P is For Play Action

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In play action, the quarterback fakes the handoff to the running back, which hopefully draws the defense away from the receiver the quarterback is going to pass to. The sucess of this play depends on three things – the ability of the offensive line to hold back the defennse, the ability of the quarterback and running back to sell the fake, and the running back’s ability to quickly change from faking the run to throwing a block.  I wouldn’t say you can’t run this in a spread offense, but considering the quarterback would have to fake the handoff to the guy standing right next to him, it would be pretty obvious to the defense what was going on.

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