Halfback Option Pass... And Other Such Shenanigans Buried In The Playbook

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by A-11, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. A-11

    A-11 Veteran

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    What does Willy Wonka think of during a bye week?
    [​IMG]

    During lunch today I caught the NFL's Top Ten series and the subject was trick plays.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures and according to the discussions within this board (especially this weeks thread for the upcoming Green Bay game) I think it is safe to assume that most everyone here could picture a scenario where the Bears find themselves knocked down, looking up, and found lacking.

    You will always have the onsides, fake kicks, and fumblerooski's which seem like they really need to catch a D sleeping and work best when your not down in a hole to start with. And I'm kinda meh on the flea flicker, wildcat (aka. another option) or tackle eligible stuff.

    BUT two desperate plays I kinda hold out hope on are the el laterals, and the halfback pass. I thought it would be interesting to discuss if you thought these or other play calling tools might be used to get the big boy britches pulled up when you've been exposed.

    El Laterals:
    If teams are so eager to risk running out of the end zone on the present day kick offs like they have been doing, why aren't they willing to go the extra mile and set up the laterals? Seems like if you even mention the word you can only picture the last or second to the last play of the game. Why wait so long? Is it risky, you bet it is... It also has high rewards. They have made some of the best highlights of all time. Honestly is it that much more risky then going for it on 4th down when you're in desperation mode and everyone knows you'd be lucky to gain half the needed yards? IMO, I could see the el lateral package going "hot" or into the rotation anytime your team is down 14 points and your playing like you deserved it.

    I miss the days when some teams had laterals planed out on half of their kick/punt return plays. Off the top of my head defensive turnovers (namely interceptions) are the only time I see laterals used besides the last play scenario. I think WRs and RBs could do it better than the LBs and DBs...

    Halfback Option Pass:
    I took a quick glance at Forte's stats and could only find one failed pass attempt from back in 2011. There may be a very good reason for this, but I'd imagine almost all RB's in the league can throw a decent ball (ie. better than "Joe" fan like me anyways).

    LIKE the Flea Flicker it sells the run for a pass, but UNLIKE it there is only the standard hand off exchange. Logistically, it does not require your passer to be set up as deep behind the line of scrimmage either. Walter Payton and LeDainian Tomlinson were great at this. I know you pay your QB for a reason, but I'm just saying I think the play isn't that bad risk/reward and one execution could go a long ways to keep safetys and linebackers honest. Even if that play is this weeks ghost from film. It isn't like the RB needs to read much anyways... It is still an option, check your spot and if your guy isn't open; keep running.

    To be fair no trick plays should be plan A. But as a fan, when plan A goes to shit I just love watching teams try "something" and when miracles happen because you tried said "something" it creates some of the greatest (team changing) wins of all times. I get stubborn like Hans Solo when he yelled at C-3PO to, "never tell him the odds." I support the trend towards going for it on 4th down and I could get behind some of these "Shenanigans" like the two I mentioned...

    What do you think? What unusual plays could you get behind? What do you think Willy Wonka would do?
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  2. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    Hey, anything goes this season. The only "trick" is to practice them to become efficient with them. I'm a huge fan of the HB pass near the goal line. We've got huge wr's now so there's more room for error in the throw.
  3. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I don't know why the HB pass wouldn't work. Walter Payton tossed 9 touchdown passes, including one in a playoff game. His TD passes were:

    4 to WR's (2 to Baschnagel, 2 to Willie Gault)
    2 to the fullback (Matt Suhey)
    2 to the QB (McMahon)
    1 to the TE (Pat Dunsmore)

    Distances:
    3 or fewer yards-----2
    10-19 yards-----2
    20-29 yards-----1
    30 or more yards-----3

    It was a pretty high percentage play for Walter. Part of the success (I think) was due to the fact they didn't try the play that often. The 9 TD's spanned a period of 5 seasons. Usually they used it once or twice a year. In '83 he had 3 TD's though.
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  4. mdbearz

    mdbearz Veteran

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    Here we go I'm going to say it.... I want a package with Hester throwing the ball to McCown.
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  5. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    jABF, unfortunately we don't have Walter in our backfield anymore...and as much as i love Forte, I don't know that he has an arm the quality of Walters...Walter could punt, kick fg's, throw and run. he was a unique athlete.
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  6. A-11

    A-11 Veteran

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    I can hear it now: Jeff Joniak says, "Devin Hester you are ridiculous."
    AND it better be some kinda wildcat or fake reverse with passing into the endzone. If McCown got hurt, I could only imagine the letters to the editor that would hit Chicago papers. I've only seen those kinda shenanigans in college. Would be funny to see though, as a what the heck desperation play.

    I agree that Walter was something special/unique, however, most professional athletes (especially @ the skill positions) are well rounded... Before they changed the rules for back up quarterbacks and the active roster, many teams had WRs, RBs, TEs. penciled in as the third in line. Joe Webb (WR version) in Minny is a current example. Chad Johnson (aka. Esteban Ochocinco) has kicked an extra point to win a game. The competition level is high enough that players have to specialize, but IMO you don't have to go the the lengths of Deion Sanders or Bo Jackson to find possibilities that might throw the defense off for one play in the year.

    I guess I am just not against doing the unexpected. As a spectator of course it is more entertaining, but behind the clown suit I can see some serious discussion. (/wave @ Henry)

    William Perry didn't surprise any defense, but I found it fun to watch. Behind all that silliness you also saw a quick first step...
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
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  7. MikeV

    MikeV Rookie

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    What kind of trick plays do you got for the defense...I think that's who needs them the most. Outside of that I would love to see a Hester wildcat and let him throw the ball or run some speed option with forte; but the problem I see is that it wouldn't catch any defense off guard now that Hester plays 0 offense.
  8. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    +1

    I thought about that too, last night, and I agree that Walter was a special athlete. But he really didn't throw a pretty pass at all (LOL, for that matter McMahon threw wounded ducks too). Usually, it was the surprise factor that had a guy so wide open that it didn't matter who threw the pass. But - the key here is to not use this too often or it would lose the surprise factor. Walter usually did this once, or sometimes twice in an entire season. It was so infrequent that it caught defenses with their pants down. It worked.

    I think we actually have better receivers catching the ball than Walter did. Suhey had solid hands, especially for a fullback, but, Willie Gault, was nothing special as far as his hands, and McMahon probably didn't catch more than those two passes his entire NFL career. Forte just needs to get the ball reasonably near guys like Brandon Marshall and Jeffery, and it's a catch, if the defense bites on the play. Also, I've seen Payton pull the ball back down and run the ball, rather than force the pass into coverage, when the defense didn't bite. Forte would need to do that too. If it isn't there, don't force an int.

    One other thing. Forte is one heck of a well-rounded athlete. He's not a Walter Payton, but for a RB, he's pretty good all-around athlete. Maybe some game this would be worth trying.
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  9. A-11

    A-11 Veteran

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    Tucker has been busy trying to create some form of pass rush, it costs a lot elsewhere to play tricks on D . I have not seen as much of Shea standing up on the line like last year, but Stunting, LB Blitz, they have been there... (Costing our run D, IMO) I have not noticed many Safety Blitzes and I'm not sure how good Frey would be coming off the edge, but our corners are too important until we find the missing rush-men. Back in the day when Peppers was the guy we all knew and loved he could add a lot of versatility.

    Am I wrong? Haven't studied up well to answer this question... The stunting with DE has failed because the player filling in to contain hasn't been there, and the lane in the inside has been also missing. Double Fail.

    Perhaps taking a long shot from safety spot is the next flop...
  10. CaptainHookShot

    CaptainHookShot Rookie

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    Back in the day I had a friend who could recover 90 percent of onside kicks in tecmo super bowl. I've often thought this season, since the d is going to get marched on anyways, why not onside kick every kickoff, or at least 3 or 4 times a game. If it's not recovered big deal, at least the other offense isn't going to be on the field for 10 minutes and totally break the back of the defense. I know, silly thought, but would it be worth it if they had 33 percent success rate?

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