Football is littered with specialized terminology. From trips to press man, commentators rarely get to explain everything you need to know before the next play. Inside The Pylon’s glossary was developed to give fans a deeper understanding of the game through clear explanations, as well as image and video examples. Please contact us with any terms or phrases you’d like to know more about.
12 Offensive Personnel
12 Personnel, sometimes called “Ace” in offensive schemes, is a personnel grouping consisting of one running back, two tight ends and two wide receivers. This is a balanced personnel group that allows the offense to run the ball out of power formations, or spread the offense out a bit if the TEs are athletic enough to operate on the outside or in the slot.
Here is an example of the New England Patriots using 12 personnel on their first touchdown drive of Super Bowl XLIX:
At the top of the screen New England has two receivers (Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell) in slot formation. At the bottom of the screen the Patriots have two tight ends (Rob Gronkowski and Tim Wright) in a pro alignment. Here is what the Patriots do on this play:
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12 personnel is also effective at the college level. Here, North Dakota State uses this grouping to attack Montana’s Cover 2:
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Mark Schofield contributed to this entry.
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Inside The Pylon covers the NFL and college football, reviewing the film, breaking down matchups, and looking at the issues, on and off the field.
All video and images courtesy NFL Game Pass and/or Game Rewind.