Coach Will Stein comes from a school of offense that is very creative, and at times even tricky — as illustrated by the throwback screen we studied a few weeks ago, and the tricks don’t stop there. His offense has roots that go back to Coach Gus Malzahn’s system, which includes one of his favorite trick plays. The play itself has been called a few different things by different coaches, but for the sake of this article, we’ll call it the Tight End Slip.
As the name suggests, the Tight End Slip is used to get the ball to the TE, but in a deceptive way. Like with most of the trickier plays in the Malzahn-style offense, the unit will start out in the huddle. At first, you’d think that only huddling for trick-plays would be a dead giveaway to the defense, but the speed at which they break the huddle is a great tool for disguising where players are lining.
After breaking the huddle, a wide receiver, the running back and the right tackle will all align wide to one side of the formation. This group will execute a bubble screen as a decoy with the RT running the bubble to keep him from being considered an ineligible receiver downfield.
The slot receiver and a second WR will align to the other side of the formation, pushing vertically. The slot will run his defender off while the WR runs a curl, presumably as a second option for the quarterback. The Tight End will be aligned in the right tackle’s usual position on the offensive line and is tasked with running the skinny post.
In the clip above, you’ll notice that the defense is in a Cover-1 look with a linebacker playing robber/spy underneath. The single high safety aligns over the “three-receiver” side as that is the perceived passing strength. The underneath LB is too concerned with the QB’s rushing ability, and the fact that he’s selling a bit of a roll-out, to realize that the TE is running right by him. By the time the LB catches on, the TE is in the end zone.
The Tight End Slip is yet another trick in Coach Stein’s toolbox that the Duck faithful can look forward to this coming season.
Coach Eric Boles
Top Photo Credit: Eugene Johnson
Phil Anderson, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is a trial lawyer in Bend Oregon.
Eric Boles was born and raised in Central Ohio, 25 minutes outside of the capital of Columbus. He was raised in a University of Michigan sports household, but at a young age, converted over to the Oregon Ducks. Eric has a degree in Psychology from The Ohio State University, and had started a second degree in Middle Childhood Education. He is also the author of one, soon to be more, children’s book.
Eric had served as an assistant wide receivers coach for the Central Ohio Technical College football program. Now he assists with the football camp provided by his local YMCA’s day camp.
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