Gameplan - Playbook
Just as in real-life, in Gameplan you call all of your plays during a game from a "playbook".
In Gameplan this is split up into five sections, Offensive formations, Running Plays, Passing Plays, Defensive Plays and Special Teams, plus a "Hints and Tips section".
Click on the links below for more details of the various sections of the playbook.
2.1 - The table below shows the play call codes and names, the ball carrier and general effectiveness for each running play available.
2.2 FULL BACK & HALF BACK - Teams normally have two starting running backs, the full back and the half back. The full back is usually the bigger and stronger, while the half back is smaller and faster. The fullback tends to take most responsibility for blocking, and bears the brunt of the inside power running plays. The halfback tends to run most of the outside running plays, where speed is at a premium, and is the back who has a better chance of breaking for a very long gain.
2.3 ONE BACK OFFENCES - In one back formations the single back may be either the full back or half back according to the play call (it is the play you call that determines who is in the formation, not the formation itself). If a play description calls for a lead blocker or misdirection from a running back then don't call the play from a one back formation (they’ll run the play assuming there’s a lead blocker even though he isn’t there).
2.4 LEAD RUNNING - These plays involve one back leading the other (who is the ball carrier) through the hole, usually with the fullback leading and the halfback carrying. These plays are slower to develop than those without a lead blocker, so the defence has a better chance of breaking up the play, but the extra blocker means there is also a higher chance of the ball carrier escaping for a long gain.
2.5 MISDIRECTION - Misdirection plays are those where the offence tries to mislead the defence by "showing" one point of attack and then hitting a different one. Typically it involves the quarterback faking a handoff to one back going in one direction and then handing off to the other back in a different direction. The principal intention of misdirection is to draw the linebackers out of position. Results are likely to be unpredictable. If the defence buys the fake then the ball carrier may well attack a weakly defended area of the defence. If the defence does not fall for the misdirection then the offence has simply removed one or more blockers from the point of attack.
2.6 TRAPS AND DRAWS - These are "strategy" plays designed to lure defensive players out of position, usually by encouraging them to cross the line of scrimmage into the backfield. On a draw the offence behaves as if it were a passing play, encouraging the defence to rush the quarterback. As the defenders charge into the backfield the offensive linemen guide them away from the point of attack and the quarterbacks gives a delayed handoff to a running back. On a trap the defensive lineman nearest to the hole through which the play is to go is left unblocked. As he advances into the gap created he is hit by an offensive lineman pulling from the other side of the formation.
2.7 FULLBACK PLAYS - Rush Through Centre (RC) is primarily a short yardage play, with the offensive line looking to overpower the defence and the fullback powering through the line of scrimmage. It is the play most likely to gain a couple of yards, but not likely to get much more.
Rush Off Tackle (RT) is the basic running play for many teams, with the fullback powering behind the strongside tackle. With the extra blocking of the tight end the play is likely to get yardage consistently.
Left Tackle (LT) is also an off tackle run, but it is run to the weakside without the extra blocking of the tight end. Yardage is not likely to be as good as the strongside run, but may exploit a defence which is over-compensating to the strongside.
The Fullback Sweep (FW) is the only outside fullback run, with the halfback and strongside of the line faking a run, while the quarterback hands off to the fullback running around the weakside.
The Delay (DE) is a form of draw play run by the fullback, with the whole of the offence showing pass. The offensive linemen drop into pass protection, the wide receivers step into their routes, and the quarterback drops back to pass before handing the ball off to the fullback to charge up the middle.
2.8 HALFBACK RUNNING INSIDE - The Lead Dive (RI) is a variation of the Rush Through Centre play, with the halfback carrying the ball behind the lead block of the fullback. Yardage is likely to be better than for fullback dive, but there is more chance of the play breaking down.
The Lead Run (RL) is an off-tackle play, with the fullback leading the halfback. The extra blocker increases the chance of breaking a big gain, but also increases the chance of the play breaking down.
The Option Veer (RO) is also an off tackle run, with the halfback having the option of cutting inside or outside the tackle. The halfback reads the play as he approaches the line of scrimmage, and tries to pick the best hole available. This play gives the halfback a good chance of finding a hole and getting decent yardage if the defence is expecting the run, but isn't likely to get much extra yardage if the defence is playing pass as the linebackers get time to readjust.
Run Counter (RN) is a misdirection play with the strongside of the line and the fullback faking an off-tackle run while the halfback carries the ball to the weakside. Blocking at the point of attack is light, but if the defence buys the fake the half back can find himself in open field.
2.9 HALFBACK RUNNING OUTSIDE - The Power Sweep (PW) is the basic outside running play. At the snap of the ball both guards pull to the right and lead the halfback around the strongside of the offensive line. The halfback cannot afford to overrun his blockers, so must wait for the offensive linemen to seal off the defence to the inside before turning upfield. If the offensive linemen fail then the halfback will simply end up running laterally until he runs out of field. If the halfback does turn the corner then a long run is very likely with only the secondary left to beat.
Run Weakside (RW) is a sweep to the weakside with the fullback leading the halfback around the left corner. Without the extra blocking of the tight end the play will not go far against a solid run defence, but the halfback may otherwise be sprung for a long gain.
The Toss Sweep (TW) is the fastest developing sweep play, with the quarterback pitching the ball out to the halfback. The halfback does not have to wait for any blockers to get in front of him and simply uses his speed to try and get outside as quickly as possible.
The Sweep (SW) is a variation with the fullback leading the halfback around the corner. The extra blocker slows down the development of the play and increases the scope for confusion, but provides an extra chance of breaking the halfback open for a long gain.
The Counter Gap (CW) looks and starts like a sweep, with offensive linemen pulling from the weakside of the formation. The intention is to get the defence to overpursue the play, while the halfback cuts back inside. The pulling linemen also turn inside to trap any defensive players who are at the point of the cutback. The play can only work when the defence buys the threat to the outside, or the offensive blocking is powerful enough to move the defence at will.
2.10 HALFBACK DRAWS AND TRAPS - The Trap (TR) play is designed to take advantage of an aggressive defensive line, with the offensive line encouraging a defender into an apparent hole, then trap blocking the isolated player as the halfback carries through the hole. If the defence does not pursue across the line of scrimmage then the halfback will find himself with nowhere to go.
On a Draw (DR) play the offensive line set up to pass block and guide their immediate opponents away to the outside while the ball is handed off to the half back up the middle.
The Draw-Trap (DT) play is a draw play with a trap block. There is no lead blocker. It is less vulnerable to blitzes, stunts, stacks and the flex than the draw play because the first defensive player penetrating the line of scrimmage should be trap blocked but has even less impact on “passive” run defences.
The Draw-Sweep (DW) play is a draw to the outside, reliant mainly on the half-back’s speed in getting to the corner. If the defence bites on the draw and the halfback gets outside he should get decent yardage - if they don’t, or he doesn’t, he won’t go far.
2.11 GADGET RUNNING - Gadget runs are designed to take the defence by surprise, using misdirection and an unexpected ball carrier.
On an End Around (EV) the quarterback fakes a handoff to a running back running strongside and hands off direct to a wide receiver crossing the field to the weakside.
On a Reverse (RV) play the quarterback hands the ball off to a back running strongside who then hands the ball off to a wide receiver looping to the weakside. The misdirection, faking a strongside run and sending the ball to the weakside makes the reverse more likely to fool the defence but is more risky because of the extra handoff.
A third option is the Double Reverse (DV), which is the reverse play with a second handoff, the wide receiver running to the weakside handing the ball off to a second wide receiver running to the strongside. This is the riskiest play of all, but if the defence is caught pursuing the play to the weakside the extra blockers to the strongside (from the initial misdirection) may lead to a large gain.
Reverses tend to produce high yardage, but are also likely to produce a lot of fumbles, some on the exchanges and some when wide receivers get tackled by linemen or linebackers. They are most effective against run defences, ineffective against pass defences (when most of the players you are trying to confuse are dropping back into coverage with time to watch and recover), and very risky against blitzes (when there are linebackers and safeties in the backfield to add to the general mayhem).
2.12 QUARTERBACK RUNNING - There are a variety of running plays available to quarterbacks, although quarterback running is usually limited, except when forced to run under pressure. Teams usually try not to risk their quarterback on running plays, partly because of his importance as a passer and also because of his lighter padding.
The Option Run (OR) is primarily a short yardage play, with the quarterback carrying the ball off tackle with the option to pitch out to the half back or keep it himself. The pitchout is the usual result, as the objective is to force the outside defender to give up the running back and cover the quarterback.
The Triple Option (OT) is primarily a college running play, and not recommended against pro defences (who are quicker). The QB has the option to pitch out to the half back (OR) against an aggressive defence, hand off to the fullback up the middle (OT) against normal run defences and keep the ball (QR) if the defence is soft.
The Quarterback Scramble (QR) is not normally used as a designed play, usually occurring as the quarterback tries to avoid a sack. The quarterback rolls to the strongside, looking to get as much yardage (and perhaps out of bounds) before the defence closes in on him.
The Quarterback Keeper (QK) is a misdirection play, with the quarterback faking a handoff to a running back on a strongside run, and rolling out to the weakside.
The Quarterback Sneak (QS) is also a short yardage play, in which at the snap of the ball the quarterback simply follows behind the offensive line surge. The play is likely to get a yard, maybe two, but no more.
The Quarterback Draw (QD) is a delay/draw run by the quarterback. The added advantage over the other draw plays is that the quarterback drops behind his running backs (an important key for many defensive players), making the pass fake more convincing. Yardage is likely to be variable, and it is not a play that should be repeated regularly (unless you want your quarterback carried home in a box).