Stanford's never been shy about their offensive M.O. under Jim Harbaugh and David Shaw: taking as many of their talented tight ends and offensive linemen, jamming them together near the line of scrimmage, and physically out-muscling the opposition. But even so, we didn't expect anything as extreme as the formation unveiled in this video (at the 2:00 mark)
That's right: one quarterback, one ballcarrier, and NINE OFFENSIVE LINEMEN:
We imagine this is for goal line sets, but most teams at least pretend they're going to do something besides jam it down your throat. With talented linemen like David Yankey up front, though, they might not need to. Coaching Search captured the quote from offensive line coach Mike Bloomgren:
"It’s really unique that we’re not playing with just five offensive linemen, not trying to get just five to gel, but six, seven, eight, even the package we put in yesterday with nine offensive linemen in the game at one time."
Someday, Shaw will figure out how to play 11 linemen simultaneously with nobody else on the field. In fact, perhaps he already has:
Is this really just a cutblocking drill, or is it actually a hint of a new formation where backup center Graham Shuler lines up as the team's QB? We'll just have to wait and see.