Packaged plays are the future of offense at all levels. Much like option plays in the running game, packaged plays provide the quarterback with two (or more) quick options and put the emphasis on quick, decisive reads by the quarterback. Unlike the read option or other QB run plays, packaged plays provide the offense with options to run different types of plays. A packaged plays could contain a run, screen, and quick pass all at the same time.
Old-school playcalling relies on the playcaller to win the game of chess against his opponent. If the defense cheats up to stop the run on one play, the coordinator or head coach calls for the play action pass on the next play, believing that he has established the run as an effective option and can fool the defense and throw it over their heads.
With packaged plays, the offensive playcaller doesn't need to guess correctly. If executed properly, the ball will simply go where the defense is not. I am encouraged by the Browns' use of packaged plays early this preseason, but I am a little disappointed that we seem to have limited our packaged play to our normal outside zone run play packaged with a WR slant. It is a nice play to have, but our options really should be endless when packaging plays. We could run multiple screens at once, we could package a screen with a read option run, or we could involve multiple receivers in quick pass concepts with a run concept simultaneously happening. Again, our options should be endless.
When you're watching the Browns take on the Rams tonight in their third preseason game, keep an eye out for more packaged plays. It would be encouraging to see more and more of them as we evolve on offense.