The New England Patriots are spearheading a philosophical shift in NFL offenses by using elements of the fast-paced no-huddle popularised by Oregon and coach Chip Kelley in the last few years.They’re running more plays, faster, and it’s only a matter of time before it spreads throughout the entire league.
But to a college football fan, what the Pats run is so 2009. While Oregon still sticks to those same fast-paced principles, they’ve invented a host of new packages and incorporated a bunch of goofy plays that make the 2012 Pats look like the 1955 Packers by comparison.
Just take a look at these two plays from Oregon’s 43-21 win over Arizona State last night.
After Oregon scored their first touchdown, this is how they lined up for the extra point. They line up like this on every extra point. If they don’t like what they see, they audible and just kick it. But if something is open, they go for two.
But the crazy part is this: The guy throwing the ball is the punter (who doubles as the holder if they want to kick it), and the guy catching it is the kicker (via Gifulmination):
This is Oregon’s two quarterback package (cc: the Jets).
Bryan Bennett takes the snap and tries to run it on a QB draw. When he gets stopped, starting QB Marcus Mariota is there as a safety valve, and since Bennett is still behind the line of scrimmage, he can pass or pitch it to him for the score.
In current two-QB packages, the QB who isn’t under centre is almost always a decoy. This play if a bit of a riff on that convention.
Photo: SB Nation
You might call these plays gimmicky. But that’s what people called it when Oregon began really trying to run plays as fast as humanly possible in 2010, and now the Patriots are doing it.
Given Oregon’s track record, and the fact that other teams copy almost everything they do, this type of stuff will be normal on the college ranks soon, and maybe make its way into the NFL one day.
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