Single set back

Last updated
A typical Single set back formation, many variables can be implemented, but this is the basic setup teams use Singleback Formation.svg
A typical Single set back formation, many variables can be implemented, but this is the basic setup teams use

Single set back (also known as the "Lone Setback" or "Singleback" or "Ace" formation or "Oneback" or "Solo") is an offensive base formation in American football which requires only one running back (usually a halfback) lined up about five yards behind the quarterback. [1] [2] There are many variations on single back formations including two tight ends and two wide receivers, one tight end/three wide receivers, etc. The running back can line up directly behind the quarterback or offset either the weak side (away from the tight end) or the strong side (towards the tight end).

Use in the NFL

The New England Patriots in a standard singleback formation against the Steelers in 2005. Notice running back Corey Dillon (#28) lined up 7 yards behind quarterback Tom Brady, who is under center. Patriots-Steelers 2005.jpg
The New England Patriots in a standard singleback formation against the Steelers in 2005. Notice running back Corey Dillon (#28) lined up 7 yards behind quarterback Tom Brady, who is under center.

Washington Commanders coach Joe Gibbs first began using the single-back as a base offense in order to move defenders off the line of scrimmage. He found that having an extra receiver on the line forced defenses to choose their poison by either defending the pass or the run because they were not able to focus on both at once using the number of personnel that they had on the field. He also then began utilizing sets of two tight ends as blockers mainly to protect his quarterbacks from Lawrence Taylor. He believed having an extra blocker on the line would make it easier to keep Taylor out of his backfield. By using different formations and motion before the ball was snapped, he also found that he could confuse defenders on whether the play would be a pass or a run.

This formation has gained popularity in the NFL as teams have started trading out a fullback, or blocking back, in favor of another wide receiver or tight end who is usually faster and better able to receive the ball, while still helping the run game with down-field blocks. The effectiveness of the formation is further increased if the team has athletic tight ends with good pass catching abilities, thereby increasing the versatility of the formation. It is, moreover, good for bootlegs and reverses.

The Miami Dolphins lined up in an offset singleback set vs the Bills in 2010. Notice running back Ronnie Brown (#23) lined up behind the right tackle instead of directly behind quarterback Chad Henne. Brown is also only 4 yards deep in the backfield when offset, as opposed to 7 yards normally. Bills vs Dolphins 2010.jpg
The Miami Dolphins lined up in an offset singleback set vs the Bills in 2010. Notice running back Ronnie Brown (#23) lined up behind the right tackle instead of directly behind quarterback Chad Henne. Brown is also only 4 yards deep in the backfield when offset, as opposed to 7 yards normally.

A nearly obsolete variant is the offset singleback set, in which the running back is offset behind a tackle or a guard. In this look, the running back would usually be closer to the line of scrimmage than in a standard singleback look (3-5 yards as opposed to 5-7 yards). This generally would be on 3rd downs or other passing downs, with the back aligned to the side of the defender he was assigned to block. However, the back could also catch a pass or take a handoff, using mechanics similar to that of the pro set. As shotgun became more popular, teams began utilizing this back placement with the quarterback in the shotgun instead of under center. In shotgun singleback, the running back therefore stands about the same distance from the line of scrimmage as his quarterback. However, traditional offset singleback formations are still run on rare occasions, nearly always in passing situations.

Single-back offenses have gained popularity due to zone blocking and advanced defenses. There are several combinations of single back formations that are used in Division 1 and NFL football. Speed offenses will use single back because the defense still has to respect the run out of these formations since you can line up many tight ends and still have a down field passing game. Single back offenses create match-up problems in the defense. Linebackers will often have to cover receivers in passing routes while defensive safeties are used more to come up and stop the run on the line of scrimmage. Teams that run a single-back offense typically rely on quick receivers that run great routes, balanced tight ends (blocking/receiving), intelligent, shifty running backs, fast and intelligent offensive linemen, and a quarterback that can read defenses and make safe throws under pressure. Single-back offenses are more common in the NFL than in college or high school.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shotgun formation</span> American football offensive formation

The shotgun formation is a formation used by the offensive team in gridiron football mainly for passing plays, although some teams use it as their base formation. Instead of the quarterback receiving the snap from center at the line of scrimmage, in the shotgun he stands farther back, often five to seven yards off the line. Sometimes the quarterback will have a back on one or both sides before the snap, while other times he will be the lone player in the backfield with everyone spread out as receivers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Running back</span> Position in American and Canadian football

A running back (RB) is a member of the offensive backfield in gridiron football. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback to rush the ball, to line up as a receiver to catch the ball, and block. There are usually one or two running backs on the field for a given play, depending on the offensive formation. A running back may be a halfback, a wingback or a fullback. A running back will sometimes be called a "feature back" if he is the team's starting running back.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lineman (gridiron football)</span> American football player who specializes in play at the line of scrimmage

In gridiron football, a lineman is a player who specializes in play at the line of scrimmage. The linemen of the team currently in possession of the ball are the offensive line, while linemen on the opposing team are the defensive line. A number of NFL rules specifically address restrictions and requirements for the offensive line, whose job is to help protect the quarterback from getting sacked for a loss, or worse, fumbling. The defensive line is covered by the same rules that apply to all defensive players. Linemen are usually the largest players on the field in both height and weight, since their positions usually require less running and more strength than skill positions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wide receiver</span> Offensive position in American and Canadian football

A wide receiver (WR), also referred to as a wideout, historically known as a split end (SE) or flanker (FL), is an eligible receiver in gridiron football. A key skill position of the offense, WR gets its name from the player being split out "wide", farthest away from the rest of the offensive formation.

Strategy forms a major part of American football. Both teams plan many aspects of their plays (offense) and response to plays (defense), such as what formations they take, who they put on the field, and the roles and instructions each player are given. Throughout a game, each team adapts to the other's apparent strengths and weaknesses, trying various approaches to outmaneuver or overpower their opponent in order to win the game.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">46 defense</span> American football defensive formation

The 46 defense is an American football defensive formation, an eight men in the box defense, with six players along the line of scrimmage. There are two players at linebacker depth playing linebacker technique, and then three defensive backs. The 46 defense was originally developed and popularized with the Chicago Bears by their defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan, who later became head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pro set</span> American football offensive formation

In American football, the pro set or split backs formation is a formation that has been commonly used as a "base" set by professional and amateur teams. The "pro set" formation features an offensive backfield that deploys two running backs aligned side-by-side instead of one in front of the other as in traditional I-formation sets. It was an outgrowth of the three-running-back T-formation, with the third running back in the T becoming a permanent flanker, now referred to as a wide receiver.

A formation in football refers to the position players line up in before the start of a down. There are both offensive and defensive formations and there are many formations in both categories. Sometimes, formations are referred to as packages.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">I formation</span>

The I formation is one of the most common offensive formations in American football. The I formation draws its name from the vertical alignment of quarterback, fullback, and running back, particularly when contrasted with the same players' alignments in the T formation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">T formation</span> Formation used in American football by the offensive team

In American football, a T formation is a formation used by the offensive team in which three running backs line up in a row about five yards behind the quarterback, forming the shape of a "T".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">American football positions</span> Specific roles that players take in American football

In American football, the specific role that a player takes on the field is referred to as their "position". Under the modern rules of American football, both teams are allowed 11 players on the field at one time and have "unlimited free substitutions", meaning that they may change any number of players during any "dead ball" situation. This has resulted in the development of three task-specific "platoons" of players within any single team: the offense, the defense, and the so-called 'special teams'. Within these three separate "platoons", various positions exist depending on the jobs that the players are doing.

The triple option is an American football play used to offer several ways to move the football forward on the field of play. The triple option is based on the option run, but uses three players who might run with the ball instead of the two used in a standard option run.

In American football, a play is a close-to-the-ground plan of action or strategy used to move the ball down the field. A play begins at either the snap from the center or at kickoff. Most commonly, plays occur at the snap during a down. These plays range from basic to very intricate. Football players keep a record of these plays in a playbook.

The pistol offense is an American football formation and strategy developed by coaches Michael Taylor of Mill Valley, California and popularized by Chris Ault while the latter was head coach at the University of Nevada, Reno. It is a hybrid of the traditional shotgun and single back offenses. In the pistol offense, also commonly referred to as the "pistol formation", the quarterback lines up four yards behind the center, which is much closer than the seven-yard setback in a traditional shotgun formation. The running back then lines up three yards directly behind the quarterback, which is in contrast to the shotgun, where they are beside each other. It is argued that the position of the quarterback in the pistol formation strikes an advantageous compromise: the quarterback is close enough to the line of scrimmage to be able to read the defense, as with run situation sets such as the I formation, but far enough back to give him extra time and a better vision of the field for passing plays, as in the shotgun. The pistol formation is thus very versatile, particularly if the quarterback himself is a threat to run the ball, which makes it difficult for the defense to correctly anticipate the play. This flexibility is enhanced by the option, where the quarterback reads one or more defenders and reacts to their responses to the snap, then makes a rapid decision whether to hand off the ball to the running back or keep it and run himself.

In American football, Air Coryell is the offensive scheme and philosophy developed by former San Diego Chargers coach Don Coryell. The offensive philosophy has been also called the "Coryell offense" or the "vertical offense".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pro-style offense</span> NFL-style American football offensive scheme

A pro-style offense in American football is any offensive scheme that resembles those predominantly used at the professional level of play in the National Football League (NFL), in contrast to those typically used at the collegiate or high school level. Pro-style offenses are fairly common at top-quality colleges but much less used at the high school level. The term should not be confused with a pro set, which is a specific formation that is used by some offenses at the professional level.

The following terms are used in American football, both conventional and indoor. Some of these terms are also in use in Canadian football; for a list of terms unique to that code, see Glossary of Canadian football.

In American football, a back is a player who plays off of the line of scrimmage. Historically, the term "back" was used to describe multiple positions on offense and defense, although more descriptive and specific position naming is now common. Thus, "back" can refer to positions including:

The run and shoot offense is an offensive system for American football which emphasizes receiver motion and on-the-fly adjustments of receivers' routes in response to different defenses. It was conceived by former high school coach Glenn "Tiger" Ellison and refined and popularized by former Portland State offensive coordinator Mouse Davis.

References

  1. Staff, Xs Os. "Singleback | Offense | Offensive Formations" . Retrieved 2022-06-16.
  2. "Ace Formation - Ace Offensive Scheme - Ace Formation Football" . Retrieved 2022-06-16.