01 personnel in football refers to an offensive position grouping that includes zero running backs, one tight end, and four wide receivers. This personnel grouping is primarily used for the passing game, namely when a team has to cover a large distance in a short amount of time.
In football when you see a number before a personnel group it is letting you know the number of tight ends and running backs in the formation.
The first digit tells you how many running backs are going to be on the field. And the second digit tells you how may tight ends are going to be on the field.
So 01 personnel is going to include 0 running backs and one tight end. While 22 personnel would include two running backs two tight ends.
Additionally, you can use this information to determine the rest of the personnel as well. It can be assumed that there is going to be one center, two tackles, and two guards on the offensive line as well as a single quarterback.
This makes up six players, the only positions left to fill in include the running back, tight end, and wide receiver. In 01 personnel we know there are 0 running backs and 1 tight end.
This plus the offensive line and quarterback adds up to seven players. We know there are eleven starters on a football team meaning that there are four receivers in this formation.
This process of elimination can be done with any personnel grouping to determine the number of wide receivers.
Benefits of 01 Personnel
Spreads Out The Defense
One benefit of running 01 personnel in football is that it is going to force the defense to spread out.
In this personnel grouping, the offense is going to feature four receivers and likely a tight end running receiving patterns.
These receiving routes will be sprawled out all over the field forcing defenders to spread out in order to cover them. This allows the offense to find opportunities to pass the ball into open spaces.
It only takes a single receiver beating his man to allow the offense to get a completion.
Great For Conserving Time
When it comes to the two minute drill running this offense onto the field can be quite helpful. When rushing the ball each time the ball carrier is tackled in bounds the clock will continue to run.
On passing plays, an incomplete pass will stop the clock. This means that a much larger portion of passing plays will result in a stopped clock compared to rushing plays.
Additionally, with five potential receivers, the offense will be able to draw up routes that lead the receiver out of bounds. This will allow them to get out of bounds after catching the ball in order to stop the clock.
Additionally, these passing routes allow the offense to move down the field quickly as the average yards gained on a passing play is noticeably higher than on rushing plays.
Forces Opponents To Use Depth Defensive Backs
When trotting out four wide receivers and a tight end the defense is going to have to match that personnel. This means they will likely bring out a nickel or dime package.
By using five or six defensive backs there is a chance that the offense may be able to find a mismatch. It is unlikely that the opposing defense is going to have five or six high-quality defensive backs.
Finding the weakest coverage player on the field may give your offense an advantage in passing the ball.