The term 13 personnel in football refers to an offensive grouping that includes one running back, three tight ends, and one wide receiver. This personnel group is referred to as a heavy package and is primarily used when running the football.
Understanding personnel packages in the NFL may seem confusing at first but it is actually quite simple.
When you see a number followed by the word personnel the digits are representing the number of running backs and tight ends in the grouping.
The first digit represents the number of running backs and the second digit represents the number of tight ends.
So when you see 13 personnel this means one running back and three tight ends.
Additionally, you can use these numbers to fill in the blanks to determine the rest of the personnel grouping.
We know that there are going to be eleven players in the starting lineup on offense. In almost all personnel groupings there is going to be five offensive linemen and one quarterback.
Since we already know the first six starters all that is left is determining the number of tight ends, wide receivers, and running backs.
The number of tight ends and runningbacks is going to be given to us via the personnel number. And once we have those you know whatever open spots leftover are going to go to wide receivers.
For example with thirteen personnel, you have one running back and three tight ends. This makes up four players, we also know there are five offensive linemen and a quarterback.
This would take us to a total of ten players. This means there is room for one receiver. Therefore this personnel grouping has one running back three tight ends and one wide receiver.
Benefits Of 13 Personnel In Football
Now that you understand what thirteen personnel means in football you may be wondering what this grouping of players is used for. Below we will break down the main benefits of using this package in football.
Great Run Blocking
One of the best aspects of running thirteen personnel is that this grouping works great for running the football.
With three tight ends in the group there are going to be a large number of capable blockers on the field. Between the five offensive linemen and the tight ends the offense is going to be able to command the line of scrimmage.
Mismatches With Athletic Tight Ends
Though this personnel grouping is primarily used to run the football it can also work in the passing game. Since this group only includes one receiver it is going to rely heavily on the tight ends as receiving options.
This is where especially athletic tight ends can get some serious yards. When using a position group of this size the defense will often bring on the bigger players to help stop the run.
These larger players tend to be slower and can present potential mismatches for defenders covering the tight ends.
A great example of this can be seen with George Kittle on the San Fransisco 49ers.
Great For Goal Line
One more benefit of running 13 personnel in football is that it is great around the goal line. Since there are so many capable blockers this formation is rarely going to result in a loss of yards.
Instead, you should find that gaining a small number of yards is quite likely with this offense.
Additionally with the single receiver outside the defense will be forced to leave him in single coverage or take another man out of the box and place him closer to the sideline.
That’s all on 13 personnel in football learn about other football personnel groups such as an empty set which features no players in the backfield aside from the quarterback.