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In a Jon Gruden interview on ESPN, he calls a play Spider 2 Y Banana.

I have no idea what to make of this. What do the words even reference, and what do they mean?

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This is an example of play calling in the West Coast Offense. The play call itself could be called something else in another offensive scheme. Here is a breakdown of the playcall and terms:

  • Spider refers to the protection or blocking scheme depending on if it is a run or pass. In this case, spider means a slide in the pass protection.
  • 2 refers to the series of plays. Each series has different characteristics as well as being designated as run or pass series. In this case, 2 means a play action pass.
  • Y Banana refers to a route combination. This designates the routes for the receivers to run. In this case Y Banana means the "Y" receiver (tight end in this case, but not always) will run a "Banana" route (similar to a rounded off corner route, looks like a banana).

This play would be preceded by calling out a formation. An example is "Green Right Strong Slot Spider Y 2 Banana". Green right strong slot is the formation that the offense will line up in.


The play unfolds as a play action power run with the halfback, the full back shows block and continues into the flat and is the primary receiver. The secondary receiver is the tight end (Y receiver).


The video shows the play that unfolds with the quarterback throwing to the tight end on the banana route.

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Spider 2 Y Banana within itself is a just a concept. Meaning slide protection with a play action pass to the tailback or halfback depending on terminology with the y the tight end running a banana similar too a corner route. The play within itself will have other options built into the route which could change depending on the coverage shown where hot routes, blocking assignments, and sight adjustments could all come into play. If the team would line up in what could be called a pro right formation with 21 personnel meaning 2 backs and 1 te with a flanker (z) and split end (x)the play as a whole could be called pro right z slant x go spider 2 y banana on whatever the cadence may be. The other receivers may have a predetermined route combination as well. I have done most of my limited study on Charlie Weis and his tenure with the patriots as OC under his system which is more of a combination of the west coast and erhardt Perkins systems which deals more with route naming combinations as opposed to the west coast system which deals more with individual assignments. Gruden was the play caller for the eagles as OC and the raiders and bucs as head coach where the spider 2 y banana was a staple concept of his offense that lead to Gannon having great success and the bucs winning super bowl 37 with brad Johnson albeit they had a great defense. If you ever watch grudens qb camp he discusses this with most quarterbacks especially those few in college that still run a pro style offense and most of the time the fullback in the flat is the guy the ball should go to regardless of the coverage. Hope this gives some kind of answer never done this before wanted to sound knowledgeable

  • could you please format it so it looks cleaner and add a few sources if you can. And that last line is not necessary as the answer speaks itself, you could remove that before it gets edited. – Ram Chandra Giri Jul 7 '17 at 18:45

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