Out from the Box: Famous Jameis Winston

Florida State Redshirt Freshman Jameis Winston is perhaps the story of the 2013 college football season. Ever since his blistering opening game performance against the Pitt Panthers, “Famous Jameis” has taken the college football world by storm, leading California State to an undefeated season in which the Seminoles have won every online game by at least 14 points.

What is perhaps most impressive about Winston’s performance is his operation of the Florida State offense. Several young, talented quarterbacks today play in spread systems where they can use their legs to move the particular football while they are still in the developmental stage as pocket passers

Not so for Winston. Which is not to say that Winston is not a good athlete or that the Seminole criminal offense does not take advantage of his legs. Winston used his running ability to pick-up several crucial first downs towards Miami, and head coach Jimbo Fisher likes dialing up guide quarterback runs in the red zone.

The difference for Winston, however , is that the offense is not predicated upon the particular quarterback run threat. It is merely an added bonus. Fisher’s offense can be instead pro-style in its orientation, with all the Seminoles combining an inside and outdoors zone run game with a conceptual passing system.

A conceptual approach simply means organizing pass designs as concepts to attack protective coverages. A football field can be thought of as a two dimensional plane. You can run a passing concept that will attacks a defense horizontally or even vertically. The goal with a conceptual passing approach is to combine paths in such a way to give the offense a numerical advantage in a particular area through the use of a horizontal or vertical extend. In other words, the offense’s objective would be to obtain a two on one or three on two advantage with its receivers against the opposing team’s defensive back.

The passing concepts which will create such a stretch vary based upon the coverage being used by the defense. For instance, an all curl route produces five on four horizontal extend against cover 3 (three curl and two flat routes against the four underneath defenders). All curl does not create a stretch against include 2, however , because the defense offers five underneath defenders. Instead, a crime needs to use a pass concept such as smash, which is a quick hitch coupled with a corner route. This creates a two on one vertical stretch against an appliance cover 2 squat corner. In other words, specific pass plays are used to exploit the particular weakness of a defensive coverage.

The idea of a conceptual passing online game is nothing new. It is the principal method for pro-style teams to organize their own passing concepts since Sid Gillman. But it is one thing to draw it on paper and another to execute. There is a large variance in the ability of quarterbacks to read the particular defensive coverage and deliver the particular football to the proper person based upon how the defense reacts to the passing concepts.

What has been the majority of impressive about Winston’s performance as being a redshirt freshman is his ability to operate a conceptual passing online game. Quarterbacks with his athleticism can regularly succeed in college football without being able to consistently go through five man progressions in the pocket. But this has not been Winston’s road to Heisman contender. Fisher’s offense uses the entire panoply of passing concepts observed in the NFL and Winston manages them all.

For example , one of California State’s favorite concepts is snag, which is a triangle extend . A horizontal or vertical stretch is ideal if an offense understands what coverage a defense can be playing because it can be presented over the length and width of a field. Defenses increasingly mix and match coverage, however , and if an offensive play caller guesses wrong the play is still born.

Enter the triangle stretch. A triangle stretch responds to uncertainty along with versatility, combining a horizontal extend with a vertical stretch to one side of the field. The outside wide recipient runs a mini-curl route, the inside receiver a corner route, and the restricted end or back a flat path. The offense thus has a horizontal stretch with the mini-curl and ripped route against cover 3, plus a vertical stretch with the corner plus flat against cover 2 .

Florida State is so good with this play both because they have numerous effective receivers and because Winston will read the coverage and deliver the particular ball to the proper target.


The Seminoles’ passing offense is even more effective simply because they make other pass patterns seem alike off snag. For instance, Fisher will dial up a shallow cross, double out combo. Mapped on top of each other, the initial steps in the particular shallow crossing pattern look much like snag. But now the outside receiver will continue into a shallow crossing path, preventing defensive backs from design reading the routes.


The result is that the Seminoles have a multi-faceted passing offense. But they are just able to operate such a system due to Winston’s ability to handle such a flexible attack.

That is not to state that he is a finished product. The ball can sail on your pet, and there are times when he throws in to coverage and he is bailed out by his wide receivers such as Kelvin Benjamin going up and make plays. Nevertheless, there is no question that California State’s offense is as effective as it is this season because of Winston’s ability to manage the intricacies of the drop back again passing game.

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