Sweep Read play that attacks both perimeters

The realm of packaged plays just seems to keep expanding.  We have used a play that reads one edge and blocks the perimeter for jet sweep and has pin and pull blocking for the quarterback to keep and run sweep the opposite way.

The play is diagrammed below:

sweep sweep


In the first video, the QB sees the DE he is reading widen with the jet sweep, so he keeps it back the other way getting behind his pullers out on the perimeter.

The next clip show the end being blocked.  The running back was wrong on this play.  We wanted him to go to the perimeter.  His man was the defender that caused a fumble, but you can see how this play develops going to the jet sweep side.

This fit for us as part of a wildcat package with a dynamic quarterback.  It does provide another nice constraint play for the power read.



Get my iBook 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays.  It provides concepts that can be utilized in any offense, not just the pistol. I have received some great feedback from coaches who adapted all or some of those ideas in 2013. Get 101+ PRO STYLE PISTOL OFFENSE PLAYS for your iPad or Mac from the iBookstore


Another Read Play?

Sweep trap

I was watching some cut-ups and came across a play that Colgate ran two years ago against Lafayette. I can’t know for sure if this was designed as a read play, but it made me think about the potential that it has as a read play.  In theory it would allow another hat on the edge on the sweep portion of the play, and it allows the quarterback to keep the ball inside running into a huge void if the linebacker flows to stop the sweep.  The tricky part would be the rules for the tight end who is leaving the defensive end alone and blocking the linebacker.  Theoretically, he would be blocking the backside linebacker as the frontside backer would be left as the player being read.  He would not necessarily need to get all the way back.  The frontside guard is pulling for the alley, and the backside guard is on a long trap course to the defensive end.  He would be aiming to kick him out.

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In the clip, the linebacker sits and the quarterback gives to the receiver in motion on the sweep.

sweep trap

If the linebacker flowed on sweep, he would keep and come off the down block of the tackle on the 3 technique.

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Another way to block this sweep/trap read play would be to block down on the end with the TE, block to the BSLB with the tackle, and trap the 3 tech.  It might clean up any confusion as to who the TE would be blocking.  However, the path would be tighter for the quarterback, and the decision would have to be made quicker.

If the objective is to get a hat on a hat on the edge, and change up the Power Read fits for the defense, then this may have some potential as a constraint play.  Colgate only ran it one time in the game, so it may have been exactly that for them as well.


Get my iBook 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays.  It provides concepts that can be utilized in any offense, not just the pistol. I have received some great feedback from coaches who adapted all or some of those ideas in 2013. Get 101+ PRO STYLE PISTOL OFFENSE PLAYS for your iPad or Mac from the iBookstore

The Uptempo Huddle

One of the objectives of an uptempo offense is to force the defense to play vanilla because the speed at which the offense is getting up to the ball does not allow for the defense to make very many checks or get in calls.

Uptempo does not have to exist in only in no-huddle operations.  While watching the 2013 SEC Championship on DVR, I noticed that Auburn used a huddle very effectively at different points throughout the game.  In fact, following a big gain ripped off after aligning and snapping the ball in 10 seconds from the previous whistle, Auburn changed personnel and huddled.  This is of course the team whose head coach is in the process of trying to get a trademark for the phrase “Hurry Up No Huddle.”

I’d suggest that Auburn’s use of the huddle is perfect to use each time personnel is changed and tight ends, h-backs, or fullbacks are coming into the game and will align somewhere in the box.  Again, one of the purposes of going fast is to not allow time for defensive communication of their calls or checks.  The rule is that if personnel is changed, the defense is also allowed time to change personnel.  Most times an official will stand over the ball and not allow the offense to snap the ball while the defense is adjusting their personnel.  Unfortunately, unless the offense is shifting (Boise State does this frequently), the defense gets a chance to see the formation and begin making their calls and adjustments without the pressure of the ball being snapped quickly.

For those of you who never have used a huddle, I realize this applies to some of the younger coaches out there, the procedure was the quarterback calls the play once with the snap count, the receivers leave the huddle to get a head start to get to their position, then the quarterback repeats the cadence (some teams would repeat the whole call) and says “ready” and the remaining players say, “Break” while clapping their hands and getting to the line of scrimmage.

There’s a slight twist on Auburn’s huddle which allows them to get in motion and snap the ball within four seconds of breaking the huddle.

In the video below, the quarterback, Marshall  calls the play in the huddle and lets his receivers deploy.  Notice that the line is only about two yards away from the ball.  Marshall strategically waits until his receivers are in position, then breaks the huddle with himself and the remaining seven players aligning quickly.  After about two seconds a receiver is put in motion and the ball is snapped at about four seconds after the huddle was broken.

uptempo huddle

While the previous whistle to snap wasn’t 10 second like the previous play, the defense was still left with very little time to recognize, align and adjust. This is a tool worth considering for all offenses.


Get my iBook 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays.  It provides concepts that can be utilized in any offense, not just the pistol. I have received some great feedback from coaches who adapted all or some of those ideas in 2013. Get 101+ PRO STYLE PISTOL OFFENSE PLAYS for your iPad or Mac from the iBookstore

Peyton Manning No Huddle Run Check

In the AFC Championship game while operating from no huddle procedures, Peyton Manning checked to the run against against a two high safety look with man coverage underneath.  The check at the line both times sounded like “Bash Montana Batman.”  Both checks occurred during touchdown drives.

The first was in the 2nd quarter on a 3rd & 10.  The play resulted in a 28 yard gain and put the Broncos in the Red Zone.  The Patriots definitely left themselves exposed inside and Manning took advantage of it.  The blocking scheme and the play can be seen below.

photo 2

broncos zone1

The second time Manning checked “Bash Montana Batman” was in the 3rd quarter on a 1st & 10 against the same coverage but a different front.  This time one linebacker was in the box, but the blocking angles and numbers favored a run inside for the Broncos.  Again, Manning recognized the defense and made the check resulting in a 7 yard gain.

photo 1

Broncos zone2 tight Broncos zone2

The point in illustrating these checks is not necessarily show how to attack cover two man, but rather to discuss the procedures that are being used.  No huddle dominates offense at every level now.  A popular procedure is for the offense to align and go through a false cadence to elicit any movement or rotation by the defense, and confirm what the defense may be trying to do.  The offense then looks to the sideline for a signal telling them to stick with the original call or change the play.

This is a procedure we used frequently in the 2010 season.  The entire year I kept waiting for the defense to change their call when we changed ours.  It never happened that season.  Defensive coordinators must not have been comfortable in changing a call at that point.  The following season, more defenses began to change their calls when the offense peeked to the sideline.  The call being audibled to by the offense wasn’t necessarily the ideal call anymore.  Fortunately, we had installed a tool which put the check on the field with the quarterback.  The idea was that our players could see a few key indicators that we were looking for from the press box as well or better than we could upstairs.  The quarterback would false cadence, make a quick call to let the rest of the offense know to run the called play, or he could change it based on the parameters of the game plan.

This is exactly what Manning is doing with “Bash Montana Batman.”  An argument can be made that there isn’t the time necessary to do those things at the lower levels or that it’s too complicated.  First of all look at the still shots and the end zone view of what Manning is seeing.  The weakness of the defense is pretty obvious to anyone who has a basic understanding if the game.   Again, like the Broncos audible, these should be simple checks which can be shown to the quarterback and the offense on film, and easily executed on the field.  It’s all relative.  The defenses being played against at the lower level don’t have the sophistication of an NFL defense.

Recently, while talking to a high school defensive coordinator, he indicated that facing “look” or “peek” tempo teams, he had a much easier time making his calls and checking when the offense checked.  He would much rather face that than a team that just went fast or a quarterback who was making the checks on the field.

Thought Process for Quarterback on field checks:

1.  Have a procedure that allows this.  There may be times when you don’t want the quarterback to check anything.  Be having a procedure that puts him in a “check” mode, he know he is looking for a simple indicator or two to put the offense in a certain play.

2.  Find the obvious and most expected looks that you will face in the game and utilize something already in your offense to attack it.  Checking to a special may cause confusion on game day because the play being checked to isn’t that familiar to the players.

3.  Script in enough of those situations during the week that the offense understand the checks and can execute them.  If you don’t have time to practice it, then it shouldn’t be a part of what you do on game day.

When the players can learn the why and know it as well as the how, they can effectively attack the weaknesses of the defense.

Get my iBook 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays.  It provides concepts that can be utilized in any offense, not just the pistol. I have received some great feedback from coaches who adapted all or some of those ideas. Get 101+ PRO STYLE PISTOL OFFENSE PLAYS for your iPad or Mac from the iBookstore


Pro Style Pistol Offense

There are many versions of the pistol offense.  The primary reason is that the pistol, in and of itself, is a backfield set.  Because it offers the advantage of having the quarterback in the shotgun with the view of the defense and the ability to be a runner as well, it’s been adapted into many offenses.  Pistol is used in pro style offenses, spread option, and wing-t.  I’m sure there are several other classifications of offense types that utilize the pistol set as well.

We have been running what we refer to as a pro style pistol offense.  We consider it “pro style” in that we utilize multiple personnel groupings with an emphasis on tight ends, h-backs, and fullbacks.  The preferred run game in our offense is a downhill type of run game featuring zone and gap schemes.  The run game helps create a very effective play action passing game.

The system is created with a flexible structure that starts with having the ability to align in any formation that can be imagined.  However, the system uses a minimal amount of language with the majority of it using only 12 words and the digits 0-9.  Players really only need to learn the components that apply to them (either words or digits, bot not necessarily both), further limiting the amount that must be committed to memory.

The inside zone establishes the basis for the running game with the techniques and teaching of gap responsibility carrying over to each position.

Outside zone is the other zone scheme used within the offense.

The gap schemes begin with the installation of both one back and two back power which are taught with essentially the same rules.

The counter play provides a flexible run concept that can be used from multiple personnel groupings and formations.

Pin & Pull sweep concepts provide a run to get to the perimeter with a show of force.

With a strong run game, play action becomes an effective way to move the ball down the field.  Our unique, reverse out footwork hides the ball from the defense and helps the quarterback and receivers out leveraged the defense on the flank.

Drop back play action is effective in creating big play opportunities when the defense aggressively keys the run.

Finally, receiver motion creates misdirection and an effective way to get a dynamic receiver touches in the run game.

The details and coaching points for each play in this system are detailed in 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays.  The interactive, multimedia book presents the offense in a very dynamic and easy to understand way.  Get 101+ PRO STYLE PISTOL OFFENSE PLAYS for your iPad or Mac from the iBookstore


“Suddenly” a Champion

Another great post from Coach Floyd

You Can Do More!

There seems to be a need in our culture for instant gratification…

  • in-n-out-burger-logoBullet points (see I am doing it)…
  • Netflix on demand…
  • Instant weight loss…
  • Disneyworld FASTPASS…
  • Immediate success…
  • Miracle strength gains…
  • Instant Messaging
  • Amazing body transformations…
  • Spectacular turnarounds.

The thing is, that doesn’t happen often in athletics or real life.  More often it is small, consistent, incremental growth that takes place.  But that growth over an extended period of time leads to BIG changes.

Seth Godin described it this way last week in his post, Gradually, then suddenly:

This is how companies die, how brands wither and, more cheerfully in the other direction, how careers are made.

Gradually, because every day opportunities are missed, little bits of value are lost, customers become unentranced. We don’t notice so much, because hey, there’s a profit. Profit covers many sins. Of course, one day, once the foundation is rotted and the…

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On AFM: Zone Read with Lead Blockers

For the last decade, the zone read has established itself at every level, even into the NFL. In fact, ESPN the Magazine reported the overall read option runs were called 974 more times in 2013 than in 2011.

With the right athletes, the zone read presents multiple problems for a defense. Of course defenses have responded by coming up with multiple answers for the zone read. The most popular answer is to put the end on a chase call and gap exchange with the linebacker. If the ball goes away, the defensive lineman will chase the ball carrier down the line of scrimmage. Naturally, the quarterback should read this as a keep. The problem is that the linebacker is scraping to the outside to take the quarterback.

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When defenses start to do this, there must be ways to handle it. One way to counter the defense’s tactic is to bring a lead blocker for the quarterback. This is a play that was made popular at Nevada, and now is used frequently in the NFL and collegiate level…read more

More on this topic.