HAVE A PURPOSE
What is the goal of installing EMPTY? More importantly, what is the defensive response we want?
- Do we want a blitz?
- Do we not want a blitz?
- Can we dictate man or zone coverage?
- Does a 3-4 team become a 4 down team when they go Nickel?
It's of paramount importance to know the answers one will get regardless of formation; below is an example of the thought process involved in a normal "TRIPS" set:
The opportunity for EMPTY to help in the attack either exists or it doesn't. If there, stick with basic ideas that are already in the normal attack, particularly from a QB read standpoint. The last thing a coach needs to do is come up with a special set of rules for reads (or protection for that matter) that don't already exist in the system's normal mode of operation. On the left, there is a standard coverage beater in which the QB will work weak vs. 1 high and strong vs 2 high. In order to assure us the look we want, if we are to provide a variation, we could go to the formation on the left.
Why was "bunch" chosen?
- To protect the split of A, who we want to drag
- To get a zone check - common to prevent the rub-offs man coverage endures vs. Bunch.
Here, there are 2 main trains of thought. First, we can protect empty principles by MOTIONING to empty (as we did above). As complicated as defenses have become, last minute movement from 1 back to no-back can catch the defense flat-footed. In some instances, quick-rhythm throws can be created for the QB that wouldn't otherwise be there. A terrific illustration of this can be seen here:
Leave your best players on the field. If your featured set is represented with a TE and a stud RB, then create your empty formation from there. Here, there is an H back, with the RB deployed as a slot - and inviting the ball to go to the best receiver, X.