Fake Kneel

GopherPoke

New member
Interested in how people feel about the fake kneel executed last night during the Tulane game. I'm not against the play, but I'm wondering how these plays should affect how coaches game plan against them. In these instances, you almost always see both lines basically pop up and barely touch, each knowing the other is just going through the motions. As a defensive coach, do you preach to your d-line to blow up the opposition and go all out, just in case they are fooling with you? There are certainly times when the kneel down is obviously coming, but not always (especially at the end of the 1st half). I can't fault defenses actually playing defense when in that position, and possibly causing injuries or fights. What do you say?
 

HopHead

rank lieutenant
This is a good question. I think it's on the defense to recognize situations in which the kneel may be faked and play full out on those situations. That means doing a quick analysis of score, time, field position, down, distance, etc. and playing accordingly. In last night's game, it was reasonable to be suspicious of the kneel down and coaches should have alerted their players to that fact.

If players starting getting hurt or fights start breaking out because of this, I could see a rule change like the automatic walk in baseball. You just notify the officials that you are taking a knee and they run the clock accordingly without any actual snap of the ball.
 

bleedsmaroonandgold

Active member
I think if it had been a true "fake kneel" where the QB actually simulated lowering his knee before "ope, the knee never actually touched the ground," the ref is supposed to blow it dead. They didn't actually fake the kneel, they just lined up in a formation that implied a kneel. If I'm a coach, I'm definitely telling my players to play it out until you see the QB start to lower his knee.
 

bleedsmaroonandgold

Active member
Like the fake fair catch I would like to see it banned for safety's sake.
Like I said earlier, I think under the rules you cant fake a kneel. Are you proposing a rule against running a play out of a formation that includes bunching the receivers near the line, using three running backs, and lining one of those running backs up deep in the backfield like where AP used to line up?
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

Active member
Like I said earlier, I think under the rules you cant fake a kneel. Are you proposing a rule against running a play out of a formation that includes bunching the receivers near the line, using three running backs, and lining one of those running backs up deep in the backfield like where AP used to line up?
Possibly a situation where you must "declare" a kneel.
 

MNVCGUY

Active member
I can see this one both ways. Watched the play in question and they were 100% lined up in a victory formation appearing ready to head to OT. At the snap the O-Line doesn't go hard at all and gives no indication they are doing anything other than taking a knee. The good sportsmanship thing to do on defense in that situation is to let up and not do anything stupid. What Tulane did is within the rules of the game but it is really shady.

So while Tulane didn't technically do anything wrong I would assume the next time they line up in this formation you can bet the defense is going to go hard and take out their offensive line.

I actually kind of like the idea of being able to tell the ref you are taking a knee and then just having them run the clock accordingly. You never really see a fumble or anything in those situations that allows the other team back in the game and it would eliminate the chance of tempers flaring and fights starting.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

Active member
I actually kind of like the idea of being able to tell the ref you are taking a knee and then just having them run the clock accordingly. You never really see a fumble or anything in those situations that allows the other team back in the game and it would eliminate the chance of tempers flaring and fights starting.
Baseball effectively has done that with walks. Lots of discussion and some mixed feelings before they did it and now ... generally nobody cares and everyone likes it.
 

MNVCGUY

Active member
Like I said earlier, I think under the rules you cant fake a kneel. Are you proposing a rule against running a play out of a formation that includes bunching the receivers near the line, using three running backs, and lining one of those running backs up deep in the backfield like where AP used to line up?
Here is the play in question for those that have not seen it. The only thing this formation is every used for is taking a knee.

 

bottlebass

Main Member
He didn't fake taking a knee.

No problem with this play whatsoever. Next you guys will want to take out all trick plays. Hey if your punter is in there you have to punt!
 

GopherPoke

New member
I can see this one both ways. Watched the play in question and they were 100% lined up in a victory formation appearing ready to head to OT. At the snap the O-Line doesn't go hard at all and gives no indication they are doing anything other than taking a knee. The good sportsmanship thing to do on defense in that situation is to let up and not do anything stupid. What Tulane did is within the rules of the game but it is really shady.

So while Tulane didn't technically do anything wrong I would assume the next time they line up in this formation you can bet the defense is going to go hard and take out their offensive line.

I actually kind of like the idea of being able to tell the ref you are taking a knee and then just having them run the clock accordingly. You never really see a fumble or anything in those situations that allows the other team back in the game and it would eliminate the chance of tempers flaring and fights starting.
This is what I would worry about. You love the play and result now, but I think as a coach, you're setting your 0-line up to get crushed when doing this later in the season when you are truly kneeling.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

Active member
This is what I would worry about. You love the play and result now, but I think as a coach, you're setting your 0-line up to get crushed when doing this later in the season when you are truly kneeling.
It's not fair to the defensive players who are expected to not plow down dudes / not be plowed over and all sportsman like on a kneel.... unless the offense decides otherwise.
 

GopherPoke

New member
b-bass, I have zero problem with the play. My opinion is run them, but coach your team to be ready when opposing teams go all out on your o-line next time you line up that way.
 

Livingat45north

New member
Totally love this play. Great call, great time to do it, perfect execution, resulted in them winning the game. As for all the comments about the DL and OL having to actually play the snap, yes, that's what happens when you snap a football. If a QB takes a knee, then the ref blows the whistle and the play stops. In this play the QB rolled out, didn't fake taking a knee, whistle isn't blown, it's a live legit play that worked, and they won the game. Well done Tulane.
 

bleedsmaroonandgold

Active member
It's not fair to the defensive players who are expected to not plow down dudes / not be plowed over and all sportsman like on a kneel.... unless the offense decides otherwise.
I agree with this statement. If plays like this are allowed to happen, I certainly hope that we dont start seeing defensive players getting flagged for unnecessary roughness if they are doing what they need to to guard against this.
 

dpodoll68

Elite Poster
Totally love this play. Great call, great time to do it, perfect execution, resulted in them winning the game. As for all the comments about the DL and OL having to actually play the snap, yes, that's what happens when you snap a football. If a QB takes a knee, then the ref blows the whistle and the play stops. In this play the QB rolled out, didn't fake taking a knee, whistle isn't blown, it's a live legit play that worked, and they won the game. Well done Tulane.
Right, the DL blows up the OL the next time someone lines up in a victory formation, and they get unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, bad-mouthed in the media, and the coach takes a hit to his reputation while being called dirty. Yes, great point.
 

bleedsmaroonandgold

Active member
Here is the play in question for those that have not seen it. The only thing this formation is every used for is taking a knee.

I saw the play and I know that that is what the formation is used for. But if you are going to ban running a play out of the kneel formation, you need a rule defining the kneel formation. As soon as you do that, any team interested in considering a play like this is going to start taking all of their kneels out of a formation that really is a kneel formation but falls outside of the definition. Probably some kind of modified wishbone.
 

GopherPoke

New member
Totally love this play. Great call, great time to do it, perfect execution, resulted in them winning the game. As for all the comments about the DL and OL having to actually play the snap, yes, that's what happens when you snap a football. If a QB takes a knee, then the ref blows the whistle and the play stops. In this play the QB rolled out, didn't fake taking a knee, whistle isn't blown, it's a live legit play that worked, and they won the game. Well done Tulane.
Except it isn't on these plays. Both sides typically stand up and play patty-cake. What happens when one side no longer plays along? The result is going to be what dpodoll states, and that isn't right.
 
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bottlebass

Main Member
Except it isn't on these plays. Both sides typically stand up and play patty-cake. What happens when one side no longer plays along? The result is going to be what dpodoll states, and that isn't right.
Both sides did stand up and play patty-cake. It's not like the Oline blew off the line in this play and just pancaked the whole defense.

Like I said why not just remove every trick play then? If your punter is out there you have to punt. If your field goal kicker is out there you have to kick. Wildcat? you have to run can't throw it!

This play was genius and somewhat executed, should have been a TD if done properly.

Should we take the fake spike out of football too?
 
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