, 09:59 PM
implementing is one thing, but executing it is something totally differentwell its a running game, not rocket science.

ive seen barry foster, jerome bettis, duce staley, and willie parker all lead the league in rushing yards at the midway point and beyond.

im not worried about its implementation at all.

:helmet:

tony hipchest
05-12-2008, 10:02 PM
Yeah....Oh how we all forget how they stumbled around with that "No Huddle/Manning offense" out of the gates last year.


But hopefully with time, they can get the feelwe were 3-0 out of the gates and killing teams.

and the no huddle offense/ 3 te set was a package. not a base offense.

i sure am glad litp isnt around to tell us how this new "philosophy" as our new "base offense" is destined to fail.

SteelersMongol
05-12-2008, 10:07 PM
...Willie Parker can fly, and rookie Rashard Mendenhall has the power and burst to deliver big runs. If Parker lines up in the slot, with Mendenhall in the backfield, all things are possible. Mendenhall could motion out of the backfield and Parker could take a speed sweep. The Steelers may be known for the old fashion power run game, but they are ready to change that look on a moments notice.

Is that mean V'll b playing Mendenhall sooner than V usually lineup the rookies in their first year?

lilyoder6
05-12-2008, 10:11 PM
duce was very good 4 us in his 1st yr w/ us until he got injured, and from that point on he went downhill.. esp him learning from willie he will be a good threat

SteelCityMan786
05-12-2008, 10:17 PM
With the way things are changing in football...

Pretty soon we are going to find a way to send a guard on a receiver pattern legally.

Eventually they're going to have to find a way to get all of the players to be able to carry the ball.

Galax Steeler
05-13-2008, 04:35 AM
I can't wait to see the pony backfield in action it should make for a good game.

HometownGal
05-13-2008, 03:13 PM
Big fan of both guys in the backfield. It makes the defense have to stay honest on the run first, opening the passing lanes behind the linebackers just a little more. When you have a fullback, the LBs can just focus on his movement and attack the hole, ignoring the potential of him actually getting the ball except when the moon is blue in the third month that mars is in the southern sky. With 2 backs, they have to focus on the potential of both of them getting the ball.

I look forward to next season very much.

I echo your sentiments, Dino. I love the versatility the pony backfield brings and with FWP and Mendenhall, the Steelers have the weapons to accomplish great things. :tt02::thumbsup:

steelreserve
05-13-2008, 04:14 PM
i sure am glad litp isnt around to tell us how this new "philosophy" as our new "base offense" is destined to fail.

Hey, where is that guy anyway? Did he die? Or is he just hiding in shame?

HometownGal
05-13-2008, 04:47 PM
Hey, where is that guy anyway? Did he die? Or is he just hiding in shame?

Rumor has it he has embarked into a new career.

http://www.sonnettech.com/news/images/imgs_reviews/rupertcoghlancs_cameraman.jpg

steelreserve
05-13-2008, 04:49 PM
Porn cameraman, huh? I never would've figured that was his calling.

fansince'76
05-13-2008, 04:50 PM
Hey, where is that guy anyway? Did he die? Or is he just hiding in shame?

He's spewing the same old BS on some Pats* homer board.

Preacher
05-13-2008, 05:13 PM
He's spewing the same old BS on some Pats* homer board.

The more things change. . .

Dino 6 Rings
05-13-2008, 05:49 PM
The more things change. . .

The more we need to RUN THE BALL!!!!


:tt02:

:tt:

:tt03:

:helmet:

Rotorhead
05-13-2008, 06:28 PM
Man, I dont know how many times i said it last year, we need to start putting FWP in the backfield with a power runner (Staley at the time). The power runner can lead block, take the ball, give to FWP, Sweep . . . etc so many options there has to be mismatches, kind of like an option without killing the QB (although we may as well have run the option considering how Ben was manhandled). But what i like about this article is a 3-4 is a good answer to this Pony stuff. Our LB's are also required to cover ppl out of the backfield. 3 Down plug running lanes. We have a top corner (and I think townsend can hold his own against most second receivers) with one of the fastest hardest hitting safeties in the league.

Galax Steeler
05-14-2008, 04:33 AM
The more we need to RUN THE BALL!!!!


:tt02:

:tt:

:tt03:

:helmet:

That can't be said enough I think you will see it this year.