ITP Glossary: 23 Offensive Personnel

Football is littered with specialized terminology. From punt gunner to climbing the pocket, 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.

23 Offensive Personnel

22 offensive personnel is an offensive personnel package where the five eligible players consist of 2 running backs, 3 tight ends, and 0 wide receivers. This personnel group is primarily used to condense the defense and create mismatches in blocking assignments and the play action passing game.

This personnel set is the traditional goal-line, “jumbo” set with three tight ends and two running backs, often in an i-formation. This is almost always a power running package, although it can be utilized for short-yardage play action.23PersonnelStill1

Using Personnel Mismatches

On 1st and goal the New England Patriots come out in a jumbo formation with 23 offensive personnel on the field with Rob Gronkowski is on the left edge of the line:23PersonnelStill2

Just prior to the snap the TE shifts outside and pass rush specialist Von Miller follows him. The LB sets himself to cut off the inside, shifting his stance and playing as if he knows the play will be a slant:

23PersonnelStill3

Yet, it doesn’t matter. Gronkowski beats Miller to the inside by using a vicious stutter-step move:

[jwplayer file=”http://cdn.insidethepylon.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/23PersonnelVideo1.mp4″ image=”http://cdn.insidethepylon.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/23PersonnelStill2.jpg”]

The pass is complete for a touchdown. The 23 offensive personnel package condenses the field and put Miller – an edge rusher – on the edge against a potent blocking tight end, Gronkowski. But by motioning the big target to the boundary, the Patriots set up a mismatch, with the All-Pro receiving tight end matched up on a defensive end/outside linebacker who rarely covers.

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Mark Schofield wrote this entry. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkSchofield.

All video and images courtesy NFL Game Pass.

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