Flex­i­bil­ity through flex­ing

The Washington Post Sunday - - REDSKINS VS. GIANTS D5 - BYDOUGFARRAR

Since his Su­per Bowl days in Den­ver, Mike Shana­han has been an ad­vo­cate of flex­ing run­ning backs into and out of re­ceiver sets as a good way to ex­ploit for­ma­tion matchups and force de­fenses to tip off cov­er­ages. This is es­pe­cially true near the goal line, where a de­fense key­ing on a run­ning back will have to ad­just quickly if the back flexes wide.


2 At the snap, the run­ning back stays at the line of scrim­mage as the hot read, while the two left-side re­ceivers run routes that take the trio of de­fend­ers out of the mid­dle of the field. The quar­ter­back’s play fake to the left side takes the weak-side linebacker com­pletely out of the play, and the strong-side re­ceiver’s fade route elim­i­nates the man-press cor­ner­back to that side. Now, the tight end, who ran a quick route to get open right at the goal line, beats the strong-side linebacker, and gets un­der­neath the strong safety. Af­ter the play fake to the left, the quar­ter­back fired the ball in for the touch­down.


1 The of­fense lines up in a three-re­ceiver set, with a tight-twins look on the left side and the tight end in line. Be­fore the snap, the half­back mo­tions out­side the twins re­ceivers, tak­ing the right cor­ner­back out­side and in­di­cat­ing man cov­er­age in the red zone. The cor­ner­back mo­tion sets a triangle of de­fen­sive backs against the three-re­ceiver set to the left, and the weak-side linebacker flexes out as well.

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