As a tempo offense, Rose-Hulman Institute struggled with keeping rhythm on incomplete passes and short gains. It also found that continuing to play fast while protecting a late lead can allow the opposition to get back into the game. So this season offensive coordinator Brian White and his staff integrated a shift and motion package, which allowed them give the threat of snapping the ball by lining up quickly, only to change the picture that the defense sees. It gave defenses a very short period of time to diagnose the original formation, then the new formation, and make their calls and adjustments accordingly. The Fighting Engineers averaged over 475 yards per game this season. Find out here...
By Brian White
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (IN)
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Our offense is based on playing fast. We want to snap the ball as quickly as possible as often as possible. In a play fast offense, success breeds success, meaning that first downs must be achieved in order to keep up the pace and continue to snap the ball quickly. For example, we find it ineffective to use a Green Word, or 1-word play call, after an incomplete pass or rush for a short gain. Another issue that all play fast offenses must addresses is how to attack the defense during a four-minute drive. Our staff has found out the hard way that continuing to play fast while protecting a late lead can sometimes allow the opposition to get back into the game. On the other hand, the unfamiliar mechanic of calling plays from huddle and approaching the line of scrimmage deep into the play clock can disrupt the rhythm and execution of your own offense.
With these two thoughts in mind, a major addition to our offensive package this season was the use of shifts and motions. This package allowed us to still line up quickly and give the threat of snapping the ball then rapidly changing the picture that the defense sees. One of the major benefits of this pre-snap movement was the amount of communication that the defense was forced to make. This mimicked the effects that playing fast on a defense, by giving them a very short period of time to diagnose the formation, then the new formation, and make their calls and adjustments.
We also found that the use of shift and motion was effective in disguising some of our top plays. Through self-scout, we found some major down and distance and formation tendencies. The use of shifts and motions helped us runs plays that our offense is comfortable executing while not allowing the defense to lock in on their call. This is especially useful on 3rd down calls.
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- Why all of Rose-Hulman motions will begin in an Empty formation.
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- The motion and shifts Coach White uses to protect his one and two back power concepts.
- The motion and shifts Coach White uses to protect his gap and gap read concepts.
- The motion and shifts Coach White uses to protect his top pass concepts.
- Plus game film on all these concepts.
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Whatever your style of offense is, some aspect of using pre-snap movement can be beneficial to your offense. This is especially true if you are a play fast offense as we are. Adding another wrinkle to tempo gives the unit another level of depth. From our perspective, the most important usage of this package has been in four-minute offense. They let us keep our no-huddle identity while still maximizing the amount of time we use between each play.
Meet Coach White: Brian White is the Offensive Coordinator for Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, IN. Prior to Rose-Hulman, White was on staff at Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Maryland and Hargrave Military Academy.