Why run empty backfield on 3rd and short???

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  • Can somebody please enlighten me on why Bevell runs empty backfield passing plays on 3rd and short?

    I've seen him do this several times this season, including today. I think it was 3rd and 2 to go, and he had them set up as empty didn't work. I'm not saying he has to run run run on all 3rd and short, but it seems that having a hammer like Lynch in the backfield would keep the defense on their toes for a run, even if it is a passing play.

    I must be missing something...
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  • I have been wondering this for 3 years or so Check that 10 years lol IDK but neither does no one else
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  • I think it is in hopes that the defense will be lined up stacking the box leaving a serious mismatch on a WR/TE. That's how I always saw it. I've seen it work pretty well. If the defense is lined up in a nickel and leaves space in the middle then the QB can read it and just do a step back and draw right up the middle for the first down. It's not a bad idea when it is executed properly or you guess right.
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  • Don't get me wrong, Lynch as he is known is a 'Beast' but it's not a gimme that he'll get those 3rd and shorts. He's been stopped probably just as much as those empty backfield plays don't work (maybe not 100% accurate) but I agree on keeping him in as a decoy.
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  • Is there an issue with Wilson doing 5-7 step drop backs at all? All his passing seems to come from the gun? I think that if we line him up under center and fake the hand off to lynch it opens the passing up more so than the fake hand off from the gun
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  • he does plenty of play-action.
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  • I'm assuming maybe Bevell thinks that if a receiver doesn't get open that Wilson's athleticism can pick up the first down since it's short yardage.
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  • I used to think the same way, but now I seem to find a few reasons.

    1. Our OL is not ready to handle the pressure in the middle and the opposing defense gets penetration. If you advertise run and the opposing defense gets penetration, the play is pretty much dead unless you crowd the middle. The chances are low to make it.
    2. In short yardage situations, the idea is to keep the ball as close to the line of scrimmage after being snapped so that yards to make up is lesser. If you go back and hand it over, Marshawn has to make up more room to make the necessary yardage.
    3. Being a young team, situations like these where you have to make a play is too high a pressure on the OL, any play calling to reduce the pressure on the OL works better.
    4. When you spread the offense, the opposing defense has not now scheme for a QB sneak or a quick slant, so the interior pressure will be way reduced compared to everyone crowding in the middle.
    5. It also helps with bringing in an extra receiver or TE who can help with blocking or catching the ball.
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  • 12thMan1 wrote:I'm assuming maybe Bevell thinks that if a receiver doesn't get open that Wilson's athleticism can pick up the first down since it's short yardage.

    This sounds about right.
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