Billy Gomila

Saw this exchange on another board and figured I'd repost it for your thoughts. What say you? Is this right? I know we use a true FB quite a bit, and with success. Later in the exchange the first guy seemed to asking not so much about lining up in I formation, but rather with two backs flanking either side of the QB. Which I'm not sure I ever see us do. But certainly LSU has done fine against 8 and even 9 man boxes, and as long as the linemen aren't getting blown up, we don't seem to suffer a numbers disadvantage.


Okay, I'm a smartass but I don't know everything. All I know is that back in the day if you had two or three good runningbacks, you'd find a way to put all of them on the field and in the same backfield at the same time.

Nowadays everybody seems to want to shuffle them in at TB while the FB has become either an OG or non-existent.

Why come?

Why can't we have two-back offenses like we used to?


If you are serious and want to know why read option gives an advantage, there is a good if dated set of videos at a site called They breaks down the inside and outside zone plays, which are the meat and potatoes of the read option. They actually really explain what is going on quite well. Here's a link. The Spread Offense Tutorial #1 and #2 are really all you need, and they run only about ten minutes each. It's an Oregon site, but honestly Auburn and FSU run the base offense the best right now, imho, so they would be better bets to see it in a live game.

If you just want the short answer, then the reason nobody uses 2RB sets is because the QB-RB mesh in the read option does the job the FB used to do in pro set without having to use a player to do it. When the QB-RB mesh and make the read, the point is to make the DE irrelevant by going with the option that he can't block. This takes one lineman out of the play entirely. That's what the FB used to do in pro set. Now you can have another OL or TE or WR adding to the defense's headaches while still putting one DE out of the play entirely, and hence have more blockers, and hence get what the offense usually doesn't: a numbers advantage.

If it is just a gripe about football changing, then I guess the answer is that you can have a 2RB offense if you want, but given the advantage of the mesh and option doing the same thing without using a FB, why would anybody want to?

Even the supposed "old school" teams like Bama and Stanford are really just playing read option out of a pistol with heavy set up front now (essentially just replacing the FB with a big TE who is really an O-lineman). The B1G is the only place I see true 2RB I-Back formation play anymore. Look how well that is going for them.