Jumbo Split with HB Option Screen submitted by Kevin (All Star). Minor suggestions made by Arkaein.
It's a little hard to come up with a good description for Jumbo Split because it's a formation built around the idea of a single play, the HB Option Screen. Despite only having one WR the formation is reasonably balanced, with two tight ends and two halfbacks giving slightly more speed and catching ability than one might expect from a power-look formation. The split HBs give the ability to run to either side and attack the flats aggressively, while the lone wideout can go in motion to attack vulnerabilities on either side of the defense.
To make the HB Option Screen play work you must modify this formation from Jumbo T-Big in the Green Bay Packers playbook, copying the HB Counter Pass play before modifying or renaming the formation (if any other team has this formation/play combo that should work as well). To modify the play move the middle back out to WR and make the right back HB2.
HB Option Screen
NOTE: This play must be created by modifying HB Counter Pass. Although you can freely modify any other player assignment do not change the assignment of the left HB. If you do you'll have to make the formation and play over again.
This play isn't something you will want to use 10 times a game, and it's maybe not quite reliable enough to use in critical situations. You will want to use it if you like gimmicks, gadgets, and trickery, and love the ability to break a drive wide open with a play that has the potential to go the distance. HB Option Screen is a play designed the way HB passes should be designed in my opinion, as a play that can gain yards as either a pass or a run. The primary setup is designed for the back door screen pass after the defense is drawn to the offense's right side by the sweep, but if the defense sniffs the screen out the RB can simply tuck the ball and run for steady gains against a defense stretched out along the line.
HB Option Screen also gets a bit of versatility out of the WR position. While in the basic play the deep post is primarily a decoy to keep the defense honest and get the DBs away from the screen area, this player can be motioned to the right side running a deep corner which gives a viable second target, or the ball can be snapped earlier in the motion to give an extra blocker for the run (and help sell the fake better), or a drag hot route can be selected to give the RB an easy short range target running just in front of him.
|Left TE (TE #2) and LT||Screen Block Left|
|C, RG, RT and Right TE (TE #1)||Run Block|
|QB||Handoff to Left RB|
|Left RB (RB #1)||Keep route from HB Counter Pass|
|Right RB (RB #2)||S1W2-N1W2 (curl right)|
This play requires a little bit different assessment approach than most plays because of it's dual run/pass nature. In most cases you should execute the play planning to pass but running off tackle if the opportunity appears. The best gains usually come from a well executed screen pass, but this doesn't always work out and so if you see an easy 5 or more yards on the ground I say take it. This may also provide a good setup for running the same play later, as your opponent will buy into the run after seeing it earlier.
When you do decide to pass try to get outside the RT before bringing the ball up to pass, this will let the blocking develop on the screen side and make sure the defense is drawn in sufficiently. This isn't always easy as the defense can sometimes get in the RB's face quite quickly, in these situations it's better to retreat and possibly lose the fake than to get hit while trying to throw or taking a tackle for loss. The pass might work anyways as it's hard for defenders to get back into position, but getting hit while trying to throw is a good way to fumble. Also don't run too far and wide before passing, as it's difficult to complete the pass far across the field. Unless you see a weakness and audible the WR to a new route don't bother looking for him, concentrating on the screen. The deep route is much better as a decoy as most RBs can't throw deep with any accuracy.
Whatever you do, don't bring up the passing icons until you are sure you are going to throw it, and likewise don't try to turbo before crossing the line of scrimmage! Nothing will kill this play worse than hitting the pass icons/turbo button a yard or two behind the line with open grass in front of you and the screen pass covered. Your RB will barely be able to move until he shuffles past the line, giving the defense plenty of time to collapse around him.
- Can surprise defenses and break big gains
- Great versatility as HB can run or pass
- Tons of fun!
- Well disciplined defenses can tackle either HB for a loss
- QB is useless as a blocker
- Can be difficult to run effectively because the #1 HB can't turbo until he passes the line of scrimmage
Contact Arkaein with any comments or questions regarding the Monstrous Madden Playbook.