One of the aspects of A-11-type plays that makes them so successful is their unpredictability.
And there is plenty of unpredictability to go around in “124 ‘Q’ Anchor Bubble.” Not only does the play start with the quarterback under center, which is rare at all levels of football these days, but it is designed for an ineligible receiver to receive a backwards pass.
- The quarterback starts in the shotgun, but moves under center at the last minute. He then throws a backward quick bubble screen to the “E” ineligible receiver, who most likely will be a running back/wide receiver-type lined up as a “restricted lineman.” The “E” is lined up next to the “R” receiver as the inside-most slot player to the left of the formation.
- After catching the bubble screen, the “E” will go outside. The “R” will crack block the weakside linebacker at the play’s outset, freeing the “E” to catch the screen. The receiver furthest outside to the left, the “X,” will block the cornerback downfield. The outside slot receiver off the line of scrimmage, the “Z,” blocks the free safety downfield. The “E” follows the blocks of the “X” and “Z” receivers.
- On the backside of the play, the “A” receiver is the left wingback, and blocks the defensive end, keeping him from pursuing the play. The running back is the right wingback, and picks off any backside pursuit, most likely from the backside cornerback. The “U” and “Y” linemen cut block the defensive tackles, the “B” lineman kicks out the backside defensive end and works up field and the center blocks the middle linebacker.
As with any play, perfect execution depends on everyone on the play doing their job. And this is one of those nuanced A-11-type plays that uses the one A11 Football League rule change – reversing the modern offensive uniform numbering restrictions to allow up to all 11 players on the field to have eligible receiver numbers – to its fullest potential.