Even the casual football fan recognizes the man in motion in football. Everyone sees the guy on offense moving before the snap. Have you ever wondered why that isn’t considered a false start? That’s because it is a man in motion. Keep reading to learn more about football maneuver and how it is articulated.
What is Man in Motion in Football?
A man in motion is a player who moves laterally to the line of scrimmage before a snap. Unless he is in the backfield, the player must reset himself before the snap.
- Joe Gibbs brought the modern man in motion to fame when he used it to double-team Lawrence Taylor in the 1980’s.
- Wide receivers, running backs and tight ends are the players who go in motion.
- The player must reset himself before the snap. Not doing so results in a five-yard penalty for illegal shift.
What does man in motion mean?
It refers to a player who motions to another part of the offensive field before a snap. It simply means that a player is changing his starting position.
What are the rules in the NFL?
- Only players in the backfield may be in motion at the time of the snap.
- The offense must be in a set formation for at least one second before any players motion.
- There can be no more than one player in motion at a time.
- A player in motion can only move laterally and backwards. He may not move towards the line of scrimmage.
- Players lined up on the line of scrimmage are not allowed to be motioned. They must retreat five yards to become an offensive back and be set before going into motion.
Origin of the expression man in motion
In the early 20th century, there were no rules for motioning, so teams went a little motion-crazy trying to offset the defense. Two motion plays were the Minnesota Shift and the Notre Dame Box, which had members of the offense already moving when the ball was snapped. Joe Gibbs, a three-time Super Bowl champion head coach of Washington, brought the concept to greater fame in the NFL in the 1980s. He used the concept to help double-team Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor.
Who goes in motion?
Players who can motion are running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends. Offensive linemen are not allowed to go in motion unless they become an offensive back by setting themselves five yards back from the line of scrimmage.
How do you set yourself when you are the man in motion?
Once a player moves to go in motion, they must reset themselves by coming to a rest and facing the defense before the snap. Not resetting is illegal and results in a five-yard penalty for an illegal shift. A back moving towards the line of scrimmage or a non-back motioning will result in a five-yard penalty for illegal motion.
What is the purpose?
Man in motion is used for deception frequently. The play can be used to overload a specific side with more blockers or fool the team into thinking that they will pass to a particular receiver. This may also create a mismatch with the defense.
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