How do you keep the defense honest, especially when you bring a bunch of big guys on the field who are normally used to move the ball on the ground? Let’s take an example from the Titans playbook.
The Titans come out in 13T Personnel, where one of the tight end spots is being played by an extra offensive tackle (#71).
The one receiver they’ve actually got on the field is veteran Andre Johnson, who runs across the field to the opposite side to try and clear out the defense to that side, and maybe bring a defender or two with him.
Mariota carries out the play fake and then delivers the ball to Delanie Walker on a tight end screen, who gets a decent gain on first down.
This is a great way to create a passing threat out of a normally run-heavy personnel grouping.
What really sells this play is the two pullers, one guard and one tight end (Fasano) pulling to simulate the counter action on the play.
The weak side blitz that doesn’t get there in time just means that the Colts defense is a man short to that side, and it makes it a lot easier for the blockers to get out in front.
Here’s the Video:
Walker runs this route better than a lot of receivers. Instead of dancing around, he gets vertical right away, and turns this into a very productive first down call, setting up the offense ahead of schedule.
Having the ability to run the tight end screen out of multiple formations and personnel groupings gives your opponent something else they have to worry about. It’s a low-risk, high-reward approach that can turn into a big play if the defense doesn’t flow to the play and pursue properly.
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