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View Full Version : The empty backfield formation



DHSF
11-20-2009, 07:29 PM
I don't understand why the Steelers like the empty set so much. NFL network had a nice piece on how the Bengals have been able to successfully beat this formation. http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-films-anatomy-of-a-play/09000d5d81453e58/WK-10-Anatomy-Who-Dey-Not-Pitt

It seems like this tells the defense, "We are passing, go ahead and blitz us." If they scheme or overload one side of the line there is no one in the backfield to pick up the free rusher. With someone in the backfield, there is always the chance of a draw play, which requires the defense to keep one or two players in the middle of the line and not just rush from the edge. More importantly, a good blocking back can pick up any rushers that aren't picked up by the O-linemen.

I really don't like that formation.

SidSmythe
11-20-2009, 07:34 PM
Please see all my posts this week!!!!!!!!

I pull my hair out every time they motion Mendenhall out to Flanker. He's no threat out there but he's one heckofva pass blocker. You blitz 5 against an empty backfield you triple your chances on getting to the QB.

Mister Pittsburgh
11-20-2009, 08:30 PM
The formation is fine. You should run timing patterns out of it. Our offense has been retarded against Cincy and Minny this year. The safeties for both were playing deep to prevent the deep ball but we didn't run any quick slants to the middle of the field or drag patterns with Hines or Heath. Most the passes have been between the hash marks out and deep down the field.

What better way to stick it to a defense that is trying to be tough and bring blitzers than to throw a few quick hitters across the middle and screens to your RB and TE. Attack the zone the defenders are leaving to blitz.

If you look at both the plays they run the inside slant is there if the WR look quicker.

NJ-STEELER
11-21-2009, 03:01 AM
never liked it.

esp last year when the OL was letting in free men at will

SidSmythe
11-21-2009, 01:03 PM
Here's the problem:
#1: Ben hates throwing a lot of quick passes. Ben is like a back yard QB who likes to take his time for things to develop. We are not a quick pass team except a few screens. Rarely do we see slant patterns in our offense.

#2: You show 6 or 7 and rush 5 vs. 5 man protection, the odds are against the offense. Chances are at least 1 Lineman will either get beat or he will lose position on a pass rusher which throws off the QB's technique.

We are better off keeping Rashard in the backfield to pick up any free blitzers. If the protection is good, then he's a dump off option and even then Ben doesn't like that.

stlrz d
11-21-2009, 01:50 PM
The problem with the empty backfield is if the quick pass isn't there then the QB is left hanging. The WR bunch formation is the safest play out of the empty backfield.

Personally I'm not a fan of the formation. By keeping in a back the D has to respect the run possibility, and possibly even the draw. If it's pass the back can pick up the blitz, if necessary. If not needed for blitz pick up the back can then release into the flat as an option if nothing else is open.

SidSmythe
11-21-2009, 04:25 PM
The problem with the empty backfield is if the quick pass isn't there then the QB is left hanging. The WR bunch formation is the safest play out of the empty backfield.

Personally I'm not a fan of the formation. By keeping in a back the D has to respect the run possibility, and possibly even the draw. If it's pass the back can pick up the blitz, if necessary. If not needed for blitz pick up the back can then release into the flat as an option if nothing else is open.

:Agree

NorthCoast
11-22-2009, 10:21 AM
I agree. Part of play selection (both offense and defense) is creating indecision by the opponent. Indecision leads to bad things. An empty backfield screams to the defense "blitz and smack the QB" and this is what usually happens. Sometimes Ben is able to make a play against it with his escapability, but Cinci play sound defense behind the blitz. Miller should have been a huge target in the game, but was mostly invisible.

feltdizz
11-22-2009, 01:35 PM
Ben could throw the ball away like other QB's do and save field position instead of taking sacks....

Just sayin' not every time but some of the 50 sacks he takes that he says half are on him.

I know he doesn't like to do it but.... 3rd and 7 or even 4th and 7 is better then 3rd and 17 or punting 10 yards further back.

stlrz d
11-22-2009, 01:39 PM
Ben could throw the ball away like other QB's do and save field position instead of taking sacks....

Just sayin' not every time but some of the 50 sacks he takes that he says half are on him.

I know he doesn't like to do it but.... 3rd and 7 or even 4th and 7 is better then 3rd and 17 or punting 10 yards further back.

True, but it is very hard to do in the EB formation because if the D blitzes and no one is open the pressure gets there very quickly.

I don't blame Ben for those sacks.

I do blame him for the ones where he runs around forever, no one is open and he still takes the sack. That's when I'm screaming "throw it away" at my TV.

grotonsteel
11-22-2009, 01:43 PM
Ben could throw the ball away like other QB's do and save field position instead of taking sacks....

Just sayin' not every time but some of the 50 sacks he takes that he says half are on him.

I know he doesn't like to do it but.... 3rd and 7 or even 4th and 7 is better then 3rd and 17 or punting 10 yards further back.

I am not in favor of throwing the ball away on 3rd and 7 or dump a short pass on 3rd and long situations. I like what Big Ben does in those situations. More often than not he makes the play.

feltdizz
11-22-2009, 02:38 PM
Ben could throw the ball away like other QB's do and save field position instead of taking sacks....

Just sayin' not every time but some of the 50 sacks he takes that he says half are on him.

I know he doesn't like to do it but.... 3rd and 7 or even 4th and 7 is better then 3rd and 17 or punting 10 yards further back.

I am not in favor of throwing the ball away on 3rd and 7 or dump a short pass on 3rd and long situations. I like what Big Ben does in those situations. More often than not he makes the play.


we win 60% of our games anyway so I think the real question is this..

does the chances Ben takes or sacks he takes trying to extend plays make BA and our O look worse than it is or better than it is?

Just seems like Ben gets all the glory and BA gets all the blame..