Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports


How Kyle Shanahan uses the run to set up the play-action pass part two

Mar 10, 2017 at 11:56 AM


In an earlier post, I covered the outside zone and the play-action variants that 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan uses in his playbook. Today we'll look at another variant to the play-action Shanahan uses that builds off the running game: the "split zone" and "yankee" concept and how he dresses up the formation for just such a play.

SPLIT ZONE


One variant of the zone running game is the "split zone," a play often run last season by the 49ers under former head coach Chip Kelly. The split zone, as the name implies, aims to "split" the defense in half to create a seam for the ball carrier on the backside of the play. To accomplish this, offenses use what's known as a "sift" block, similar to a wham or trap block.


The blocking remains the same for every other lineman regardless of whether the sift block is added to the inside - or outside - zone runs. The important distinction here is Kyle Shanahan has a variety of ways he runs this play. This particular play is out of a 12 personnel (1 running back, 2 tight ends, 2 wide receivers) package, with the tight ends acting as wing backs, akin to what you'd see out of Navy's triple option.


At the snap, the play-side tight end comes across the formation to kick out the backside unblocked end man on the line of scrimmage (EMLOS) while the back side tight end heads away from the play, taking a linebacker out of the box with him.


As the sift block hits the EMLOS, the left tackle/left guard double team on the defensive tackle flows toward the playside, opening a crease on the backside of the play.


Running back Devonta Freeman hits the open crease for a 10-yard gain.



Here it is out of a single wing formation:



YANKEE CONCEPT


The "Yankee" route combination is a common concept used by teams with speedy wide receivers. Last season, the Falcons employed this route combination with Julio Jones and had success running him deep on several routes, not least among which was this route concept. The "Yankee" concept is a two wide receiver deep crossing combo, with the underneath receiver running a deep over-the-middle route, and the other executing a deep post over the top. Shanahan employed this particular play out of a wing formation utilizing that split zone sift block to sell the run.


The play is most often run on play-action and with max protection due to the length of time needed for the routes to develop and is generally run against cover one or cover three defenses. The Raiders are in a cover three on this particular play while the Falcons show a tight formation with 12 personnel, featuring the wing player to the right of the offensive formation.


The middle of the defense follows the play-action and the flow of the offensive line. The linebackers are drawn in by the zone run fake and the sift block by the wing. The orbit motion (end around) draws another defender across the field.


As this play develops, the Raider secondary plays their responsibilities according to the routes; the deep middle of field safety thinks Jones is running a deep streak route and turns his hips out toward the sideline before Jones cuts to the post. The corner covering the crossing route follows him across the middle.


Jones gets behind the secondary after a bit of hesitation by the defender and completes the play with a 48-yard gain.



And here's the end zone view of the play:



The addition of Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin, and Aldrick Robinson and others this week in free agency certainly suggests that Shanahan will look to use these same play designs from his Atlanta playbook in San Francisco. Hopefully this helps you identify certain concepts within the scheme.

All gifs and images courtesy of nfl.com.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference unless otherwise indicated.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


3 Comments

  • SteveNiner
    Good stuff. Thanks for putting these two pieces together. I'd love to see more like this in the future.
    Mar 13, 2017 at 11:09 AM
    2
  • Scott
    Having those formations broken down made for a great read my man. Thanks. Will keep a lookout for more of your stuff.
    Mar 11, 2017 at 7:52 PM
    0
  • bob
    Not an exclusive this title and idea was wriiten a few days ago. your late bud
    Mar 10, 2017 at 12:51 PM
    1
    Response: Exclusive? What are you talking about? It was me that wrote the first part (http://www.49erswebzone.com/commentary/1663-kyle-shanahan-uses-run-game-play-action-pass/), the one I assume you're referring to, a few days ago. This is a completely separate and different set of run and pass plays.

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



Frelund: Return of these two star players set up 49ers for playoff return

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Jul 24, 2021

Earlier this week, on a Game Theory segment, Cynthia Frelund gave her argument for why the San Francisco 49ers will make the playoffs in 2021 after missing out in 2020. Frelund attributed their recent Super Bowl appearance as a factor in her decision as well as the multitude of injuries that affected the team last season. "They were in the Super Bowl just like five minutes ago and they had a whole bunch of injuries, but they get all those players back." Looking at the offensive side of the ball, Frelund highlighted star tight end George Kittle, who, according to Next Gen Stats, has averaged 8.0 yards after the catch per reception since 2018, which is the highest in the NFL given a minimum of 25 receptions. In addition to Kittle,



Kyle Juszczyk: Kyle Shanahan and Mike McDaniel's vision makes the 49ers dangerous

By David Bonilla
Jul 21, 2021

Kyle Juszczyk spent his first four NFL seasons with the Baltimore Ravens before signing with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017. The best fullback in the league re-signed with the team in March, ensuring he remains in the Bay Area through the 2025 season. It sounds like Juszczyk has no regrets about the decision to remain with head coach Kyle Shanahan. It's an offensive scheme that suits him and takes advantage of his unique versatility. Juszczyk may not have had the same opportunities with another organization. "I definitely have had the most fun in San Francisco because I am a little more featured," Juszczyk said this week on The Ross Tucker Football Podcast. "'Featured' is different as a fullback. I'm not the featured halfback or the No. 1 receiver. ...



2019 49ers vs. 2021 49ers, Part 1 (Offense)

By Marc Adams
Jul 23, 2021

How well do the 2021 49ers stack up to the 2019 team? Lately I have listened to some podcasts and read some tweets comparing the current San Francisco 49ers team (2021) to the 2019 team that fell just short of winning the Super Bowl. I find the comparison interesting. And since many people quickly assume the 2021 49ers are not as good as the 2019 team, I wanted to take a look for myself. So as we prepare for the team to report on Tuesday, let's compare the two teams, position by position. For the purpose of this very scientific experiment, we will assume everyone is healthy (even though that never happens). Let's start on offense. The defensive comparison is coming soon. Offense Quarterback:



2019 49ers vs. 2021 49ers, Part 2 (Defense)

By Marc Adams
Jul 24, 2021

How well do the 2021 49ers stack up to the 2019 team? Yesterday, we took a look at the 2021 San Francisco 49ers offense to see how it compares to the team's offense from 2019. Some have said this year's team will be better than the 2019 team, while others have suggested that won't be the case. In our very scientific investigation, we determined the 2021 offense will be better than the 2019 offense. Today, we will take a look at the defenses. Interior Defensive Line Leading up to the 2020 draft, the 49ers traded away DeForest Buckner. They selected


Featured

More by Richard Madrid

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone