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Coach Rob

Audibles

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I know, we've discussed this topic before, but as I'm still trying to wrap my head around this concept in a 5 v 5 flag football setting. Would love to use audibles more in my fall season coming up (12-14 yr olds, with three 11 yr olds on team), just need some practical reasons.

Most of the teams we play tend to use the same formation over and over, rarely do they switch from a 2-3 zone to a M2M in a series. I can see audibles working if a defense switches their formation after you come out of the huddle or switches players around. If the defense isn't throwing different looks or subbing on the fly, would there be a reason to call an audible?

I can see audibles working in these situations:

1) Defense switches to M2M, QB sees a mismatch.

2) Defense subs in a weaker or stronger player to the side you were running the play.

3) Defense makes a big change in their zone from a 2-3 to a 1-4.

4) You run trips right, defense doesn't adjust to cover those 3.

Audibles all seem to hinge on the defense doing something that makes the QB run a different play. If the defense shows the same formation play after play, not sure there's a need for audibles.

Thoughts?

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I know, we've discussed this topic before, but as I'm still trying to wrap my head around this concept in a 5 v 5 flag football setting. Would love to use audibles more in my fall season coming up (12-14 yr olds, with three 11 yr olds on team), just need some practical reasons.

Rob, you know I am a huge fan of the audible. We run more audibles compared to other teams in our league--by far.

If the defense isn't throwing different looks or subbing on the fly, would there be a reason to call an audible?

This is an excellent question. I think the reasons you listed were all spot on! I like to say we run audibles "because we can". We have two types of audibles. One allows us to reverse/mirror the play...and one that allows us to change into an entirely different formation/play. The former is good because you can use it on ALL plays, and only need one keyword for players to learn it. The latter works well because you can drastically change your attack on that one play.

While we do use it 95% of the times based on your list, the other 5% is used to combat any sort of subtlety might see in the defense. For example, even if the defense is lined up in a way I want them to be, but a defender yells out "watch out for the pitch" and is betting on what the play is (and is right), I will audible.

We also use our audibles to set up teams. By that--we have some plays where we WANT the defense to learn an audible, and then we audible within that audible.

Example: We have a Center Run play. Quad right. I'll call 'Ranger 18' for the Center to reverse it, and 'Falcon 22' for the Center to fake the reverse. However--we always call either Ranger or Falcon. After a few plays of this, if the defense makes a good play, I might make a comment out loud like "I guess they found out that 'Ranger' is for 'reverse.' A few plays later, I'll call out 'Ranger 19' (odd number is to do the opposite) and my players--in this example--know to fake the reverse. It works like a charm.

Of course, another intagible is that it will get in the heads of the defense. When they realize that their opponent can change things up to do whatever they want, whenever they want--simply because "they can"--the defense becomes much more re-active. In the latter half of games there is chaos on the defensive side when we audible. We will even audible sometimes and not change anything---again, just to keep the defense on their heels.

By getting your team to perform some complex audibles, the defense (and even the opposing coach) begin to realize "this team can play some football!" and it definitely does get into their pysche, in my opinion.

Your list definitely covers the spectrum as to why a team would run it, and for us it's simply a matter of doing it often and confusing the defense.

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We did all sorts of things with audibles...I'm just lucky that I had a QB who could call audibles himself when he saw a mismatch.

This is when we used them

-Teams in man to man with a mismatch on 1 of our studs

-Hurry up offense

-Teams shifting zones (We had plays to flood zones)

-Short Yardage (We had a ton of run/pass plays that were the same with playaction,my qb was smart enough to change these up with our codeword at the LOS)

-Penalites (Again our run/pass play that was the same.If teams got a penalty we would call the same play but he would change it from pass to run or run to pass)

-Turnovers (Any time we got 1 the next play we would try to hit big because of the momentum)

We had a lot of plays that were ran the same whether they were a run or a pass

Codeword for run was Red, pass was Potato

In the hurry up we would run the same play again I would just say on the ball and then call Red or Potato.Worked beautiful

Teams that shifted zones and I would call a run play to there strong zone side we would just call Potato to indicate pass instead.

Short Yardage.Again with so many plays the same being run/pass we would audible if we thought the run or pass would work better.Obviously not running in the no-run zone though

Penalties situations we would get right back on the ball and try to throw big to try and get an edge and hurry to get on top of the other team.

Turnovers we would try to hit a deep pass for a TD every time.They are momentum changers as it is so you can pretty much throw a knock out punch hitting a TD right after.

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I like your list, Rushbuster.

To add to this discussion, I'm curious for those of you that implement audibles--how often do you allow your QB to call them vs you calling them?

While I do allow my son (QB) to call an audible--the players know I can veto it by yelling "Danny White". (Cowboys fans should get this.)

The first season I allowed my son to audible, I must have called "Danny White" 60 times because he wanted to audible on every play simply because he was so excited. :-) Consequently, I added fake audibles, which can be a state, city, or country. I wanted the players to explicitly know what a fake audible is instead of just allowing our QBs to yell out anything.

A good example of when we don't use an audible is hurry up offense. While I will only run it when appropriate (if we are losing in the final seconds), I just call out the play I want to run (it's not like the defense knows our play names). I refrain from calling an audible to simply save time.

Once again--great topic! I'm curious as to you other coaches opinions on running it. I know it might sound like overkill, but once you've had the same team for a while, you are afforded time to do a lot of things like this. We try to build on what we learned from the previous season, and after a while you can get pretty creative.

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We ran audibles alot in 7/8 age bracket. However, we dont use audibles to change plays or to change formations. I guess we used something more like "hot routes" and we ran it in spread. Honestly, I learned this from our travel adult team I played on. We would run the same formation pretty much all the way until they figured it out or stopped it. It was our no huddle and the QB would call out the routes "Davis fly!" "Jason slant" kind of thing. They dont know who we were and never adjusted (and these were travel teams on 8v8 or 7v7). I have also used a numbering system when I QB a team.

So, we would spread out the defense and depending on how they lined up on defense, we would call out a hot route. The default route would be a fly and if we saw a weakness, we would adjust from there. In 5v5 or 6v6, we would run it as a change of pace and to confuse the defense. If the defense didnt adjust to our spread, we would attack the sidelines. If they did adjust and over adjusted we would hit the openings on quick slants and turn up field. If the safety was rushing and they were not dropping where he left, we would attack the middle deep. It was all based on how the defense lined up.

In this league, I called them mostly, but my son started to get pretty good at calling out plays and he could probably do it, but I have not let him try yet. In practices we would run this hot route offense and have a defense line up in different positions and make him read the holes. I would get him to tell me what he saw in the defense.

Our spread formation is attached so you can see how we had the base formation and would call out hot routes from there. The defense had to adjust, if not, we killed the sidelines.

Spread.bmp

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We ended a season with two audibles. I wanted it to be very simple for my kids, only having to memorize two plays. It was somewhat effective for sure because I picked two plays that were very good against the two base defenses (1-1-3 and 2-1-2). I wanted them to understand more the concept than the actual play, and when and why to call it.

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