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FLORIDA PACKER88
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  • Joined: 8/13/2011
Cool little write up about a staple play from the LaFleur offense. Could be seeing some nice things this year if everyone buys in!


CheeseheadTV wrote:

Welcome to some offseason film study! Going forward, we'll be looking at a different play from the 2018 Tenneessee Titans passing offense, breaking it down a bit and talking about how that play could look going forward in Green Bay. Are you hyped? I'm hyped.
Let's start with something LaFleur really likes: play action rollout to levels. If you don't know what that means now, don't worry. We're going to tackle this together. We're going to be looking at two plays today, both taken from the Titans' Week 1 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

On this play, we're seeing play action to the running back, who will continue to the flat. Two receivers on the right side will block down before releasing to the rollside flat, while the other two receivers roll with the quarterback. Each of them is running on a different plane, or "level". When you hear the term "Levels," this the idea. Generally you have one or two receivers in the same area, spaced apart on different planes and on slightly delayed releases. It makes for an easy read for the quarterback, since one glance can tell you what is going on with a few of your receivers.

Watch the front 7 of the Dolphins to see what the play action does on this play: it pulls them up and over, opening some throwing lanes on the rollside. On this particular play, the edge defender stays home and is able to rush Marcus Mariota [8] on the throw. Mariota checks to one of the flat receivers. It doesn't end up well in this instance, but it's a good look.
Let's look at the next play.

This is a different package and a different look, but the original idea looks the same: we've got an exterior defender blocking down then releasing to the flat, while two other receivers set up levels to the rollside. But there's a difference:

The running back still releases to the flat, but the other receiver in-line on the right feigns a block down before releasing down the line and up the field on a wheel. 

The Titans have already shown this look earlier in the game - and the Rams ran this a ton when LaFleur was there in 2017 - so you can see the Dolphins react much the same way they did in the first play. They bite up-and-over on the play action, then a couple linebackers drop wide to pick up the flat route to the rollside. The other tight end simply slips off his block and gets lost in the shuffle. The running back releasing to the flat holds a defender for a beat, but the rest of the defense is just trying to drop back onto defender after the play action is complete. No one is looking for the tight end to release out the other side.

This is beautifully executed and gets a receiver wide open down the field.

Why do I love this?
When LaFleur talks about "the illusion of complexity," this is it. It's the ability to line up in multiple fronts while giving the same look post-snap, while also having dozens of different versions of plays that can be run out of it.
The PA Rollout Levels concept is a staple of LaFleur's offense. In this space, we looked at two different pre-snap looks doing slightly different things, but there are a lot of variations that could be run off of this pretty easily. Throw a couple options on these routes and it's extremely difficult to stop. If a linebacker drops wide to take away the flat route, keep running across the formation and up the sideline. If the linebacker flows to the sideline, cut back and find an empty space to sit. everything flows with the play action, level routes are open. 
All that without even mentioning the run game. If the defense is sitting back on the pass, you've got all the pieces in place for a successful running play behind zone blocking. The possibilities may not exactly be endless, but you can do a lot of damage with this look. The Packers are no strangers to running plays out of this look, but I would imagine LaFleur will be seriously expanding what the Packers are able to do.

What can the Packers do with this?
Anything and everything!
I drew up a series of plays that works with this idea. I decided to roll with 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE, 2 WR).
RB: Aaron Jones [33]
TE: Marcedes Lewis [89], Robert Tonyan [85]
WR: Davante Adams [17], Marquez Valdes-Scantling [83]
I don't know that I need to explain my choice at RB or WR, but I did want to address the TE position. This is a concept that thrives on the ability to run multiple plays out of the same look, but also the ability to run the same play out of multiple fronts. So I wanted a grouping that could be versatile. A group that could run the ball down your throat just as easily as they could push routes downfield. 
I feel like Lewis and Tonyan give me that versatility. Lewis is a tremendous blocker and an underrated receiver. Tonyan was a bit raw in limited action last year, but he is a talented receiver and spent the offseason learning more about the position from George Kittle, the breakout star from the 2018 49ers. I'm banking on Tonyan taking a step up from last season and becoming a better blocker. I'm taking the promise of improved blocking from Tonyan over the known bad blocking from Graham. On top of that, Tonyan is a faster option than Graham at this point, so that really helps with the ability to stretch the field.
Let's look at some plays I drew up with that personnel grouping, working within this concept.

This is basically what we looked at above. I just wanted to provide a look this way. Play action rollout to the levels side. Both TE feign blocks down the line before releasing to the flat. The route by Tonyan [85] is slightly delayed. By holding that block a little longer and releasing late, it gets the defense to relax on him for a bit, then he can work back into some open space created by the flat route from Lewis [89].

This is the look at the second play. Once the defense starts sagging back and waiting on the flat release from Tonyan, he takes up on a wheel up the field.

Here's another levels/wheel concept, but out of a stack look. Instead of loading up all the receivers on the right side, we've got a 2X2 look and still running the same thing. It looks different on the pre-snap, but the end result is the same. The ability to run the same play out of multiple looks is a great power.

This version plays off the flat release from Lewis. The linebackers start dropping wide and looking for the flat release, but Lewis releases to a curl in the middle of the field. I've also got Tonyan taking off on a wheel route, because if the linebackers are dropping wide, might as well try to make them pay big.

The defense feels like they have this PA Rollout Levels thing figured out, so they don't bite heavy on the play action. Instead, they sag on the levels side. The receivers set up the levels the same as always, but the backside is a screen to Jones [33]. Catch the defense sagging to one side, hit them with a screen to the other. If you catch them right, there's some serious big-play potential here.

We've established the levels from this particular look. In this version, we have Tonyan feigning a downblock, only to release up the field. If the safety in that area reads the levels, there's a possibility of Tonyan slipping through that action and going up over the top.
This look also has Lewis releasing under the line on the wheel and Jones as one of the levels receivers, after hesitating slightly in the middle on the curl.

Last but not least, we have something that starts the same, but ends up completely different. On this play, Rodgers doesn't boot, but defense have seen the boot so much that they may leave some guys back on it. Instead, he drops back at an angle and looks for a shot. The RG circles back to clean up any backside rushers, but the rest of the line pushes down as they normally would on the PA Rollout. 

These are just a couple plays I drew up relatively quickly, but you get the idea. The possibilities go way beyond what I have here. The big part of what makes this so exciting is that the concept itself is simple, yet there are a ton of tiny variations that could make a big difference. If the defense gets leaning one way, you can make them pay with something else, all without altering the entire play. It can be run from multiple looks in a variety of different ways. To top it all off, the Packers have the personnel in place to make this absolutely lethal.


Continue Reading @ CheeseheadTV 

Rockmolder
  • Posts: 7571
  • Joined: 9/14/2008
Very nice article. I can see this working for us when the run game gets going.

I don't really see why Tonyan would be the guy being split out wide and the general receiving tight end, though. Looks like a very block-heavy set. I can see how that would work for play-actions, but that would also mean you're always tipping off when you're passing... The only thing you do when Sternberger or Graham are on the field.

I imagine it's going to be more of a rotational group this year. I feel like that's one of the big reasons that Lewis decided to stay. LaFleur likes getting his tight ends involved in multiple ways and Hackett obviously knows how to use Marcedis.
macbob
  • Posts: 3616
  • Joined: 10/12/2008
I'd feel better about the article if the author hadn't drawn up what looks like illegal plays.

7 guys are required on the line of scrimmage, but only the two end players are eligible receivers. Multiple plays the author has the second player lined up on the line of scrimmage on the right going out for a pass.

I think of the plays he drew up, possibly only the 3rd play would be a legal play. The 5th only has 6 guys on the line of scrimmage.

If he put #17 on the left at the line of scrimmage, and dropped one of the guys on the right off of the line of scrimmage it would fix a lot of these plays. But then he'd lose a lot of the 'surprise'...



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