The Oakland Raiders started second team quarterback Connor Cook, but gave him a terrible selection of plays to run. This play, a wide receiver screen out of a four wide receiver , one running back set, is one of those plays. It’s a true example of how many football coaches pay no attention to time / motion as a factor in football strategy.
The problem is that the quarterback (Connor Cook) is asked to fake a handoff to the running back (Chris Warren), then throw to the wide receiver who’s waiting for the pass – thus giving the defenders time to stop the play. Here, the fake handoff provides the Rams Defensive line (and in particular the defensive end on the side of the play) with the extra second needed to get into the play backfield and disrupt the pass attempt.
Removing the play fake, redesigning the routes, and allowing the quarterback to quickly throw to the receiver would solve the problem.
The question is, how did the play get into the Oakland Raiders Playbook? Well, this blogger did not recommend it to Gruden – I hate the play because it’s a staple example of copycat play use without really understanding what it does and causes the defense to do.
The play works when the offensive team is facing a slow-to-react defense – a rarity in the NFL, but common in college and high-school football.
But if you think about it, the play design is completely illogical: the defenders who would stop the play, the cornerbacks and defensive end and linebackers – are already on what is called “play-side”, or the place where the football is going to be when its thrown. Thus, faking the handoff is completely stupid. No one who needs to be fooled, is fooled.
Gruden should take this play out of the Oakland Raiders Playbook.
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Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media