Four Wide?

We’ve all been wondering how the Colts were planning on sorting out the bevy of wide receivers on the roster.  With the news that Caldwell is contemplating four wide sets, Kuharsky wonders how the division will cope.  This may well be the ‘tweak’ that was referenced when discussing how Christensen will affect the new offense.  BBS wondered if that didn’t mean more running plays, but what if it means fewer?

The Colts percentage of run plays has been steadily declining for some time.  Granted, the run offense has been getting worse, so it has made sense to run less.  However, with the way the game in the NFL is in constant flux, and with teams challenging the Colts to score with fewer possessions than ever through chicanery, maybe Caldwell is signalling a dawn of a truly dynamic wide open attack in Indy.  I’m not saying we are going to go run and shoot or anything, but it could well be the run/pass percentage could keep dropping.

Runs Total Plays Run %
2009 336 980 34.3%
2008 370 969 38.2%
2007 446 1020 43.7%
2006 439 1011 43.4%
2005 465 1000 46.5%
2004 427 968 44.1%
2003 453 1041 43.5%
2002 434 1048 41.4%

It’s not hard to see why such a strategy would be appealing.  Why run the ball for only 3.8 yards a pop when the passing game regularly averages twice that much?  The problem with spreading out to four wides is that either Clark or Addai has to come off the field.  I can certainly envision instances where such a move could pay dividends, but over the long haul you want both of those guys on the field as much as possible.

There are two offenses in the NFL.  One is the offense you wish you could run, and the other is the offense that fits your personell.  The Colts may or may not dream of being a power run team that picks up third and ones with ease.  However, to build that kind of offensive line will take time.  In the mean time, the offensive brain trust would be wise to continue to find ways to utilize the skills the team does have.

If you can’t do what you want, get the most out of what you’ve got.

Four wides sounds like a good start.

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