Saturday, March 29, 2008

WELCOME TO THE A-11

Its taken almost three years for the A-11 Offense to morph from a collection of different formations into a theoretical "offensive system", which then had to translate itself onto the field as an actual offense for the 2007 season. We've gone from ideas, to plays, to a system with techniques and throughout the whole process the driving force has been - Ideas.

This is what makes football fun. This is what drives our coaches. And this theme is what my blog is all about. A relentless commitment to new ideas and pressing the game of football to evolve for the better.

There is nothing more frustrating than watching football and seeing a team in a 4th and 1 situation on their opponents 40 and deciding to "punt", or letting Ben Rothlesberger bootleg on 3rd and 1, with a Wild Card game on the line. This complete lack of imagination or fear of failing, from coaching staffs who are paid lots of money, has permeated the game of football and let the fans down. What if the Steelers showed some ingenuity and shifted to a contrarian formation on that 3rd and 1? Would it have caused the Jags to burn a valuable time-out at the end of the game? Could the Steelers have quickly shifted and caught the defense off-guard and created a last second mismatch to get the win? We will never know because they chose to bootleg with a hobbled quarterback, fearing making an exchange of the football. Lame conservatism. The Steelers deserved to lose and their fans deserved better.

On the flip side there are many examples of new ideas making their way to the gridiron and enlightening the game. Florida's game plan versus Ohio State in the 2007 National Championship game, spread speed across the field into open space and decimated Ohio States #1 defense. Rutger's super spread punt in 2007 put severe stress on the defense and showed amazing promise if they tried a play. The Forty Niners tried a contrarian punt that looked a lot like our "base" A-11 formation in week 15 of the 2007 NFL season. It almost got blocked, but Carolina definitely looked confused and it was great to see something different in the NFL. Flutie's drop kick ranks up there too. Even the top high school team in California, De La Salle, ran a spread punt in this year's NCS Championship game.

This blossoming trend in football towards innovation will continue, but the A-11 takes things even farther by shaping "one off" formation opportunities into an entire game plan. We don't expect you to do the same, but we do hope the launching of this offense creates something fun to follow and inspires coaches to invent new schemes that test the limits of the game of football.

1 comment:

Joe B. said...

First and foremost, I love your ideas and your offensive scheme. Secondly, I sent a very similar offensive scheme to many former coaches at the University of Montana except my scheme had only one quarterback in the shotgun formation. Is there any problem to having only one quarterback under center? What is your percentage of runs to throws? How often do you throw screens?

I thought the exceptionality of this offense was spreading out the defense and looking for number mismatches along with mismatches in man coverages. Did you have any problem with zone coverages? How did most teams defense the scheme? Did they go to a dime or quarter and bring in smaller defenders across the board?