Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by bdub, Dec 15, 2010.
From a "sim" point of view how many plays and formations should a person use during a game?
Good question. I don't know that I have an answer exactly, but I'd like to hear what the guys have to say. For me, it has to do with use versus overuse. Where you draw the line between these two words - that's you answer. But it'll be different for everyone.
Most of the time, I run a two back offense, at least if I'm not in an obvious passing situation. In my playbook, this gives me three I forms, three strong sets, and a weak set for the majority of my plays. I use the ACE sets, but not all that often, and I run some shotgun, but not all that often, and typically not on first or second down. I'll run a large number of plays out of each set, but I don't typically line up in every formation I have.
I think it has to do with running "go-to" plays. We can't make 11 guys react how we want them to, nor can we tell them what's coming, so, at times, repetition can simply take us apart, which is why guys don't like repetitive playcalling, and also why they sometimes call plays repetitively.
The only plays I think are immune to this are run calls. Counter aside, I think you should be able to line up and run at a guy however you like. There simply aren't that many choices, so going Iso, stretch, power, counter, rinse & repeat, should be OK with everyone. At least that's what I think.
I try to go about 10 formations in my book. In each of those I have at least 3 plays that I am really confident with. Obviously my Ace sets and I sets I have many more due to the run plays.
What you want to watch out for is running the same formation time and again when you are winning, or in a tight game. If you are behind sometimes you have to go to a single formation due to the nature of the situation.
I think some of it might depend on what style of offense you run. Personally I run Air Raid so really their isnt a huge variety of formations in the Air Raid books, and most formations are nearly the same.
One thing I run into is when I start getting an opponent off balance, I will keep hitting 9 or 10 plays from 2 or 3 formations. Not sure that is acceptable but I do think its border line and something I need to work on.
Throw out formations and name how many different plays total you run. Ex. Iso out of 3 formations counts as 3 plays.
That will give us a better idea of where you are at.
Throughout a game probably 20 plays.
So it is safe to say then that you run each play about 3 times on average. Which doesn't necessarily happen, we will more than likely run several plays 1 time and others about 5 times, it is all relative to our success on the play.
I would suggest (again I am far from perfect myself so I have done this to help myself) going into practice and working on some new plays to vary things. OM had a post a couple of weeks ago about his practice regime, and I have adopted it and I now feel comfortable running about 8 new pass plays.
Yeah I agree, practice time is critical. I am still trying to learn the BYU playbook so there are formations I never use in game that I really need to work on.
Talking Air Raid for a moment.
There are essentially six routes combos you will run out of the Air Raid. They are Shallow Cross, Mesh, Stick, Screen, Y Corner, and Smash. Each of these combos come in a pretty big variety of plays though. With Shallow Cross there is Y Shallow, Z Shallow, H Shallow, and X Shallow. They send different recievers on the shallow cross routes and have different routes run on the outside of the cross but still essentially the same thing. With Mesh you have different Mesh looks from different formations with outside recievers running different routes. On a Stick you have variety as well with slants on the weak side and a stick on the strong side, slant and slant out on the weak with stick strong, post weak with bubble stick strong, etc.
The point is Air Raid might only use a small number of plays but there is a large variety of how those plays are run.
As for formations the Air Raid basically has two formations. They are the 2x2 (2 WRs on each side of the field) and 3x1 (3 WRs one side and 1 WR other side.) Sure there are differences in which WR lines up on the line and which is lined up a step behind the line and what side of the QB the HB is on but it is really just 2 different looks you offer with the Air Raid.
Chances are someone running the Air Raid will likely line up 60-70% in a 2x2 look and 30-40% in a 3x1 look. As for play calling, as long as you are using all the pass combinations then I'd say your play calling is diverse enough. The Air Raid isn't an offense that can throw a lot of different looks at the defense.
As for me, I run most of my first and second downs from the I (with some Ace on 2nd and long) then go shotgun on most 3rd down passing situations and Ace on 3rd and short. I use my three I formation sets (I-Normal, I-Twin, I-Tight) and one of my Strong sets (Strong Close). I don't use Weak-Normal that often but will bust it out on occasion. In the Ace I have two sets with 2 TEs and use those on some 1st downs and some 2nd downs. I rarely use my 3 WR 1 TE Ace sets (Y Trips and Slot Flex I think) but will come out in Ace Bunch and Ace Snuggs. Out of Shotgun I use all the sets (though rarely the empty backfield one.) All in all I'm using about 16 formations regularly. I have 6-10 plays in each formation that I feel 100% comfortable running in the right situation.
I don't go into practice mode and have plays memorized. I go by what is going on in the game. I am a run first guy. I try to balance out everything. I don't like when people do one thing or even just a couple of things to me so why do it to them. I literally try to use all different kinds of plays. With these sliders you can hit the X and Y receivers instead of the slot all the time. Which I like very much.
This is very true. I almost won the Heisman with my #1 WR last year and he always lined up on the outside. My #2 WR last year was also my other outside reciever. This year my top WR is my outside reciever as well.
Same, currently my X reciever is my top guy.
This is also one of the problems I'm having, though. In the run game, tightening things up means killing the shotgun running game. Tightening up the passing games means taking away stop routes and out routes in order to stop the slot post. I'd rather self-police the slot post, and keep these other routes in the game. If I tighten it up, these routes are only really available against some zones.
All in all, though, it feels pretty good, and we can still have bad days, like I just had at Utah.
Going into practice and learning plays doesn't mean you run the same ones at them all game. I think it is safe to say I am the biggest run first player in this dynasty. However, I use practice to learn new plays. Prior to adopting a little practice time routine I had about 30 plays I would run at you. Now thanks to practice I have added many more, and my passing attack is evolving into something to be feared.
I've gone away from relying heavily on a lead blocker, so I prefer my big ace sets. This allows me to either run or utilize my WR/duel TE on any given down. I still mix in a lot of I-Form sets, though, so you'll always see a good mix from me in every game. I touch almost every formation per contest, save for the Wildcat and my 4/5 WR sets. I typically only break those out if I'm trying to score before the half or attempting to make a hefty comeback. My offensive philosophy is to avoid predictable play-calling, specifically 3rd and long. Shotgun normal, split, and heavy formations are always sprinkled in.
I sometimes go a couple games without using my two single-back/3 WR formations, but I'm trying to implement them more. I just don't find them to be as effective, particularly against aggressive defenses. Aside from that, I really rely on an array of looks, especially against a user.
In regards to play-calling ... I'll only call the following plays 1X: TE or WR crosses, Trips/Slot Post, and motion pass plays. Although niether of these plays are "automatic", they are highly effective. And calling the same motion play in a game just looks stupid. There are MANY plays at your disposal - use them! Lastly, I won't call a counter unless I've set it up with a couple of dives over the course of the game.
Drive by comment: You should run for mayor!!
I don't see what the point is of calling a motion play only one time. If you are going to use motion you should make motion a staple of your offense to disguise what play you are calling. When I run sets that have auto motion plays I like I'll use manual motion to recreate the automotion on most plays I run in that set to confuse the defense and keep them from knowing what is coming. Motion shouldn't be a once or twice a game deal.
I think he means the auto motion crossing plays. Right ego?
I try to never run the same play out of the same formation more than twice per game.
You are correct!
What if your in a tight game with another user and you find some plays he is having a hard time stopping. Would you really never run that plaly again?
This brings up a good point:
In real life if you can't stop the power then someone is going to run it over and over and over again until you do stop it. That is basic coaching strategy.
However, with video games there are times when plays are "unstopable" due to AI intellegiance.
So here is my thoughts. IF you are beating him with a play due to his stupidity or inability to stop it. Ex. Curl routes because of his constant cover 3 coverage, or deep fades due to his secondary being stuck on rubber dingies, or the iso when he runs the 3-2-6. This is one thing.
But throwing every pass over the middle of the field and running that same pass play over and over again is a no-no because there isn't a lot you can do to stop it in this game.
Not to thread jack, but are we looking like we are advancing tonight before 9?
It's not really a law that I've placed on myself. It's more just the way I tend to play.
I have no problem running the same concepts out of different formations repeatedly against someone. And some of my formation audibles could get run more than twice because often that's the only choice I have to change a play at the LOS.
But I really do try to not run a play more than twice. Which isn't to say that I never do, especially Run Plays out of I Formations. I don't keep a record of the plays I call, so I don't know for sure. Rushing plays are tough. There's some games where you have to run the ball 35 times and it's hard to find 20 good running plays.
On a game ending drive, I probably would go back to the greatest hits of the game regardless of how often I've run them.
Sometimes I think I differ my play calling too much and it hurts me. I don't know.
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