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Old 11-06-2018, 08:03 PM   #1
College Benchwarmer
Join Date: Nov 2003
More Offensive Playbooks and Guided Gameplans for FOF 8.2a

Experience has suggested that some of the best results in FOF 8.2a come from matching a team’s personnel, offensive style, and offensive game plan—the idea is to get your best players on the field and to put them in a position to succeed. The new guided gameplanning and guided playbook creation tools have given the community new insights into the ways in which personnel, offensive style, and gameplanning can harmonize with each other, and new tools with which to experiment and achieve results.

This thread represents an attempt to share with the community a number of versatile playbooks that can be used in both SP and MP with a variety of offensive game plans. These playbooks are designed to be used with the guided gameplanning tool, as described in the next post.

Included below are a number of offensive playbooks that correspond to the different offensive styles. (As of November 6th, there is not yet a playbook matching the “balanced” offensive style, but I’ll make one of those soon.) In each of the playbooks, every single one of the plays in the playbook is at least a “solid” fit for the offensive style. The interesting part of this exercise is that each offensive style has distinctive characteristics. Observing these characteristics makes it plain that offensive style should be matched with a team’s personnel, or, viewed from a different angle, team personnel choices should be made to harmonize with the team’s offensive style.

All offensive styles below assume that a team will have two starting-quality wide receivers and a starting-quality tight end. The major distinctions involve choices regarding about the quarterback’s fit in the offense, the uses of the second tight end and the slot receiver, and whether the running back and fullback are used in pass-receiving or blocking roles.

Air Coryell uses primarily 113, 122 and 212 and places an emphasis on downfield passing to the flanker, the split end, and the “Y” tight end. All five receivers are sent into routes on virtually every passing play—there is very little extra blocking. As such, a rollout quarterback might be a valuable fit in this offense, as would a quarterback with high sense-rush and read-defense ratings, and some scrambling ability. The “T” tight end and the “A” running back receive a significant number of primary targets, and the “R” slot receiver and the “B” fullback are used often as secondary and outlet receivers even though they don’t have a high number of primary targets.

Erhardt-Perkins uses many two- and three-tight-end sets. All three tight ends will be used in the passing game, and although the “A” running back will receive some passing targets, he will be called upon most frequently for his pass-blocking skills. Extra pass protection is used on almost every passing play. A fullback is used only a few times out of the 212 formation, and is responsible only for pass-blocking and a few run blocks. It might be a good spot for a special-teams player with above-average blocking skills. A third wide receiver is not as necessary in this offensive style.

Smashmouth involves heavy uses of play-action passes and is weighted more than any other offensive system towards the 122 personnel grouping. Runs are distributed evenly across the eight gaps and involve a minimum of misdirection runs. It is important to have two strong tight ends and two good wide receivers in this offense. A third wide receiver is lss important. Extra pass protection is used on almost every pass, and this responsibility falls primarily on the running back and the fullback, although there are a number of targets as well that feature the “A” back. A long-passing quarterback would be a good fit.

West Coast represents the personnel groupings used by most current NFL teams, and thus emphasizes primarily the 113 and 122. A number of targets go to the second tight end, the slot receiver, and the running back. In most cases, all five receivers are sent out into receiving routes, and most of the outlet routes are short passes into the flats or just beyond the line of scrimmage. A short-passing quarterback with high short passing, accuracy, timing, and read-defense ratings would be a good fit in this offense.

West Coast (3WR) is a variation of the regular West Coast offense, except it replaces most of the “T” tight end primary targets in the 122 formation with pass plays targeting the “R” slot receiver in the 113 formation.

Spread makes heavy use of three-wide-receiver personnel groups and generally emphasizes shotgun formations, five-receiver routes, and short passes. A quarterback with strong short-passing skills (short pass, timing, accuracy, etc.) would be a good fit in this offense. Having three strong wide receivers is necessary in this offense, as is having a good running back with strong pass-catching skills.

Spread (2TE) is meant to adapt the spread offense to different personnel strengths. In this variation of the spread, the primary formations are 113 and 122, and the second tight end receives many of the targets that might have otherwise gone to the slot receiver. Running is weighted towards runs around the end.

Spread (4WR) is very similar to the ordinary spread offense except that it makes exclusive use of empty sets and single-back formations. Even the fourth receiver will receive a fair number of targets in this offense. A fullback is completely unnecessary—there are no plays in this playbook using a two-back formation.

The playbooks are available here: Dropbox - corbes fof 8.2a

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Old 11-06-2018, 08:32 PM   #2
College Benchwarmer
Join Date: Nov 2003
Each of the above playbooks is designed to be versatile, meaning that there is an even distribution of passing targets amongst the primary receivers appropriate for the offensive style, and an even distribution of passes between short and long passes. This means two things:

First, each playbook permits game plans to be weighted to favor your preferred receivers. Unlike the NFL playbook emulators in the other thread, you should weight your receivers in such a way as to emphasize your preferred distribution of targets. Left to its own devices, these playbooks will distribute passes more or less evenly to the top five targets appropriate to the offensive style.

Second, each playbook may be used with any of the guided offensive gameplans below. Use the guided game plan settings below to create your own game plans. Be forewarned that not all game plans are good fits for each offensive style, nor are all game plans a good fit for each team. You should experiment with the different game plans and use one that fits your team’s personnel strengths. You should also feel free to experiment and to create (and share!) your own game plans.

Play-Action Vertical is an emulation of the popular FOF7 offense. It would be best used in an offense with a long-passing quarterback, a strong offensive line, and good downfield targets. It would pair best with one of the offenses that offers extra pass protection.


West Coast is an emulation of the standard NFL offense. It would be best used in an offense with a short-passing quarterback and receivers with good route-running skills.


Run and Shoot is an emulation of the Houston Oilers – Kevin Gilbride offense. Again, it would be best used in an offense with a short-passing quarterback and receivers with good route-running skills, and would pair best with one of the offensive styles that sends five receivers on receiving routes.


Chesapeake Bay is an emulation of an FOF7 offense run by a certain longtime MP participant. It passes heavily on first down with short passes, then balances the game plan on second down with a mix of running and downfield passing.


Greatest Show on Turf is another emulation of an FOF7 offense, which itself was based on the late-1990s St. Louis Rams offense. It features passing all over the field and requires excellent passing and excellent route-running in order to succeed. It would pair best with one of the offenses featuring five receivers on every route and an “A” running back with excellent pass-catching skills.


Last edited by corbes : 11-06-2018 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:42 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Many more permutations of the guided gameplans are possible, including some of the pass-heavy approaches that are permeating FOF MP at the moment. *Squints towards Europe*

It would be very pleasing if everyone felt free to suggest or post some of their own guided gameplans in this space. *Again, looks towards Europe*

I think the message here is that there are no magic game plans in FOF 8.2a. What works best is matching your team's personnel, offensive style, and game plan.

And, let us know if you find a combination that works for you!

Good luck!
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:12 AM   #4
Join Date: May 2006
This is incredible and a great addition for the FOF community. Thank you for taking the time to do this.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:07 PM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2015
this is a great initiative and great resource. thanks, corbes. nice to see game plans back at the forefront of FOF.

i have managed to produce successful passing offenses out of rex-generated playbooks, and manually selecting plays for an offensive game plan. i'm now in the process of doing exactly what you share here, which is to generate playbooks that contains plays that are at least a 'solid' fit to an offensive style. i expect this to increase the offensive efficiency unless i'm inadvertently messing up with something else.

my process for generating a game plan relies on:

1) manually adding plays to the different offensive situations based on what I think should work on those situations. or what i want to do if i want to have fun :-) make sure you have enough plays for that particular offensive situation, which may depend on your other choices. for instance, i typically have 22 plays for 1st-10-earned, since this is the typical number of first downs that my offense gets. if i expect to get a lot of 3rd-1 situations, i add a bunch of plays there.

2) i then call the offensive plays myself in SP, having all the 58-69 plays available to me for better flexibility. some of my ideas work, other not and I try to figure out why the game doesn't like that. usually it's related to personnel or number of targets for a receiver.

3) i then edit the appropriate offensive situation sections based on what i found in 2) .

4) probably the first decision that a gm must make is to decide if the roster will be built based on the game plan, or the other way around. i tend to build the roster based on my game plan, because i've only had a few that would work until FOF 8.2. it is also simpler, and easier to isolate players in the draft and FA that fit your offense (great if you don't have a lot of time available). otherwise, the choices are too many and there's a risk of not converging in this process.

5) to emphasize what corbes said, you need the right personnel for running the offenses above to its full extent and in an efficient manner. the help file contains a great deal of information on what each receiving/running/qb bar does. e.g., if you are passing heavy down the middle, you need receivers with high courage.

6) if i may add something, and i hope this is not off topic -- since the goal is to get a game plan that gives more wins, a gm must also match the offensive philosophy to the required defensive philosophy.

for instance, for a heavy-passing approach, it is a good idea to invest in pass defense as you build your roster. this is because if you manage to produce a successful passing offense, you will score a lot and the opposing team will inevitably come passing heavy at some point in the game.
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Old 11-15-2018, 10:58 AM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2007
I just wish there was a 'Next Play' button on the Offensive Play popup window.
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:44 PM   #7
Join Date: Jan 2016
I've noticed the guided game plan option dings me with a lot of familiars and has a tendency for using a handful of plays 3 times in the GP. Personally I still found it easier to just take the time to build out a GP from scratch like I was. How's everyone doing with the feature now that they've had more time to play with it?
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Old 12-11-2018, 01:33 PM   #8
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Are you getting familiars out of one of these playbooks or one of your own?
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:31 PM   #9
Join Date: Jan 2016
I used guided play generation for the playbook and have a full 200 plays in the PB. I've tried it with a bunch of plans with different compositions of short / long passing, target distribution, and more / less running plays as well as increasing the total # of plays in each section. So far nothing has stopped 4-5 plays from coming up 3 times in the plan. My first game it was a handful of run plays and I didn't check it. I started picking up familiar warnings in the second quarter it was awful lol.
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Old Yesterday, 01:39 PM   #10
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I agree that guided gameplan generator will have a few plays that are used three times. I'm not sure, though, that this is what's causing the familiars... other factors (namely, personnel group usage) seem to be more closely correlated with familiars...
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