The days of repeatedly lining up in Power-I, and running HB Wham over and over again are long gone. Sports; like life, goes through stages and fads. What was in vogue in the 1980s loses it’s luster by the 1990s, and then finds itself back in the mainstream by 2021…an odd cycle.
As the ever present observant that’s required to be the Encyclopedia of Guys, I’ve noticed an influx of trick plays being called in football. Some for better, and some for worse…
The Kansas City Chiefs seem to think they’ve reinvented the wheel with the shovel pass. Turn on CBS for the 4:25pm kickoff and you’ll be sure to hear Tony Romo make unusual noises and fawn over the Chief’s goal-line play sheet.
Collinsworth nearly falls out of his chair on Sunday Nights when Andy Reid orders up some red zone tomfoolery…but not everyone is Patrick Mahomes. Some guys aren’t adept in the art of executing no look passes for fun.
The Jets and rookie QB Zach Wilson haven’t taken off the launch pad yet. The former BYU QB should stick to the fundamentals, and not attempt the shovel pass in a mad scramble on his own side of the 50. Maybe mix in a solid FB Dive. The Jets aren’t winning any meaningful games anyway, at least the full back dive gets no one embarrassed.
In Super Bowl XL against the Seahawks, Mr. Gadget Play himself; Antwaan Randle El threw for a 43 yard touchdown on a reverse receiver pass. 15 years later he’s still the only receiver to complete a pass as a thrower for a score in a Super Bowl…but not everyone is Antwaan Randle El.
In case you just started watching sports, back in Antwaan’s playing days, the announcers would be sure to let you know multiple times Randle El played quarterback at Indiana, and had a cup of coffee as a basketball and baseball player too.
Just a couple of weeks ago the Browns attempted their own receiver pass in an effort to dupe the then winless Lions . Jarvis Landry has completed a number of trick plays in the past, but this time Cleveland was fooling no one…all of that fuss just to run what was essentially an HB Counter.
Previously touched on here, the Tennessee Titans like to give off the impression that they’re a one dimensional hard-nosed football team…but that isn’t completely true.
In Week 6 this season, the Bills traveled to Nissan Stadium, and controlled the game early on. Coach Vrabel knew he needed to change the momentum, and what better way then to try his own lateral pass on a kick-off…in the first quarter…but not everyone is Frank Wycheck.
Chester Rogers made a valiant effort here, but his biggest issue was that he didn’t pay the refs off, as we all knew from the beginning that Wycheck threw a forward pass.
The statue of liberty, the hook and ladder, the flea flicker…these trick plays have a time and a place. It’s usually best to keep it simple, dialing something up may feel like the right thing to do, but it’s often not. Like Freddie Gibbs says, sometimes you need to go back to pagers like it’s the 80’s now.
…Unless you’re these two guys.