Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Michigan Football Tidbits: New quick passing game

Michigan Football Tidbits: New quick passing game

Michigan has a new passing game, which the staff has dubbed "Trojan." This passing game came from Oklahoma by way of Missouri. As noted previously here, the Michigan coaching staff and the Oklahoma coaching staffs have met over the last couple of years to discuss different ideas that have worked for them.

We talked about this earlier. In our opinion, this is going to be a great addition to Michigan’s offensive package. It is simple and very difficult to defend. Twebber and CoachBt talked about this while watching spring practices. During drills and in scrimmage the package was almost impossible to defend. Even when defenders did well, the Trojan worked.

Trojan used trips formation into the boundary when facing cover 2 or man coverage teams. It had running back lined up to short side of field. You can use a tight end in place of inside slot to wide side / three-man side of field. Formation looks something like this. As stated earlier this formation is used primarily when team plays cover 2, or 2 high safeties, or man coverage.

X ................T..G..C..G..T.............................X

Here some of the rules:

Pre Snap read is super important.

Quarterback should catch and throw.

With two high safeties / cover 2 go to three-man side and play off strong side linebacker.

If strong side linebacker goes vertical with inside slot hit other slot. If strong side linebacker goes to side to take out, hit stick route. More on that below.
Five man aggressive protection, man front side / slide the backside.

Quarterback should always go with the numbers, where offense out man’s the defense.

Hot receiver is to blitz side / this is great package against zone blitz schemes
Example, if weak side linebacker blitzes from one man side, which is what many teams do, simply go to receiver, split end to one man side in this case, who is in the area the blitzer vacated.

In man coverage go to boundary, one-man side, it is a pick play.

If in two high safeties, middle linebacker cheats to three-man side, go back to one-man side.


Three-man side:
Inside slot or tight end / if use tight end it is called 11 personnel / run seven yard stick route, similar to hook only to the outside.

#2 slot runs five yard out.

Split end runs fly pattern.

One-man side:
Split end runs five yard slant to hash, rule is to replace weak side linebacker, find open area and sit.

Running back runs wheel route to one-man side. Replace split end / running back will adjust his route depending on what cornerback does. If cornerback plays hard corner / sits in flat running back continues up field and finds open area between hard corner and safety. If corner plays soft running back sits in open area vacated by cornerback.

If defense is giving single high safety / three deep or cover four with safety free formation will be 2 x 2.


Work back to boundary / backside / side with running back.

Same rules with some different routes:

Slot receiver away from running back runs seven-yard dig.

Split end away from running back runs vertical / fly pattern.

Split end to running back side runs same route as before.

Slot receiver to running back side runs flag route.

Running back runs same route.


We have gone over this kid fairly well since the spring practices have began. Is he upgrade from last season? Sure is! Is he going to be our savior? Probably not!
He is going to make some great plays, and he'll have us throwing our remotes at other times. Please Guys, show some patience with the kid. He has the ability to be a very good quarterback for Michigan. Just not sure it will be this year, and especially not the first few games. Keep expectations in line, Please!

Give kid credit for sticking it out. But if you think Threet was bad fit, this kid is even worse in the spread. Still will be valuable member of team with demo squad duty and such when Michigan sees a pro style quarterback.

Hurt, but we all know about this kid. He is a great team player and even better kid. If Michigan has to rely on him for long stretch, ouch!

Walk-on, who gets props for working tail-off!

Expect staff to put together some sort of limited package that highlights his unique skill set. One option series or package would be perfect.

Thanks for stopping by
If you have any questions please e-mail

Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine


Anonymous said...

With Michigan's personnel, this offense will lead to turnovers. With the diminutive Forcier, tipped balls will be a concern. Small receivers getting blasted and fumbling will be another(see Odoms). QB gets gun shy, pulls down the ball to run and now he is blasted. Rich, please, please run this offense! Signed, any competent Big Ten DC.

GregGoBlue said...

Dear Any competent DC,

See: Missouri offense (run by "diminuitive" Chase Daniel).

I, on the other hand, think this is a stellar addition to our offense. With the speed of the skill players we have, it will emphasize plenty of one-on-one situations and "finding open grass". I'm especially excited for the running back wheel route out of the backfield given the speed we have back there. The sets that we're in for Trojan are great because we can run our traditional zone-read out of them as well. This year is going to be rough, but once our players get acclimated we'll be in great shape. This will also limit the amount of pounding Tate will take, so I'm pleased with that too.

With this plan in place, it's easy to see why RR is stockpiling slot receivers/running backs. We'll be using 5 of them on most plays! Now recruit some defensive players, damnit!

Is this how we're getting our tight ends involved more? We're basically using them as big slots? I would think we'd try to work them into our more traditional package.

coachbt said...

Key to this package is QB catching and throwing. QB throwing from gun formation makes to tougher for D Linemen to get hands up and tip or knock down passes. As for smaller receivers getting heads knocked off, it was not a problem this spring.

Anonymous said...

If you wouldn't mind answering some questions, Coach, I have a few.

1) What other route combinations did Michigan practice in this formation?

2. Does Forcier have the arm to hit the deep route consistently once the underneath coverage men start jumping the shallow routes? A big advantage of this route combination is the oblique stretch it causes in the defense, but you need a quarterback who can hit the go/wheel or nothing works.

coachbt said...

1.UM ran bubble screens, and some other combination routes out of this formation. Also threw a a very nice RB screen to one back side. UM also ran a TE screen to Webb coming across foramtion out of look.

2.I was suprised at the strength of Forcier's arm. He threw the 20 yard out on a rope multiple times. Our major question is will he continue to be as accurate and maintain the arm strength when he becomes live. It is easy to stand and deliver the deep routes when you are not worried about getting smacked upside the helemt.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the answers.

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