Formerly an email newsletter about all things NFL, it's now a blog about all things NFL, but mostly all things Dallas Cowboys. Probably with a dose of politics, food, and college football.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Trick play timing

Sean Payton is taking some grief about the playcalling Monday night. Whether it was too conservative is debatable, and if it was, I’d wager it was on orders from Parcells.

But one thing Payton certainly got right was the flea flicker call. It was in the third quarter, and Dallas had been consistently running the ball. They hadn’t had great success with the run, but they stuck with it. Then when they had sufficiently lulled Washington into playing the run, Payton called the flea flicker.

It seems like for the last decade or more, teams ran trick plays early in the game. It makes no sense. Trick plays, like reverses and flea flickers, are predicated not only on deceit, but on the aggression of the opponent.

If you haven’t established the run, why would the defense sell out to stop it, thereby setting up your reverse? Early in the game, the defense is thinking about it. They’re not leg or mind-weary enough to lose discipline.

But later in the game, they might be thinking only about stopping the run while they’re gasping for air. Forget about the backside if they know that must control the front side.

Trick plays can’t just be called. They have to be set up. And Dallas did that right Monday night.

16 Comments:

Blogger Rowdy said...

that was an awesome play. i was in a bar, not really paying attention to sports at all, and i looked up and saw that play and only that play. in slow motion.

as soon as the RB hesitated, i knew he was pitching the ball back. and i knew the receiver was open.

that was a cool thing to only see.

maybe it was all the stoli vanilla.

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