The guys at Smart Football have gotten their hands on a super-awesome page from Buddy Ryan’s old Houston Oilers playbook:

The major question: Is giving up the yardage (half the distance to the goal) worth it? That depends on the situation. If the opposing offense is inside the two-yard line, it would seemingly make sense. I’d rather give a team one shot to beat me from two feet than two shots to beat me from four feet. That said, if the offense is panicked and rushed, you’d be giving them a chance to settle down and reorganize following the penalty.

To boot, you have to take into consideration the chance that the opposing offense actually scores against the 14-man defense, because that play still technically counts. A touchdown against that D would just allow the offense to decline the penalty for too many men on the field.

Anyway, it’s intriguing. And it’s so¬†Buddy Ryan. Even the name. I wonder if the Tennessee Volunteers have it named that way in their playbook, because it sure looks like they tried to pull it off last year against LSU:

Hat tip: Drew Fairservice

Comments (2)

  1. The only thing I wonder about is why 14? It’s not like the officials are going to blow the play dead before the snap just because the defensive team has too many players. So why not 17? or 20?

  2. Because you want the play to run. With 12-14 men on the field, the play will run and more than likely the QB will throw the pass or the RB will get the ball and run, thereby wasting time…which is the key element to the play. Notice that Ryan states “There is less than 15 seconds left”. As the play is run, the officals will throw the flag, etc. But if there are as you say 17, or 20, or more, the officials will recognize what is going on and stop the play and the clock. The point is subtlety.

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