Warning: long post.
I've been doing some thinking about something that Raye said a few weeks ago.
Raye: “The element of the 12 personnel and the 11 personnel, it doesn’t lock the box in some cases. But there aren’t many defensive coaches we face, where if we eliminate the lead blocker, where we have seven they have eight, so if we go to six they have seven. So you still have the same problem. They are not going to let you outnumber them in the box."
The issue that I have with this thinking is that while the offense will always be outnumbered in the box (except for Wildcat), it is a harder task to successfully block 6 people than it is to successfully block 8 people.
In using 7 players to block 8, there's a greater chance of a player not making their block, hence there's a greater chance of the play failing since you require so many events to occur simultaneously.
Another flaw in this philosophy is that when we're using 7 to block 8, it absolutely SCREAMS run. It also places limits on the variety of plays that Raye can call. Whereas when we remove the lead blocker and go to 3 WRs, there is a good balance between what the offense can do.
Raye feels that since there's always going to be n+1 defenders in the box, we may as well attempt to get a hat on everybody and run. This is where Raye chalks up the failure of the play to "execution".
I also feel that Raye severely overrates Walker. Raye feels that Walker forces the defense to choose whether go to nickel or heavy. The problem with this thinking is that Walker is a mediocre blocker. So when the defense does choose to go nickel, it's not as such a clear cut advantage as Raye imagines.