Topic: SCREEN PASSES EXPLAINED (Lengthy Explanation)
Replies: 19   Last Post: Oct 12, 2018 11:31 PM by: HillRockTiger
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Posted: Oct 11, 2018 12:37 AM

Many Tiger faithful are annoyed by the bubble screen plays that we like to call. While I understand the frustration, I must inform the Tiger faithful of their intended purposes. Those are plays by design and there is a method to Swinney's madness here.

Screen Passes, are designed to spread a defense out and open up running lanes between the tackles. Which by any measure is the exact reason why our running backs were able to rip off huge runs for a score. Those screen passes create a pick your own poison scenario where defenses must play man coverage on assignment football. With our guys athleticism, there will be many matchups that pan out in our favor.

From a scheme point of view on offense it also allows our offensive line to do their jobs without playing a guessing game on whether or not the QB will run or pass. Now if it's a passing play they know without doubt that 90% of the time TL will throw the ball. Those screen passes also open up plays down the middle and underneath for a guy like Renfrow, Thompson, Rogers, other non-boundary receivers, and a TE who may be open underneath. This almost guarantees us a first down every time. Then when defenses adjust to the middle of the field to stack the box to stop our runs it allows for us to either hit a receiver on a deep post corner route, or a screen pass that will produce a score or a first down with extreme chunk yardage.

Where I had an issue with the screen passes was when KB was at QB. A screen pass is only effective when you have a quick dump off on a quick release. KB would simply not achieve good results because he held on to the ball for too long. A screen play is not a play that you can simply execute on a read option. That has to be a play strictly by design. TL has a quick release and gets the ball out there quickly while using his accuracy along with quickness. That isn't something that can be coached. That is something that must come with individual practice and it requires great amounts of chemistry between the QB and the WR who is the intended target. Many other teams across the nation try to duplicate it but 9 out of 10 times the ball is either over thrown or the WR drops the pass.



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This is an old and lame excuse.

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 12:55 AM

It’s amazing how so many other teams have successful offenses without so many WR screens....

It’s amazing how so many pro teams lead with the WR screen to loosen up the defense....

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Re: This is an old and lame excuse.

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 1:13 AM

Nick Saban said a couple years ago that his wife fussed at him for running between the tackles so much. She told him it was boring. His response to her was "Until they stop us, we do it. We will do it all game if they can't stop it. "

That statement accurately describes how an offense should run. Do whatever is working and dominate the time of possession. Dabo does what is working.
I think too many fans simply want to see a run and shoot or an air raid offense. They are fun to watch, but they don't win championships. They keep your defense on the field until it is torn to pieces.
People fuss more now about how we win than they used to fuss about our losing games.

didn't you watch the first 3 series vs Wake?

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 6:40 AM

we are doomed

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You had me until "Dabo does what is working"

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 7:49 AM

The wr screens are usually painfully ineffective. Sometimes they even result in turnovers. We do them so much that some teams can actually jump the route and intercept them. Also when has that slow-developing, horrible QB pitch play ever worked? It's just a disaster waiting to happen, but we run it like 3 times a game.

(Personally I don't think this is on Dabo, more the co-coordinators)

The thing about Saban's statement is he is talking about fast developing, high percentage plays. You start with those, and run those until the other team stops them. Dives, off-tackles, etc. You lead with high percentage plays that utilize the talents of your players, as in letting the running backs do the actual running, rather than throwing a lateral to your wide receivers and getting them banged up and knocked around trying to be running backs.

If we started the game throwing nothing but quick slants, I still wouldn't think it was the best plan, but it would be 100 times better than the WR screen plan. They are quick-hitting, they move upfield quickly, they don't have the risk of being laterals, etc. Something quick-developing and aggressive like a slant allows for the WR to use their skills (routes, catching on the run with forward momentum, positioning, etc) and also makes full utilization of the speed of our players.

Speed is probably the most overlooked thing and the most frustrating thing to me personally. A lot of our plays take forever to develop (3-4 seconds) which removes a huge speed advantage that we have with our guys. Most plays should take 1-2 seconds to start making positive yardage and what this does is doesn't allow the defense to react quickly enough so we take full advantage of our speed. WR screens completely neuter our speed advantage and set the WR up in a position where they have to start from a dead stop, juke at least one defender, and then get to full speed down the sidelines. Of course they never work out like that and you have 2 or 3 defenders moving full speed to the WR who has one blocker and is catching the ball as the defenders show up. It's just really, really bad.

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Re: You had me until "Dabo does what is working"

Posted: Oct 12, 2018 10:41 PM

^^This^^. Agreed. More vertical fast developing plays are what is needed in our offense as well as the full on tempo game to take full advantage of the opportunity.

yup, I agree

Posted: Oct 12, 2018 11:03 PM

The slow developing plays are only making things more difficult for our OL

Re: You had me until "Dabo does what is working"

Posted: Oct 12, 2018 11:13 PM

I was begging to see some slant routes last year. For whatever reason we rarely try to use slants or drags across the middle of the field. Shallow drags make for a really nice check down option and we never use it.

Re: SCREEN PASSES EXPLAINED (Lengthy Explanation)

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 1:03 AM

I have never figured out why all the hate for the screen passes. Pro offenses regularly use them. From a practical stand point, it is really more of an extension of the run game than a true vertical pass. I wish Dabo would run more "drop back" screens.

The hate

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 7:25 AM

comes from the TB era. They were not blocked well, not disguised at all,and often got people hurt. I remember one ball thrown to Jacoby Ford where the defender started running full out 5 yds off the line and implanted his helmet in Jacoby's chest. Jacoby didn't bounce up and out for the game. Under TB-BAaaaaaaaaadddddd play which always elicited collective groans as soon as the "pod" formation was seen.

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Re: SCREEN PASSES EXPLAINED (Lengthy Explanation)

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 7:43 AM

in order to run more middle screens O-line has to get better. When Spiller was here he was an outstanding receiver out of the back field, ETN has to work on catching the ball and routes. CJ ran the wheel route to perfection.

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Re: SCREEN PASSES EXPLAINED (Lengthy Explanation)

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 1:31 AM

It seems if we can consistently execute the WR screens we should have opportunities for long pass plays out of similar sets later.

I like the use of drop-back screens as a way to counter defensive line pressure. Ohio State pulled off some flawless drop-back screens in their win at Penn State.

Re: SCREEN PASSES EXPLAINED (Lengthy Explanation)

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 6:33 AM

I think everyone understands the purpose of the screens. All plays are designed to either make a gain off the defense’s current alignment or to manipulate the defense into a position that will allow a future play to succeed. The issue against Wake was we called like 9 of them in the first 3 drives. We pulled the defense up in the box and kept calling screens into the area where they would now be least likely to succeed. Once we started mixing the play calling, the field started to open up. The screen is a good play when used effectively and we should keep running them, just do a better job of picking our spots. I personally think the OC’s are still trying to find a grove with the play calling that best suites TL’s ability. These guys are good, they will figure it out. Like Dabo said, we aren’t even close to playing our best game.


Posted: Oct 12, 2018 11:06 PM

We don't need to eliminate it. Just use it more sparingly

I might be wrong but I think TL might have checked into it a couple times early because wakes DBs were giving us so much cushion. It's hard to believe the OCs called it that many times at the beginning of the game.

People complaining about the WR screens....

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 7:20 AM

have you seen the stats on this team? The explosive plays show that whatever we're doing is working.


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Re: SCREEN PASSES EXPLAINED (Lengthy Explanation)

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 1:34 PM

It does work much better under TL. To be executed properly it needs to be quick like a pick-off throw to first by the pitcher. No head movement ahead of time or anything to tip off the LBs and DBs of what is happening. If any of those guys read it and get a step on the play, the bubble screen either fails or ends up as a pick 6. KB, for all his positives, did not have that pitcher's pick-off move.

Re: SCREEN PASSES EXPLAINED (Lengthy Explanation)

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 3:31 PM

I know no one was complaining when Tajh Boyd would hit Sammy Watkins or Nuk on a quick screen and have them jet ahead for about 8 yards a pop.

OP is right though. It may look like a busted play a lot of times, but it does spread the defense and keep them on their heels. Although, I still am a little suspect on playcalling/substitutions overall, but Clemson has certainly opened pandora's box for the running backs.

Re: SCREEN PASSES EXPLAINED (Lengthy Explanation)

Posted: Oct 12, 2018 10:51 PM

I will take the run up the gut for 3 to start the drive please.

Don’t fool yourselves- this is the default when ScElliott is not sure what to call. I love these guys but they have to use this call when they have opened up the field with the vertical pass game.

I do not necessarily hate the play but I do not like the number of times that we call it. It has resulted in an ineffective play 80% of the time it is called. Also Ross might need to be in there when we run it for his physicality.

WR's Must Block It Well To Be Effective.

Posted: Oct 12, 2018 11:29 PM

Reading through the comments I did see comments about # of WR's blocking but not how they must be good at it. Mike Leach in his Air Raid system might bench a WR who misses a block for his fellow WR on those plays. Good blocking on the perimeter is critical for the success of those plays!
WR's must get better and if they can't our talented and very knowledgeable Co-OC's must find something else or coach them up until they get better at blocking it. Hey they will sit a talent like Feaster, Etienne or Lynn J b/c they can't pass pro. A WR who can't block on plays that require him to be a blocker needs to sit and think about it on the bench. This will only help the young Tigers WR's as they go to the NFL. Hines Ward made a career out of being one of the best blocking WR's the game has ever seen. The next level requires it and in order for screens to work the WR group has to get better! I also agree with poster who said, "when KB would run a bubble screen he got the ball out too late"! So true! When it's done for significant yards "IT HAPPENS QUICKLY"! Doing it slowly allows the defense to react! That DB should not know if your going out for a route or blocking him "UNTIL IT'S TOO LATE"!

Agree. Ditch Slow Developing Pitch Play Too!

Posted: Oct 12, 2018 11:31 PM

That slow developing two handed pitch to the RB has probably gained a total of 3 yards! Really wish that one would hit the bone yard already! A traditional sweep please over that thing! I was told it is a RPO and the QB has the option to throw it? Anybody know if that's the case?

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