I dont understand how these 20 scripted plays to start the game works (1 Viewer)

ChopperSaint

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I keep hearing about how the Saints and other team sometimes script there first 15 or 20 plays of the game. The Saints have so-called done it all 3 games this season and opened up with a TD in every game.

I think Bill Walsh invented it.

I dont understand how a team can script say the first 15 plays.

Lets say that play #7 calls for Heath Evans up the middle but its 3rd and 25.


How can you script plays if you dont know beforehand the down and distance and where you are at on the field?

Just because play #11 says to chunk it down the field to Henderson no matter what the situation is dont make sense to me.
 

BoNcHiE

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Because if the script is followed, especially by a team like us that can usually accomplish it, you never have a 3rd and 25.

In the event that does happen though, then you'd abandon the script.
 

Danchrism

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I keep hearing about how the Saints and other team sometimes script there first 15 or 20 plays of the game. The Saints have so-called done it all 3 games this season and opened up with a TD in every game.

I think Bill Walsh invented it.

I dont understand how a team can script say the first 15 plays.

Lets say that play #7 calls for Heath Evans up the middle but its 3rd and 25.


How can you script plays if you dont know beforehand the down and distance and where you are at on the field?

Just because play #11 says to chunk it down the field to Henderson no matter what the situation is dont make sense to me.
The quarterback (and head coach) will check out of plays that make zero football sense. But say play #7 is a draw to Bush on third-and-9 -- that's not entirely unreasonable. You might do a trips right and call a ghost audible into a different pass play, and completely catch the defense off-guard.

Similarly, if play #3 is a shotgun X-post corner, Y-fly, Z-slant, and you are working with a short field because of a great kick return and two productive plays before -- you might audible into different routes, fading the X & Y receivers and having Z stay in as a blocker.
 

mmule

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I would think it would be situational. You have a set of plays to call on downs 1-2 and x distance on the first drive, then maybe a set of plays to call on 3rd & x. Maybe same deal in the red zone.

Purpose:
a) try some things that you think will work and test them out.
b) get first downs & ultimately score.
c) see how the other team reacts or attacks when you put them in certain situations.
d) get hard data via a) and c) so you can adjust effectively.
 

srenner

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Yeah, it is situational.

They go through practice and say OK, on our first 5 first and 10's we are going to run these five plays.

Then on our first 5 second downs we are going to do this....

Then on our first 5 third downs we are going to do this....


It makes practice and play calling all that much easier and it also allows you to see exactly how the defense is reacting to specific plays so that you can then adjust at halftime.

Basketball is the same way. Ever notice how teams often times early in the game will run set plays for guys who later don't touch the ball that often in halfcourt sets? It's a way of getting the weaker players into the game early and also going through plays which you have specifically practiced.

Often times you will hear about how a coach told his team "When we get to the X yard line in X situation, we are going to run X play." In fact, that is EXACTLY what happened when we ran the reverse/end around that was fumbled versus Tampa. Coach P told the team to expect a situation where they needed to ice the game and that that play would be called. Same with the Superdome Special....
 

TCUDan

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It's pretty common practice and I remember the teams I played on doing it starting in high school. There's a few reasons for this:

1) It's about tempo. You follow a script so you're getting guys in and out of the huddle early, to the line, etc. They all know what the plays are and know exactly what they have to do. It gets rid of the jitters, establishes focus, and if the offense is successful in dictating a tempo, it builds their confidence early in the game.

2) A coach's gameday play sheet (compiled through the week based on film dissemination) has all the plays grouped into different categories. You have situational categories (1st and 10, 2nd and 5-8, 3rd and 15, 3rd and < 3, etc.); you have play-types (zone runs, trap runs, counters, play action, 70 protection, 50 protection, bootlegs, waggles, etc.); and you have a looks/personnel category (I, Ace, Spread, Big [most teams have their own specific terminology for package/personnel names]).

What you do in your 15 plays is you try to tap into a spectrum of plays from these different groups. You observe, record (photographs from the booth and physical notes), and come back to what worked and what didn't work against the defense. Did you find a certain matchup that worked well? Well now you can highlight some plays in a particular personnel package to go back later. Or did the defense adjust or present a certain look to a particular play? Basically, it breaks the ice for your gameday adjustments.

4) Going off of 3, it protects against the tendency for teams (if they don't script) to go into the first drive, break off a 7-yard gain with a particular run on the first play, and then not get away from it. Yea, you may get 30 yards on your first 6 plays, but your 7th play is a 2nd & 8 and you decide to go with a intermediate pass. Now your players have to adjust and break from "repetition mode."

But that's getting pretty intricate right there. Rest assured that the Saints success on initial drives this season is do to creative and effective play-scripting/execution by Payton and Brees (and the entire offense).
 

prothwell

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The scripted plays is older than Walsh, but not sure which coach was first to use it. The "script" is used from 20 to 20. Several situations will get you off the script such as 3rd downs, field position and sometimes just a gut feeling. The first 5 plays are the most important as they will have several formations and motions to see how the def will play them and adjust. The biggest advantage to a script is that the players will practice the game over and over so that there is no surprises. I could tell you more but just not enough time and space.
 

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