A staple of Cam Cameron’s offense has been using end-arounds and reverses to keep the defense off-guard. While they’ve had moderate success during the past few seasons, I expect to see more and more of them used this season.
An end-around is a misdirection running play in which a receiver crosses the backfield to receive a handoff from the quarterback. It is usually successful when used after a fake handoff to the running back as backside defenders tend to over-commit to this fake, lose contain, and allow the receiver to get the edge and take off downfield.
The Ravens are built perfectly to successfully use end-arounds as they have all of the components needed with a premier running back and speedy receivers. Ray Rice is the biggest key here, as he draws so much attention from defenses, making it easy for defenders to lose backside contain. The speediness and athleticism of Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones compliment this as one false step by a defender can give a receiver enough time to break a five-yard gain into a twenty-yard gain. Additionally, Anquan Boldin’s ability to throw the ball raises the possibility of a variety of trick plays consisting of wide receiver passes and reverses. After all, Cam Cameron is never one to shy away from trick plays. In fact, we saw the Ravens try a reverse end-around against the Bengals in week one that looked to be a big play if it wasn’t for a botched handoff between receivers.
So far, I’ve noticed a lot more end-around fakes after handoffs in two games against the Bengals and Eagles. It may just be coincidental but it has led to some positive plays so far. Both the personnel and logic are there, so if the Ravens continue to utilize end-arounds in their offense, they should have success.