Revisiting Offensive Schemes: Ambiguity

Bumped. -BN

Who needs defense? If you're sick of the DC talk, let's talk about some offense. We all know about our Offensive Coordinator, Mike Johnson, who has studied basically every modern offense that you can imagine.

One problem that UCLA faced last year was that Norm Chow is a pro style coach, and the move to the Pistol ended up neglecting some areas of development, and other coaching flaws led to a mostly unproductive offense, with the exception of a good to above average running offense.

This year, UCLA will boast plenty of experience at the skill positions, with something that Coach Neuheisel has never had... Seniors, and will welcome in one of the nation's most prominent recruits to the QB stable (if you can call it that). All this talent, and the ever developing Palcic Tunnel Workers' Union should contribute to what could be a possible good offense. (Notice that I'm wavering there)

One of the arguments that was tossed around about our shortcomings in the passing offense was the argument that the pro and pistol offense differed too much to relate the two mechanically (footwork, etc.).

After watching a few games on film, one being the USC game, there is no way that our QB's and WR's are that inept to adjusting to the timing of the offenses. That passes the blame to the coaches right? So hopefully replacing the three biggest problems in our offense (personnel pickers, WR incompetence, and QB inconsistency) with a new coaching system will work out (for Neuheisel's sake).

So with Johnson's system coming in, it will be necessary to understand something called ambiguity in football. Ambiguity on the football field means changing things around aesthetically, but keeping the same core concept or practice.

Here's an example:

One of my favorite concepts in football is the Power Concept, covered here. But I'll try to give you a simple run down of the concept. Its simple motto is "Three/Four down, two around." Here is the concept in the "Pro Style"


You can also run the same concept out of the shotgun (via brophyfootball), heck it might even be better than the one under center- notice 3 down blocks, 2 kick outs:


Another type of ambiguity that UCLA could use is something called series play- something that Auburn also uses quite well: I'd check out this site/article. Some great, professional breakdowns over there that deal with different teams, and formations on a regular basis. 

Series play is something that takes a little while to establish since all the different plays essentially feed off of each other- anyways, Series play describes the relationship between, for instance, a run and a play action pass. But more recently can relate an inside run, a counter, and a zone read.

As shown in the breakdown at, this set up:


Can result in a play action pass, straight run, counter, and a lump of other plays, just check out this site here to see more about Auburn's series play (It deserves the clicks).

In summary, the ambiguity can either come in the concept, or in the formation, so my question to you is would you rather see UCLA create a new offense that uses different formations, styles, and philosophies, or add to its Pistol/Pro offense look with more concepts and series play? What do YOU think? 

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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