Sweep (American football)

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Toss sweep RB-toss-sweep.png
Toss sweep
Buck sweep Buck-sweep.png
Buck sweep
Flanker sweep Flanker-sweep.png
Flanker sweep
Quarterback sweep QB-sweep.png
Quarterback sweep

A sweep is an outside running play in American football where a running back takes a pitch or handoff from the quarterback and starts running parallel to the line of scrimmage, allowing for the offensive linemen and fullback to get in front of him to block defenders before he turns upfield. The play is run farther outside than an off tackle play. Variants of the sweep involve the quarterback or a wide receiver running with the ball, rather than a running back. When a wide receiver runs with the ball, it is known as a jet sweep.

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Types of the sweep

Toss sweep

A toss sweep is a play that is usually run out of the I formation or single set back formation. [1] The quarterback takes the snap, reverses out, then tosses the ball to the tailback. When run from the I formation, it allows the fullback to pick up any defenders who have penetrated into the backfield. Blocking from the offensive line ranges from straight zone blocking to pulling the playside guard. While this sweep doesn't have as many playfake combinations as the buck sweep, it tends to be more powerful and allows the running back to turn upfield faster.

Buck sweep

The buck sweep is usually run from a Wing T formation that includes a variety of play fakes. The quarterback takes the snap and fakes trap to the fullback. He then hands off to a halfback or wingback, who runs to the outside. The buck sweep is normally blocked by pulling the playside guard to kickout the force defender, and the backside guard pulling and turning up on the playsided linebacker. This allows for the other linemen to downblock on the other defenders, giving the offense an advantage when it comes to blocking angles. The buck sweep also provides an advantage in the possibilities available from its action, with the fullback trap before the sweep, a "waggle" pass, [2] or bootleg after it, and the sweep itself.

Packers sweep

Vince Lombardi, head coach of the Green Bay Packers, was fond of the sweep. [3] [4] In the 1960s, he utilized the Packers sweep play—also known as the Lombardi sweep—in which guards Jerry Kramer and Fuzzy Thurston rapidly pulled out from their normal positions and led blocking for the running back (typically Paul Hornung or Jim Taylor) going around the end. It was an integral part of an offense that won five NFL titles in seven years. [5]

Flanker sweep

Also known as the jet sweep or fly sweep, [6] this sweep is a running play that is run from a set with a wide receiver (flanker) split out to the side away from the play, often run with the receiver in motion. The quarterback receives the snap and turns or runs toward the receiver, as the receiver makes a deep arc into the backfield behind the quarterback, where there is an exchange either by handoff or by pitching the ball to the receiver. This play typically resembles Student Body Right, in that every available blocker blocks to the playside. The variant that became popular in the National Football League (NFL) in 2018 is often run with the quarterback in a shotgun formation and the receiver crossing in front of him to receive the ball; when run in this manner using a pitch, the pitch is considered a forward pass, resulting in an incomplete pass rather than a fumble if the ball is dropped. [7]

Quarterback sweep

The quarterback sweep is a running play where the quarterback takes the snap from center, typically in a shotgun formation, and then runs to the outside. This play can best be run by a fast, athletic quarterback. Sweeps often involve pulling of offensive linemen, usually one or both guards, to provide extra blockers at the point of attack. [8] Teams such as the Arkansas Razorbacks have had success running this play by lining up the halfback as the quarterback in a wildcat formation.

Related Research Articles

Running back 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.

A draw play, or simply draw for short, is a type of American football play. The draw is a running play disguised as a passing play. It is the opposite of a play-action pass, which is a passing play disguised as a running play. The play is often used in long yardage situations.

In American and Canadian football, a single-wing formation was a precursor to the modern spread or shotgun formation. The term usually connotes formations in which the snap is tossed rather than handed—formations with one wingback and a handed snap are commonly called "wing T" or "winged T".

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.

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.

Single set back American football offensive formation

Single set back is an offensive base formation in American Football which requires only one running back lined up about five yards behind the quarterback. 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 or the strong side.

Guard (gridiron football) Player in American/Canadian football

In gridiron football, a guard (G), otherwise known as an offensive guard (OG), is a player who lines up between the center and the tackles on the offensive line of a football team on the line of scrimmage used primarily for blocking. Right guards (RG) is the term for the guards on the right of the offensive line, while left guards (LG) are on the left side. Guards are to the right or left of the center.

A trick play, also known as a gadget play, gimmick play or trickeration, is a play in gridiron football that uses deception and unorthodox tactics to fool the opposing team. A trick play is often risky, offering the potential for a large gain or a touchdown if it is successful, but with the chance of a significant loss of yards or a turnover if not. Trick plays are rarely used not only because of the riskiness, but also to maintain the element of surprise for when they are used.

T formation A 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".

End-around

The end-around is a play in American football in which an end or wide receiver crosses the backfield towards the opposite end of the line and receives a handoff directly from the quarterback. The receiver then may proceed to do one of two things: he either runs the ball towards the line of scrimmage in order to gain yardage, or more rarely, attempts to pass to another eligible pass receiver. Both versions of the end-around are uncommon and can be considered trick plays. The play can also be combined with a Statue of Liberty play.

Halfback (American football) Offensive position in American football

A halfback (HB) is an offensive position in American football, whose duties involve lining up in the backfield and carrying the ball on most rushing plays, i.e. a running back. When the principal ball carrier lines up deep in the backfield, and especially when that player is placed behind another player, as in the I formation, that player is instead referred to as a tailback.

American football positions 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.

Flexbone formation

The flexbone formation It is an offensive formation in American football that includes a quarterback, five offensive linemen, three running backs, and varying numbers of tight ends and wide receivers. The flexbone formation is a predominant turnover formation derived from the wishbone formation and it features a quarterback under center with a fullback lined up directly behind the quarterback. There are two smaller running backs called slotbacks aligned behind the line of scrimmage on each side of the offensive line. The slotbacks are sometimes incorrectly referred to as wingbacks. But in order to be a wingback, there must be a guard, tackle and tight end all on one side of the center on the line of scrimmage and then the wingback off the line of scrimmage.

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 their playbook.

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.

Buck-lateral is an American football play or a series of plays used in the Single-wing formation. Since the Single-Wing formation lost prominence by 1950, the football play referred to as the Buck-lateral is almost gone from football's vocabulary. However, prior to this time, the buck-lateral play gave fullbacks the option to run, lateral, or hand-off the ball to another player. Running the buck-lateral required an offensive scheme that needed the fullback to possess many specialized skills, as opposed to today's fullback who mainly blocks and carries the ball infrequently.

In American football, a smashmouth offense is an offensive system that relies on a strong running game, where most of the plays run by the offense are handoffs to the fullback or tailback. It is a more traditional style of offense that often results in a higher time of possession by running the ball heavily. So-called "smash-mouth football" is often run out of the I-formation or wishbone formation, with tight ends and receivers used as blockers. Though the offense is run-oriented, pass opportunities can develop as defenses play close to the line. Play-action can be very effective for a run-oriented team.

The Packers sweep, also known as the Lombardi sweep, is an American football play popularized by Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi. The Packers sweep is based on the sweep, a football play that involves a back taking a handoff and running parallel to the line of scrimmage before turning upfield behind lead blockers. The play became noteworthy due to its extensive use by the Packers in the 1960s, when the team won five National Football League (NFL) Championships, as well as the first two Super Bowls. Lombardi used the play as the foundation on which the rest of the team's offensive game plan was built. The dominance of the play, as well as the sustained success of Lombardi's teams in the 1960s, solidified the Packers sweep's reputation as one of the most famous football plays in history.

References

  1. "Toss Sweep Improves I-Formation Outside Run Attack".
  2. Schaumloffel, Bryan L. "The Waggle the Best Play in Football". bucksweep.com. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  3. Roberts, Jerry (2015). "Pass Receiving in Early Pro Football: A History to the 1960s". McFarland via Google Books.
  4. "Green Bay sweep - football play".
  5. Gruver, Ed (1997). "The Lombardi Sweep" (PDF). The Coffin Corner. 19 (5). Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  6. Wiltfong Jr., Lester A. (November 5, 2014). "Football 101: What's the difference between a Jet Sweep, an End Around and a Reverse?". windycitygridiron.com. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  7. Mays, Robert (October 30, 2018). "The Story Behind the Play That's Defined the 2018 NFL Season". The Ringer . Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  8. Dean, Thomas A. (2012). "On Coaching Football: A Resource and Guide for Coaches". Universal-Publishers via Google Books.