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A Run First Offense and Potential For Success?

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by Verdict, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Verdict

    Verdict Well-Known Member

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    We all know that the NFL is a copycat league and that right now it is a pass first league. The rules favor the passing game and receivers are given every break when it comes pass defense. I totally get that.

    With that having been said, I think the pendulum has swung way too far and most defenses have been constructed to defend the pass. Corners are generally very slightly built guys that can cover the pass well, and are marginal at playing the run and tackle only because they have to. Think Deion Sanders.

    I wonder what would happen if you constructed a run first team, and assemble multiple quaterbacks (keep 4 qbs on the active game day roster) and put together a who's who of running QB's ala Mike Vick, Vince Young, Tim Tebow, etc. Those QB's come dirt cheap in this day in time. Make sure all of the running backs are former QB's in college who can also throw the ball.

    Since your QB's and RB's are CHEAP them getting hurt isn't the end of the world. You just plug the next guy in. It becomes a system. If every RB can throw the ball, then the rb pass becomes very deadly because you might throw a rb pass every 4th or 5th time the guy touches the ball. Speed becomes the most important skill for the QB. Because the RB's are pounding it on the edges, CB's take a beating against that sort of team.

    On the offensive line, it would also be much easier to acquire talent because you are assembling maulers whose pass blocking becomes secondary. It would also be much cheaper to acquire a left tackle because you aren't paying him to defend the blind side as much because passing attempts out of the pocket would be limited. Passing is on the move a majority of the time.

    Corners would have a tough decision to make because they would need to help in run support, but they can't help in run support if the RB is throwing the ball every 5th touch. Think how successful LaDainian Tomlinson was in his prime.

    The offensive side of the ball would be acquired with cheaper players which would help the defense be able to load up on that side of the ball, in both cap dollars and also using premium draft picks.

    I am not looking forward to the change back to a 4-3 defense, but I will admit that the fact that so many teams are now in a 3-4 negated one of its advantages in that now more teams are competing for players with the same skill set. Initially you might get the best running QB in the college ranks as an udfa in most years. Think about that for a minute. Because no one else wants those players, a team could load up on that kind of talent. Keep the cap low, and acquire a boatload of those players for low picks.

    I think you are already seeing a bit of this with RGIII and Kapernick ..... but RGIII cost a boatload of picks to get him. What if you were able to get an RGIII as an udfa.....(minus his arm) You wouldn't really care if he got hurt ... you would just plug in the next guy in line.
  2. pancakeman

    pancakeman Well-Known Member

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    This seems kind of crazy to me. But I like the idea of being ahead of the curve for once in offensive innovation.
  3. links18

    links18 Well-Known Member

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    If you're gonna try that you better have the '85 Bears defense on the other side of the ball.
  4. Verdict

    Verdict Well-Known Member

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    If you are allocating most of your premium picks to that side of the ball and most of your free agent dollars to that side of the ball, then you might be able to reassemble an 85 Bears defense or the Ravens defense in their SB winning year.
  5. cowboysooner

    cowboysooner Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it is the craziest idea. If I was Minnesota, I'd try it. They don't have much at qb, don't have much at wr. If they spend money, they could improve their defense, guard play and get one deep threat at wide out and run gadget plays with Harvin etc.
  6. dupree89

    dupree89 Well-Known Member

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    I like your creative thinking and I wouldnt rule it out. A team might try it some time. Now....lets be fair here....can you imagine if Jerry Jones went out on a limb and tried this and it failed? We would be killing him far more than some of us already are. :laugh1:
  7. Verdict

    Verdict Well-Known Member

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    The key to the the best success of this type of offense is the running back's willingness to PASS the ball at least 4 or 5 times per game to keep defenses honest, which is why you would need EVERY running back to have some sort of ability to pass the ball.

    Versatility would be the word of the day. You would never know who is going to run the ball AND a QB could go out in a pass pattern as a receiver.
  8. Omegasupreme

    Omegasupreme Member

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    Exactly, but its a necessity/invention type thing. Dallas does not need a particular scheme as much as to first use the players that they have in the most optimal/reduced weaknesses type of attack. The thing that Jim Harbaugh did with the Niners was continually adjust to the particular strengths and weaknesses of the players. He started last year with Smith at QB and began to whittle down the demands on Smith while bolstering the running game. Tim Hasselbeck on ESPN radio last Friday said that the 49ers run the ball very creatively. They mix up formations and calls and directions - but he said that it keeps the defense guessing. Last year, there were games that Gore ran for less than 4 ypc and some that he ran for less than 3ypc but they just kept running him. He is not the fastest, the biggest, strongest, or most elusive, but they committed to running the ball creatively to protect their passer...last year.

    This year, they started the year with a similar offense from last year, but then the change to Kaepernick ushered two more changes. First, his arm strength allowed deeper patterns but also, Harbaugh began to study and add the "read/option" for Kaepernick to add to his arsenal. Harbaugh has made 3 major changes to his offense based on his personnel and his team is young and flourishing, with huge options in both the run and pass game. Their players are a round peg that fits easily into a scheme that is as round as the Super Bowl.

    I heard one of the announcers say during the Atlanta game that Harbaugh plays his offense close to the vest, to keep his ideas and plans for his players a secret. If there is anything to copy here, it is that the Dallas team needs to:
    Play Like That!
  9. cowboysooner

    cowboysooner Well-Known Member

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    There is a huge inefficiency in the NFL much like the NBA.

    At $15mm per year Lebron James is way undervalued. Because there is a player maximum salary the best player can't be paid their true worth, but for argument's sake the 20th best player Rudy Gay also makes more than $15 million.

    In the NFL, the top quarterbacks are making $18, 19 and $20mm. The next tier will make $16 or 17 million, but the second tier quarterbacks are no bargain in a salary cap world.

    Then you have guys like Kaepernick and Wilson playing 4 years for $4mm or less and their teams are getting tremendous bargains and flexibility to try to build a superior team in other spots.
  10. CATCH17

    CATCH17 1st Round Pick

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    The problem with this is if you get down 14-0 and you're just not built to come back.
  11. cowboysooner

    cowboysooner Well-Known Member

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    And the Falcons can't hold a 17 or 20 point lead.
  12. links18

    links18 Well-Known Member

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    Hence the need for a monster defense a la the 85 Bears or the 00 Ravens.
  13. BraveHeartFan

    BraveHeartFan We got a hat. I want a ring.

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    You'd definately have to assemble a damn fine defense for it to work. If you could put together one hell of a great defense this would likely be a very interesting type of team to watch.
  14. Prossman

    Prossman Active Member

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    There is no need to dismantle our high powered passing attack. Being able to control the line of scrimmage will win you ball games. There is something to be said about taking the ball and jamming it down the defenses throats. Also getting a lead and taking the heart out of a team by pounding it down the field.
  15. Chocolate Lab

    Chocolate Lab Run-loving Dino

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    Nah, QB is too much of a leadership position on the team, and that makes it unique and different from all the others. There's a reason for the saying that if you have two or three QBs, you really don't have one.
  16. rash

    rash Member

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    If Romo were to retire, I'd be all for it. I can use some entertainment :D.

    Sign Tebow and Vick once released, pick up Seneca Wallace for cheap, and then go out and get the most elusive QB in the draft.


    Now that would be fun to watch.
  17. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    It all boils down to the time required to score vs the time required to score by the opponent.

    This was the problem with the Wishbone and those types of offenses.

    You could win games with this approach; however, if the offense had turnovers or the defense couldn't consistently force the other team to dink and dunk their way to a score, then you couldn't keep up on the scoreboard.

    I do think that you could implement some of your ideas while taking a less radical approach. Make RBs with QB skills an integral part of offenses instead of using it as an occasional gimmick.

    The thing that you can't get away from is quick/athletic OLinemen. The same types that are good pass-blockers are also required for outside running teams.
  18. Verdict

    Verdict Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure that is entirely accurate. Some linemen are excellent run blockers but pathetic in pass protection. I am not saying you would want a guy who couldn't pass block at all. But a lineman can be good at one or the other without being good at both and being very athletic is a great skill for a lineman to have but it doesn't necessarily make a lineman great at blocking.

    Tyron Smith is our best lineman by far and is no doubt much more athletic than Larry Allen, but which one would you want to run behind on 4th and goal at the 1 with the game on the line? See what I mean?
  19. Verdict

    Verdict Well-Known Member

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    The wishbone is was not viewed as a come from behind offense, but ask Nebraska ot Texas how many times OU came from way behind to beat them using it. :)

    While it is true that the wishbone and running style offenses do not have as much likelihood for success in catch up mode, they do a couple of things much better, which include but are not limited to:

    1. Control time of possession limiting the other team's touches.
    2. Allow you to preserve a lead at the end of the game.
    3. Limit turnovers. Pass INTs can be a back breaker.
    4. Give your defense time to rest which helps the performance of your defense.
    5. Running the ball puts your offensive linemen in attack mode and allows them to really lean on defenses and wear them down.

    There are tradeoffs, of course, but there are also huge advantages which should not be overlooked.
  20. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    A 4th and goal at the 1 is not an outside running play.

    If anything that was highly successful is gone, then there is a reason.

    You did notice that I agreed with some of your ideas, right?

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