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Old 01-08-2010, 04:01 AM   #1
Acerinox
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Default The Question I've Been Afraid To Ask

So everyone wants to look like the world's biggest expert on tactics and stuff.
But there's something I can't work out and I thought I'd embarrass myself by asking it here. Also it contributes to the Arians debate which (as I understand it) is MANDATORY for every thread on this board.

What are the benefits of playing with an empty backfield?

I can see that you get an extra receiving target, which of course puts more pressure on your opponent's secondary - not just because it's an extra man to cover, but also means they have to go deeper into their depth chart to find someone do it.

But isn't the negative that they can take out anything and everything designed to protect against the run? Doesn't that free up a huge amount of personnel resource? And massively reduce their decision/reaction time?

Is it not ONLY useful for sets like 3rd and long when your opponent ALREADY knows you won't run?

Thanks for anyone kind enough to explain this to an idiot.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:05 AM   #2
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Question I've Been Afraid To Ask

When you run this you need an offense that can block for a substantial amount of time this is why it didn't work well for us is because we couldn't hold a block long enough for Ben to find a receiver. The quick slant and the bunch formation worked good but if it wasn't there then more times then not Ben got sacked.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Question I've Been Afraid To Ask

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acerinox View Post
So everyone wants to look like the world's biggest expert on tactics and stuff.
But there's something I can't work out and I thought I'd embarrass myself by asking it here. Also it contributes to the Arians debate which (as I understand it) is MANDATORY for every thread on this board.

What are the benefits of playing with an empty backfield?

I can see that you get an extra receiving target, which of course puts more pressure on your opponent's secondary - not just because it's an extra man to cover, but also means they have to go deeper into their depth chart to find someone do it.

But isn't the negative that they can take out anything and everything designed to protect against the run? Doesn't that free up a huge amount of personnel resource? And massively reduce their decision/reaction time?

Is it not ONLY useful for sets like 3rd and long when your opponent ALREADY knows you won't run?

Thanks for anyone kind enough to explain this to an idiot.
are you suggesting that not keeping the defense guessing is a bad strategy ???
well mister... FOR THE 100TH TIME...arians is a paid professional coach and your just a fan, so how dare you question his methods ... ...what part of 4000 yard passer and two 1000 yard receivers do you not understand ???


guru will be so proud of me....
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Question I've Been Afraid To Ask

lol, welcome to the board, but your first post is a can of worms. Welcome to the fire!
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Question I've Been Afraid To Ask

Oh, you didn't know? There's a HUGE benefit to it. We can get two 1,000 yard receivers, a 4,000 yard passer, and a (barely if you ask me) 1,000 yard rusher. Isn't that what the new Steelers football is about?

We can't even score points, but to hell with that! We'd rather drive down the field 80 yards just to score 3 points. But hey, as long as Ben and Mike Wallace hook up for a 50 yard bomb, we don't need points, we got stats and records!!!

I mean, isn't it smart to call an empty backfield on 3rd and goal? We have a stud running back who's proven himself 95% of the time when given the chance, but screw that! We want to increase Ben's TD total, only to in turn put Jeff Reed on the field and leave 4 points on the board.

You would think a pedestrian like Defense and Special Teams would factor in to smarter Offensive calling, but I'm not allowed to say that because, for whatever reason, some people are sensitive to that matter.

*sigh* Oh well, though. We'll just bring the same guy back and then sit and wonder next year why we're in the same spot. At least we'll continue to break TEAM records and have some of the best stats in the league, with no hardware to show for it...
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: The Question I've Been Afraid To Ask

It's a great formation if you have a QB who makes lightning quick reads and gets rid of the ball extremely fast, a Marino, Manning, Brees, Rivers type of guy, because invariably, you end up with one of your receivers being covered one on one by a safety or someone you think you can exploit, and a quick read will allow you to deliver the ball to that receiver before any kind of rush can get to your QB, regardless of what kind of overwhelming numbers the defense sends. Unfortunately, our QB, great as he is, isn't the quickest at making reads and so, in order for that type of play to work in our offense we need the QB to run around a bit to buy time before he can figure out which way to chuck it. If he's able to make his escape, it's a big play. If not, they get the sack and we're punting.
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: The Question I've Been Afraid To Ask

Any genius knows whenever something goes wrong just to fire everyone, that's GMing 101 at CCAC.
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Question I've Been Afraid To Ask

Quote:
What are the benefits of playing with an empty backfield?

I can see that you get an extra receiving target, which of course puts more pressure on your opponent's secondary - not just because it's an extra man to cover, but also means they have to go deeper into their depth chart to find someone do it.
The way I see it, the offense sets the tempo and the defense adjusts accordingly. Arians decided that the spread maximizes the productivity of our franchise quarterback and his stud receivers. Can't really fault him for that, but there are down sides to that route also (which is why so many here are complaining).
As you point out, a spread offense compels the defense to go nickel, which puts their second string DBs on the field and forces them to make plays. As a side benefit, any blitzers must telegraph their intentions from further away, making it more difficult to bring pressure.

Quote:
But isn't the negative that they can take out anything and everything designed to protect against the run? Doesn't that free up a huge amount of personnel resource? And massively reduce their decision/reaction time?
Not as much as you might think. If you can sell the pass, it is possible to set up running plays (of sorts) from an empty back field. The defense is still forced to maintain some presence in the box to counter this. That's why defenses don't typically show dime, even against a 5 wide shotgun when the first down is under 15 yards.

Personally not a fan of this approach, but that's been beaten to death. This is the best answer I can give you without any snark. Hope it helps.
-Slashy
PS you're not an idiot.
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: The Question I've Been Afraid To Ask

I think he was asking a serious and honest question from his knowledge of the game. It's just unfortunate that people have to twist it into an Arians thing...
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