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Theoretical Football

Theoretical football is the notion that American football is an exceedingly complex sport that requires a branch of learning. Its goal is to accentuate the cerebral, academic, and quantifiable aspects of American football. - Denauld William Brown

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Defending The Best Offensive Minds Topic: Noel Mazzone Offensive Coordinator UCLA
By Denauld William Brown

This is a continued series on how to read and defend offensive formations pre-snap. We will discuss the pre-snap formations run by UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. We will also give an in-depth look at some of the formational intent that defines this master architect.

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Pro Number of running backs: 1 Number of receivers: 3 Number of Tight ends: 1 Formation Type: Female Formation demeanor: Pass

There is a precision about snap quick motions provide formation. Offsetting the Noel Mazzone that for a unique signature for running back allows for displays excellence through this master play caller. The cutback lanes on the same his formations. Every offset pistol is a great side of the backs formation is purposeful feature that really has not alignment. The depth of the and meaningful. There are caught on in the college back creates down hill three factors about a Noel game. The question that intent with maximum Mazzone formation that needs to be asked is what vision. The offset really stands out. The first makes the offset pistol visualizes the guard, to the aspect is the offset back effective? Running side of the back, as the feature of the backfield the ball without a TE is a new center and shifts the sets he employs. It can be challenge. If an offense is focal point of the running better described as an committed to running the game. offset pistol. Secondly, ball without a TE, their has the flipping of the Y or to an innovative way to #3 receiver on the line of create holes Xand running scrimmage in many of his lanes to take advantage of formations is very both the front side and important. Lastly, his pre- backside part of the

Pro Slot Number of running backs: 1 Number of receivers: 2 Number of Tight ends: 2 Formation Type: Male Formation demeanor: Run

Slot sets are featured the defense to #3 or MO, the on many of these consider? TE winged Middle Of the formation assessments. sets need to be adjustedoffensive 5 eligible They are good too, along with the slot. players are located? In formations because Now, notice the depth this case the R tilts they create leverage of the running back as the formation into the problems for a defense lower than the boundary. Why is that in almost any coverage quarterback? The significant? The concept versus the slot. question that should be chances of the ball There are two questions asked is, if there any being run or passed in that need to be asked run plays that can be the direction of the about this scenario. executed towards the wing is more likely First, will the defense side of the slot with this than not. The slot adjust with corners inverted alignment by aspect can be a over or with a spin the quarterback and distraction considering of the safeties? running back? X what is going on with Secondly, how many Formations can be tilted the formation into the basic adjustments does one way or the other boundary. It is simply this formation require depending on where too heavy of a

formation to be anything else? Not flipping the Z receiver on the line of scrimmage is a clear indication that this formation lacks multiplicity. However it is likely a game planed formation that was specifically designed for this particular opponent. The motion confirms this observation presnap.

Pro Number of running backs: 2 Number of receivers: 2 Number of Tight ends: 1 Formation Type: Male Formation demeanor: Run

Noel Mazzone is a unique thinker and a This can create confusion to a defense. master play caller. His unique ability to The F traveling behind the Y create pre-snap illusions with motion and increases the likely hood of the Y precise alignments is very unique to his being the intended receiver. The Y style. Motion is the key to this offense. being on the line of scrimmage confirms The concept of a motioning player in that prospect. Making the defense await front, or in fact, behind an adjacent a pre-snap, 3x1 adjustment, on the fly teammate really matters in this offense. can be nerve racking in a zone or man Another important feature that pertains concept on defense. A question that to motion is who the specific player is needs to be asked is if there are any motioning towards? For example the F disadvantages if the F aligned in a back, in this scenario, is in motion 3x1pre-snap rather than a motion to a towards the Y and Z receivers with 3x1? the option of motioning behind the Y.

Pro Number of running backs: 1 Number of receivers: 3 Number of Tight ends: 1 Formation Type: Male Formation demeanor: Run

Many defensive game plans set their necessarily common in any offense. defensive front, coverage, and possible However this particular motion is a smart blitz plan to side of the offset back. You way of keep the defense honest. This should reconsider that plan given the mirrored twins set is an interesting type of offense that Noel Mazzone formation choice likely prompted by employs. The first thing that stands out being located in the middle of the field. about this formation is that both inside The middle of the field in college football receivers are on the line of scrimmage. is likely when a defense with accumulate Evaluating these formations is an attemptmost of its tendencies. It is also the to accentuate the cerebral, academic, and location where an offense will have a quantifiable qualities of the game of majority of its game planed calls football. Formations, as apposed to because of those tendencies. The plays, really are to key to any success an question to ask about this formation is offense will have in scoring. A quick what are the chances that a running play motion behind the quarterback is not will be run after this specific motion?

Pro Slot Number of running backs: 2 Number of receivers: 2 Number of Tight ends: 1 Formation Type: Male Formation demeanor: Run

A standard definition of a slot formation is any formation where the X and Z are on the same side. Regardless of the type of defense you run versus Noel Mazzone you are going to require a comprehensive plan for how to adjust to slot and trips formations. Almost all of his formation threaten to end in slot or some type of trips with motion. Noel Mazzone makes you ask the question who is the most dangerous receiver in the passing game after the motion, and prior to the snap? That is a hard question to answer given the speed of these motions. He plays a great chess game of decoy and primary receivers. This is just a sophisticated way of playing cat and mouse. This is a very difficult offense to defend because its multiplicity and precision. Its impressive and Noel Mazzone deserves to be called a master play caller.

Pro Number of running backs: 1 Number of receivers: 3 Number of Tight ends: 1 Formation Type: Male Formation demeanor: Run

Great play callers need to know prior to the contest how many plays they want to run by games end? If you do not do this now then you need to start. This is imperative given the nature of the play clock and how quarterbacks are taught to manage the game. With this many motions in one offense it would be a challenge to gauge the amount of plays an offense would run. However motion is a great controller of the clock which gives way to dictating the pace of a the game to a defense. In this scenario you see the R back motioning behind the F towards the Y and Z. This type of 3x1 trips look can be considered a pseudo quads depending on your coverage concept? Given the amount of quarters coverage played into todays college game, because of the amount of running quarterbacks, this formation and motion is a quarters killer. These formations and motions give Noel Mazzone the flexibility to have success versus almost any coverage concept you run versus him.