Alabama’s Naked Screen
Almost every team in the country runs some type of naked or bootleg off their favorite running plays. It’s a great compliment to your running game and it is also an easy way to get the ball to the flats. With that being said, why not get people out in front blocking? Well that’s exactly what some teams are starting to do. Now when they call their naked, the player running the flat route, runs behind the line of scrimmage which allows the wide receivers to block downfield without being called for pass interference. This is such a simple play to put in and very low risk with the potential of being a big play depending on who is catching the flat route. I have some clips from Alabama running this play which will show you how you can incorporate this screen as a new tag into your naked/bootleg game.
The first play they shift to a slot formation which gets Missouri to roll the safety down towards the tight end. Then they fake the outside play which gets the defense flowing to the right as the QB pulls the ball and hits the RB sliding behind the line into his flat route. Notice how the slot receiver attempts to run off but then blocks once he sees the LB is not coming with him. You can see how easy the throw and catch is almost goes for the score.
The second play is from the same game but they use a slightly different shift but the play is the same. Again they execute the outside zone as the other RB slips behind the line and again the QB beats the defensive end and gets it to the flat route with blockers in front which results in another nice gain. Here is that clip:
The last play is from the 2016 National Championship game against Clemson. This play essentially locked up the game for Alabama. Pre-snap, the QB sees that the TE to the flat will make it 3 on 2 because he is not counting for the deep safety. The tight end slides behind the offensive line making sure not to go downfield because the WR’s on the perimeter are blocking. The QB does a great job getting the ball off as the defensive end goes at him pretty hard off the line.
The tight view shows how the box players have to defend run which gives the Tight end an opportunity to outflank them.
This is a very simple play that is high percentage and compliments your running game nicely. It also creates some misdirection for the defense to prepare for and to keep honest. You could even have the QB read the defensive end first before going to the flat route, meaning if he comes up field you could give it to the RB on the zone.