Gadget Play: Utilizing the Berlin Series to Create Defensive Misalignment

The Berlin Series is a great system of plays that can create confusion for the defense on an extra point attempt. The idea behind the Berlin Series is that by breaking into an unconventional formation and snapping the ball quickly. The defense won’t be able to align and they will open themselves up an easy extra point conversion.

Utilizing the Berlin Series to Create Defensive Misalignment

The Berlin Series relies on stretching the defense horizontally by creating huge gaps that allow the Quarterback to make a full field read. For the Berlin Series the line will take full field splits. This means that when the ball is placed in the middle of the field the Guards will be at the hashes and the Tackles will be at the top of the numbers. The Tight Ends or Wide Receivers (depending on your team’s personnel) will align one yard in from the out of bounds line. The slots or wings will align just outside of the Guards to each side and the Running Back will align next to the Quarterback.

Once the defense is stretched across the field it is then up to the Quarterback to make a decision about where the offense has the numbers advantage. The series is designed to have elements that attack each area of the defense. This lets the Quarterback make the decision. It’s important to let the Quarterback make the choice because with an unconventional formation it’s never clear where the defense will align.

The Quarterback starts by looking directly in front of him. If he looks to either side and sees less than 2 defenders inside of the box he will make a Right or Left call. This will tell the Running Back and Center to block to that side because the Quarterback will be running in that direction.

If the QB sees more than 2 defenders on each side of the Center he will move to the next gap between the Guard and Tackle. If the Quarterback sees only one defender in the gap outside of the Guard to the right he will make a Roger call. On a Roger call the Left Wing or Slot will come in Jet motion and take a handoff running for the gap between the Guard and Tackle. The Center and call side Guard will block anyone who may be trying to run him down from the inside, this combined with his sprint motion should get him to the gap. The playside wing will block down and take the first threat to the inside while the Running Back will lead the runner and block the most dangerous man who will probably be coming from the outside.

If the QB sees that they do not have a numbers advantage to the between the Guards or between the Guards and Tackles he knows that they must have a numbers advantage to the outside. If he sees a numbers advantage to the right he will make a River call. On this call the call side wing or slot will go in jet motion (in this case the one on the right) and the receiver to the right will run a jail route with the Tackle blocking the Most Dangerous Man.

While these plays are very simple to install and easy to execute the multiplicity of the formation make the 2 point package look much more complex than it actually is. The result is that the defense will be forced to take time away from preparing for the offense so they can focus on stopping the extra point plays.

(See Also) Wildcat Formation 16 Power 

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