Variants of Split Backs formation
A common variant of this formation removes the tight end and replaces it with a third receiver in the "slot" position. The formation is utilized to remove a defensive player from the tackle box to give the offense a 7-on-6 matchup.
LSU lines up in the Twins formation and runs 839 Flat. The Z runs a go-route and his corner follows him. The Y runs an out-route, turning just after passing the nickel back lined up over him. Meanwhile, the F runs out to the flat and this puts the nickelback in a bind. It looks like he assumes the safety will pick up the Y, so he runs toward the flat. But the safety isn't able to get to the Y before the pass is complete for a 15-yard gain and a first down.
Now it would be nice to have a slot receiver who can still seal the edge adequately against (lighter) linebackers in outside run play. Such player will make it less certain that changing a TE to a slot WR indicates a pass...
You can do the split back formation with 1RB and 1FB instead of 2RBs.
But most FBs are not that good receiver anyway so it somewhat undermines its effectiveness.
However, if your FB is at least capable of some damage in passing game, it's a different story.
First, this set consists of EXACTLY the same personnel as the I-formation. In other words, D# coordinators up there in the booth can't decipher the formation when offensive players break the huddle.
Two, it still leaves the element of power run by leaving a FB (bigger back) compared to having two 3rd down backs.
Three, did I say the FB still can hurt you in passing game if you fall asleep? He won't break a big play but sometimes what we need is mere three yards.
James Develin has generated some positive vibe during this offseason.
FB/TE James Develin had a nice day. He dove and hauled in a touchdown from Brady.— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) June 17, 2014
We still don't know for sure whether he can be a reliable receiver from the backfield, just yet.
But on this play, he looks pretty comfortable running the route.
Not to mention if Develin picks up how to do some traditional TE stuff, the formation can also morph into a two TE set.
After all, there are a lot of uncertainties involved this prediction. Mostly because the key pieces I've mentioned are newbies to this team (White, Finch, LaFell and James Develin as a TE).
We may just go air raid with our wide receivers a la 2007. Or Nick Saban sees this post, share with BB and all of the sudden this becomes their playbook. We never know.
But hey, a little unpredictability is fun.
As long as it does not involve any murder cases, off course.