As schemes and creativity have evolved in football it seems like more and more teams and coaches have gone away from using phrases like “36 Power,” and the trend has shifted a bit to using words that have meaning and can be easily associated by the kids executing the scheme, ultimately often making them easier to remember. That’s why we’ve seen the use of signals and those giant sideline boards over the past several years.
That brings me to a relatively simple concept that Eagles head coach Doug Pederson touched on in this clip, while talking about their wham run concept. In it, the detached tight end would be working for the nose, but since the nose slants away on this play across the center’s face, the center takes him and the tight end ends up heading up to the linebacker – who the center would have blocked.
According to Pederson, they call that change of assignments the “Pizza theory” of blocking where “You take mine, and I’m going to take yours.”
Doug Pederson discussing his "Pizza Theory" as Philadelphia runs a wham concept. The TE is whamming the NT, while the center is working up to the backside LB. When the NT works weak, the center takes the NT and the TE leads up on the LB. Nice on the fly adjustment by Philadelphia pic.twitter.com/oYD8Bhvtfe
— Zach Dunn (@ZachSDunn) June 17, 2018
What the Eagles are doing isn’t unique to just them, every good running team has a similar rule but what caught my attention was the verbiage they use to make it relatable to their players.
You can bet the offensive lineman’s ears perked up when they heard “pizza” and they’ll remember for a long, long time what “pizza theory” meant to a blocking scheme.