Unstoppable Personnel Group?

So heres how I see it...  We go 3-wide with a one-back set.

WR: Edwards, Holmes, and Big Bad Captain Clutch Brad Smith.

TE: Keller

RB: Tomlinson


We set it up like this: Holmes split wide right with Braylon in the slot next to him.  Keller takes a medium split (5yards) from Brick to the left.  Smith lines up just off Keller's flank on the left side.  LD is directly behind Sanchez in the backfield.

The defense, by virtue of this personnel group alone, is in a quandry.  Do they play base defense, because it is sort of run-heavy due to Smith?  Or do they take a linebacker off the field for a DB and play nickel?  If they go nickel, they will be very susceptible to the run.  And vice versa if they stay in their base.

So what we do is this... We bring Smith in motion from left to right and run reverse action.  This, again puts the defense in a terible bind because Smith is a duel-threat weapon that can both run and pass. 

If the defense plays nickel man, Smith will be taking the corner away on the left side because he will be shadowing him when he motions.  This will presumably, leave Keller matched up with a safety one-on-one and LD matched up with a LB in the flat to the left.  The other safety is likely to offer help over the top on the right side due to the ability of Braylon and Holmes to get deep.

If they play nickel zone, we can flood the right side with pass catchers.  Holmes and Braylon running deep routes, Smith running an out, LD in the flat, and Keller dragging across the deep middle.  Or we can run dive action to suck up the backers and hit Smith on the reverse.  Or we can hit LD on the swerve, with Braylon cracking down on an LB and Smith getting on a DB.

If they play base (zone or man), we can really attack them.  They will have to decide whether to bring a safety up onto Braylon.  If they do, he will eat them alive in the seam and Holmes will be able to go to work one-on-one on the outside.  If they don't, he work underneath on slants and hitches.  He can also be free to crack down on LBs on running plays. 


Tomlinson is what makes this set so lethal.  He can run inside and outside with equal effectiveness, and he can catch it out of the backfield and make you look silly in space.  He forces linebackers to key him hard, and keeps them from cheating on Smith with the reverse action.

Smith, because he's a legit passing threat, keeps the DBs that are covering Braylon and Holmes from crashing down immediately to take the reverse away.  If they commit too soon, they give up a TD pass over their heads.  But if they don't commit quick enough, he's tough to tackle in the open field with a head of steam. 

And if Sanchez really spends some time on throwing screens this week, and actually learns how to do it, this grouping could be used to absolutely devastate opponents.

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