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4 Plays that Benefit from Bunch Formations

The objective of any offensive coach is to put his best players in positions and match-ups that allow them to make things happen.  The goal is to get your best players with the ball in space.  

Certainly, there are many ways to accomplish this, but one method that has stood the test of time is to condense formations so that athletes can use both traffic and field space created to get open in the pass game, and allow for extra gaps and angles inside as well as the ability to threaten the perimeter faster.

If you don’t have the athletes you’d like, bunch sets become an equalizer.  It creates short throws for the QB.  Receivers with average or less speed can find holes in the defense because man and match coverage becomes tougher with all of the switches and rubs.

Here are three concepts that benefit from condensed sets and create a different set of problems for a defense.

#1 Mesh

Mesh is a known man beater and is definitely helped by the condensed set.  Jason McManus shares multiple condensed set examples in this video (click on images for videos):


#2 Shallow

Another staple found in the Air Raid offense, and just a solid passing concept, the Shallow is well served by condensed sets as well.  Southern Miss Head Coach Scotty Walden shows how the shallow from a condensed formation creates space needed for a big play.


#3 Pin and Pull

With gaps and angles created, the pin and pull is an outstanding play from a bunched set.  North Texas Head Coach Seth Litrell illustrates the concept in this video:


#4 Power Read

Power read has the ability to distort a defense from any formation, but I loved condensing the sweep side in order to get our best player with the ball on the perimeter.  In this example we utilize 12 personnel with both tight ends paired on the same side to get the play going.


If you are looking for an equalizer for this next season, researching and developing some bunch or compressed formations in your offense can provide a benefit while giving the defense something different to prepare for.