Football: Package plays and blocking

I was reading the NFL Week 3 thread, and post 32 in particular, and thought I need to read more about the “package” call, and read a nice article about it, at Grantland (which is a site I’ve never visited before). So that seems good.

But I’m puzzled. As I understand it, the package game calling allows for the QB to either pass the ball or hand it over to the running back, depending on how defense line up, and move after the snap – but how does that work with the blocking scheme of the offensive line? As far as I understand, the line cannot block for run (moving forwards) if there’s a pass, but if they don’t block for the run (stay put to guard the QB), how would the running back gain any yardage?

What have I misunderstood?

The blocking scheme would ask the linemen not to move too far downfield too quickly, and the passes built off the package would be thrown quickly. There is leeway on what downfield is by about three yards past the line of scrimmage, and yeah, sometimes teams get away with going farther, but the pass getting out quick is supposed to keep that from happening.

From the Grantland article:

I see, thanks!

I didn’t read the footnotes, thanks for bringing my attention to them.

Also, the run is often a draw which would normally be done from pass block movement anyways.

I’m an OSU football fan, and we ran a TON of this over the last few years. Generally a draw run, a stick concept with 3 on the side (with the play being designed to force the defender to be wrong between guarding the hitch and the draw). Then on the opposite side, a single WR with a route designed to beat one on one coverage on a quick throw (with the fade to the back corner of the endzone being terribly common between Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon).

Thank you for the added information. (I always wished one could see a game with a two or three minute analysis in between every snap, that would be extremely interesting and one would learn a lot.)

So this “package” play is really more of a run/pass option instead of a handoff/keep/pitch option?

Interesting. Like others have said, the main concern would be ineligible receivers downfield, but if the pass option is fast enough, it’s not much of an issue. Plus, I’ll bet on those plays they’re either more along the lines of draw plays (linemen do some faux pass blocking), or they don’t send the linemen after the linebackers.