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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Illustration for article titled Buddy Ryans Polish Goal Line Defense Was Against The Rules, And That Was The Point

This diagram is supposed to be from the Houston Oilers' playbook in 1993, the one season Buddy Ryan spent as the team's defensive coordinator. It depicts a special goal-line formation Ryan designed for the end of the half or the end of the game—situations in which there were "less than 15 seconds," in Ryan's words, according to the rest of the playbook page posted at Smart Football. You'll notice that there are 14 defenders. The idea is to allow the offense to run a free play, which more than 11 defenders would presumably be able to stop, with the understanding that a penalty has to be taken. The purpose is to force precious seconds to waste away, leaving the offense with less time to maneuver. The wonder is why Ryan stopped at 14 players, or didn't just punch Kevin Gilbride in the face again. [Smart Football, via @dhm]


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