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How a return to the simplicity of Peyton Manning's Indy offense has ignited the Denver Broncos

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The enduring wonder of the Manning-Moore offense was not only its incredible success, but the way that success came about: by running the fewest play concepts of any offense in the league. Despite having one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time under center, the Colts eschewed the conventional wisdom of continually adding volume to their offense in the form of countless formations and shifts.

 

"I can give [you] the playbook," said former Manning backup quarterback Jim Sorgi in 2010, Manning's last full season in Indianapolis. "There is not that many teams they're going to play who don't know what they're going to do. It's all about execution. Their coaches are like, 'We'll tell the other team what we're doing. They got to stop us.' That's what they do. That's what they're all about. And not many teams have been able to stop them yet."

 

Sorgi was not kidding. Out-executing opponents is easier with no. 18 and the veterans around him, but the offense Moore developed for Manning drew its strength from its simplicity. By using a small number of personnel groups — typically either three wide receivers and a tight end, or two wide receivers and two tight ends — it limited the number of possible responses from the defense and made it easier for Manning to diagnose its weak spots from both a speedy no-huddle (used whenever a defense tried to substitute) and a regular pace of play.

 

Very much enjoyed the read-

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8828013/how-return-simplicity-peyton-manning-indy-offense-ignited-denver-broncos

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Nice read!  

 

I couldn't help think of a play Luck recently ran on a game winning drive, but on first down that went to for 18 yards.  However, take the inside receiver on the 'bunch', motion him over split outside on the right, and the receiver split outside on the left does a short in dig rather than a drag, I think Luck can use this same formation for a a short yards needed first down instead of just a medium/deep chunk play. It may already be in BA's playbook.  

 

BroncosDig_zpsf381ea49.jpeg

 

AriansroutesDig_zpsa9258052.jpg

 

Both the way Manning ran/runs it and the result Luck had, I love the dig route.  For chunk yardage or crucial short first down yardage.  I loved having Peyton as QB for the Colts, and will love having Luck as a Colt QB too.

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Nice read!  

 

I couldn't help think of a play Luck recently ran on a game winning drive, but on first down that went to for 18 yards.  However, take the inside receiver on the 'bunch', motion him over split outside on the right, and the receiver split outside on the left does a short in dig rather than a drag, I think Luck can use this same formation for a a short yards needed first down instead of just a medium/deep chunk play. It may already be in BA's playbook.  

 

BroncosDig_zpsf381ea49.jpeg

 

AriansroutesDig_zpsa9258052.jpg

 

Both the way Manning ran/runs it and the result Luck had, I love the dig route.  For chunk yardage or crucial short first down yardage.  I loved having Peyton as QB for the Colts, and will love having Luck as a Colt QB too.

 

I think it's a completely different concept. Let me know what you think.

 

The Dig/Levels play has a balanced formation most of the time, and it's a formation and personnel grouping that is used a couple dozen times a game. But the big difference is that the Arians play uses a receiver-heavy unbalanced formation, inviting the defense to send attention, if not players, to that side of the field. So whether your outside guy runs a drag or an in or even a slant, he's surrounded by the defenders.

 

The reason that's typically a drag route is because it's the third or fourth read, and you're not supposed to hit that guy hot; you're supposed to hit him once he gets to the numbers on the opposite side of the field, the side that's light defensively, and hopefully he's got some separation from his defender and has a little room to run because the coverage has sagged back. The seam, streak and even the deep in are ahead of the drag or short in in that concept.

 

I know a lot of people complain about the Arians' offense having a lot of deep routes, but I think the more accurate description would be that the routes are slow developing, and the route combinations don't create separation right away. It's not that everything is ten or fifteen yards down the field; that's obviously not the case.

 

Compare that to Levels. First of all, that's a hard comparison to make. Manning is a great quarterback who demands respect, and as such, defenders are more likely to play off, especially on the multiple receiver side of the formation. But just for the sake of this exercise, you'll notice from the diagram that Manning has a quick option (short in), and two one on one options on the other side. He likely checked to this play after seeing the corners giving 8 yard cushions on the multiple side, and seeing press coverage on the solo side. After the play fake keeps the backers in the box, he has somewhere to go with the ball, and the rush never gets close. This discourages a blitz, first of all (why send extra guys when they don't have a chance to affect the play, and now you have fewer tacklers in coverage?) It's also a high percentage throw that gives the receiver a chance to pick up yardage after the catch.

 

Even with tight man coverage, the short in can be a slant or a drag, and it's still a hot option, because you haven't overloaded that side of the field. Oftentimes with Garcon, it was a slant instead of an in. That's advanced, though, using hand signals to adjust routes with as little as five seconds on the play clock. Which leads to the audibles and the protections, and all that. I'm not one who thinks we need to revert back to the Manning/Moore offense. But some of those concepts should be borrowed, absolutely.

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I think it's a completely different concept. Let me know what you think.

 

The Dig/Levels play has a balanced formation most of the time, and it's a formation and personnel grouping that is used a couple dozen times a game. But the big difference is that the Arians play uses a receiver-heavy unbalanced formation, inviting the defense to send attention, if not players, to that side of the field. So whether your outside guy runs a drag or an in or even a slant, he's surrounded by the defenders.

Yep, except, I was thinking, have them line up similar to the way we ran it vs. the Pack to get the D lined up in a position, but in a legal way so to then have the most inside receiver on the left side go motion across and split out wide to the right.  Now we have same formation as Moore/Manning's 'dig'. I guess I didn't make that clear enough in the initial post. Sorry.

 

The reason that's typically a drag route is because it's the third or fourth read, and you're not supposed to hit that guy hot; you're supposed to hit him once he gets to the numbers on the opposite side of the field, the side that's light defensively, and hopefully he's got some separation from his defender and has a little room to run because the coverage has sagged back. The seam, streak and even the deep in are ahead of the drag or short in in that concept.

But after the motion and new formation, we could have that drag route become a hot read, short yardage slant, yes? At least, that was my thought, not have him as 3rd or 4th on the progression list.  it came to me when I saw Peyton's setup.

I know a lot of people complain about the Arians' offense having a lot of deep routes, but I think the more accurate description would be that the routes are slow developing, and the route combinations don't create separation right away. It's not that everything is ten or fifteen yards down the field; that's obviously not the case.

 

Compare that to Levels. First of all, that's a hard comparison to make. Manning is a great quarterback who demands respect, and as such, defenders are more likely to play off, especially on the multiple receiver side of the formation. But just for the sake of this exercise, you'll notice from the diagram that Manning has a quick option (short in), and two one on one options on the other side. He likely checked to this play after seeing the corners giving 8 yard cushions on the multiple side, and seeing press coverage on the solo side.

I guess we would have to see how the D responds to the motion and new formation to determine the best matchup and 1st read for Luck then.  But have the motioned receiver split right run his go route, and all receivers are basically on same patterns in both sets (except the whole formation is flipped in reverse). But something will be exposed.  Peyton earned his stripes and respect, Luck is quickly getting his too. From Ed Reed-

 

http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?p=25008452

 

After the play fake keeps the backers in the box, he has somewhere to go with the ball, and the rush never gets close. This discourages a blitz, first of all (why send extra guys when they don't have a chance to affect the play, and now you have fewer tacklers in coverage?) It's also a high percentage throw that gives the receiver a chance to pick up yardage after the catch.

 

Even with tight man coverage, the short in can be a slant or a drag, and it's still a hot option, because you haven't overloaded that side of the field. Oftentimes with Garcon, it was a slant instead of an in. That's advanced, though, using hand signals to adjust routes with as little as five seconds on the play clock. Which leads to the audibles and the protections, and all that. I'm not one who thinks we need to revert back to the Manning/Moore offense. But some of those concepts should be borrowed, absolutely.

Right, and i think motion from unbalanced to that set is easy to do. We should borrow that concept, while keeping true to our motion concepts.  That was my whole point.  Thanks.  So my question back is, do think it is workable?

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Yep, except, I was thinking, have them line up similar to the way we ran it vs. the Pack to get the D lined up in a position, but in a legal way so to then have the most inside receiver on the left side go motion across and split out wide to the right.  Now we have same formation as Moore/Manning's 'dig'. I guess I didn't make that clear enough in the initial post. Sorry.

 

But after the motion and new formation, we could have that drag route become a hot read, short yardage slant, yes? At least, that was my thought, not have him as 3rd or 4th on the progression list.  it came to me when I saw Peyton's setup.

I guess we would have to see how the D responds to the motion and new formation to determine the best matchup and 1st read for Luck then.  But have the motioned receiver split right run his go route, and all receivers are basically on same patterns in both sets (except the whole formation is flipped in reverse). But something will be exposed.  Peyton earned his stripes and respect, Luck is quickly getting his too. From Ed Reed-

 

http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?p=25008452

 

Right, and i think motion from unbalanced to that set is easy to do. We should borrow that concept, while keeping true to our motion concepts.  That was my whole point.  Thanks.  So my question back is, do think it is workable?

 

You did, I just forgot that you mentioned that. I was thinking more about the way we ran it than the tweak you mentioned. I do think that's workable: motion to balance the formation out. then run essentially the same route combinations, and you should have a hot read, depending on what the defense does in response to the motion. (Motion Y right/left, Dig/Dag.) I would probably have the quarterback determine which receiver to motion across, depending on the depth of the corners. 

 

I don't think we should get rid of motion, but I do think there's a lot to be said for limiting motion and packages. Or, perhaps, we run three or four different pass plays and a couple of run plays out of that same package, including the motion. But more important are the route combinations, trying to find a way to a) have more quick options, and b) including the backs in the passing game more often. As the diagram shows, with Levels, the last read is the back in the flat. 

 

According to the BR article in the other thread, the backs are a minimal part of our passing attack, and I think that's too bad because both Ballard and Brown have proven to be dangerous after the catch. Brown's touchdown in preseason and Ballard's game winner against the Titans were designed to get the backs the ball in space. But it doesn't have to be as complicated as those two plays were. 

 

Also, checking to a "Dag" variation is a great way to beat a zone cover 2 look, because the soft spot is the deep out/corner, and if you can get Allen or Fleener the ball out there, you're looking at 20 yards. But it's still a fast developing route, and with a play fake, you probably keep the quarterback out of trouble. 

 

You can probably tell that I prefer the Manning/Moore philosophy for its simplicity. In fact, there was an article by Smart Football that showed how many offenses are running similar concepts in the passing game, many of which are different variations of Levels. That concept is brilliant. But more than that, the point of the article was that Manning's offense basically does the same things over and over again. They show you the same formations, they don't motion, they keep the same personnel on the field, and it's still highly successful, even in crunch time, mostly because of superior execution. I'd be willing to bet that Arians' play book is ten times bigger than the old Colts play book, and that's fine, but the beauty of what Moore and Manning developed is it's simplicity. 

 

My base personnel package would be 21 (two receivers, one back, two tight ends), but I would move Allen and Fleener all over the field. I would combine some of the motions of Arians' system with the route concepts of the Manning/Moore system, using Allen as the "fulcrum." Motion him from left to right, wide to inline, put him in the backfield, etc. Make defenses react to him and tip their hand. But the route combinations should focus more on having an immediate option and getting the backs involved in the passing game. 

 

...

 

You tricked me. You're getting a play book now.

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The enduring wonder of the Manning-Moore offense was not only its incredible success, but the way that success came about: by running the fewest play concepts of any offense in the league. Despite having one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time under center, the Colts eschewed the conventional wisdom of continually adding volume to their offense in the form of countless formations and shifts.

 

"I can give [you] the playbook," said former Manning backup quarterback Jim Sorgi in 2010, Manning's last full season in Indianapolis. "There is not that many teams they're going to play who don't know what they're going to do. It's all about execution. Their coaches are like, 'We'll tell the other team what we're doing. They got to stop us.' That's what they do. That's what they're all about. And not many teams have been able to stop them yet."

 

Sorgi was not kidding. Out-executing opponents is easier with no. 18 and the veterans around him, but the offense Moore developed for Manning drew its strength from its simplicity. By using a small number of personnel groups — typically either three wide receivers and a tight end, or two wide receivers and two tight ends — it limited the number of possible responses from the defense and made it easier for Manning to diagnose its weak spots from both a speedy no-huddle (used whenever a defense tried to substitute) and a regular pace of play.

 

Very much enjoyed the read-

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8828013/how-return-simplicity-peyton-manning-indy-offense-ignited-denver-broncos

 

 

Its not the playbook, its just executing to perfection the play, that is what has always been said, thus the intense preparation

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You did, I just forgot that you mentioned that. I was thinking more about the way we ran it than the tweak you mentioned. I do think that's workable: motion to balance the formation out. then run essentially the same route combinations, and you should have a hot read, depending on what the defense does in response to the motion. (Motion Y right/left, Dig/Dag.) I would probably have the quarterback determine which receiver to motion across, depending on the depth of the corners. 

 

I don't think we should get rid of motion, but I do think there's a lot to be said for limiting motion and packages. Or, perhaps, we run three or four different pass plays and a couple of run plays out of that same package, including the motion. But more important are the route combinations, trying to find a way to a) have more quick options, and b) including the backs in the passing game more often. As the diagram shows, with Levels, the last read is the back in the flat. 

 

According to the BR article in the other thread, the backs are a minimal part of our passing attack, and I think that's too bad because both Ballard and Brown have proven to be dangerous after the catch. Brown's touchdown in preseason and Ballard's game winner against the Titans were designed to get the backs the ball in space. But it doesn't have to be as complicated as those two plays were. 

 

Also, checking to a "Dag" variation is a great way to beat a zone cover 2 look, because the soft spot is the deep out/corner, and if you can get Allen or Fleener the ball out there, you're looking at 20 yards. But it's still a fast developing route, and with a play fake, you probably keep the quarterback out of trouble. 

 

You can probably tell that I prefer the Manning/Moore philosophy for its simplicity. In fact, there was an article by Smart Football that showed how many offenses are running similar concepts in the passing game, many of which are different variations of Levels. That concept is brilliant. But more than that, the point of the article was that Manning's offense basically does the same things over and over again. They show you the same formations, they don't motion, they keep the same personnel on the field, and it's still highly successful, even in crunch time, mostly because of superior execution. I'd be willing to bet that Arians' play book is ten times bigger than the old Colts play book, and that's fine, but the beauty of what Moore and Manning developed is it's simplicity. 

 

My base personnel package would be 21 (two receivers, one back, two tight ends), but I would move Allen and Fleener all over the field. I would combine some of the motions of Arians' system with the route concepts of the Manning/Moore system, using Allen as the "fulcrum." Motion him from left to right, wide to inline, put him in the backfield, etc. Make defenses react to him and tip their hand. But the route combinations should focus more on having an immediate option and getting the backs involved in the passing game. 

 

...

 

You tricked me. You're getting a play book now.

 

The bolded is exactly how I envision our offense, ran optimally. I would even add that once Fleener matures, he should be used like Dallas Clark, working from the slot and sometimes out wide, to exploit mismatches.

 

 

Well said

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Its not the playbook, its just executing to perfection the play, that is what has always been said, thus the intense preparation

 

That IS Peyton.  I remember him missing training camp with knee bursa issue.  We started season off real slow, and these were players Manning already knew.  But it was the precise timing that was off and only repetitions could recovery. They, and the Colts did. After they went 3-4 to start, Manning and the Colts ripped off nine straight wins to finish the season 12-4.  Once all of the pieces of the machine are in place and well oiled, it runs over everybody, even when they know what's coming and are out to stop it.

 

No surprise to me Denver adapted more to Peyton than vice versa.  :)

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"My base personnel package would be 21 (two receivers, one back, two tight ends), but I would move Allen and Fleener all over the field. I would combine some of the motions of Arians' system with the route concepts of the Manning/Moore system, using Allen as the "fulcrum." Motion him from left to right, wide to inline, put him in the backfield, etc. Make defenses react to him and tip their hand. But the route combinations should focus more on having an immediate option and getting the backs involved in the passing game. "

 

Do the N.O. Saints run formations from that set?  If BA leaves would J. Lombardi do it?  Would Tom Moore come here?  Would both come here?   Hmmmmm....

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That IS Peyton.  I remember him missing training camp with knee bursa issue.  We started season off real slow, and these were players Manning already knew.  But it was the precise timing that was off and only repetitions could recovery. They, and the Colts did. After they went 3-4 to start, Manning and the Colts ripped off nine straight wins to finish the season 12-4.  Once all of the pieces of the machine are in place and well oiled, it runs over everybody, even when they know what's coming and are out to stop it.

 

No surprise to me Denver adapted more to Peyton than vice versa.   :)

 

That was a great season, 2 knee bursa surgeries as got infected bursa , Yup those straight wins with a dynamic thursday night performance Vs Jaxsonville late in season won him MVP

 

we would of had a lost season but 2 startling late comeback wins 1 Vs Vikings & 1 Vs Texans I believe in first 5 games

If I remember right QB Sage Rosenthal tried to run and jump over a defender near the red zone that a score could of iced game away from us, but during the jump got hit & twirled like a helicopter, ball came loose

and think was Mathis that huffed & puffed all the way to the endzone for the TD

 

anyway have to go, just saw this and wanted to answer u first

 

Broncoss initially tried  Mcoys idea of the 2 back set but didnt work and thus the late combacks early on with 1 back no huddle, then Mcoy got the idea maybe peyton is onto something

 

& Mcoy may het a HC job for doping it Peytons way

Barry

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That was a great season, 2 knee bursa surgeries as got infected bursa , Yup those straight wins with a dynamic thursday night performance Vs Jaxsonville late in season won him MVP

 

we would of had a lost season but 2 startling late comeback wins 1 Vs Vikings & 1 Vs Texans I believe in first 5 games

If I remember right QB Sage Rosenthal tried to run and jump over a defender near the red zone that a score could of iced game away from us, but during the jump got hit & twirled like a helicopter, ball came loose

and think was Mathis that huffed & puffed all the way to the endzone for the TD

 

anyway have to go, just saw this and wanted to answer u first

 

Broncoss initially tried  Mcoys idea of the 2 back set but didnt work and thus the late combacks early on with 1 back no huddle, then Mcoy got the idea maybe peyton is onto something

 

& Mcoy may het a HC job for doping it Peytons way

Barry

 

Mathis caused the fumble. Brackett took it to the house.

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