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Offensive Play

Plays can be edited as much as you like during the training camp stage of the season. They can be viewed at any time during the season. You can install up to eight new plays per week during the season, but editing is only allowed for the plays you've added that week.

As you work to create this play, you will see the Play Diagram change to reflect your choices. If there is a problem with how any of your choices go together, you will see a description of the problem in the comments section. You cannot confirm a play that has any problem described.

Basic Play Information:

Personnel: The personnel group for the play. This is how many running backs, tight ends and wide receivers you’ll use on the play. This decision also determines the formation of the receivers. There’s no pre-snap motion in Front Office Football. It’s assumed that most plays contain the motion necessary for the quarterback to read a little about the defensive coverage.

With the 014 and 133 personnel groups, you have both a regular and a “t” option. The t stands for trips, which means three of the receivers are grouped on the strong side of the formation. With a formation, seven offensive players must line up on the line of scrimmage. The outside player on each side of the line is an eligible receiver (Front Office Football doesn’t include unbalanced lines and intentionally ineligible receivers). Strength is the side with more receivers. If the formation is balanced, then the side with the tight end is generally considered the strong side.

Formation: This describes where the running backs line up. Empty backfields mean there are no running backs on the field. In Front Office Football, running backs do not line up on the line. You are free to create personnel groups including running backs in these positions if you have a back who is a particularly good receiver. But generally this is not optimal. In a pro formation, the backs line up close to the quarterback. In a strong formation, the running back lines up to the strong side and in a weak formation, the running back lines up to the weak side of the formation. And in an I formation, the backs are directly behind the quarterback.

The I formation is strongest for running plays and strong or weak formations are a little better with pass protection.

QB Depth: The quarterback can line up behind center, in the shotgun (7-9 steps deep) or in the pistol (about 5 steps deep). The shotgun or pistol snap is better against a heavier pass rush, but it’s a little harder to run the ball.

Play Type: This determines the primary action taken on the play.

Pass: A pass play. The quarterback drops back and looks for the open receiver.

Play Action: Also a pass play. The quarterback fakes a handoff to a running back before dropping back and looking for the open receiver. This can help a receiver get open, but it also gives the pass rush a bit longer to break free.

Option Pass: The quarterback reads a key defensive player and decides either to throw quickly to the primary receiver on a short route (since the blocking is more run blocking, this keeps the offensive linemen from being ineligible receivers) or keep the ball/hand the ball off, depending on the designated ball carrier.

Run: A standard running play.

Counterplay: A misdirection run between the tackles. The blocking is designed to lead the defense into filling the wrong holes. Generally, you can’t run very many of these plays, as the defense catches on and easily gets around the blocks.

Reverse: A run play that looks like it’s going to one side, then a receiver, moving back against the play, takes the ball and runs it around the opposite end. You are very limited in how many of these plays you can run.

Option Run: The quarterback reads the defensive end and decides either to keep the ball, running to one side, or hand the ball off to the designated ball carrier, running to that side inside the tackle or the guard.

Ball Carrier: (on running plays) the player who will run the ball.

Run Direction (on running plays): The hole the player will try to run the ball into. Middle means to the side of the center, guard means outside one of the guards, tackle means outside one of the tackles and end means outside the tight end (or the area the tight end would be if he were in the formation). Run direction is also numbered, from left to right (some professional teams use odd numbers on one side and even numbers on the other side, but this is one popular way to number run direction).

Pass Play Selections: For pass plays, the selections in this section determine the roles of your skill position players. Each player has a role and a potential route. Roles can be primary (the intended receiver), secondary (the receiver your quarterback goes to first if the primary receiver is not open), outlet (also eligible to catch the pass) and protect (providing extra pass protection). Wide receivers cannot be assigned to pass protection.

The route selection is ignored for players providing pass protection. This is the “route tree” used in Front Office Football. It’s available for all players, though running backs can’t go deep from the backfield. While the numbering systems differ among teams and route variations can be significant in professional football, this tree is a good representation of how passing works in football. The route determines the length of the attempted pass. The diagram below is a strong-side tree. Everything is reversed on the weak side – for example, a slant route always goes toward the center of the field. Even-numbered routes go toward the center of the field and odd-numbered routes generally go toward the sidelines.

Play Name: you can change the names of your own plays, which can help you in constructing a game plan. But play names are not used in the game logs, nor can you see what other teams are calling their offensive plays.

Fit to Offensive Philosophy: Each offensive coordinator has an offensive philosophy. And each play better fits some philosophies than others. For example, slant routes are very much a “West Coast” offense theme and Air Coryell favors deep routes.

While offensive coordinators can run any play, teams get a slight bonus when running plays that best fit their philosophy. In this day and age, receivers have to be so precise with routes and teams have to memorize these vast playbooks, so the days of one type of play being off the table with a team are long gone. However, here’s a chart showing the general strengths and weaknesses of each philosophy:

offensive_play.txt · Last modified: 2023/05/05 23:35 by solecismic