What the Heck is Spider 2 Y Banana?

“Spider 2 Y Banana” is coach Jon Gruden’s favorite play, with Gruden most likely on his way back to Oakland, let’s look at what this play is

If you watch Monday Night Football or Gruden’s “QB Camp” than you’ve heard coach Gruden gushing about the play “Spider 2 Y Banana” like a middle school girl talking about her crush.

When it comes to playcalling, terminology comes from the offensive style that is being run. In this case, the play terminology comes from the “West Coast Offense.” This same play could be called something else in another system. The name of the play isn’t just a random phrase, it is the language which tells everyone on the offense what they are supposed to do.

Let’s insert Spider 2 Y Banana into a play and see how it works, for this example the play is Green Right Strong Slot Spider 2 Y Banana.

The play call can be divided into three parts:

  1. Formation (Green Right Strong Slot)
  2. Protection (Spider 2)
  3. Route (Y Banana)

Green Right – The Green tells the offense that the formation is a base formation which includes two backs (FB and HB), two receivers (X and Z) and a tight end (Y). The Right tells the Z and Y receivers to line up on the right side of the formation.

Strong – This tells the fullback to off-set to the strong side, or the side where the tight end is, instead of lining up on the base I formation.

Slot – This tells the Z receiver (receiver on the strong side) to move to the slot.

Spider 2 – This is the protection. This tells the offensive linemen to slide protection post-snap. Note that the first two letter in the word Spider is SP for slide protection.

Y Banana – This is the entire route combination where the fullback is the primary target. It’s telling the fullback to fake a block on the defensive end and run to the flat, Y receiver to run a corner route, the Z receiver to run a shallow cross, the X receiver to run a go or come back and the RB to cut the defensive end. The QB does a play-action and throws to the fullback in the flat. If the FB is covered, he either hits the Y in the corner or Z running across.

The route should look something like this:

Here is a video of John Gruden and Andrew Luck diagraming the play on Gruden’s QB Camp:


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But the y and z are on the left side of the formation…

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