Michigan Mailbag Question: Offensive Packages

ErocWolverineSenior Writer IMarch 24, 2009

Eroc and Coach:

Much like you fellas. I am assuming that Tate will be starting under center come fall. What are your thoughts about an offensive package having both Tate and D-Rob in the same backfield (shotgun)?

I would think it would be a nightmare for defensive coordinators and confusing for the defense. Both could run or throw. The defense would not know who would get the snap. Then again, I do all of my “coaching” from the armchair.




Thanks for the question.

Having superior athletes like D-Rob gives an offense many options. He can be used as quarterback, running back and even as a receiver, in either the slot or slit end positions.

He can run a number of different types of gimmick plays. The question you always need to answer before installing or game planning gimmicks is will the potential reward be worth the amount of time and reps necessary to perfect and time up the package.

Many teams use the package you are talking about: such as Ohio State had a package with both Pryor and Boeckman in the backfield. Even Michigan has used some packages with Breaston and Henne in backfield as a dual quarterback set.

It can, when used properly, cause some problems for the defense. The problem in this case would be that every down with Forcier and D-Rob in the backfield is a down where the defense does not have to worry about Michigan's best weapon, B. Minor.

The next question to ask would be how much time do you want Forcier to spend blocking, and how many different positions do you want to teach D-Rob? He is not getting in until summer. He's going to need every rep he can get at quarterback to get ready at that position.

We expect to see Michigan use some sort of gimmick sets with D-Rob and Forcier in games. We just think it will be a very small part of the overall offense.

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Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine