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5 top football innovations

Too bad you can't patent a football tactic. If that were the case, the San Francisco 49ers could sue any team that used the "shotgun" formation (see below). But coaches and players can – and do – quickly adopt successful strategies. Among them are the following.

By Owen Thomas, Staff


Oklahoma State football players huddle before the next play during their team's practice, Dec. 27, 2011, in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Matt York/AP

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The huddle

In 1921, Bob Zuppke at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was scorned for the idea – until his team became national champions in 1923.


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