Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Explaining Some Football Formations...
It occurred to me last night as I was breaking down the 2nd quarter of the UGA win over UT that when I give my formation and defensive alignment descriptions, some people may not know what in the hell I'm talking about. Now, I don't know the UGA playbook. I don't know what Richt and Bobo name their formations, and I don't know that I'm naming them properly. There is very likely a different name for every RECEIVER alignment out of a specific formation. For instance, in a Twins formation with two receivers set wide to the left, the formation is likely called one thing if the outside receiver is on the line of scrimmage, and another if the inside receiver is on the line of scrimmage. However, I do not know UGA's terminology for it - and I really don't understand how it's going to help anyone out there get a better understanding for me to describe the formations in that degree of minutiae. So, I'm going to keep it simple. Very simply, this is how I will describe formations from here on out (I am abandoning calling every shotgun-single-back formation "Shotgun Ace"):
An ACE formation is one where the QB is under Center, with the HB behind him.
An I-Formation is one where the QB is under Center, with the FB and HB behind him.
A Power-I Formation is an I-Formation with an additional FB in the backfield.
A Split Formation is one where the QB is under Center, with two backs split to either side of him, and generally set 5 yards off the ball.
A Shotgun formation is one where the QB is in the shotgun, with one back set to one side.
A Shotgun Split Formation is one where the QB is in shotgun, with two backs - one on either side of him.
A Shotgun Empty Formation is one where the QB is in shotgun, and alone in the backfield.
These will be the basic Formations you will see from me.
I will give further information regarding the receivers.
Normal - This means there is one receiver set to each side of the ball.
Twins - This means there are two receivers set to one side of the ball.
Trips - This means there are three receivers set to one side of the ball.
Quads - This means there are four receivers set to one side of the ball.
Doubles - This means there are two receivers set to each side of the ball.
Then, I may also give more specific information like:
Offset I - This means the fullback is not directly behind the QB, but instead is lined up to either the weak or strong-side.
Tackle-Over - This means we have one guard and two tackles on one side of the ball, and a guard and tight-end to the other.
Wing - This means a player is lined up at the outside of the formation, but in the backfield, with his hand on the ground. This is generally a fullback or additional tight-end in our offense, but it may also be a speed player used for a sweep.
When it comes to defenses, I'm not getting incredibly specific, partially because the angle of the camera makes it hard for me to tell exactly what the alignments are. I can tell in general if a player is covering the guard or the tackle, but whether he's playing a 3,4 or 5 technique is a bit more difficult. So, I'm going to base my calls purely on personnel and positioning.
3-4 - We have three down linemen and Four standing linebackers. In this, we will have 4 DBs.
4-2-5 - We have four down linemen and two standing linebackers. I don't care if Ray Drew or Cornelius Washington or whoever is actually a linebacker, and we're therefore "technically' in a 3-3-5. If he has his hand in the dirt, the guy is a down-lineman for the sake of this blog.
3-3-5. We have three down linemen and three standing linebackers.
2-4-5. We have two down linemen and four standing linebackers.
These are the basic formations I've seen us in. It's hard for me to know just how well we're doing on each defensive play since I don't know the calls or the responsibilities, but I will do my best to offer explanations of why things work/don't work when I can.
Hope this helps y'all understand what I write a bit better.