I am finally done with one of my favorite plays from victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving day. I have to give kudos to Kyle Shanahan for the play calling sequence. Two plays prior The Redskins ran Alfred Morris for 12 yards up the middle out of this same formation. Kyle came right back with a designed shot play so lets take a look and see how it developed.
Pistol Formation: Queen Pro motioned into Diamond Formation
Redskins come out and show “Queen Pro” pistol formation. Queen pro is when the TE is on the line opposite side of the two back set in the backfield.Logan Paulsen will then motion down into a “diamond” formation with Robert Griffin III in the middle of his FB,TE,and HB.The Diamond formation places 9 offensive players inside the tackle box which gives you numbers in the run game and spacing on the outside for the pass game. The Cowboys stay in their cover 2 shell following motion which gives the Redskins 9 vs 7 in the box.
The Redskins will show run action with Their OL and pulling TE from the backfield.Hankerson and Robinson will release and run directly at the safeties.
Post snap we see how the blocking sets up. Trent Williams jumps out on D.Ware while the rest of the OL zones off to the right. The right DE is the “Read’ defender and is left unblocked initially. D.Young comes through the hole to cut down the DE, Paulsen pulling across the backfield helps sell the run action to the defense. Logan will end up filling in the open gap in pass pro vacated by the LG.
The Cowboys have 9 players with eyes in the backfield.
The far safety has his eyes in the backfield but is ready to get to his responsibility. The safety on the near hash is flat-footed and stuck in quick sand.
*As this play develops I want you to remember where the ILBS and Safety began this play
Here is when it gets fun! This “College Offense” is supposed to be 1 read which makes it easy on the QB. The critics like to say “Robert Griffin III is not being asked to read the field like other QBs” etc. I have news for you, Kyle Shanahan has designed an offense that is more in-depth than your typical “college offense”.
Following the PA fake Robert Griffin III puts eyes on his first read in the progression. At this point Hankerson and Robinson are being passed to safeties ( more on Robinsons side later).
The in cut by Hankerson invites the far safety to bite on the route, this pulls him out of deep coverage.With no threats in the flat The CB carried Robinson to the safety.The near hash safety is still in no mans land.
Robert Griffin the III knows he has the Robinson route but stays with his progressions. I think this is significant because it shows maturity as a passer. Griffin could have sat and waited for Robinson to come open and let it rip but he stayed within the offense and took the route when he should have.
Robert Griffin III gets back to his first read and lets it rip to Aldrick Robinson. I don’t believe many quarterbacks could make this play from beginning to end the way Robert did. The long play action fake to hold the defense (1.2 seconds), the athleticism to quickly get back into a three-step drop while reading the defense (2.7), A flat-footed bounce step ripping the ball 60 yards down field in stride.. IMPRESSIVE.
Over the course of that whole play the LBS and secondary were frozen in place. When they did figure out it was a pass the LB and secondary were only able to get 5 yards depth into coverage which is big win for the offense.
Lets take a look at Robinsons route real quick
Nice free release and heading for the safety
Shoulder dip to keep up his path after contact
Turn on the speed to blow past the coverage
Complete the play for 7.
College offense formations with pro route reads and routes.. Griffin III is doing more than you think.