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Inside the Playbook: 'Formation I.D.'

Drawing up every offensive formation you need to know. Matt Bowen

Print This June 14, 2012, 05:30 AM EST

Click here for the entire Inside the Playbook series

Click here for my Offensive Personnel breakdown

"Formation I.D." (or formation recogintion) is vital to your success as a defensive player in this league because of tendencies, route combinations, etc. Every formation you see at the line of scrimmage can tell you a story based on the pre-snap alignment.

Today, let’s take a look at the key offensive formations you need to know (taken from my notes compiled over my career) as we continue to break down the Xs and Os of the NFL game this summer.

*NOTE: Formation recognition is based on alignments (applies to every offensive personnel grouping). Here, I drew up each formation with Regular personnel (2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB) on the field.

GROUP 1
-Pro
-Slot
-Empty

Playbook

GROUP 2
-Doubles
-Doubles Exchange
-Spread

Playbook

GROUP 3
-Doubles Slot
-Doubles Slot Open
-Orange

Playbook

GROUP 4
-Unit
-Unit Wing
-Unit Trump

Playbook

GROUP 5
-Vice
-Bunch
-Cluster

Playbook

GROUP 6
-Tight Wing
-Big Wing

Playbook

Up Next: The base run game

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