In football, 11 personnel refers to a formation that includes one tight end, one running back, and three wide receivers; it is more prevalent in pass-heavy offenses.
There are 11, 21, or 22 personnel on the field when you see numbers such as 11, 21, or 22.
It refers to the number of running backs on the field and the number of tight ends on the field.
On the field, 21 personnel would mean two running backs and one tight end, while 12 personnel would mean one running back and two tight ends.
These personnel numbers can also be used to determine all the personnel a team has on the field, in addition to the number of running backs and tight ends.
Most plays involve five offensive linemen and one quarterback, which takes up six of the potential offense spots, leaving only five open.
There are five remaining positions to be filled by running backs, tight ends, and receivers.
It is possible to determine the number of receivers once you know the number of running backs and tight ends.
There are five offensive linemen and a quarterback among the eleven players, meaning that eight are starters.
If you had an 11-player team with two running backs and two tight ends, it would only have one receiver.
The Benefits of 11 Personnel in Football
As you have learned what eleven personnel means in football, it’s time to learn why teams use this formation. Below we’ll discuss some of the biggest advantages.
Four Receiving Threats
The biggest advantage of using this personnel grouping is putting pressure on the defense of the opponent.
An 11-player offense can be tough to stop with three receivers and one tight end.
During zone coverage, defenses will have difficulty covering all four receiving threats. Offenses will use strategies such as sail concepts to overwhelm one side.
There will be at least one receiver in excess of the defenders in a zone defense when there are four receivers. Teams with four receivers are often able to have three receivers on one side of the field. Zone defenses often consist of two players on one side of the field.
When there are four receivers, there is a guarantee that some of them will receive one-on-one coverage.
When a team can get one of its talented wide receivers one-on-one with a defender, they will have some great passing opportunities.
A Box Is Cleared
In football, playing 11 personnel also clears out the box. The box refers to the area of the defensive backfield approximately five yards behind the offensive line.
In order to prevent the opposing team from running the ball, a team will stack the box. This means having a large number of players in this area.
In order to cover the receiving threats, the opposing team may bring in more defensive backs when taking the field with three receivers and a tight end.
A relatively empty box allows the offense to run the ball effectively.
Six Man Pass Protection
You can also utilize six-man protection by running one running back, one tight end, and three receivers.
As an extra offensive lineman, tight ends can be used to protect the quarterback when needed.
If the tight end stays back to protect the quarterback, the offense can still threaten the defense.
With three receivers and the running back, the offense can still send out four potential receivers while still protecting the quarterback with six players.
This is all you need to know about 11 personnel in football. Next, learn about the twenty-man offense or the pass-heavy ten-person grouping.
This Personnel can Still be used by Teams
Though 11 personnel is often used for passing plays teams can still effectively run out of this personnel grouping.
Defenses will likely add an extra defensive back if three receivers are on the field.
This change in defensive personnel, along with the presence of one tight end, allows the team to run the ball effectively.
Even though the blocking will not be as effective as a 22 personnel grouping, the play calls can still be varied.