With this new beta, every detail matters. We’ll break down why motion, formation and efficiency ratings matter so much.

As any coach will tell you, even the tiniest details have the potential to unearth the biggest revelations about your opponent. 

Now that you have the basics down on the new Hudl Beta, we’re going to show you how all those intricate offensive tendencies add up—and how you can use them to get answers quickly.

Don't Overlook Motion

Simply noting whether a player motioned across the formation, or which direction he went, isn’t enough. That’s why we’ve added the ability to filter by motion type (Motion Name) under the offensive tendencies group. 

Want an example of key details you miss by not using this column? In this clip, the data reveals a nearly even run-pass balance when sending a player in motion. But notice how heavily the scale leans towards pass when using jet motion or sprinting a tailback into the flat.

Even today’s most elementary offensive coordinator is deploying a garden variety of motions — from orbit to star and rocket to return—and their playcalling tendencies change with each one. If you’ve ever watched a Kyle Shanahan offense at full throttle, I rest my case.

Here, you’ll notice that when the team uses jet motion in either direction, it’s most likely going to be a shovel pass to the motioning player. And when they sprint out the tailback, they’re likely passing to the flat or vertically.

Don’t Get ‘Out-Formationed’

One successful high school coach ran his favorite play 94 times out of 23 different formations in 2019. Count that, 23 formations. And this is just a wing-T team—imagine how many ways your average spread team will try to run one of their bread-and-butter plays.

When you filter to a specific play, try expanding the formation card as well. That will not only show you every formation the play’s been run out of, but also break it down by down, distance, field zone, hash and quarter. All of that should give you considerably more insight into your opponents’ play calling rhythm.

Formation Details Make a Difference

We find that when it comes to tagging formations, most coaches only tag formation (Formations) and play (Plays). By not utilizing separate backfield (Backfield) and offensive strength (Off Strength) tags, you really do miss out on extra tendencies that can make the difference on Friday night.  

For instance, say the data tells you your opponent is nearly a 75-25 run/pass split out of a particular formation—almost a universally qualified tendency accepted by coaches. But when they align a certain way out of the backfield, they’re an even 50-50. Are you still going to sell out for the run when you see that in the game?

Some coaches will bake backfield and strength tags into the formation columns itself. But by doing so, these coaches are missing the ability to easily see these key tendencies.

The Efficiency Column

Here’s how we define efficiency:

  • First down: four yards or more
  • Second down: At least half the distance needed for a first down
  • Third down: Conversion to a first down
  • Fourth down: Conversion to a first down

Why is this distinction important? Averages can be vastly altered by a couple of big plays, whereas efficiencies remain steady. 

Let’s compare this with the gain/loss card. Here are two examples of plays that carry a lousy efficiency rating despite a solid yards per play average.

As the Vegas-inspired name would imply, the passing play on the left is mostly a gamble. The running play on the right is heavily weighed by two gains of 12-plus yards (labeled “explosive plays”), and is otherwise mostly going for minimal gain. 

Studying inefficient plays can be just as revealing. This is common with RPOs, for instance. Say you hand the ball off for an inside zone that goes for two yards. But the next time you go back to that play, the defense sets up differently, in a way that opens up an opportunity to pull the ball and hit the tight end downfield. That first run, while inefficient, did its job.

That’s why we recommend using the efficiency column in conjunction with other columns, such as tinkering play and formation with field zone, quarter and/or down and distance.

Latest Updates

We’ve recently added a few other capabilities to the beta.

Fullscreen video and data: You can now see all the data more easily and watch it change as you filter. Rearrange your video and data however you want.

Defensive tendencies group: Explore tendencies for front, coverage, blitz, blitz name, defensive strength and gap.

Personnel card: This is one of the most important offensive tendencies, especially for more advanced teams, and a must-have for college teams. Find it under offensive tendencies.

More situations: We’ve added two tendencies, “2 Minute” and “Series”, to the situations group.

More granular distance: We updated the distance card to let you group distances however you want. Want just the third-and-four plays? See any individual yard up to 11.

Looking Ahead

As we’ve said before, we’ll continue to add functionality throughout the fall. Based on your feedback so far, we plan to release drawing tools, shared sessions and the ability to use custom data columns over the coming weeks. 

But it doesn’t stop there. Your continued feedback will help us continue to make the beta better. Leaving comments is easy—just click Feedback below your playback controls and give us your thoughts.