Here’s Bill Belichick Talking about the Play-Action Pass

What makes a play-action pass successful and deadly? Is it the success of the offense up to that point in the game to run the football, or is a successful play-action pass more of a singular event? Does its effectiveness or lack thereof depend entirely on what happens during the play itself?

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No doubt both factors influence a defensive player, but Bill Belichick had some interesting thoughts on this topic at the beginning of January. Talking about the design of the play itself, Belichick believes that the success of a play-action pass is largely dependent on the play design and the execution by not just the men in the backfield, but also by the big guys up front:

“I would say that most defensive players get their keys from the offensive line and the tight end. Now, unless there’s no fake at all, which sometimes you see a quarterback fake this way and the (running) back go the other way and you’re like, ‘What’s the point?’ But if there’s any kind of legitimate mesh at all, I would say that the bigger key to the play is the action of the offensive line and the tight end more so than the quarterback and the back.

“Although the quarterback and the back can certainly help the play — I’m not saying that — but no matter what they do, if it’s not tied in with the line of scrimmage: the pad level of the offensive linemen, the aggressive nature like it would be in a running play then I think that the two just don’t mesh and a good defensive player will be able to recognize that. It’s a combination of all those things.”

You can read the whole thing here.

(Credit @NFLosophy on Twitter for tweeting this out earlier.)


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