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Redskins Playbook: Personnel Groupings Part Three

The third part of a series looking at the different personnel groups used by the Redskins offense. Today we discuss 'Zebra' and 'E' groups.

Patrick Smith

This is the third of a series of four posts on the Redskins personnel groups. If you missed the second, click here to go back and read it. Next on the agenda is Zebra personnel.

Zebra Personnel

This group is the first we've looked at that involves three wide receivers. Known as 11 personnel in the numbers system, there is only one running back and one tight end on the field. The fullback makes way for a third receiver, the Zebra man.


Is is another common group for the Redskins. Santana Moss will more often than not play the role of the slot receiver and will come in as the Zebra man. With three receivers, this is more of a passing unit than anything else. But with the additional running threat of Robert Griffin III, the Redskins can elect to spread the defense out a little and still run on them. With this group, the Redskins like to bunch the Z and Zebra receivers with the tight end close together on one side. This helps hide the routes of each receiver and makes it hard for the defense to pick them up.

E Personnel

This is a less common group, but the Redskins still use it. Like Zebra, the E grouping has three receivers on the field. But rather than the third receiver taking the place of the fullback, this time he takes the place of the tight end.


Some times the Redskins will use versatile guys like Logan Paulsen as a fullback here that can go out and run a pass pattern as well as stay in for protection when needed. Moss will again come in as the slot receiver, but in this group, he's marked as the E receiver. This group allows for a max seven-man protection. With two backs on the field, they both can use their momentum to help them block incoming blitzers. This allows time for deeper routes to develop for the receivers.

Tomorrow is the last part of this series, so make sure to check in then for the final two groups.