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The packaged screen

Zooming in one play that is a staple of the Air Raid offense.

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

In analyzing the offense of West Virginia and UK under Neal Brown, it is apparent the screen game is a vital part of the offense.  One of my favorites is the packaged screen where the quarterback will read the direction of the Mike linebacker, then work the opposite side of his drop.

To set the play the offense can be in most any personnel grouping.  In this example, UK is in its four wide receiver one running back grouping and they are aligned in a 2x2 formation with the ball on the left hash.

At the top (boundary side) UK is going to run its standard now or rocket screen to the outside receiver. The receiver is going to take two hard steps up-field, stick his third step, then retreat back down his same stem.

  • The number two receiver is going to execute a stalk block on the defender over him.
  • The left tackle is going to pass set and ride the defensive end outside
  • The left guard and the center will pass set and punch the defender before releasing to the rocket screen side.

To the field side the offense is going to run a running back swing screen. The running back is going to stretch the flat defender by running horizontal at the snap.

  • The two receivers will stalk block the most dangerous defender to t their area.
  • The right tackle will ride the defense end out and up field.
  • The right guard will punch inside, then release outside, and up field looking to block the alley defender.

This packaged play is perfect when the offense is expecting or gets quarters coverage. By alignment the corners and safeties appear to be playing quarters coverage, meaning those 4 have deep 1/4 responsibility on passes. Since the defense has 4 down lineman, that means there are three defenders to cover the underneath zones.  The quarterback will identify the middle linebacker, or Mike, during his pass drop. Whichever way the Mike linebacker drops, the quarterback will work opposite.

On this play the Mike dropped to the the field side and the quarterback hit the rocket screen into the boundary and a gain of  16 yards.

By reading which way the Mike drops, the offense can guarantee it has a numbers advantage resulting in a high likelihood of a successful play.  For a video breakdown of the play, click the video below.