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The Equalizer... 
Posted on July 11, 2014 at 10:11 PM.
A couple of guys wanted to know about my pass heavy offense, and I responded with PM's to each of them, however, it seems that there are more people interested in this scheme, so I've decided to write a blog about said offense.

I must warn you: This is an offense that has ZERO running plays - they're all passing plays - so if I haven't lost you yet, continue reading.

The reason that I call this The Equalizer is because you can build up any program with this offense. Lord knows I have - from FAU, to UMass, to Colorado to Teambuilder teams, to Idaho and I also used it with Notre Dame one year, but we were so dominate that it took the challenge away, so I moved on.

The offense is completely 5-Wide. Yes, I know, many people claim that 5-Wide is cheese. And to that I say this: You must not know football that well... I first had the idea for this offense in 2002 when watching the Oakland Raiders and Rich Gannon. This was the year that Gannon was league MVP and set several NFL records. They didn't go 5-Wide a lot - maybe 5-10% of the time, but when they did, they were unstoppable!

It should also be noted that the Patriots and Packers go 5-Wide a lot, and they've both been quite successful. In college, two teams spring to mind; Missouri and Wyoming. They play 5-Wide a lot, and Mizzou did it almost exclusively when Chase Daniel was their QB.

So... to say this is cheese is just a total lack of understanding of football. I will agree that nobody runs it exclusively as I do, but that's their fault. The offense is lethal and if you are patient and willing to take long drives... 13, 14, 15, 18, 20 play drives... the offense can and will win for you!

So let's first take a look at the formations - there's only 11 of them and you'll have to forgive me here, because the software was acting up, so some formations are duplicated - these are marked with a red X and some formations have duplicate plays, I'll address those when we get to them:





Alright, so now let's dig into the plays:



This first formation is with the QB under center - as is the next one - and there are only 3 plays. The Stick and Slot Drive are great for short gains - between 3-8 yards, and Double Cross - or Mesh - is good for a short gain or a gain of 13-18 yards, depending on who you throw to. On Double Cross I always Hot Route the "B" receiver to a Hook, it's quicker than the deep comeback and it will beat Man defense.



This second one with the QB under center has a few new plays, most notably the Bubble, the Middle Slant and the Cover 2 killer, Smash Fade. If you don't know how Cover 2 looks in the game, go to practice mode and run this play against Cover 2 and get used to how it looks... this will be a tremendous benefit when playing in a game.



Now we get to the Shotgun, which is what most of these plays are run from...

You will notice several plays already in the playbook, and the reason that I use the same plays over and over is because EA still hasn't figured out that these are football players who train year round and are in excellent physical condition. Yet after three plays, you will see linemen or WR's who are "yellow..." meaning they're getting tired. Seriously??? So to adjust to this massive oversight, I have the same plays in multiple formations so that I can substitute my backups in yet keep the same plays.

In this formation, Bunch Flood is one play that I love! The three WR's on the right are in a semi-bunch formation - if the defense is in Cover 2, then I look to "Y" on the Post or "X" on the Drag, if they're not in Cover 2, then "A" on the Out is a sure 5-yards at least!

On the Strong Flood, I always Hot Route "B" to a Hook and motion him to the left side of the field. Hot Route "A" to a Zig. Another good play for 3-8 yards!

One thing I should tell you - I always want to "win" on first down, and to me a "win" is a gain of at least 3 yards. Second and 7 gives me two chances to gain a measly 7 yards - and if I feel like going for it on 4th down, it gives me three chances to gain 7 yards. That... is a win!



The Bunch set... 97% of the time I will call the Shallow Drags, but if the D is NOT in Cover 2, I will Hot Route "RB" to an Out... another good, safe play sure to gain at least 4-8 yards! The other two plays get called rarely, but sometimes I will call them just to change things up, and since many of you play on-line, this keeps your opponent from knowing what you're running when in this Bunch set.



In this formation you have the Bubble and the Stick, but Slot Options can be a Cover 2 killer. Motion your "A" receiver to the left side - the route he runs will kill Cover 2. "RB" and "B" are your 2nd and 3rd reads...



Another formation with only three plays, and only one new one added. Curl Drag is a great 3rd or 4th and short play! It can be used on any down, but it's deadly when you need just a yard or two to keep a drive going. "A" is your first read, then "RB" then "B."



Now we get to one of my favorite plays ever: WR In... LOL... EA and their play calls... I would call this: Rip 60 V Dig... I know, sounds weird to most of you, but in 5-Wide, I call my receivers in alphabetical order... so they would be like this: V - W - X - Y - Z. It may take some getting used to, but it makes everything so easy... V and W are always on the left, Y and Z are always on the right, and X determines if it's Trips Right or Trips Left... pretty simple, and I believe in keeping things simple!

Anyway - WR In... "A" on the shallow drag is great, but if you run this a lot, you'll notice the DE to your left side may not rush, he'll settle into coverage and attempt to jump the pass to "A." And that's fine... that's one less guy rushing you! If he does this, you simply hit "X" - or as I would call him "V" on the deep In. You also have "B" on the Post if they're in Cover 2 and you have time to wait for him to get open!



All plays that have already been mentioned, except we've now added the Curl Flat Corner. Hot Route "A" to a Zig and motion "B" to the left side of the formation. Great play for short yardage gains, with "A" and "X" being your primary reads.



Pretty simple, most plays have been discussed, but on Strong Flood do NOT Hot Route "A" to a Zig, your primary receiver here is "Y." And on Slot Stick, always Hot Route "X" to a Drag.



There was some problems with the software, so a couple of plays are repeated in this formation... but know this... on Drag, "X" will kill Man, "B" is great against any Zone and "A" is a Cover 2 killer! On Under I always motion "X" to the right side, and Slot Corner is a great play where I hit the Bubble guy most of the time. You have to be careful though and READ the defense post-snap, because a wrong read means a pick 6! Get used to this play in practice mode... it's a great play!

And finally...



A Quad set with your HB - unless you change him out in Formation Subs - as the primary receiver on the Bubble. With 3 guys blocking for him, this play can be lethal!!! Drive is also a great play to use after you've used the Bubble several times!

So that's The Equalizer... an offense that requires patience... a 3-yard gain is a good thing! I can go 97 yards in 22 plays and take 9+minutes off the clock - or I can score quickly in this too. No 4 Verts either!

So... what do you need to make this offense work? Well, you need an accurate QB. At least 85 accuracy. However, it should be noted that I have had success with a QB with only 80 accuracy. As far as WR's... after a couple of seasons in this offense, QB's and WR's will be lining up to come to your school! So that shouldn't be a worry. Hands over speed, but speed is a great thing to have!

OL - They must be able to pass block and having a high awareness helps too - they'll pick up blitzers better, though as quickly as you get rid of the ball in this offense, sacks are RARE!!!

I never recruit RB's or TE's... the only time I will go after one is if they are in the Top 100 and have my school one or two on their list. This also means that they should have the following qualities:

HB - Great speed/hands

TE - Great size/hands

If not, I never worry about them. You will need 13-17 WR's... but don't worry... since RB's and TE's don't figure into this offense, you won't have any problem with that many WR's on the team. If you are starting out, taking over a team that has only 8 WR's, then use RB's and TE's until you can recruit enough WR's.

Hopefully this gives everyone something new to think about. Not many people will like an offense without a single running play, but I look at it this way... when I run this offense, I run it with total confidence. And late in the game, if I am up 34-31 and need to kill the clock, there are plenty of short passes that allow me to do just that!

It takes some guts to run this - not many people would think to pass every single down - but it can be a LOT of fun, with a LOT of records broken, a LOT of wins and... a ton of great QB/WR recruits begging to come to your school! Any questions... please feel free to ask!!!

Thanks for reading!!!
Comments
# 1 WildPotato @ Aug 2
What are your audibles for this playbook?
 
# 2 RabidPanther @ Nov 10
Awesome write up and going to make a dynasty around this playbook, but also want to know what your audibles are set to? Do you have it set for various coverage beaters? Or favorite plays?
 
# 3 Dr Death @ Jan 24
To Wild Potato and Rabid Panther... sorry that I took SO long to respond... haven't checked in here in quite a while. My audibles are Bubble Screens - left and right - and if I notice that the D is in Man, and this isn't terribly difficult, then I can always Hot Route a guy on a Zig Route... where he'll fake in, then go out, that play can easily pick up 3-5 yards or 25-50...
 
# 4 RedRaider10 @ Jan 3
Great write up man. I'm definitely going to start a dynasty and use this playbook. Not sure if I missed this but what kind of QB do you use in this offense? A pocket passer or a more balanced one?
 
# 5 Dr Death @ Jan 4
To Red Raider10 - I prefer a pocket passer but one who can at least scramble when needed. If his speed is 65-70 and his acceleration is 70-75, then that's good for me.
 
# 6 RedRaider10 @ Mar 12
I've been using this playbook for a dynasty I started with Tulane and it's the most fun I've ever had playing NCAA! I love being able to spread the field out every play and get my best players the ball so they can bust the game open. Which I feel this playbook does very well. One problem I've run in to though is that my O-Line does not play well even when they have the matchup advantage. Any tips for O-Line recruiting?
 
# 7 Dr Death @ Mar 12
To RedRaider10, the only reason I can guess that your line has problems is because it's Tulane. Like I said in the article, I go after linemen that can pass block - I never worry about their run blocking - a higher awareness helps against blitzes and size is always good too.

Say you are recruiting 2 tackles. Both have 85 for pass blocking. I always recruit ahead of schedule, so I would recruit when my tackle or tackles are Juniors, that way I can red-shirt the incoming Freshman and his pass blocking will be 88 or 89 when he finally does start playing.

Anyway, back to what I look for... if I am recruiting 2 tackles with pass blocking of 85 and one guy is 6'3" 290 and the other is 6'6" 325, I will always try harder for the bigger guy. Not really sure if that matters in this game, but I know in real life a bigger O-line is a good thing to have. Hope this helps and I am glad that you are having fun using this offense!
 
# 8 wings95 @ May 16
Good stuff. I am gonna put some of these plays in my OD.
 
# 9 hardcor2 @ Oct 7
I was looking through this and noticed you have Shotgun: Empty Spread as a formation but no plays broke down for it. Is it suppose to be in or no?
 
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