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Old 10-28-2018, 09:04 AM   #1
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NFL Playbook Emulators for FOF 8.2a


FOF 8.2a’s new guided playbook generator and guided gameplan generator have given us new tools for the speedy creation of playbooks and gameplans that are capable of emulating the statistical results of real offenses. I hope that this thread becomes a place for the creation and sharing of such playbooks.

As a starting point, I have created playbooks and instructions for emulating the results of the 2018 Los Angeles Rams offense and the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles offense. I’ve also included instructions on how to do this yourselves, because I don’t intend to create playbook emulators for every NFL team. My hope is that others will pick up and run with these instructions and create and share their playbooks here.

If you do, please post in the format shown below, and I will keep this original post updated with a list of the playbook emulators that have been made available to the community.

Caveats, instructions, and explanations in the posts to follow.


2018 Los Angeles Rams

2018 Philadelphia Eagles

2018 Kansas City Chiefs
, by seanstephens

Last edited by corbes : 01-03-2019 at 05:25 AM.
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:05 AM   #2
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These are not real NFL playbooks. I have made no effort to recreate the contents of NFL playbooks. Instead, the effort is to harness the power of the new guided playbook generator and the new guided gameplan generator to create speedy playbooks and gameplans that emulate the results of NFL offenses.

For example, research shows that the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles are using a heavy package of multiple-tight-end sets, and are passing the ball slightly more than average, and when they do pass they are targeting the tight ends much more than most NFL teams. Here, it is possible to use the guided playbook generator to quickly create a playbook that uses mostly 113, 122, and 131 sets (emulating the 2018 Eagles) and which allocates about 40% of the pass targets to the tight ends (again, emulating the 2018 Eagles). The guided gameplan generator can then be used to ensure that the offensive pass/run splits produce results that are expected, and the target weights can be tweaked if necessary to ensure that the passes are distributed by target in a way that mimics the real offense.

Likewise, when the Eagles run, they’re running mostly either up the middle or around the ends. Guided gameplan generator and a bit of hand-editing can emulate these results, as well as use realistic ratios determining whether the snaps are taken from shotgun/pistol or under center.

These playbooks are intended for SP use, and are not tested for use in MP. I have made no effort to create super-awesome double-secret game plans that will work in your MP league. The focus of this project is on the single-player community, and, specifically, teaching the SP community how to create gameplans that emulate the results they are seeking.

Having said that, there are significant reasons to believe that FOF playbooks and gameplans are not necessarily portable from one team to another, at least if the criteria for measuring “portability” is optimal performance. At least to the extent that I’ve tested it, a playbook might work well for one team and not well at all for another, depending on the offensive-coordinator’s style, the personnel of the teams, etc. I say this only to mean that if you use a playbook here, and it doesn’t work for your team, the answer is not necessarily “the playbook’s lousy” but might mean “the playbook is not a good fit for this particular team.”

Nevertheless, I would be very pleased if people started sharing playbooks here that were intended to be tried in MP. A generic play-action-vertical offense, for example, or a generic run-and-shoot.

I would also be pleased if people found a way to emulate the results of interesting historic offenses, such as the run-and-shoot Houston Oilers, or the mid-1980s San Francisco 49ers, or the St. Louis Rams of the “Greatest Show on Turf” era.

If such playbooks are created, I’ll link them in the first post.
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:06 AM   #3
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1. Pick a team. Detailed statistics for NFL teams from 2016 to present are available at Sharp Football Stats - Home. All the necessary information is there.

2. Determine personnel-grouping frequency. Use this page: Personnel Grouping Frequency. Figure out what personnel groups are used most frequently for the teams that you are seeking to emulate. Here, for example, it showed that the 2018 LA Rams are using 113 more than any other team (93% of offensive plays!), whereas the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles are are using 113 much less (53%) but are using 122 (38%) and 131 (8%) more often than most other teams. Take notes. You’ll be able to adjust sliders during the guided playbook generator to emulate these outcomes.


3. Determine shotgun-under center ratios. Use this page: Snap Rates: Shotgun v Under Center (OFF). Make a note of how often the ball is snapped under center for both runs and passes. You’ll be able to set a slider for this later, in the guided playbook generator.

4. Determine playcalling tendencies. Use this page: Situational Run:Pass Ratios (OFF). Take notes about the percentage of runs and passes used on first and 10, each of the second-down situations, and third-and short. You’ll be able to use these numbers later, when using the guided gameplan generator.


5. Determine passing directions. Use this page: Completion Locations (OFF). Take notes about what overall percentage of passes are thrown as screens (behind the line of scrimmage), as short passes (0-10 yards), medium (11-20), long (21-30), and deep (31+). Get a sense also for whether the team passes noticeably more or less than league average at a certain distance.


6. Determine passing targets. Use this page: Target Rate By Position (OFF). Take notes on what percentage of passes are going to the running backs, what percentage to the tight ends, and what percentage to the wide receivers.

7. Determine whether there are any notable rushing tendencies. Use this page: Directional Rushing Production (OFF), and look at the directional frequency graphic in the lower-left-hand corner of the screen. If we were emulating the 2018 New England Patriots, for example, we’d crank up middle runs and slightly favor running left over running right. But we’ll get to that in a moment.

For now, we have what we need to design the playbook.

Last edited by corbes : 10-28-2018 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:07 AM   #4
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The concept here is to create plays in proportion to the results you wish to accomplish. If you want your tight ends to get 40% of passing targets in your offense, you’ll want to create 40% of the passes with the tight end as the primary target. If your research showed that your team threw the ball 84% of the time at a distance less than 10 yards, then you’ll be wanting to create that percentage of screen and short passes. FOF’s Guided Gameplan Generator samples your playbook. For gameplan generator to work the way you want, you must create your playbook in proportion to the results you wish to achieve.

1. Determine passing directions. Use the numbers from Step #5 above to allocate the number of passes you will create. Here, the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles pass-direction frequencies were shown in the image in the above post. Tabulate those results to come up with frequencies for screens (-1 to -5+), short (0-10), medium (11-20), long (21-30), and deep (30+). Here, plus or minus some rounding, the Eagles’ results would look like this:

Deep 2 Long 3 Medium 21 Short 59 Screen 15 Total 100

For purposes of our playbook tutorial, we’ll create 100 passes, so that these numbers represent the number of each kind of pass we’ll create. If you want more passes (like 150 passes) in your playbook, simply multiply by the appropriate factor.

Last edited by corbes : 10-28-2018 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:08 AM   #5
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2. Distribute targets. Use the numbers of Step #6 above to distribute the number of passes in each category. For the Eagles, we figured out that 17% of their passes go to the running backs, 40% to the tight ends, and 43% to the receivers. Allocate those passes above by those percentages:
Distance Total RB TE WR Deep 2 0.34 0.8 0.86 Long 3 0.51 1.2 1.29 Medium 21 3.57 8.4 9.03 Short 59 10.03 23.6 25.37 Screen 15 2.55 6 6.45 Total 100 17 40 43

Now, those numbers won’t quite work. Running backs can’t go longer than medium, tight ends don’t run deep. Round off those numbers a bit.
Distance Total RB TE WR Total Deep 2 0 0 2 2 Long 3 0 2 1 3 Medium 21 0 10 11 21 Short 59 13 20 24 59 Screen 15 4 6 5 15 Total 100 17 40 43 100

That’s fine. Now we know exactly how many of each play to create. (Again, if you wanted more than 100 passes, you’d be multiplying these by the appropriate factor.)

Last edited by corbes : 10-28-2018 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:08 AM   #6
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Before we start creating the playbook, a few instructions about how the guided playbook generator works.

First, personnel groupings.

Click on Guided Playbook Generator and look at the bottom left quadrant of the screen, for “formations.” We’ll use these tools to create plays with the specific personnel groupings that we want, as follows:

113. 113 is the easiest. If you are trying to create plays in only the 113 formation, set “use FB” and “Multiple Tes” all the way to the left and set “Trips Receivers” all the way to the right, as follows:

122 and 131. Set “Use FB” all the way to the left and “Multiple Tes” most or all the way to the right. You can play with exactly where that setting should be, depending on how many 122 and 131 plays you want to create.

212 and 203. Set “Use FB” all the way to the right and “multiple TE” all the way to the left.

221 and 230. Set “Use FB” all the way to the right and crank “multiple TE” over to the right.

104, 014, and 005. It’s harder to create these. Set all three sliders far left. You’ll probably need to hand-edit some to create more than a small handful of plays in these personnel groupings. But that’s not a bug. NFL teams are still using a bit of 104, but aren’t using 014 and 005 hardly at all.

Wait, you say, I watched the game on Sunday and I saw them go five wide multiple times! Yes, but the NFL reports these numbers by personnel, not by formation. If you saw the Patriots go five wide with Gronkowski and Sony Michel both split wide, that got reported as 113, not as 005. So, bottom line, if you want more 104 and 014 and 005, you’ll need to hand-edit a few of the results.

Second, and important to note, is that the guided playbook generator is a system of weights, not a system of absolute rules. You’ll probably get a small bit of noise in your results. Consider this a feature, not a bug, because it’ll save us some time down the road: we just need to get the rough contours right, and the details will fill in themselves.

Last edited by corbes : 10-28-2018 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:08 AM   #7
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1. Create the screen passes. We know from the above that we want 15 screen passes in our playbook, of which 4 are allocated to the running backs, 6 to the tight ends, and 5 to the wide receivers. So let’s create 4 screen passes to the running backs, as follows:

And then we’ll create 6 screen passes to the tight end (changing the target slider) and 5 screen passes to the wide receivers. If you like, you can further refine the distribution to the wide receivers by creating 2 to the flanker, 2 to the split end, and 1 to the slot receivers.*

* Let’s take a moment to observe the noise. If the game is creating passes to the slot receiver, and it picks a formation that doesn’t have slot receivers (like 122), then it’ll create a pass to someone else, probably to the second tight end, or someone else. Again, pay attention to this if you like, or treat it as noise, either way is fine, just so long as you remember that you are responsible for creating the result.

2. Create the short passes. Repeat for short passes. Now (using our numbers above) we are creating 13 short passes for the running back, 22 short passes for the tight ends, and 24 short passes for the wide receivers.

Here, we can look to the actual NFL statistics to gauge how many targets should be distributed among the FL, SE, and WR3. Right now, the 2018 Eagles, Alshon Jeffrey is getting about 10 targets a game, Nelson Agholor is getting about 8 targets a game, and the various slot receivers are picking up a small handful of passes. So, thinking proportionally, let’s create 12 short passes for the flanker, 10 for the split end, and 2 for the slot receivers. Slot receivers will pick up a bunch of secondary targets along the way.

Caution: Make sure you are using the personnel-grouping sliders appropriately. You might want to subdivide these short passes into creating the appropriate percentage of passes by personnel group. For example, you might decide to take the 12 short targets for the flanker and create 7 with the 113 settings maxed and then 5 with the 122/131 settings maxed.

3. Create the medium, long, and deep passes using the instructions above.

4. Edit out any noise you don’t want. Probably you picked up a small handful of 230 plays and so forth. If you don’t want those, delete them (right click). Or change them into 104 plays if you wanted more four-receiver sets. Be careful about how any changes affect the distribution of targets.

5. Create about 40 or 50 running plays. Move the run/pass slider all the way to the left and then allocate the running sliders the way you want. Turn QB running down to zero unless you affirmatively want QB runs. Keep misdirection plays pretty low. Again, subdivide by personnel groupings if you want.

6. Refine running plays as desired. If you want control over the running directions, maybe create 50 plays and then delete the undesirables. For example, the Eagles run the ball over center and around the ends—so I created 50 plays and then deleted most of the LG and RG plays and some of the LT and RT plays, leaving mostly LE, LM, RM, and RE plays.

Remember to set the shotgun/under center slider appropriately as the plays are being created.

You now should have an appropriate playbook.

Last edited by corbes : 10-28-2018 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:09 AM   #8
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It’s pretty easy. Use the playcalling tendencies to enter in the appropriate ratios in each situation.


For targets, set them all to 9 at first, and then check the results. Remember that the gameplan generator samples your playbook, so the initial results should more or less mimic the target frequencies in your playbooks. But actual results may vary somewhat, due to checkdowns and secondary targets. So start with the defaults and then adjust accordingly. For example, with the 2018 LA Rams playbook linked above, the tight end and the running back were both getting more targets than they do in real life, so I cranked down the tight end and running backs to compensate. It works out about right at that point. Here's the sample suggested settings for the 2018 LA Rams:


Whoops--made a mistake there. That 2nd and 10 should have been 9 slots, 3 runs to have the right ratio from the table above. But no matter, it's pretty close.

And here would be a sample settings to run a more downfield, play-action attack out of the same playbook:

But remember: the gameplan generator is sampling from the playbook created. So although this gameplan suggests "more" downfield passing will be included, the depth of the "more" is limited by the number of long and deep passes we put into the playbook in the beginning. For a true FOF7-style play-action-vertical offense, you'd want to create a playbook with a relatively higher percentage of downfield passes.

After confirming, you can check to see whether the run/pass ratios on first and second down look about right. If so, you now have an appropriate game plan.

Good luck!

Last edited by corbes : 10-28-2018 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:09 AM   #9
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2018 Los Angeles Rams

Playbook here:

Sample gameplan here:

Guided Gameplan Settings:

Sample Results:

Last edited by corbes : 10-28-2018 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:09 AM   #10
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2018 Philadelphia Eagles

Playbook here: Dropbox - corbes_phieagles.fbk

Sample gameplan here: Dropbox - corbes_phieagles.fgo

Guided Gameplan Settings:

Sample Results:

Film Room:

Last edited by corbes : 10-28-2018 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 10-28-2018, 10:23 PM   #11
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All right, these links should be live. If anyone has trouble downloading, please let us know. Looking forward to the inclusion and sharing of new playbooks!
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Old 10-29-2018, 08:56 AM   #12
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Great work, sir.
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Old 10-31-2018, 02:23 AM   #13
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this is great stuff, corbes.
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Old 10-31-2018, 05:26 PM   #14
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Amazing! Thanks!
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Old 11-01-2018, 10:47 PM   #15
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Nice work! Thanks for sharing!!!
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Old 11-04-2018, 08:01 AM   #16
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Incredible! Amazing! This is great information on how to build playbooks.

Thank you very much
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Old 07-06-2021, 11:43 AM   #17
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Old 07-08-2021, 02:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by sawblade300 View Post

It was in the last place you looked?
"To diculous again." - larrymcg421
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Old 07-17-2022, 12:03 PM   #19
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This is another great thread, thanks a lot for all of the detail in here. Perfect level of detail necessary for a new player to feel like they can get a handle over the offense they want to try and run!
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Old 07-23-2022, 04:28 PM   #20
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Does anyone have an active link for the KC offense? The one posted is dead.
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