Oakland Raiders No-Huddle Possibilities: A Chalkboard Preview

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Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) runs the ball in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 47-14. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The recurring themes here are versatility and mismatches. However, sometimes you want to go back to successful plays that the team and your running backs are comfortable with. It’s all still possible within the scheme. Say we’re in the same drive and we’ve noticed the defense is alert to the run, more ready to commit to it and flow to the run side, but hasn’t added a defender to the box. With the same personnel, Oakland can use this to their advantage to look for over-pursuit and use it against the defense with a favorite play of theirs, the counter-trey. This is the play responsible for Murray’s 90 yard TD against Kansas City in Week 12.

The linebackers creep up a bit and have their eye’s on Murray’s movements in the backfield. Musgrave calls a counter-trey out of an offset I formation. Now we’re into classic hard running from 21 personnel, the same personnel we’ve had in the game this entire drive. At the snap Rivera and the receivers go straight into blocking. The entire line moves left to block for what could be an inside zone or lead play to the left side. Murray takes a fake step to the left and gets the linebackers moving that way to stop the run.

The beauty of the counter trey is that it’s both a play fake and a power run. the strong side guard pulls behind the formation for the kick out block on the Will (weak side linebacker, W) while Reece runs up the hole for the lead block on the Mike as he recovers and flows to the run. If the right guard does his job, he’s already helped against the nose tackle and moved up to stop the Sam as he flows over. Now it’s just up to Murray to make the safety (edit: strong and free safeties should be switched in the graphic) miss and have a huge break. Again, the blocker to defender ratio is to Oakland’s advantage without changing personnel.

What happens if the defense manages a quick substitution or brings an extra man into the box to combat the run? Simple, now you revert back to packaged plays or West Coast concepts to attack them with the pass. Next, we’ll examine a deadly West Coast threat that plays specifically into this situation.