Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Dec 2011

Installing One Play

The Washington Post takes a look at how one particular Redskins play was installed, called, and analyzed at the line in a game.

Thanks to reader Patsfan for the link.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 06 Dec 2011

12 comments, Last at 09 Dec 2011, 8:47am by Whatev


by Dean :: Tue, 12/06/2011 - 3:34pm

I wish sportswriters wrote more stories like this. And some of Tanier's diagrams would be even better yet!

by Nathan :: Tue, 12/06/2011 - 3:39pm

Yeah, the more serious football fans like I'm sure most of us are can certainly figure out the formations and action from text description but a casual fan is going to find it really difficult. Definitely would have been improved with snapshots of the play states. Good article though.

Speaking of good articles, the New Yorker's profile of Gruden was really enlightening to how much of a typical broadcast is scripted to keep viewer's interest and goes a long way to explaining some of the more annoying things commentators do during a broadcast (Jaws pumping up Palko the entire first half until he was afraid to lose his credibility).

by thenameyouusedbelongstoaregistereduser (not verified) :: Tue, 12/06/2011 - 6:45pm

The problem is with the link, which is to a print-friendly page, not with the article. The normal version of the article (http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/redskins/one-play-can-alter-a-seaso... ) actually has a huge diagram (http://www.washingtonpost.com/one-play-months-of-planning/2011/12/03/gIQ... ) linked in a sidebar.

by Jerry :: Wed, 12/07/2011 - 4:55am

As a rule, I prefer a link to a single-page version. In this particular case, the link you provided to the diagram is very helpful.

And thanks to Patsfan and Rivers for posting this.

by tuluse :: Tue, 12/06/2011 - 4:14pm

This article is awesome. That is all.

by Joe T. :: Tue, 12/06/2011 - 4:30pm

Shockingly good sports story from WaPo. I read Keim @ Wash Examiner almost exclusively now, he's a terrific beat reporter with good + fair observations.

by dsouten :: Wed, 12/07/2011 - 8:09pm

Agree on Keim. Most beat reporters just give you the quotes from Shanahan's press conference, but he has a much more detailed understanding of the game and despite his "reporter" title he does a nice job of analyzing player technique.

by Mr. Guest to you (not verified) :: Wed, 12/07/2011 - 12:01am

That was really good.

by dbt :: Wed, 12/07/2011 - 5:06am

Great read, great diagram.

I do think it's hilarious that the entire thing comes down to a single read high-risk hold the ball a long time play for Rex Grossman. Who would have guessed? TD? Megasack? There are no other possible outcomes.

by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 12/07/2011 - 12:35pm

You forgot "Hold the ball a long time, let your receiver run out the back of the end zone, and then wing it to the safety for a pick."

by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 12/07/2011 - 12:35pm

and "Let your receiver make a double move, but throw the corner route to the deep zone defender instead."

by Whatev :: Fri, 12/09/2011 - 8:47am

What about, hold the ball a long time until you're about to get sacked, then try to throw it away into a defender's arms?