Cleveland Browns to use All-11 concepts in 2016
By Joel W. Cade
The Cleveland Browns have a tradition of innovation. That tradition will continue in 2016 as Hue Jackson will incorporate elements of the All-11 offense.
On December 19th, 2010, Colt McCoy threw a 20-yard touchdown pass against the Cincinnati Bengals. What made this play truly special was not that the Browns actually scored. Instead, it was the unusual formation the Browns employed. The unusual formation was the first appearance in NFL history of an All-11 offensive formation.
After its debut, the All-11 has basically disappeared from the NFL. However, under the Hue Jackson-led Cincinnati Bengals offense, the All-11 offense started to re-emerge.
John Gruden struggles to identify the All-11 offense Hue Jackson employed on the night shown in the video. Jackson was using classic All-11 formations by lining up ineligible players in three zones of the field.
The All-11 offense is not just about its unusual formation; it is also about how one uses ineligible players. As recent as 2015, the John Harbaugh-led Baltimore Ravens became the victim of another All-11 inspired play against the New England Patriots in the AFC Divisional Playoff game. The Patriots, who employ All-11 ideas in their offense, lined up Shane Vereen as an ineligible player. Vereen was then used as a decoy to confuse the Ravens’ defense into thinking he was eligible. The ploy worked as the Patriots were able to get needed first downs and ultimately win the game.
In response to the ineligible player lining up with an eligible number, the Baltimore Ravens proposed a rule change requiring all ineligible players to wear an ineligible number or a vest with an ineligible number not assigned to another player. With that, the All-11 offense had finally left a mark on the NFL.
The All-11 offense and formations will return to scene of the crime next season. The Cleveland Browns, under head coach Hue Jackson, will employ All-11 formations within its offense. This article will be a primer on the All-11 offense for Cleveland Browns fans. The goal is to help Browns fans understand the formations and basic concepts associated with the All-11 so they can enjoy watching the Browns outsmart their opponents.
Next: All-11 and the spread offense