What is a Bubble Screen in Football : A Brief Overview

Football players often throw screens as a form of pass to keep opposing opponents off-balance, but different screens have varying effects on defenses. Traditional screen passes drop the football off to an underneath target while tricking the opposition into believing the play is set up for a deep pass.

The wide receiver is frequently the receiver of the short pass in these screening passes, which is intended to take out defensive lineman by enabling them to enter the backfield and free up the scoring linemen to block downfield.

However, a bubble screen functions in the reverse directions. It is a passing play that aims to transfer the ball to the receivers as soon as possible after leaving the quarterback’s hands. The player who receives the ball must next execute one or more moves to advance downfield after the receivers have completed the initial blocking.

Examining the bubble screen in more detail will help us understand precisely what it is, how to utilise it, and when to use it.

What is a Bubble Screen in Football ?

A pass called a bubble screen swiftly removes the ball from the quarterback’s hands. It’s designed to get the ball into the hands of a wideout or tight end as soon as possible so that he can generate distance after making the reception.

In contrast to a conventional screen throw, a bubble screen is intended to disperse the defense and benefit from the alignment of blockers with outside defenders, defensive backs, and safeties.

Instead of over the center of the pitch, these will be the first places where blocking contact will be made. A bubble screen is a rapid play that is done toward the edge of the field in an effort to capitalize on your receiver’s speed and elusiveness.

If all goes according to plan, it might lead to significant yardage gains near several of the sidelines.

A Bubble Screen’s Operation

The most common formation from which a bubble screen is launched is one with numerous receivers positioned widely apart. There isn’t a tight formation used, and there aren’t many tight ends and running backs piled up close to the line of scrimmage. As a result, the play’s intended outcome would be defeated, and setting up the bubble screen would become incredibly challenging. Teams may use a bubble screen with the qb in the shotgun or under centers. A single running back will often be in the backfield, and there will either be one tight end lined up tight at the defensive line or none at all.

There won’t be a tight end near to one of the offensive linemen, and just one tight end will be stretched out wide with three wide receivers (or four wide receivers and no tight end).This group of receivers will line up with two on the line of scrimmage and the other two off the line. Three of these receivers will often line up on the side of the field where the pass is intended to travel, with the fourth receiver lining up on the other side. The pass will be caught by one of these receivers, and the other three will act mostly as blockers.

The prime focus will follow a curving path on his side of the football toward the sideline at the snap. The quarterback will instantly make a turn in his direction and deliver the ball to the main target. The other receivers’ task is to obstruct the players stacked up opposing them to the inside of the field, especially on same side of the pitch as the primary target.

In order to attempt to make the challenge on the receiver holding the ball, the defender in charge of the primary target will be compelled to move behind the other two defenders. The ball carrier’s mission is to make a run and sprint up the edge of the field to gain as many yards as possible downfield approaching towards the sideline.

The offensive linemen’s role in a bubble screen is to attempt to move the defenders lined up across from them away from where the player with the ball is, then shed those tackles to advance upfield and assist with blocking at the second level.

When to Utilize a Bubble Screen

As we all know, not every football play works well in every circumstance. What circumstances call for the use of the bubble screen and which do not ?

The wonderful thing about bubble screens is that they work well in both short- and long-yardage situations. A bubble screen is a wonderful option to gain those few yardage quickly to obtain a new set of downs if you’re facing a small distance to get a first down and you have faith in your receivers’ capacity to make a move with the football. When faced with a third-and-long scenario, teams generally utilize a bubble screen. This is due to the bubble screen’s low risk and potential for a large yardage gain. It will keep the ball throughout your team’s hands.

This is why some teams would rather run a bubble screen on a third-and-long than a draw running play since there is at least a chance to gain enough yardage to get a first down.

A fantastic complement to any football team’s offensive playbook, the bubble screen may be used with the right players, placement, and timing. It targets the spot that is frequently made up of the poorest tacklers on defense, throws defenses off balance, and makes use of the skillsets of quick and strong receivers.


The bubble screen is cheap in terms of time required to learn it and have good success, and it can provide your team success very rapidly.

When you’ve made opponents cover you horizontally across the entire field, it also helps your entire offensive function well.
When I added the counters to the bubble screen for games like Bubble Slant and Bubble Go, my entire quick game package was essentially replaced the first time I installed it. I created a course on only Bubble Screen and all we were doing with it because I enjoyed it so much.

ALSO READ :- Eligible Receiver In Football 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *