For those wanting to get a little lost in some football stuff, I've taken the time to diagram over a hundred different run plays.
Since basically the OSU game, I've been annoyed seeing a million hot takes about Michigan just "running Blast up the gut 20 times" when the reality is they do quite a bit in the run game, and to simplify it to such a degree is either extremely disingenuous or not actually meaningful insight.
Michigan doesn't run all these schemes, and a number of them are originally from older types of offenses (there are a number of T-formation, Wishbone, Flex, etc. that are updated to I) with the intent that they can be modernized to fit many formations, including many modern spread.
So take a look if you are interested in a bit more detail about the run game. Over this summer I'll be working on some more fundamental type posts to try to reiterate or introduce some of the gap that I feel is missing from casual fan to more nuanced fan (where I've probably focused too much on the detailed/coach-type fan previously).
From the post:
This is a series post with lots of play diagrams. Where it lacks depth, it hopefully makes up for with breadth. The goal of this post is to demonstrate the many run game nuances that are at your disposal, outside the very basics that you can find almost anywhere. I will point out some key attributes for the plays, but for the most part the diagrams will stand alone outside a brief description. This post is limited (out of necessity) to strongside plays that are given directly to the RB. It does not include FB runs, or QB runs, or H-Back, Wing, TE, or WR runs. It also doesn't include option plays. Those are things for future posts.
Why did I select an I-formation, which is mostly going out of fashion, and how do I expect this information to be utilized? The I-Formation is a classic 2-back set that, by the time it was implemented, had the benefit of a lot of football history. It is also a highly adaptable run formation, along for offsets, for H-backs, and other aspects that allow essentially any run concept to be incorporated into its framework. And that's the important bit: you can look at an I-Formation run play and easily carry it forward to many modern formations. For instance, by altering footwork and possibly timing, any of these plays can be utilized in the following:
- 2-Back Shotgun Runs (with the second back potentially being a FB, an H-Back, a Wing, or a Sniffer)
- 1-Back Shotgun QB Runs (utilizing the RB as an added blocker)
- 1-Back Shotgun Read Options (the read of a run-run option, run-pass option, or pass-run option take the place of the additional blocker).
Many of the best current offenses often circle back to old formations. In the NFL, along with the modern spread concepts, you see a lot of the best offenses utilizing Wing T concepts. This set of plays does the same where it can (though, again, recognize that the option packages and fake packages are not included in this post, so it is somewhat limited). Below, you will see each play blocked against the two fundamental Even Fronts (4-3 Over and Under).