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DEL Time: 09:46
 
The other help pages provide general information for playing the game. To keep those pages simple and easily understandable, some detailed information was removed and is on this page. Note that this is not a comprehensive tutorial page; it merely gives some in-depth information that advanced coaches will find useful but that beginning coaches may find overwhelming (when added to everything else needed to play the game).
Defining Offense Packages

Setting your own offensive packages allows for the ultimate in control. It is also quite complex (and somewhat unnecessary, since library packages do a pretty good job), which is why it is relegated to this advanced topics page.

Each offensive package is a set of plays run out of a single formation. The formation is defined as follows:

  • Backfield: no backs, single TB, single FB, split backs, I, wishbone, and power I.
  • Wide receivers: equal number on each side (only if an even number of WRs), extra WR on weak side, or extra WR on strong side.
  • Tight ends: none, strong TE only, or strong and weak TEs.
  • QB alignment: under center or shotgun.

The core of the package is the plays that can be run out of this formation. Each play is defined with the following options:

  • Usage of the play, relative to similar plays. The usage can be adjusted based on if you are ahead or behind.
  • Amount that players are allowed to alter the play during the game. This is analagous to the option in the playbook screen; the value specified here will override the situation setting unless set to "default". This is useful for plays like draws, where you likely want the runner to have more leeway in choosing his hole.
  • The play type. Running plays can be normal runs, draws, trap/misdirection, reverses, or options. Passing plays can be normal, play-action, or screens. Note that a play defined as a play-action will also be used as a normal pass, saving you the burden of defining duplicate plays. Likewise a run defined as a trap/misdirection will also be used as a normal run.
  • The runners or receivers. Up to three receivers can be specified on any play except a screen; the number of runners depends on the play type. Most player selections are self-explanatory; however if you have two WRs on the same side they are given numbers with the lower number meaning the outside WR. Each runner/receiver is assigned a route.
  • Special play usage. In addition to the play usage, you can set a play to be used half as much or never depending on the situation and down. Additionally, you can set a play to be used half or never when in your own red zone or near your own goal line; this is usually done to limit the calling of risky plays like screens in such situations.

There are a few limitations for the plays. A QB may not be a receiver, obviously. Two runners must be listed for a reverse, and two or three for an option; otherwise in a running play only one runner may be listed. All players in an option have to run routes adjacent to the QB's route. Aside from the second runner in a reverse, all runners have to be QB, TB, or FB. A reverse must have the first player running a sweep to the side of the second, with a WR then running to the other side (middle, tackle, or sweep).

Before the play, the defense will attempt to guess what play you are running, based on the package being called. Thus it is best to have a large variety of plays available from each package to keep the defense honest.

Glossary of Formations

  • I formation: two backs, both directly behind the QB. The FB lines up in front of the TB.
  • Shotgun: rather than taking a drop, the QB starts lined up about 5 yards off the line and takes the snap there. A shotgun allows a QB to avoid the pass rush, but makes it harder to run.
  • Split backs: two backs, both behind the QB, with the FB on the strong side and the TB on the weak side.
  • Wishbone: a three back set, with one back lined up close to the QB, directly behind him. The other two are lined up behind and to either side of the first back.
Glossary of Run Terms
  • Draw: a run that is disguised as a pass play. The linemen usually fall back as if pass blocking. Draw plays are most effective in passing situations; hopefully the linebackers and safeties will see the linemen fall back and drop into coverage.
  • Misdirection: a run in which the runner goes the other direction as the line. The attempt is to confuse the linebackers.
  • Option: while the play is being executed, the QB decides whether to run the ball himself or pitch it to one of the other runners.
  • Off-tackle: a run between the guard and tackles. (We realize that this isn't the normal usage of this term; however this is the definition used in DEL.)
  • Reverse: the initial runner hands the ball off to a receiver running the other direction.
  • Sweep: a run around the line. Again, not all DEL sweeps are true sweep plays, where a runner sprints to the sideline until he is past all defenders; a DEL sweep only means that the run is around the end of the line.
Glossary of Pass Terms
  • Corner route: a long route where you run downfield, then slant outside to the corner.
  • Curl routes: run a given distance and then curl in or out by turning to that side and finally curling back towards the QB.
  • In route: the receiver runs downfield and then cuts straight in. Quick in is a shorter version.
  • Out route: the receiver runs downfield and then cuts straight out. Quick out is a shorter version.
  • Play-action: the QB fakes a handoff to the running back, but keeps the ball and continues the play. The goal is to fool those defenders (usually LBs) with both pass and run assignments into playing the run.
  • Post route: a long route where you run downfield then slant in. A modification is the post-corner route, where you start into the post but then slant outside to the corner.
  • Quick dump: a "route" where the QB throws the ball to the receiver a few yards behind the line of scrimmage.
  • Rollout: the QB will start running either strong or weak immediately after getting the ball.
  • Screen pass: a pass to a receiver well behind the line of scrimmage. Usually you free a couple linemen to block for this receiver after he has caught the ball, counting on the QB to pass the ball before he gets knocked down. A screen pass always uses a quick dump, regardless of the indicated route.

Notes on Package Construction: Variety is the name of the game. In order to keep the defense off-balance, you want to do as many different things as possible out of your formation. Library packages contain at least one of every type of play. While this is preferable, you at least will want to have a sufficiently large number of plays out of each set so that the defense can't guess the play based on your formation. For example, running 4-WR sets on all pass plays and power-I on all run plays would be disastrous. However, it is more subtle than that. The computer tracks the holes run through per rushing set; if you always run a strong sweep from a split backfield and always run up the middle from an I formation, you will find the defense ready for your plays. It also tracks which receivers are used; if you never throw to your FB, the other receivers will get extra attention. So it is in your best interest to build a full repertoire of plays out of each set you are using. You can also attempt to use the adjustments against your opponent. A weakside sweep or long pass to a RB or TE is a play that isn't going to be a mainstay of any offense, but can pick up lots of yards if only used once or twice in a game. This isn't to say that you should run 50% and pass 50% from every formation and in every situation. However, it does mean that you never want a formation from which you run or pass 100% of the time.

If you are going to the trouble of defining your own packages, you want to design plays that will exploit your team's talents. Another consideration to make is the speed of your WRs. You may have one starting WR that is fast and another that is not. In this case, set your side preference to "top man strong" or "top man weak" to ensure that you know which side each is on and set your WR routes accordingly.

You should be especially creative if you have players with unusual skills, since this can lead to gross mismatches with the defense. I have had a TB with a speed of 10 and receiving ability of 7, for example - in other words, the skills of a fast WR. My favorite thing to do was make him the #3 strongside receiver, which would almost certainly guarantee a linebacker in coverage (and would give the ILB in 2-deep man coverage), and run him on deep routes down the middle. I have also had very fast tight ends, who can also probably draw a linebacker in coverage and be used deep. Another example is that you probably want a reverse in your playbook; try to get a WR who has good rushing skills and use him as the ballcarrier by placing him on a specific side of the formation. Having a FB who is fast and an excellent rusher helps you mix up the running game more than you could with a blocking-only FB. In general, without sacrificing the primary skills required at each position, you will want to be on the lookout for players who could play more than one position and exploit their secondary skills.


Defining Defense Packages

As with offensive packages, defining defensive packages allows you to determine exactly what formations and coverages your team uses. Each package is a set of defensive "plays" based on a single formation. The formation is defined as follows:

  • Number of players per position. There must be at minimum two backs, one linebacker, and three linemen. The backs can be any combination of CBs and SFs, so long as the difference between the number of each does not exceed two. The linebackers can any combination of ILBs and OLBs, so long as the number of OLBs does not exceed the number of ILBs plus two and the number of ILBs does not exceed the number of OLBs plus one. Finally, the line must have at least two DEs and one DT, with the difference between the number of DE and DT being no more than one. In other words, if you want five linemen, it must be 3 DT and 2 DE or vice versa; you may not have 4 DT and 1 DE or 1 DT and 4 DE. These restrictions are primarily in place because the game was not designed to handle extreme formations like 11 linemen.
  • The shift of the front: 46 (heavy weak), weak, none, strong, or mirror 46 (heavy strong). The shift refers to adjustments of the linemen; linebackers shift the opposite way to keep a balanced formation. A small shift moves only the interior players (DT and ILB). A heavy shift will move the whole line, with both OLBs moved opposite the shift.
  • DL spacing: tight or loose. For the most common formations (3, 4, or 5 linemen), a tight formation means DEs lined up against the OTs and a loose formation means DEs line up against the TEs. As with shifts, the LBs take the opposite spacing. The tradeoff is largely against the run: a tight alignment gives a fairly well-balanced run defense while a loose alignment will make it hard to run outside.
  • OLB depth: back or close. If the OLBs are outside the DEs (generally if you have a tight line), choosing "close" will have the OLBs play outside the linemen, on the line of scrimmage. Otherwise they play back at the same depth as the ILBs.
  • Zone and blitz amounts for the package. Both settings have base values and adjustments for what to do if ahead/behind and what to do if expecting run/pass. Both values can be set to "default" to use the setting for the situation defined in the playbook screen.

The plays are defined by a variety of options:

  • Pass defense. See below for descriptions and notes.
  • Stunt amount: never through always, or "default" to use the value defined in the defensive playbooks.
  • Blitzers: up to three linebackers or defensive backs that join the rush. You can either specify a specific player (by position and alignment) or just ask for any player from a certain position.
  • Lineman in coverage: you can choose one lineman to drop back into coverage. This allows "zone blitz" plays, in which one linebacker blitzes but his zone assignment is picked up by the lineman. A lineman can also play man coverage, although it really isn't recommended. As with blitzers, you can specify a specific player by position and alignment or ask for any player from a position.
  • Usage: the overall usage of the play, as well as modifications for game situation and whether a run or pass is expected. Usage is only considered relative to other similar plays.
  • Defense key: you can choose a specific key for the play (run, pass, neutral, or best guess), or use the default for the situation.

The exact defensive alignment depends on the formation, coverage, and opposing offense's formation. For the gory details, click here.

As with offensive packages, the opposing team will try to guess your coverages and blitzes based on your personnel on the field, so it is best to create multiple plays with the same personnel and different coverage, rush, and blitz options.

Terms used in defensive play design

  • Deep zone: the player will be responsible for covering anybody going deep.
  • Man defense: the player will be responsible for defending a certain offensive player rather than a part of the field.
  • Nickel: a set with 5 DBs (4-2-5 or 3-3-5). Recommended for use against 3+ WR sets or on obvious passing downs.
  • Shallow zone: the player is responsible for covering anybody running a shallow route in his part of the field.
Coverage Notes: There are really only two things you control in a defensive play: the coverage and the pass rush. Here is a breakdown of the coverage options:
  • Basic man coverage: 0-man, 1-man, 2-man, and 3-man. The number refers to the number of deep defenders; there must be at least 5 more men in pass defense to cover each of the five eligible receivers.
  • Basic zone coverage: 0-zone, 1-zone, 2-zone, 3-zone, and 4-zone. Again the number refers to the number of deep defenders and three extra defenders are required to cover shallow zones. 0-zone and 1-zone are dangerous to use outside of goal-line defense, since they may leave somebody completely uncovered.
  • Combination coverage: man-strong and man-weak; both have man defense on half the field and weak on the other. Note that "strong" means the side with the "key WR" (as selected in the defensive matchups). Both defenses require 5 men underneath and 2+ men deep. These are treated as "zone" defense when applying the "zone amount" option during playcalling.
  • Double-man coverage: double-1 and double-2, which double-cover one or two outside WRs. The key WR is doubled in a double-1 defense by the worse corner and a safety; the better corner is isolated on the other side of the formation. Five men are required for man coverage in both of these, as well as at least 1 or 2 deep defenders to provide double-coverage.

For all types of pass coverage, the CBs are the furthest to the outside, followed by SF, OLB, and ILB.

You will want your coverage to be a mixture of zone and man to keep the opposing QB off balance. Either type of coverage can have deep defenders, who must be either CBs or SFs. Three or four deep defenders can adequately provide double-coverage anywhere on the field, two will usually cover the wide receivers and leave the middle of the field open, and one deep defender will have to guess which wide receiver to cover. Aside from strategy, though, there isn't a whole lot you can do as far as tailoring your defense to match your personnel. The only fact that may be useful in this regard is that the 1 and 3-deep coverages will usually have the weakside safety in deep coverage and the strong safety in shallow or man-to-man coverage.

Blitzing Notes: Selection of specific blitzers is the #1 reason why people write their own packages. The library packages are appropriately generic; here you can decide speficially who will blitz. Blitzers can be any linebacker or defensive back, but is most often the inside linebacker (who is usually larger than your other candidates as well as usually being the worst pass defender). Rushing more than four is usually reserved for man defense, though blitzing can be used in zone. The most common zone blitz involves dropping a defensive lineman back into coverage so that you still have seven men in coverage. You can also play 2-deep and 4-shallow zone, which allows for a fifth rusher.

In choosing blitzers, the following traits are positive. First, you want somebody fast and large with good blocking skills so that the blitz is effective. A linebacker probably fits this the best. Second, you want somebody whose loss will hurt your defense the least. On a rushing down, this would be a corner or free safety. On a passing down, a linebacker. Finally, it is nice to have someone who will be only weakly blocked. If the offense is running a strong-heavy formation (most do), a weakside corner or safety can sometimes get through with little opposition. The selection of blitzers is definitely something to take time on. Clearly no player meets all of these criteria; however you will need to take the time to decide who you want to blitz.


Lineup Visualization

To view the effects of your chosen offensive and/or defensive alignments, you can use the formation viewer. Please note that this tool lacks most of the "illegal formation" checks present in the simulation, so you must be careful to ensure the formations you enter are valid.


Situation Definitions

For those who want to know exactly when a certain situation will be invoked, here are the options. Situations are listed in order of priority.

  • Goal-line: normally within the three yard line; can be changed by usage setting (1:1 yard, 2:2 yard, 3:3 yard, etc)
  • Short Yardage: normally third or fourth down and needing three or less for a first down; can be changed by usage setting (1:1 yard, 2:2 yards, 3:3 yards, etc)
  • Long Yardage: on third or fourth down, normally needing more than 5 yards to get a first down. Can be changed by usage setting; changing the setting by one (default is 3) will change the yardage definition by one yard. On second down, long yardage is only used on offense if the usage is 4 (2nd and 11+) or 5 (2nd and 10+), and on defense if the usage is 2 (2nd and 11+), 3 (2nd and 10+), 4 (2nd and 9+), or 5 (2nd and 8+).
  • Hurry-up: if a field goal will tie or win: 5 seconds plus 1.5 times the number of yards to the goal line; if a TD will tie or win: 15 seconds plus 1.5 times the number of yards to the goal line. If the game is tied, hurry-up is only used if you are beyond your own 30 ("usage = least"), 40 ("usage = normal"), or 50 ("usage = most"). If need more than a TD, 5 minutes from end of game. If timeouts have been used, add 10 seconds per timeout used so far. Setting the usage setting multiplies by 0.5 (1), 0.75 (2), 1.0 (3 - default), 1.25 (4), or 1.5 (5). Entering hurry-up mode also takes less time off the clock but makes your offense less effective.
  • Red Zone: normally within the 20 yard line; can be changed by usage setting (1:15 yard, 4:25 yard, 5: 30 yard)
  • Normal: all other situations

Note: red zone will take priority over hurry-up in the first half or if the score is within 3 points. Red zone will take priority over long yardage if the red zone usage is set to 3 or more.

Because the question of how fourth-down conversions are decided, the logic for determining whether or not to go for it (aside from special late-game situations) is as follows:

  1. Decide whether to kick a FG, based on field goal settings.
  2. If not kicking, go for it if all of the following are true:
    • Fourth-down usage is set to "normal" or higher, OR you're trailing
    • The "short yardage" playbook would be used (yards to go less than 1 for least to 5 for most)
    • you're within the opponent's 25 (least), 35, 45 (normal), or your own 45 or 35 (most).


Positional Capabilities and Training

As opposed to other sports, football players have very specific roles to play, depending on their positions. Thus a player's abilities on the field and his training are determined partially by the position he plays.

Speed vs. Padding: Speed vs. size or protection (which have similar effects since greater padding lets you bang around more) is a tradeoff that is made in a player's training and in his game preparation (amount of taping and padding). In DEL, the tradeoff is determined by position as follows:

  • Fastest/weakest: WR, SF, CB
  • Fast/weak: QB, TB, OLB
  • Slow/strong: FB, TE, ILB
  • Slowest/strongest: C, OG, OT, DT, DE

Skill Sets: The second main tradeoff is in determining which skills (passing, rushing, or blocking) are emphasized and which are ignored during training. The selections in DEL mimic the usual use of players at each position. Offensive players emphasize one area and ignore one as follows:

  • QB, WR: emphasis on passing, ignore blocking
  • TB: emphasis on rushing, ignore blocking
  • FB, OL: emphasis on blocking, ignore passing
  • TE: emphasis on blocking, ignore rushing
Defensive players all practice tackling, and treat the other two areas as follows:
  • SF, CB: emphasize pass coverage, ignore blocking
  • ILB, OLB: equal weights to both
  • DT, DE: emphasize blocking, ignore pass coverage
Development: As with their play on the field, players develop their skills at different rates depending on their positions. All players work on speed, weight, stamina, and intelligence. The development of other skills is as follows:
  • Rushing/tackling: fastest for TB and defense; moderately fast for FB; moderate for all other positions.
  • Passing/pass coverage (including "PB" for QBs): fastest for QB, WR, SF, and CB; moderately fast for TE; moderate for TB, FB, OLB, and ILB; slow for linemen.
  • Blocking: fastest for TE, FB, and linemen; moderate for TB, FB, TE, ILB, and OLB; slow for QB, WR, SF, and CB.


Offensive Playcalling

The order in which the decisions are made in offense playcalling:

  1. Package, selected based on your playbook usage settings.
  2. Play type (normal run, draw, misdirection, reverse, option, normal pass, play-action, or screen). The run/pass ratio is determined by your playbook settings; the use of special run and pass plays is determined by the settings listed below. Play type choices will always be subject to the existence of a play of that type in the package.
  3. Play direction (inside/outside runs; long/medium/short passes). On third or fourth down, pass length will be determined based on the number of yards needed to make a first down. In other situations, this decision is made based on your long pass setting. Again, the choice is restricted to available plays. Note that this step is skipped for draw and screen plays.
  4. Rusher or primary receiver. Note that in rushing plays, the decision is made by the position (TB, FB, or QB); thus giving equal odds for TB and FB in a wishbone formation would mean that the FB carries twice as much as either TB. In passing plays, the decision is made by the individual; thus giving equal odds for TE and WR in a shotgun (3-WR, 1-TE formation) means that all four players should have equal numbers of plays as the primary receiver. Again, the choice is restricted to available plays.
  5. The specific play, out of the legal plays in the package meeting all of the above requirements.


Defensive Playcalling

As with offense, there is an order in which the play is called:

  1. Package
  2. Zone or man coverage
  3. Blitz or not. Note that a blitz when playing zone defense is not the same as that when playing man. A "zone blitz" generally involves a 4-man rush with a lineman falling back into coverage to compensate for the blitzing linebacker; a "man blitz" is when 5 or more men rush. (This means that you have to rush two linebackers or backs in a 3-4 to make a blitz.)


Effects of Formations, Options, and Coverage

The following data were taken from 10 games each of prototype scrimmages in CCEL. These show effects of formation combinations, situational options, defensive coverage, and defensive formation options on performance. All packages were taken from the standard packages, except for the last two sets in which the "standard 4-3" package was modified to use only one coverage or to adjust the formation.


Offensive vs. Defensive Formations, all settings average
OFF DEF RBlk %Swp RAvg %TFL %10+ PBlk  %RB  %TE %Lng PAvg %Sck %Cmp %Int  YPC
Pro 4-3 3.48 55.3 3.74 14.9  8.0 4.71 24.3  9.1 22.5 5.91  7.9 63.0  3.1 10.7
I   4-3 3.37 56.3 3.62 18.2  5.8 4.74 27.0 10.5 20.1 5.74  8.1 64.3  2.1 10.2
Spr 4-3 3.26 56.1 3.89 14.7  7.6 4.56 13.2  4.2 23.5 5.51  9.4 67.4  1.8  9.7
Sht 4-3 3.02 59.4 3.48 18.0  7.0 4.81 11.3  2.8 22.8 6.22  7.6 68.1  2.4 10.4
Wsh 4-3 3.46 59.2 3.62 14.5  6.7 4.58 39.4 27.4 24.0 4.72  9.7 58.4  4.2  9.6
PwI 4-3 3.39 52.2 3.69 14.1  5.2 4.85 39.8 26.8 22.0 4.89  7.5 59.0  4.9  9.5
Pro 4-2 3.35 51.7 3.97 13.5  8.2 4.87 24.4  6.8 17.6 5.76  7.3 60.4  3.0 10.9
I   4-2 3.45 51.9 4.27 13.4  9.5 4.70 24.4  6.5 19.9 5.79  9.0 62.5  3.2 10.7
Spr 4-2 3.29 58.6 4.09 14.9 11.0 4.65 11.4  3.7 18.7 6.11  6.7 68.4  2.9 10.0
Sht 4-2 2.85 56.6 3.75 17.2  9.7 4.89 10.6  4.1 21.0 6.25  6.9 66.7  1.7 10.5
Wsh 4-2 3.48 51.7 3.99 14.3  8.5 4.79 37.6 28.2 24.3 4.60  7.4 53.5  4.0  9.8
PwI 4-2 3.64 51.1 4.18 13.2  9.3 5.00 36.9 27.1 22.2 4.92  5.3 56.2  6.1  9.6
Pro 4-1 3.39 57.0 4.07 13.7  8.9 5.16 21.0  5.9 20.7 6.19  4.3 63.0  3.7 10.5
I   4-1 3.43 56.4 4.10 15.6 10.0 5.21 23.2  6.0 17.6 5.91  3.9 62.2  3.3 10.1
Spr 4-1 3.50 60.6 4.29 13.5 10.7 5.06  8.9  3.4 16.4 6.86  5.0 71.0  1.4 10.4
Sht 4-1 3.02 59.5 4.18 17.3 10.8 5.19  9.2  2.6 17.7 6.46  3.4 66.3  2.8 10.3
Wsh 4-1 3.51 59.0 4.07 13.8  9.8 4.94 30.2 33.2 25.0 4.39  5.2 51.5  5.0  9.3
PwI 4-1 3.44 55.6 3.69 15.8  7.8 5.17 34.3 26.6 21.9 4.46  4.2 52.6  4.8  9.2
Pro 3-4 4.16 61.1 4.48 10.6  9.4 5.05 22.2  9.7 19.3 5.64  7.0 62.4  2.8 10.2
I   3-4 4.16 61.8 4.67  9.7 10.1 4.89 22.8 10.0 19.9 6.09  8.1 65.3  2.9 10.7
Spr 3-4 4.31 67.3 4.47 11.7  9.9 4.83 11.1  3.9 19.3 6.10  7.9 69.1  3.4 10.0
Sht 3-4 3.72 66.5 4.37 11.3  9.0 4.94 11.5  3.5 19.5 5.79  8.5 67.4  2.5 10.0
Wsh 3-4 4.08 63.4 4.31  9.7  9.1 4.78 39.6 26.1 20.3 4.75  7.3 56.3  3.6  9.6
PwI 3-4 4.35 60.6 4.52 10.0  8.7 5.07 39.1 27.2 20.7 4.65  6.8 55.6  4.8  9.5
Pro 3-3 4.35 62.5 4.49 11.7  9.7 5.15 24.1  6.4 16.7 5.70  5.3 63.8  2.2  9.7
I   3-3 4.33 59.7 4.78 12.0 10.1 5.01 24.5  5.3 15.7 5.41  6.9 64.0  2.6  9.5
Spr 3-3 4.37 67.4 5.01  7.6 13.2 4.86 12.7  3.2 18.0 6.14  8.0 69.6  2.6 10.1
Sht 3-3 3.84 67.0 4.59 13.1 12.7 5.07 11.7  4.0 18.6 6.54  5.8 70.4  1.7 10.2
Wsh 3-3 4.41 61.6 5.04  9.2 12.0 4.93 36.9 27.7 21.1 4.46  7.6 56.3  4.4  9.1
PwI 3-3 4.35 60.3 4.67  8.7  9.9 5.21 35.2 30.0 16.7 4.62  6.0 57.1  4.7  9.1
Pro 3-2 4.30 57.5 4.84  9.2 11.3 5.25 19.6  4.7 15.9 5.86  3.8 63.0  3.5  9.9
I   3-2 4.31 60.3 4.89  8.7 11.5 5.33 22.2  4.9 15.7 5.87  4.5 62.8  3.7 10.1
Spr 3-2 4.32 64.7 5.20  8.3 13.8 5.01 10.6  2.3 14.2 6.22  7.3 68.8  2.0 10.2
Sht 3-2 4.00 65.7 4.86 10.4 10.9 5.23 10.3  3.8 17.1 6.10  4.7 66.6  3.0  9.9
Wsh 3-2 4.51 59.2 4.55  9.3  8.8 5.03 31.0 30.2 20.7 4.29  5.8 50.7  5.6  9.4
PwI 3-2 4.46 55.5 4.84  9.3  9.6 5.38 35.2 26.6 17.6 4.92  4.3 58.0  4.9  9.1
Pro Prv 6.14 58.9 5.75  2.2  9.4 5.66 24.7  4.0  4.5 5.50  3.7 69.0  3.3  8.5
I   Prv 6.13 58.8 5.82  2.1  9.4 5.84 24.7  2.7  5.8 5.44  2.4 65.3  3.5  8.7
Spr Prv 6.08 63.5 5.94  2.4 11.0 5.30  9.6  2.4  5.7 5.15  5.8 65.6  1.8  8.6
Sht Prv 5.49 61.7 5.73  5.2 11.0 5.81 10.7  2.3  6.1 5.82  2.4 68.9  1.2  8.8
Wsh Prv 5.96 58.3 5.37  2.6  6.5 5.72 36.7 19.9  7.8 4.81  3.1 62.5  4.2  8.1
PwI Prv 5.95 53.3 5.31  2.9  7.3 5.91 39.6 17.8  6.4 4.80  1.9 60.9  3.7  8.2
Pro 4-4 3.38 53.5 3.51 14.1  6.5 4.70 21.0 10.4 26.7 6.09  8.1 65.0  2.5 10.7
I   4-4 3.30 55.0 3.58 16.5  6.4 4.64 22.2  9.6 25.8 6.14  8.2 67.0  2.7 10.5
Spr 4-4 3.31 58.2 3.67 13.5  6.2 4.51 10.4  3.8 24.9 6.11  8.1 68.5  1.9 10.2
Sht 4-4 2.85 56.7 3.05 21.5  6.1 4.63 11.8  4.0 28.6 6.44  9.1 68.8  1.7 10.9
Wsh 4-4 3.47 54.1 3.59 15.1  5.6 4.53 37.8 26.7 25.9 4.87  9.5 59.7  2.2  9.6
PwI 4-4 3.37 54.7 3.81 15.0  7.8 4.77 33.0 28.0 27.1 5.19  7.0 59.8  3.8  9.8
Pro GL  2.46 62.8 3.00 24.5 10.4 3.80 21.0  5.7 39.3 6.39 10.1 54.9  3.6 13.7
I   GL  2.50 65.4 3.30 24.4 11.4 3.89 16.3  5.0 36.8 6.97  8.6 58.2  2.3 13.7
Spr GL  2.49 65.9 3.52 22.7 12.1 3.47 11.3  4.4 37.5 5.79 12.3 62.0  3.2 11.6
Sht GL  2.07 66.3 3.04 28.1 10.4 3.62 12.2  3.5 36.4 6.36 13.0 63.0  3.1 12.5
Wsh GL  2.40 65.1 2.91 25.1 10.0 3.62 29.6 14.0 44.6 5.02 11.3 47.5  4.2 13.0
PwI GL  2.60 64.7 2.93 25.3  9.2 3.87 30.9 11.7 38.5 5.61  9.3 52.3  3.7 12.6

Pro-set vs. 4-3, min (-) and max (+) settings
OPTION RBlk %Swp RAvg %TFL %10+ PBlk  %RB  %TE %Lng PAvg %Sck %Cmp %Int  YPC
FBrun- 3.37 56.1 3.86 12.0  7.1 4.59 24.8 10.8 21.0 6.08  8.2 66.0  3.2 10.6
FBrun+ 3.42 54.0 3.59 15.4  6.1 4.69 27.2  8.6 23.1 5.55  7.8 63.1  3.6 10.1
MdRun- 3.45 75.3 3.44 13.3  5.8 4.74 25.6  9.8 24.1 5.96  7.7 63.3  3.7 10.6
MdRun+ 3.40 36.9 3.69 13.8  7.1 4.70 21.1 10.0 22.9 6.15  7.8 64.3  2.8 10.8
TEpss- 3.34 54.5 3.70 14.6  6.9 4.73 28.8  6.1 22.5 6.00  7.4 64.2  1.8 10.6
TEpss+ 3.38 54.9 3.71 13.9  6.9 4.74 24.3 15.4 20.6 5.84  7.9 64.0  2.8 10.5
RBpss- 3.21 55.1 3.57 15.3  6.6 4.64 19.4 14.6 23.9 5.58  8.2 60.8  1.7 10.6
RBpss+ 3.36 54.3 3.72 14.2  8.2 4.73 31.8  9.4 23.1 6.22  7.2 65.7  2.5 10.6
LngPs- 3.44 52.4 3.79 14.0  7.2 4.76 27.1 10.3 17.1 6.02  7.2 66.9  1.8 10.2
LngPs+ 3.41 57.5 3.47 18.2  6.7 4.88 26.3  9.7 26.3 5.71  5.2 60.9  3.3 10.3
 Draw- 3.58 59.5 3.75 10.6  7.0 4.55 23.3  9.4 21.7 5.34  8.6 60.5  3.0 10.2
 Draw+ 2.86 48.8 3.51 19.9  7.2 4.89 27.6 10.6 24.5 6.41  6.6 67.5  2.5 10.6
Misdr- 3.01 54.3 3.69 14.0  8.5 4.82 25.5  9.9 21.5 6.15  6.8 68.0  2.2 10.1
Misdr+ 3.61 54.6 3.69 14.8  7.5 4.70 26.7 12.1 23.7 5.96  9.1 65.8  2.8 10.5
Revrs- 3.04 52.7 3.61 16.0  6.3 4.69 26.6 12.7 23.8 6.10  7.2 66.1  2.2 10.4
Revrs+ 3.55 55.2 3.60 15.0  7.1 4.71 26.4  9.7 22.0 5.98  7.8 64.2  2.7 10.6
 Optn- 3.13 52.1 3.62 15.2  6.6 4.76 24.0  9.7 20.8 6.21  7.9 67.9  2.4 10.5
 Optn+ 3.82 57.2 3.87 13.7  7.9 4.73 25.0 11.3 22.6 5.92  6.9 64.3  1.8 10.3
P-Act- 2.98 52.5 3.53 14.8  7.6 4.88 26.0 10.7 22.6 5.73  6.1 61.2  3.4 10.3
P-Act+ 3.78 57.1 4.04 12.5  9.0 4.76 25.6 10.5 21.1 5.60  8.7 65.3  1.6  9.9
 Scrn- 3.23 55.5 3.52 15.9  7.0 4.61 20.0 10.9 25.5 5.48  9.3 59.3  2.5 10.9
 Scrn+ 3.48 55.0 3.68 14.1  6.9 4.80 32.1  8.9 21.7 6.04  5.8 64.9  2.9 10.2
 Roll- 3.34 54.5 3.46 16.5  6.2 4.67 24.6 11.1 24.2 6.09  6.7 62.4  3.2 10.9
 Roll+ 3.40 55.7 3.76 14.5  7.0 4.75 26.1 11.4 20.3 5.96  8.1 66.2  2.6 10.3
 DKeyR 1.68 48.6 2.69 24.3  5.3 6.36 25.1 14.1 27.5 7.98  1.2 72.8  2.4 11.1
 DKeyP 5.92 57.9 5.23  5.9 12.9 4.28 23.5  9.1 24.6 5.32 10.4 61.8  3.8 10.4
 Zone- 3.20 55.4 3.65 16.7  9.6 4.18 23.7 11.3 25.7 6.41  7.7 62.4  2.9 11.6
 Zone+ 3.40 54.4 3.70 13.0  5.4 5.49 25.6 11.7 19.7 6.42  2.7 67.0  2.8 10.0
Blitz- 3.64 56.8 3.62 12.6  4.6 4.94 29.4 10.8 19.7 6.12  4.8 65.9  2.3 10.1
Blitz+ 3.22 54.6 3.59 17.3  8.8 4.61 21.5  8.7 26.2 6.51  8.3 63.8  3.4 11.7
Stunt- 2.56 53.5 3.34 16.3  5.5 4.90 23.7  9.9 18.6 6.29  6.6 65.4  1.6 10.7
Stunt+ 4.09 57.2 4.03 11.7  7.3 4.53 27.3 12.3 21.0 5.35  9.2 60.6  3.3 10.4

Pro-set vs. 4-3, single coverages
COVER  RBlk %Swp RAvg %TFL %10+ PBlk  %RB  %TE %Lng PAvg %Sck %Cmp %Int  YPC
 0-man 3.14 58.8 3.59 20.1 12.9 3.74 12.1  3.0 37.3 7.28 10.5 63.1  3.3 13.6
 1-man 3.26 58.8 3.30 19.8  7.4 4.10 15.8  7.2 22.4 6.43  9.4 63.8  2.6 11.8
 2-man 3.74 55.6 3.87 11.3  4.9 4.38 30.3 13.1 10.9 5.44  8.5 65.6  2.8  9.6
 3-man 4.06 56.4 4.21  7.5  5.3 4.97 30.4  6.9  3.1 5.25  4.8 65.7  3.0  8.7
0-zone 3.72 57.0 3.76 11.7  9.8 5.31 16.4 10.0 35.9 6.51  3.4 58.3  4.6 11.8
1-zone 3.98 56.2 4.03  9.5  9.0 5.20 18.9 13.4 31.6 6.69  4.5 62.7  3.5 11.4
2-zone 3.86 55.1 3.76 10.2  4.3 5.31 32.8 16.8 19.0 5.95  3.9 61.8  2.4 10.3
3-zone 3.93 55.2 3.88 10.8  5.4 5.31 18.3  6.9 19.9 6.86  3.8 69.1  2.5 10.5
4-zone 3.84 57.4 4.23 12.8  6.8 5.21 20.0  6.8 17.1 6.78  4.4 72.8  2.2  9.9
Man-St 3.67 56.2 4.04  9.9  5.3 4.77 26.3 16.9 28.4 6.23  6.6 67.1  2.5 10.4
Man-Wk 3.74 56.2 3.69 11.6  4.2 4.82 25.6 13.5 24.9 6.43  4.8 65.5  2.7 10.5
 Dbl-1 3.80 57.0 3.92 10.4  6.7 4.39 31.0 15.6 23.9 5.80  8.5 64.7  2.3 10.4
 Dbl-2 3.78 55.8 3.96 12.2  8.8 4.37 67.3 30.6 22.3 5.15  8.1 64.1  2.8  9.3

Pro-set vs. 4-3, defensive formation options
OPTION RBlk %Swp RAvg %TFL %10+ PBlk  %RB  %TE %Lng PAvg %Sck %Cmp %Int  YPC
 HvyWk 3.66 56.2 4.17 12.3 10.8 4.40 72.5 27.0 20.0 5.41  8.3 67.4  2.3  9.2
ShftWk 3.86 54.5 3.97 12.2  7.2 4.40 69.1 30.1 20.1 5.53  7.2 65.8  1.7  9.4
ShftSt 3.74 56.2 3.87 13.9  8.1 4.36 71.7 26.3 22.5 4.91  7.2 65.8  3.7  8.4
 HvySt 3.63 56.1 3.88 13.5  7.4 4.34 69.8 29.4 20.5 5.32  6.8 66.0  2.2  9.0
 Loose 3.65 53.9 3.94 13.6  8.3 4.42 71.0 28.0 20.2 5.60  7.6 66.9  2.4  9.5
OLB up 3.83 56.4 3.83 12.3  7.1 4.42 71.1 27.8 22.5 5.50  6.6 66.4  2.2  9.2
For reference, all standard offensive packages include a single TE, and would place the extra WR on the weak side when there are 1 or 3 WRs. Both single-back packages use a TB.

When testing specific defensive coverages, the ILB and one OLB blitzed in the 0-man coverage, the ILB only in 1-man, and a DT dropped into coverage for 3-man. Otherwise no blitzing (or zone blitzing) was used.

Column definitions are as follows:

  • RBlk = average run blocking
  • %Swp = percentage of sweeps
  • RAvg = average yards/run. Note that gains over 15 are considered 15-yard gains, so this is somewhat under the actual numbers.
  • %TFL = percentage of stops for no gain or loss
  • %10+ = percentage of runs for 10+ yards
  • PBlk = average pass blocking
  • %RB = percentage of passes to runners
  • %TE = percentage of passes to tight ends
  • %Lng = percentage of passes to long zone
  • PAvg = average yards per play. A sack is assumed to be a 5-yard loss, and a scramble a 1-yard gain.
  • %Sck = percentage of plays that were sacks or scrambles
  • %Cmp = percentage of throws that were complete
  • %Int = percentage of throws that were intercepted
  • YPC = yards per catch

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