Sean Payton opens Saints Offensive Playbook on Twitter


After battling COVID-19 Sean Payton jumped to a Twitter thread showcasing some offensive plays out of an empty set.  An empty set is an offensive formation in which the quarterback works from the shotgun with no other player in the offensive backfield. They formation will typically have five route runners and in Payton's offensive scheme more than likely one will be a half-back named Alvin Kamara.

The first play that Payton shared highlights All-Pro wide reciever Michael Thomas. The play is designed for Drew Brees to find a target down field on a vertical or "go" pattern. If the option is not there to go deep, Brees should be able to find Michael Thomas on the shallow crossing route due to the space created by Jared Cook's route over the middle of the field. 

Next out of the empty set, this play contains a stop and go route by the Z wideout and an option route by the X wideout. This play is drawn up for receiver X and Drew Brees to both recognize what kind of coverage is being played over the top by the defensive safeties. With Alvin Kamara (H) running a go route on the far side the safety will either provide help over the top for the CB (if in man coverage) or stay in the middle of the field. Thus allowing the X receiver to make an option on his route to either continue on the post or put his foot in the dirt and run a 10 yard out route.  

Finally, Payton shares a play to "Get Kamara a touch". This is another play where both Brees and in this case Kamara are looking to be on the same page based off of the defensive alignment and coverage. However, for Kamara there is one extra read in this route than what was described in the previous play. with the inside reciever running the corner route there can be confusion in coverage allowing Kamara to run into plenty of space in the option route over the middle of the field (post route). Many of times during his three years with the Saints, Kamara has showcased his ability to make outstanding reads on the option routes. Sean Payton shows his confidence in this halfback's football IQ drawing up plays like the one above.

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What is your favorite play from the three above and why?

Editorial / Opinion