This is the second of several articles that are devoted to every play in tecmo super bowl. Play Analyzing: Running Basics, weak run plays and the LB4 lurch was written at a time when I felt writers block approaching. It was a last ditched attempt to get two important pieces of information across. One that most of the running plays in TSB are useless. In fact only a limited number of run plays can be considered good. The second was how deadly a LB4 lurch can be in the right hands.
This article explores five plays. R and S Draw, T Sweep Strong, T Power Sweep R, Pro T Waggle and T Flea Flicker. As these articles move forward we will work towards more commonly used plays. If you need help on R and S sweep right almost any game film can be watched to gain ideals. We will not touch that run till the end. For now I want to shore up knowledge on the middle ground plays.
R and S Draw defines an average run play. It is underestimated by almost all TSB players and yet in the right situations it can be unstoppable. It has hidden aspects that only understanding player stats can reveal. It has big weaknesses and subtle strengths.
The best use of R and S Draw is in a run and shoot play book with all the runs in the R and S and three R and S passes. In order to run R and S Draw better the element of surprise is key. Its second best use is when the player running it knows he can out tap his opponent. In the right match ups R and S draw will provide plenty of 1 on 1 opportunities for a good tapper.
R and S draw is unique due to the extension. This is a special hand off that enables the offense to control what direction the runner is going in. By holding a direction the running back will extend from the hand off in that direction. The extension works in all eight directions and also can be work in no direction. For the extension to work the QB ms must be 13 and is more reliable at 6 ms. There is an automatic extension forward if the extension failed.
Here is the video demonstrating the extension in a multitude of directions. Note that when Marino is used I can pull it off more often than with a 13 ms qb. To do the stationary extension you must tap a direction and then hold down nothing. Otherwise hold down the direction you want the play to be extended too. A tip is to extend away from where the human lines up at.
The extension is used to counter the biggest weakness of R and S Draw. Both middle linebackers are unblocked and can blitz in during the hand off. Using the extension can counter the automatic dive tackle a blitz can lead too. If done right the defender will miss and find himself unable to control the lb for a critical second or three. Even if the defender does not dive the extension can throw off his balance. During the extension the screen can jump violently. Even if the defender is prepared for the extension the screen jump can trip him up. This often results in freezing the manned defender and allowing a few seconds for the running back to get down the field.
The above video shows that the extension will not work with a qb with 19 ms or more. It is not a 100% reliable with a 13 ms qb. During a game with r and s draw as a play it is vital to check qb ms. It might work one quarter and fail the next.
R and S draw relies on blocking to work well. It will work better for teams with more hitting power in the skill positions. It is best called when the opponent is using a defensive back. It often requires deception to trick the human into diving or waiting for a trailing defender to recover.
R and S draw is weak against the blitz and when the QB has more than 19 ms. The holes between the linemen are a double edged sword. They can be used to trick the defense on what gap you are running through. At the same time those holes are easy to fill with a dive tackle. If you are not deceptive, patient or shifty then this is not the play for you.
Lets now move on to some half way decent plays at the best of times. Only a limited number of positive factors keeps the two T sweeps from the trash bucket of weak runs. They are almost the exact same play except for the blocking pattern. T power sweep r sends a blocker to the top of the field and three in the direction of the sweep.
All four of these plays have the same design flaws. It is a simple matter for LB1, LB2 or LB3 to catch the RB in the backfield. The blockers will not come back to help unlike in other sweeps. Then the hand off takes too long. By the time the human is in control they have to fight off a LB. Often you can force the fumble or sack before human control is returned.
This video shows how weak the t sweeps and the play fakes are. If you watch the bottom wr you can determine if it is a pass or run. On a pass play the bottom wr will run through the defenders and go on a route. If it is a run he will block. This means that the blitzing player will destroy the play action for sacks and cause fumbles on the flea flicker.
Bo Jackson is the only player I have found with the speed to make up for the inherit weaknesses of this play. However, that advantage will only be realized against a team with slow linebackers 1 through 3. (Hou vs Oak) This play is also half way decent when paired with at least one more pro form run like t power dive in the run 2 spot.
Now let’s move on to the one unique aspect of the t sweeps that I like to call the Okoye Special. When Steve Deberg is in bad condition and Okoye in at least average it is possible to extend the t sweep up. It works better on the first t sweep than it does the second t sweep. At the moment I have never gotten it to work with any other combination of players. In fact the same scenario does not even work on Nestopia. The video is above and the extension only works going straight up.
Next article we will take a look at the Phoenix Cardinals.