A jumbo package in football is a personnel grouping that includes two tight ends and three backs. On some occasions, this package may include extra offensive linemen in place of a running back or full back. The jumbo package is primarily used for short-yardage situations.
Teams will never use a jumbo package for an entire game, instead, this formation is often used when on the goal line or in a third and one situation.
In most cases, a jumbo formation is going to result in a carry by the fullback or running back.
Since there are no wide receivers in this formation it will almost never result in a forward pass being thrown.
To learn about other styles of offensive personnel like the jumbo package read our guide to the empty set in football.
Pros And Cons Of The Jumbo Package
Now that you understand what a jumbo package is in football it’s time to find out what the benefits and issues are with this personnel grouping.
Best Blockers On The Field
One positive aspect of the jumbo formation is that a team’s best blocking players are going to be on the field. When in the jumbo formation your team is going to run the ball.
This means the success of this play is going to ride on the team’s ability to block for their ball carrier.
Between the offensive lineman, fullbacks, and tight ends an offense is going to have all their positional players that specialize in blocking on the field.
Oftentimes the rushing play in this formation is going to be up the middle. This means the blocking is not necessarily going to open up a hole for the running back but instead push the defensive line back.
Since these plays only need to gain a few yards pushing the defensive line back will be more than enough for a successful play.
Rarely Loses Yards
Another benefit of running the jumbo package in football is that it very rarely results in negative yards.
Passing plays and outside runs can easily result in a tackle for loss if a defender gets through the protection.
When utilizing the jumbo package this rarely happens. The ball will be handed to the running back or fullback immediately after the snap. The ball carrier will then take off downfield through the middle of the offensive line.
The player reaches the line of scrimmage so quickly with a jumbo set that defenders are rarely able to tackle this player for a loss of yards.
This is another reason this personnel group is so handy in short-yardage situations.
Telegraphing The Play
One negative aspect of running the jumbo package in football is that the defenders are likely going to know what you are doing.
Since there are no wide receivers on the field in this formation the defenders are going to key in that a run is coming. Once they see the size of the players in the formation they are going to understand that a run up the middle is likely coming.
Usually, this results in the defense bringing in their version of a jumbo package to stop the short run.
When running this personnel group you are not going to have the advantage of surprise. Instead, this formation telegraphs the play and simply implies that our biggest guys are going to beat your biggest guys on this next play.
No Opportunity For A Big Play
Another negative aspect of the jumbo package in football is the fact it is rarely going to generate a big play. With the nature of the jumbo package, runs are almost always going to go up the middle.
And with all the lineman or blockers the ball carrier generally does not gain more than a few yards.
When using this offense you are accepting that the next play is not going to generate a lot of yards. But since this package is almost exclusively used in short-yardage situations this is a sacrifice teams are willing to live with.