Trick Plays

As you are finalizing your offensive installation plans, you might want to add a few gadget plays to the install and begin repping them now. You might not use these until later in the season, but if you spend just a few practice reps each week working these, your players will perfect them and they will have a better chance for success when it’s time to use one.

Since they are something you installed early, you avoid any kind of psychological disadvantage that the players might get against a tougher opponent, like you are using tricks because that’s the only way to win this week. The tricks simply become another play in your arsenal.

Key Points for Using Tricks:
1. Know your opponent and what players on defense are quick to react to an initial key. Plan your attack here.
2. Decide when and where are the appropriate time to use these plays. Most of the time these plays are effective when the game is tight.
3. Set up the play to fit into what you do. Use looks and formations that are already part of your game plan. A formation the defense hasn’t seen sometimes causes them to play less aggressively and could be an indicator that you are doing something out of the ordinary.
4. Practice your plays but not too much. Give it a few team reps and over the week and that’s all. If there is a key mechanic involved with ball handling or a pass, let the players involved practice it separately.
5. Have fun! These plays are always fun when they work out and the players love to execute them.
Good luck with your season!

Read more and see video cut-ups of different gadget plays on American Football Monthly.

If you haven’t done so yet, get a copy of 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays. It’s something that you will use as a reference both in and out of season because it’s loaded with offensive ideas and strategies. Get it here.

A fun play: FB Draw

Last summer I wrote an article for Smart Football, “A Constraint Play for the Sprint about Pass.” This is a play I learned from my father decades ago. In honor of his birthday I thought I would post a link to it on my page. The post includes instructional video for the running back and quarterback mechanics of the play as well as cut-ups of the play dating back to the late seventies when my dad was running it as a high school coach.

Here’s the link to the article on Smart Football.

Play of the Day: Pin & Pull

The pin and pull sweep has become a staple in our offense. It is a simple scheme with simple rules, but it provides flexibility and multiplicity in the way that it allows an offense to get the ball out on the perimeter.

The scheme variations as well as who is assigned to carry the ball allow this scheme to be run from a variety of personnel groupings and formations.

The pin and pull scheme is another concept that is detailed in 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays.  All plays included in the iBook include wide and tight video.  Each play section includes a Keynote presentation on the basics of the concept being illustrated.

Here it is from a spread set with a receiver motioning in to anchor the edge.

101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays is available through the iBookstore on your iPad here:


Play of the Day: Four Vert Switch

The Play of the day is four verticals with a switched release by #2 & #3. The defense is in a three deep coverage and the free safety is stressed by the two seams. The switch by 2 & 3 gets both receivers a clean release.

My clinic article, “Four Keys to a Successful Four Vertical Package” will be up on American Football Monthly tomorrow. Have over 20 detailed clinics articles on American Football Monthly.

I’ve also created the first multimedia coaching resource available on the iBookstore through your iPad, 101+ Pro Style Pistol Plays:


Play of the Day: Spacing

The play of the day is Spacing with a play action fake. It’s one of the plays diagrammed and explained in the play action chapter in 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays

Spacing is a concept that I’ve used in some form over the past 12 years. My original exposure to it was learning about it at a Glazier Clinic from Andrew Coverdale in the late 90’s. In many offenses at least part of the concept we include is identified as “snag.”

What spacing has become for us is a concept structure that incorporates different components to be able to give us a true spacing concept with 5 receivers spaced horizontally across the lower intermediate area of the defense.

We’ve added multiplicity to the concept by changing the responsibility of one receiver to get us into what many offenses consider a separate concept. In fact, in some offenses what we included as part of one teaching structure would exist as up to 5 different concepts. Incorporating several variations into one teaching structure makes it very easy for our players to learn, for us to practice, and it gives us clarity in how we game plan in that we make decision on which components we will use within the spacing concept to attack an opponent in any given week.

More detail on spacing is detailed in my American Football Monthly article “A Multiple Passing Attack with the Spacing Concept.”

101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays is available from the iBookstore on your iPad:


Play of the day: Wing Orbit Sweep

WR sweep is a great tool to stress any defense if you have a receiver with the ability to run the ball. The quick motion allows us to get an extra hat (the tailback) in front of the play with the two other pullers.


The backside is working to cut off the defense. The safety from the other side has to come all the way across and just barely makes the tackle saving them from the touchdown.

This is just one of the concepts that can apply to any offense that is found in the iBook 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays.

A clinic article on Pin and Pull is here.

Read bout sweep action here.

The advantages of using a wing can be read about here.

The play of the day is from 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays. You can get it on your iPad from the iBookstore:


Play of the Day: Counter off of Sweep Action

The play of the day is another example of how using a wing creates an advantage, as does the use of receiver sweep action. The sweep action causes a rotation of the defense to the strength. On this play the guard, tackle and wing pull opposite of the sweep action creating three more gaps to run fit on the side the defense is rotating away from. Obviously this creates run fit issues. In this example the tackle is able to pull through and lead up up the safety who has rotated to the middle if the field. As the third puller the wing is able to look to the outside for the alley player. If the running back spends just a little more time setting up his tackle on the safety he might score.

Two clinic articles on American Football Monthly describe these effective components.
“Just Wing It”
“Sweep Action to Enhance the Inside Running Game”

Receiver sweep action can add a very effective component to an offense. 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays includes 13 plays diagrammed with coaching points and press box and end zone views. Overall the iBook contains 105 plays on video (over 30 minutes total). Get this coaching resource for your iPad here: