The key to the Green Bay Packers’ offensive success is having the ability to run or pass out of any personnel grouping and formation, especially with multiple wide receivers on the field.
This means, in order to achieve offensive balance, the Packers must be able to run out of passing formations with substitution packages.
A substitution package is when the offense deploys different personnel than their base 21 group (2 running backs, 1 tight end, and 2 wide receivers. The Packers like running the 11 (1 running back, 1 tight end, and 3 wide receivers) and the 10 personnel groupings (1 running back, 0 tight ends, 4 wide receivers) on any down and distance.
Obviously, not having an extra running back (the fullback) or tight end (or H-back) on the field could pose a schematic disadvantage in the running game by having fewer bigger bodies on the field.
However, with the use of well-designed blocking packages and willing blocks by the wide receivers, the Packers had good success with running the ball from substitution groups.
Under the tutelage of wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett, who was a former running back, the Packers receiving corps has developed into a solid group of blockers who contribute immensely to the running game. This is one of the most underrated aspects of the Packers’ offensive success.
Let’s take a look at some of the staples of this deployment.
Disclaimer 1: You know the drill by now. #YKTDBN. I have never seen Mike McCarthy’s playbook. #IHNSMMP.
Disclaimer 2: #YKTDBN. This is an oversimplification for illustrative purposes. #TIAOFIP. Different formations and defensive fronts will change the blocking rules.
11 Outside Toss Strong: This play is frequently run from shotgun 11 personnel with an offset running back to the strong side of the formation. The key to the play is to get the ball outside and away from the defensive end and Sam linebacker.
The outside wide receiver blocks down on the slot cornerback ($) and the slot receiver kicks out and sets the leverage on the strong side cornerback. Notice that the slot is further off the line of scrimmage to allow the outside receiver more time to block down.