Friday, October 25, 2013

Gir's Weekly Column: Volume 68

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Gir's Weekly Column: Volume 68
By Gir Todafunk
Special to The Daily Magi
November 12, 2055

Happy Friday, readers of the Daily Magi and the Magi Football Blog. I am Gir Todafunk with another weekly column. Well, I got named player of the week nationally and in the conference once again for my six tackles, seven picks and happy returns for scores. Woo-hoo, I am myself once again, and I look to keep it going this week. 

Noriko Isobe, our wonderful columnist who recaps the games for the team on TDM, made a mistake in who our next opponent is. You see, we face Wyoming next week. This week, we're facing Hawai'i in prime time. A night game in the middle of the Pacific...and the people on the East Coast are sleeping right now. Don't sleep on the Magi, voters, that not nice. By the way, we are ranked No. 5 in the polls. Still have a few more teams to leapfrog, but hopefully we'll pass them by the end of Conference Championship Week.

I want to touch a bit more on the mystique of screen passes. A screen pass is sometimes executed using a shovel pass throwing motion. To throw a shovel pass the quarterback palms the football, and "shovels" the pass directly forward to the receiver, usually with a backhand, underhand or pushing motion. When a designed play calls for the quarterback to use a shovel pass forward to a receiver it is, by definition, also a screen pass. The Utah Pass is an overhand forward shovel pass of the ball. popularized by the Utah Utes football team. The play is commonly used by teams that use a spread offense.

There are a number of variation on screen pass plays. The "conventional" screen to the running back (the action described above). This type of play is something of a scripted checkdown. A tight end screen where the tight end takes the place of the running back in the above description. The wide receiver screen (or "jailbreak screen"), where the linemen sprint out in front of the wide receiver catching the screen pass. However, the blocking may be as simple as one receiver blocking ahead of another. A wide receiver screen thrown to a receiver moving towards the quarterback, behind one or more blocking receivers, is also commonly called a "tunnel screen".

The "quarterback throwback" screen, where the quarterback will pitch to a running back or throw a short pass to a wide receiver, and run the opposite direction, with releasing linemen in front of him. The running back or wideout will then lateral, or "throw it back" to the quarterback, with offensive linemen leading him downfield. This is also known as a "Blitz Beater" or "Blitz" for short because it's almost always used against a blitz-heavy defense, also called that because when you can tell a blitz is coming, this is a common play called to counter it, and the overpursuing nature of the blitz leaves the running back, and then the quarterback wide open with the possibility of gaining huge chunks of yardage. The "quarterback throwback" has been known to force defenses to blitz less, because one successful play can turn into a quick touchdown with a mobile quarterback. The "middle screen", which has the same type of action as a "conventional" screen, but the linemen remain in the middle of the field rather than releasing to either side.

And that's screen passes in a nutshell. Look forward to more about the game from your master of the cornerback game, Gir Todafunk, a.k.a. Mr. Wonderful. I'm signing off till next week. Until then...You are not alone.

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