Here's a Thought

If it's ok for coaches to use the preseason to experiment with Peyton Manning in the pistol and risk Jay Cutler in the read-option, then it's ok to give your punt team a game off. Put away the 21 personnel I-formation and go with the 11 personnel on all four downs. Go for it. Be aggressive. Test the limits. It's the preseason. There are three other preseason games and 40 practices for you to hash out roster spots 52 and 53 on your punt and field goal units.

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14 Responses to “Here's a Thought”

  1. Anonymous says:

    How is the pistol formation a risk? It's no more risky than the shotgun or taking a snap from center if there's no option for the QB to run the ball. The pistol isn't the same thing as the read-option.

  2. Andrew11H says:

    He didn't make any connection between the pistol and the read. Both examples are risks in the same way that not punting would be - a step away from your tried and true offensive philosophy. He's pointing out that you can dabble in risks like this in preseason because winning isn't the primary objective.

    The question: Is it worth "risking" not getting to see your gunners, long snappers, etc in live game situations in order to get some data on the value of not punting in certain situations? Yes. Yes, it is.

  3. Xavier Weisenreder says:

    I mostly agree with the sentiment, but one of the reasons coaches do punt in preseason is because it allows their defence to also show themselves on the field. If theoretically, one team goes for it on 4th down every time and another team punts on 4th, the offense of the team that goes for it would see a lot more action than the defense (due to keeping drives alive, and giving the other team's offense shorter fields), and the opposite for the team that punts.
    They best solution would be for both teams to agree to go for it on 4th downs before the game, so that there would not be any wasted special teams plays, and the balance would be relatively the same as in a normal game.

  4. Ken says:

    It is my understanding that coaches try to go as vanilla as possible in the preseason, so, from that logic they wouldn't go for it (and we may not want them to, if they are going to be less successful than they otherwise would). Plus they want to get guys out there to see how they do on special teams, as that can make a difference around roster spot #51.

    But, I agree, go for it. If you know who your punter is, give him a half off.

  5. James says:

    The post is four sentences long, read it. Brian never said the pistol was risky, he said:

    "EXPERIMENT with Peyton Manning in the pistol and RISK Jay Cutler in the read-option"

  6. Steve Hall says:

    Works for me. While they're at it, put away the FG team inside the 30. Or 40.

  7. ASG says:

    Isn't a lot of the preseason about finding out who's going to just make the squad by getting a spot for special teams?

  8. Nate says:

    > If it's ok for coaches to use the preseason to experiment
    > with Peyton Manning in the pistol and risk Jay Cutler in
    > the read-option, then it's ok to give your punt team a
    > game off

    With my limited understanding of what teams are trying to accomplish during the preseason, putting a player like Peyton Manning in for extended minutes - especially as a running QB - seems like a pretty risky thing to do with limited upside. Maybe a shakedown game or two, but it's clear that he's the starter.

  9. Walker Sturdivant says:

    It bothers me whenever I see a chip-shot field goal in the preseason (let's say anywhere in the red zone). These games are just extended practice sessions with another team. What's more valuable, to practice a 20 yard FG or to practice going for it on 4th and goal from the five yard line?

  10. Anonymous says:

    What about the pointless kneeldowns at the end of pre-season games? Do teams really need to practice standing around like that?

  11. Anonymous says:

    As Kevin Kelley will tell you, not punting is a scheme that actually works. I would think some mid level or struggling team would give it shot.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Special Teams is a very important part of the game. the teams need to work on their blocking, their coverage, the long snaps, the return game, field goal setup, etc. Also the players are fighting for a roster spot based on ST.

  13. Anonymous says:

    From what I've seen several teams have gone for it on fourth down this preseason. Chip Kelly and the Eagles went for every fourth down they had against the Pats... although I only watched probably 3 quarters (man, Tebow looked terrible and Pats OC and Bellichik did not look very pleased. Tebow sat on the sideline with his head down when he wasn't out playing while the other backup took the time to talk to Tom Brady about what was happening on the field; so much for Tebow's ethic and desire to learn) I recall seeing 3 or 4 conversion attempts. I've seen a couple other conversion attempts in the other pre-season games I've seen. All told I have seen more conversion attempts in the first week of this preseason than I did all of last season... It does seem to me that a lot of teams ARE trying out conversion strategies this preseason. I've watched at least 2 quarters of 5 PS games this year...


  14. James says:

    Pats went for 2 on their first touchdown, forgoing the extra point, presumably just for the extra short yardage practice/being more efficient.

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