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The Bull, Bison,

and Bear Offense

Coach Jack Gregory


www.gregorydoublewing.com

Copyright 2005, Jack Gregory.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 1


The Bull, Bison,
and Bear Offense
Copyright © 2005, by Jack Gregory

All rights reserved. Except for use in review, the reproduction or utilization
of this work in any form or by any electronic, mechanical or other means,
now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying
and recording, and in any information storage and retrieval system, is
forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.

This item is not to be traded or sold by anyone other then the publisher at
anytime. Each copy is watermarked, digitally encoded, and page
marked with the copy owner’s name. Any unauthorized copy of this
document can be traced to the original copy owner.

Disclaimer

This text is intended to provide youth coaches with the overview and
understanding on how to properly run this offense, conduct warm ups,
conduct speed and endurance training for young athletes.
Implementation of any training philosophy, program or idea contained
within this text is done so at the individual’s own risk. Jack Gregory
assumes no liability in the event of injury, accident or death.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 2


Forward and Dedication

After running the Double Wing for nine seasons, I started to dabble in
other formations and sets that would improve my version of the Double
Wing. In doing so I discovered a set of formations that I really enjoyed
and have had a lot of success with as I utilize them more and more. The
truth of the matter is that it was by complete accident and circumstance
that I came about using these sets. This book is a sort of history and a how
to guide on the offense that I have come to call Bull, Bison, & Bear.

This is dedicated to all of the coaches that have helped me throughout


my coaching career, to the many coaches that I call friends and cohorts
that I have gotten to know through the Internet, Double Wing
Symposiums, and on the field of play. Without them I would not be a
football coach and I am truly thankful for their friendship. Coaches like
Russ Bowmen, Mark Donaldson, Clark Wilkins, Malcolm Robinson, Matt
Finlon, Jeff Belliveau, Derek Wade, Kevin Thurman, Darrin Fisher, JJ Lawson,
JB and Dave Potter. These are some of the finest youth and high school
football coaches that I know and I am a far better coach and man for
knowing them. I would also like to give a special thanks to the Fenton
Youth Football Program in Fenton, Michigan as well as a big thanks to
Kenny Mead; one of the finest Youth Football coaches that I know and a
great video producer and good friend to top it off.

I would like to thank JJ Lawson for taking the time to edit and proof read
this very long-winded playbook and manual. He is a fine coach and a
good friend that gives some great feedback and awesome advice.

To my wife Tammy who is always encouraging me in my endeavors I love


her tremendously and could not imagine my life without her.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 3


Table of Contents
Cover – page 1
Copyright – page 2
Forward – page 2
Table of Contents – page 4
Chapter 1 – A Little History – page 5
Chapter 2 – Formations and Positions – page 6
Chapter 3 – Play Calling, Snap Count, and Basic Adjustment Tags – page
11
Chapter 4 – Wedge Blocking – page 16
Chapter 5 – SAB Blocking – page 25
Chapter 6 – Reach Blocking – page 56
Chapter 7 – Pass Protection – page 62
Chapter 8 – Buck Wedge Series – page 66
Chapter 9 – Power Series – page 74
Chapter 10 – T.A.G and JET Series – page 111
Chapter 11 – Developing an Offensive Philosophy and System for Your
Team – page 121
Chapter 12 – Installing the System – page 127
Chapter 13 – Adjustments and Tactics – page 162
Chapter 14 – Teaching the Passing Game – page 180
Chapter 15 – Special Plays and Punting – page 193
Chapter 16 – Athletic Training for Youth Football – page 197

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 4


Chapter 1
A Little History
I have been running the Double Wing offense for nine seasons now and I
am a firm believer in its philosophy and its core principles set forth by Don
Markham. I have been extremely successful running the Double Wing
and my respect for it will never diminish as I think it is one of the best series
based power/misdirection offenses I have ever seen or coached.

In 2003 we had a very talented ten to twelve year old team of football
players loaded with Double Wing veterans. We also had some very
talented backs that were in their first year of the system and the first year
of actually being coached technique. One of the sets we added was the
direct snap balanced Beast formation (a variation of the Calande
unbalanced Beast). We had a lot of success with this formation with just a
few simple plays. As the season went on our center’s snap became very
inconsistent (actually it was never consistent to begin with but got worse).
The big problem was we just didn’t spend enough time teaching the
direct snap and it really showed. So we modified the formation into the
Bull and Bear indirect snap formation and thus the Bull, Bison, and Bear
Offense was born. That season we scored over 16 touchdowns off that
single set of formations running the basic Super Power series. I fell in love
with the formation for two reasons. One, it put my main run threat in the
Double Wing (my Motion Back) into an I formation look seven yards deep
and allowed him to attack the hole down field at full speed. Two, due to
the depth of seven yards it gave the backside linemen more time (about
one third of a second) to get to the hole and that is a big impact. Third, it
really allowed us the ability to have the back bounce the play outside by
logging the defensive perimeter as they scraped down into the off tackle
hole. That was a huge impact on our offense. Lastly, the perceived over
load on the strong side (really just an unbalanced back field) allowed us
to force defenses to shift and gave us the ability to counter to the
backside. Our counters out of Bull and Bear were simply a thing of beauty
and wreaked havoc on defenses. With all that being said what I really
liked about the Bull and Bear was it gave me the same potential threat of
misdirection and power on either side but with a non-symmetrical
backfield. It is very deceptive when you look at the ability to attack with
“power” on either side of the formation.

In 2004 I took the fall football season off. Instead of coaching, I consulted
a lot of teams during the season (including my old team). They used the

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 5


Bull and Bear exclusively with a very young and inexperienced 10/11
team. To the surprise of everyone they managed to get in the playoffs
after a 9-1 season. That team sold me on the strengths of the Bull and
Bear and I started experimenting with it more and more as a base offense.
There were two things I really liked about these sets. First, younger or
inexperienced double wing teams can greatly benefit from the formations
because they remove the need of motion as the formation itself sets up
the perceived direction of the play. Secondly, the depth of the Tail back
is more forgiving to the basic power series as it allows more wiggle room
for pulling backside linemen, quarter back movement, and other
technical aspects of the double wing that are so important to the over all
success of the offense.

In 2004/2005 I coached a spring select team and I had my first opportunity


to put the “New” Bull and Bear offense to the test with a young, small,
inexperienced competition team. I was amazed how easily we were able
to adapt in the Bull and Bear. I also started to use the inside formation
variation called Bison. With that system we managed to take a team that
should have only won two or three games at most and get in to the
playoffs in our first year in a highly competitive league. My old team the
Grand Prairie Raiders also put two teams in that very same league and
the Junior team made up of 7th and 8th graders used my Bull and Bear
formation and managed to go 9-1 in the regular season and become Co-
Champions of the Junior Division in their first year…pretty impressive. I
managed to learn some very valuable lessons and I hope this manual
gives you some insight into not only how to run this offense but how to
more effectively run power/misdirection offenses of the same make up.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 6


Chapter 2
Formations and Positions
Formations:

Where it came from:

Calande’s Unbalanced Beast Right Balanced Beast Right

Old BEAR Old BULL

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 7


The new look Bear and Bull:

BEAR BULL

OVER BEAR UNDER BULL

OVER – tells the UNDER – tells


weak side OT the strong side
to align on the OT to align on
strong side the weak side
inside of the inside of the
PSTE. PSTE.

The Bull and Bear formations I use now (above) give me the ability to
power to one side and misdirect to the other but don’t be fooled we can
still power to the backside very easily while misdirecting the defense.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 8


BISON Right BISON OVER Right

Calling a side in Bison


tells the BB what side to
line up on. This also tells
the WB to line up on the
opposite side

Line Splits – Zero inches is prefered but often we go out to six inches. We
use a narrow balanced three point stance.

Line Depth – Shoulder is aligned to the hip of the center. This is about half
the legal depth. You can have the head just break the plane of the
center’s hip and it is legal. We do this because we often pull our linemen
and the added depth ensures we can get them down the LOS. I have
also found that using the severe angles that we often end up
trapping interior linemen by having our linemen slightly off the LOS instead
of up tight.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 9


Positions

QB - under center using a slighlty pigeon toed stance.

TB (Tail Back) – seven yards deep directly behind the QB in a balanced


two-point stance.

BB (Blocking Back) – between the PSG’s inside shoulder and PST’s outside
shoulder no deeper then 1 yard (can adjust depth). This flexibility allows
him to adjust for great blocking angles, faking, and carrying the ball. He is
in a three point stance unless this will hinder his speed and then we place
him in a two point stance.

WB (Wing Back) – outside of the PSTE. At depth of QB (with the WB


aligning his heels to the QB’s heels) and tilted at outside hip of PSTE and
within arm’s distance.

Lineman (from TE to TE) – balanced three point stance (modified 3 point).


The guard’s shoulder should align to the top of the hip of the center and
the rest of the lineman should align their shoulders to the guard’s
shoulders and so on.

In the OVER and UNDER call I move the OT to the outside tackle position or
inside of the TE. When I do go OVER and UNDER the BSG is the only
lineman pulling as our BST is already at the point of attack when we go to
the overloaded side. I can also move the TE on a DOUBLE call (double
TE’s on called side) but I have found if I move the OT that I don’t have
reteach backside blocking as the BSTE already knows what to do no
matter the case as his rule does not change. Going OVER/UNDER gives
you one more blocker in the SAB track on playside and is a great way to
add additional power to your play even if you have a Tackle that can not
pull effectivily.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 10


Chapter 3
Play Calling
Snap Count

Our snap count carries over from my double wing system as I feel this is
the best snap count to have if I ever use motion in a set. I also feel it sets
up the defense to fail from the start of the play. This snap count is
designed to make defenses react and to signal our offense what is
coming. All three words are action words that can create reaction from
the defense.

The center is always in charge of our team at the LOS. He sets and when
he sees everyone get to the LOS he calls DOWN to set the offense. At that
point the QB is now in charge of the team and the entire team sets.

GO – READYYYYY – HIT is our base snap count.

• All no motion plays go on the G of GO as a base.


• All motion plays go on the H of HIT; motion begins on R of
READYYYYY.
• We can go on R of READYYYY and second HIT as we become more
experienced.

Play Calling

C
E T G G T E
Q
W
B

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 11


I have gone away from numbering my offense in the traditional way
instead I keep it very, very simple. My play calling uses only word phrases
that are simple and descriptive. It states the formation, the motion (if
any), the ball carrier, and the play (which will also be the blocking call),
the direction, and finally the snap count. It also includes any adjustment
tags as well.

Numbers tend to confuse some kids and having them try to sort out even
and odd numbers for right and left just adds to the confusion. So we use
words and phrases that paint a clear picture of what we want them to
execute. I firmly believe we have to use a system that our lowest common
denominator can understand at all times. What I mean is at some point
you are going to come across a kid that cannot understand a numbering
system or struggles with his left and right. At the younger levels where left
and right can often be a challenge to kids, adding an odd/even
numbering system often leaves them with a blank stare. So I figure why
make my life impossible when I can just stick to K.I.S.S and be successful
with it. I do this by using a word system that paints a picture or an
impression for each player so that they can understand their role within a
play. I have found that numbers just get in the way of allowing a youth
player to fully grasp (or translate) what you are trying to achieve, as he
has to decipher what you are saying through a system of numbers and
how they work in the system and then recall what he has to do within that
system. Instead I want to draw a mental picture with the play call so there
is absolutely no confusion for these young minds. Each word has a
specific meaning and the words grouped together tell the players what
they have to do so that the team can execute the play. It simply creates
a picture for them through words.

Our primary running back is the tail back or as I explain it to the kids that
HE IS THE TAIL OF THE BULL, BISON, and BEAR. He is our primary ball carrier
and the best running back on our team. If we do not tag a specific back
it is assumed that the TB is getting the ball, as he is the base of our attack.
Otherwise we tag another back to indicate that he is the ball carrier.
When I say tag what I mean is if I just call Bull Power Right then the tail
back is getting the ball but if I call Bull BB Part Right then the blocking
back is getting the ball. So no tag means the tail back is getting the ball
and a tag means that someone else is getting the ball.

When a play is called the first thing that is told to the offense is the
formation. We give each formation a specific name that the kids will
remember and associate with the formation. I try to use a name that
defines what the formation will look like; again a word picture. In the case

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 12


of Bull and Bear it is simply a word association since the names are
derived from the BEAST. In Bear the R means RIGHT and Bull the L means
Left and Bison means inside. The kids catch on very quickly and adding
the OVER/UNDER is very easy.

Play calling setup:

Formation (includes side as well if needed)


Primary Runner Tag (if TB no tag added because he is the base)
Blocking scheme and side (this also indicates the play as well as the hole)
Any special adjustment tags

Example (1): BEAR SEAL RIGHT

Tells offense it is BEAR FORMATION (RIGHT SIDE). SEAL blocking right and
the play is going to the tailback to the right side.

Example (2): BEAR BB PART LEFT

Tells offense it is BEAR FORMATION (RIGHT SIDE). PART blocking left and the
play is going to the blocking back to the left side.

This allows us to keep things very simple but is flexible enough to allow us
to change and adapt plays for our kids.

ADJUSTMENT TAGS
KEEP – Tells the QB he is keeping the ball but still executing the exact same
action that the play requires.

EXAMPLE (3): BEAR POWER RIGHT KEEP

I don’t even rep these as separate plays but as an adjustment. I simply


keep reinforcing that I can call KEEP on any play and the QB must
execute as if he is carrying the ball every time.

CP: You must stress to your QB how important it is to keep carrying out
bootlegs and fakes exactly the same and well so that when a KEEP is
called it looks “normal” at first to the defense. This is what is going to make
your KEEP plays huge plays.

CP: I tell our QB’s to look right into the eyes of a perimeter defender and
run at his outside edge. Eye contact forces the defender to “look at him”

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 13


and react. This is really key when selling a fake and it forces the defense
to respond. Remember all it takes is one defender to bite down and if
any other defenders see this then there is a chance they will bite off the
initial reaction as well.

BOUNCE – Tells BB on a kick out track to LOG block vice kick out the first
defender to cross his face. Aim for the outside shoulder and seal the
defender inside. This also tells the pulling linemen and/or other blockers to
flow under the BB instead of cutting inside. It also tells the WB to chip off a
head up or outside aligned defender as he goes to his target vice
clearing. If a SUPER call is included the QB kicks out the run force if he is
wide or seals him if inside.

EXAMPLE (4): BEAR SEAL RT BOUNCE

CP: You will need to rep the log block and flow under several times to get
the timing down or it will disrupt the flow of the play if not properly
practiced enough.

CP: Rep that chip block with the WB. Tell him to simply smack the near
shoulder and force the defender to look at him. Often the man he is
chipping is going to be the BB’s target and if that man’s eyes go off the BB
then the log block is much more successful and it gives the BB more time
to get to that outside shoulder and seal him in.

SUPER – Tells the QB to toss the ball and lead into the hole and block
outside inside the first defender to cross his face.

EXAMPLE (5): BEAR SUPER SEAL RT

Tells the QB to spin toss the ball and double kick out with the BB vice
leading into hole and taking next defender outside inside.

SWEEP – Tells the WB to reach the 1st defender on/outside of him and the
kick out to go under and kick out corner back while all pullers pull into
lane. If corner is in tight and crashing the kick out should LOG the corner
and pullers go under him as well.

EXAMPLE (6): BEAR SEAL RT SWEEP

CP: You have to rep the Reach block with the WB and you can do it at
the same time you teach the BB’s log block, as they are essentially the
same thing.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 14


CP: The SWEEP call is designed to attack a defense with one defender on
the outside perimeter. If there are two then simply have the PSTE fold
under the WB reach block and reach/kick out the next outside defender.

WB PASS - This is a simple adjustment call to any running play that has the
WB going into a banana route and the QB bootlegging. This tag tells the
QB to keep the ball bootleg and throw the ball to the WB. This allows us to
have a single passing threat off of a vast majority of our running plays.

EXAMPLE (7): BEAR BB TRAP LEFT WB PASS

WB REVERESE – This is a simple call that tells the WB to run outside of the QB
and take an outside handoff and run a reverse. WB drop steps.

LEAD – This tells the BB to jab step to the opposite side and then lead into
the hole.

EXAMPLE (8): BEAR LEAD CB KICK LEFT

BLAST – Tells the BB and WB to lead into the hole. BB jab steps and hits
hole. WB makes a quick drop step and leads into hole.

EXAMPLE(9): BEAR BLAST PART RIGHT

DOUBLE – Tells the QB to double team with the kick out blocker. Good
when facing a tough defender that is the kick out target. An adjustment
for the SUPER.

EXAMPLE (10): BEAR DOUBLE SEAL RIGHT

WHAM – Tells the WB to lead into the hole as the BB does in LEAD. He
makes a quick drop step and hits hole fast.

EXAMPLE(11): BEAR WHAM PART RIGHT

There are additional tags that directly relate to a specific blocking


scheme or series of plays and they will be discussed in further chapters.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 15


Chapter 4
Blocking & Wedge Blocking
“Successful offenses start with successful blocking.”
“Focus on Intensity, Execution, Technique.”

That sums up my core belief of offensive football. It all starts with the ability
to block well and do it aggressively no matter what you face. You look at
any successful offense that performs game in and game out throughout
an entire season it is because they could block any defense they faced
and they did it with Intensity, technique, and execution. You have to instill
a belief in your team that blocking is all-important and it the base of a
good offense. Without it you are not going to beat more talented teams.

I believe that our blocking schemes must be able to do the below things
and do them well if we are going to succeed. This is especially so against
bigger and more talented teams:

Offensive Line Priorities:

•Protect the inside gap.


•Negate leakage across the entire front.
•Give smaller or less talented lineman a technical and physical
advantage.
•Attack the POA with more blockers than they have defenders.
•Instill intensity and desire to excel in our blockers.
•Keep it simple and allow for aggressive play.

I use two basic schemes of blocking when I teach my teams blocking.


One is the Wedge scheme and the other is a Severe Angle Blocking (SAB)
scheme and I believe they compliment each other very well. Wedge is
an interior blocking scheme (A and B gaps) and SAB is an inside perimeter
blocking scheme that opens the off tackle gaps (B to C gaps). I am an off
tackle running coach and the above schemes give me the ability to run
inside and off tackle. I am not a big fan of drive blocking and honestly
consider it a waste of time to teach but I realize it is important for kids to
be able to drive block (one-one head up). The problem with basic drive
blocking is that unless the blocker is bigger, faster, stronger and/or more
technically sound then most blocks will be stalemates or losses. A
stalemate at the line is a win for the defense in my opinion and I want my
line to push defenders away from the point of attack not simply stop them

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 16


at the line of scrimmage (LOS). I think that Wedge and SAB provide me
that ability and then some.

If I come to a point that I think I need additional schemes that


compliment SAB and Wedge then I will teach a Reach scheme and/or a
BOB scheme (BIG ON BIG/BACK ON BACK). Once you have established
that you’re an angle blocking and wedge blocking team those additional
schemes can catch defenses off guard.

Wedge Blocking

At the younger age levels (age 5 to 8) this can be the single most
effective and devastating scheme against a defense. At the older levels
the defenses can start defending it if it is a stand-alone scheme but as a
complimentary scheme with SAB it forms a very sound and effective
blocking scheme combination.

Why Teach Wedge Blocking:

•The Wedge is a very simple blocking scheme that can be built into a
highly successful series of plays.
•It builds offensive line unity.
•It sets up other plays in the series. When the defense sells out on the
wedge it opens up other plays.
•Lineman become interchangeable.
•It can be a power or deception play. It is surprisingly deceptive.
•It can be used with smaller or weaker players.
•It is demoralizing to the other team.
•It is always an offensive line favorite.
•Weaker backs can run in the wedge. The backs become
interchangeable, as the key component is the line.

Key Points of the Line Running Wedge:

•Center must fire out on a NT and drive up field.


•If there is no man over the center he aims for the end zone straight up
the field. He fires out and then takes a half step and lets the rest of the line
form and drive him up the field. (We don’t shift our wedge from odd to
even fronts – Center/PSG).
•The Guards out to the Tight Ends must step inside (slide inside) laterally
and get their inside shoulder into the near rib cage and their outside hand
on the near shoulder pad while the inside hand presses on the lower
back. It might take the tackle and ends two steps to get fit. They attempt

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 17


at all costs to not make contact with any defender as they move down
inside.
•As soon as they fit they move up field. It should be one instant
movement. Slide and move up field in two to three steps as a body.
•If the wedge slows or breaks apart all the blockers must target a
defender and block that defender; like an upward burst of blockers with
the runner breaking through the explosion for the open field.

CP: The main reason for keeping the Center the main point of attack is if
you have the Center and both guards become the apex of the wedge
then you are essentially teaching three types of wedges and the center
and guards must be able to identify an ODD/EVEN front and then identify
who will be the apex of the wedge. Also if you do this you have to be
aware that the backside now must travel more distance. To me it is
simpler to teach a CENTER APEX WEDGE and rep it till the line is very good
at it.

WHAT CAN STOP THE WEDGE

• Wedge is not forming fast enough or moving to slow allowing the


perimeter defenders to bring down the runner from behind.
• Center (point of the wedge) is not firing off causing the wedge to
falter and not form. (This is a key problem and must be recognized
quickly).
• Wedge is being submarined or cut by a NT or A gap defenders.
• Wedge must maintain high knees and run over, stomp, punish the
defense for doing this. You must be patient and diligent and let the
wedge wear out the interior defenders. Normally if they are doing
this that means that is all they can do to stop it.
• Penetration is occurring on the wedge and defenders are getting to
the ball carrier. The wedge blockers must slide and fit into the
wedge quickly. Inside shoulder into ribs, inside hand on center of
lower back, outside hand to back of inside shoulder. The key is the
shoulder into the ribs. They must get that fit the rest ensures the seal
will be better. The TE to OT mesh is very important and often the
area you will have problems with. Make sure the TE is meshing
quickly as he slides down. The OT to OG is the next spot and the OT
must step and mesh quickly as well.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 18


SUBMARINING OR FROGGING DEFENDERS

• Submarining defenders are a real problem but the key is to keep


attacking with the wedge. A defender throwing himself at the feet
of the wedge is in big trouble. He is going to get ran over and by a
lot of players.
• Normally a frogging defender will do this once or twice and
normally he will stop the wedge for zero to two yards of gain but it
doesn’t take long for that defender to realize that he is going to get
stomped on and ran over if he keeps doing it. So eventually he
doesn’t do it anymore as the wedge running him over conditions
him; the key is to stay with the wedge as this will wear out the
interior line as they throw themselves at the wedge in an attempt to
stop it.
• If you stay with it by the end of the game the wedge has a wearing
down effect and this will benefit your base package. SAB schemes
become easier to run as the defense attempts to stop the wedge
and opens them to be easily angle blocked.
• The blockers must keep their KNEES up and legs PUMPING when this
occurs. Run the defenders over and condition them to not hit the
ground in front of the wedge.

CP: Submarining – a defender that tries to attack a blocker’s legs and trip
or collapse him and there by collapses the wedge.

CP: Frogging – a defender that tries to go through the defender’s legs


(looks like a frog as he leaps on all fours).

CP: Bearcrawling – another tactic where a defender tries to crawl through


a gap (normally the A and/or B gap). These are all handled the same way
above.

PENETRATION

• You have to stress that the guards mesh with the center correctly
and drive the center forward. “Slide inside and drive!” The initial
center-guard mesh is all-important to the success of the wedge.
• The Tackle to Guard mesh can cause problems if the tackles get
lazy, are slow, or not executing the footwork correctly. They have a
longer step then the guards do so you have to really stress taking
that slide step inside.
• The Tight End to Tackle mesh is were the majority of your
penetration problems are going to occur. This is because the slide
that the tight end must take is long and he must be quick and

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 19


maintain the mesh. He must slide and drive. That is why you must
have a good athlete at tight end so that he can get in the wedge.

TROUBLE SHOOTING THE WEDGE

• You must stress the little things for the wedge to be effective.
• Every blocker except the point (Center) must work to not engage
any defender but instead engage the next man inside and seal the
wedge while going up field.
• They must lock their inside shoulder to the outside ribcage to stop
penetration as they form and move up field. They must stay
connected.
• If the wedge stops it is dead. It must move forward and when it
slows or breaks up it must explode up field in a burst.
• The runner must stay small in the wedge and explode up field if
daylight shows.

KEY POINTS TO RUNNING THE WEDGE

• The Center is key to the success of your wedge play. If your wedge
is breaking down fast look at your center because more than likely
he is not charging forward and engaging the NT but standing up
and he has to fire out and get going forward to allow the wedge to
form as it moves forward otherwise it will just turn into a log jam.
• Also if the center is not slide stepping and allowing the rest of the
line to push him on an even front then he will cause the wedge to
break apart before it forms. I always try to place a kid at center
that can do both well and has some smarts and will fire vice a big
kid. The better your center the better your wedge will be.
• The Wedge Fit is very important to the success of the wedge as well.
It allows the unit of blockers to move as one and allow no
penetration. The fit is achieved by having the exterior lineman
(those outside of the center or pivot man) slide inside (not forward)
and fit their inside shoulder into the inside man’s ribcage as they get
their inside arm up and their hand pressing on the lower back. This
locks the players in as they work up field they must work to get their
outside hand onto the inside blocker’s shoulder pad (on the near
back).The wedge is a very effective play but you have to stress the
little things for it to work. The blockers must slide inside and behind
the center and lock shoulders quickly as they drive forward. They
must get that inside hand on the lower back and press (Mesh). The
fewer defenders they engage as they move inside and forward the
better off the wedge is of working.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 20


• They must lock there inside shoulder to the outside rib cage of the
center and allow no penetration to occur. The wedge must always
be moving forward. Once it stops the play is dead in the water.
• If the runner feels the wedge slowing he has to find a crack of
daylight and get in it and burst up field. While in the wedge the
runner must drive into the back of the center and stay small behind
him. This reduces the chance of him being seen by the defense and
enhances play actions and misdirection of the wedge action.
• The footwork is essential for the wedge. The blockers must take a
slide step and engage their shoulder into the ribs of the next inside
blocker quickly. They have to keep sliding and moving forward until
the wedge fully forms. Once it forms they must get their knees high
and stay low so that Frogging/Submarining defenders get ran over
and that defenders trying to slow the wedge by barreling into it are
lifted up and back as the wedge drives forward. As you can see I
am a stickler for details but you have to be when coaching and
especially if you expect the wedge to be effective.
• As you can see I am a stickler for details but you have to be when
coaching and especially if you expect the wedge to be effective.

BALL CARRIER

• Running the wedge takes a bit of time getting used to it as it is an


art of sorts. It is NOT a dive play; it requires power, patience and
acceleration. We start with the Back getting the snap running right
to the back of the center and actually pushing on his back with the
ball side shoulder with a pretty good shoulder lean. He must STAY IN
THE WEDGE until it breaks up. That means not going around either
end or looking for an off tackle bubble. Stay in the wedge and
keep your legs pumping, knees high, and moving forward, until it
breaks up, then sprint to daylight. Stay inside; don’t run parallel, it
either breaks right up the gut or at a very slight angle. Often the
daylight does not appear until 10-15 yards downfield, stay in the
wedge until you see the daylight, stay patient until then, just staying
low and pushing forward. When feeling pressure, both hands over
ball.
• We stress to our ball carriers, if they do not stay in the wedge, they
don’t carry the ball. Natural inclination is to break it outside or look
for the hole. In the wedge there is no hole it opens up downfield.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 21


WEDGE BLOCKING PROGRESSION

I use a drill progression to teach my linemen how to block wedge. It is a


very simple progression that teaches them first how the wedge looks and
works and then how to get in and move it.

Base

• Line Forms Wedge on LOS facing a NT. Shows them how the wedge
looks and moves. Work for 5 then 10 yards.
• Formed Wedge Eyes Wide Shut on LOS facing NT. Center’s eyes are
opened. Teaches them to stay together by feel. Work for 10 yards.
• From LOS in seven man balanced line and then later from
OVER/UNDER – Get into the wedge and freeze. Work on first step,
second step, and then getting into a tight mesh.
• From LOS – Full speed on NT. Work for 10 yards and then as far as it
will go.
• From LOS – Full speed on NT Eye Wide Shut. Work for 5 yards. If they
can go live from a formation and do this drill then you have an
awesome wedge unit.

WEDGE BASE BLOCKING DRILL

5 to 10 yards

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 22


KNEES AND FEET UP

• Two blocking bags lined up horizontally on LOS with top at the


guards outside hip and the extending towards tight ends.
• Stress getting the Legs and Knees up for entire group; to include
runner when running full offense.
• The bags should roll out of the way as the line collapses inside to
wedge if everyone is getting their feet and knees up. Work for 10
yards.
• Don’t let them jump over it. The TE and OT’s will try this so be
watching for it.

WEDGE KNEES UP DRILL

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 23


Explode Drill

• From LOS (5/7) – Full speed on NT. Again work for 5 to 10 yards and
as the BB feels the wedge slow or he sees a seam/crack of daylight
he yells “EXPLODE”. Set up by setting up the line and 15 yards out
there are three to five defenders with shields. On “GO” the wedge
forms and moves down field. The BB stays in the wedge until it
slows are shows a crack.
• The runner must explode up field into daylight (straight up field).
The concept here is to drive the wedge into the defense and past
the line backer level and as it does have the line explode and
engage any defender down field as the runner explodes up field to
the end zone.
• This makes the Wedge a home run play!

EXPLODE DRILL

15 Yards

5 to 10 Yards

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 24


ADJUSTMENTS

Cut Wedge

• If your mesh between your OG-OT and TE-OT are being penetrated
due to a hard rush and you don’t have the ability to trap you can
use the Cut Wedge.
• Simply have the TE’s and OT’s shoeshine to cutoff the defenders as
the G-C-G forms the wedge and back gets in behind the center.

Wedge with Five

• You can easily wedge with only the five interior lineman and send
the TE’s on passing routes, fake-blocking routes, or to block
secondary players.

OVER/UNDER

• When calling over/under the unbalanced side Guard becomes the


APEX of the wedge. This keeps the wedge balanced on each side.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 25


Chapter 5
Severe Angle Blocking
(S.A.B)
HISTORY BEHIND THE SCHEME

The start of S.A.B was SLAM Blocking

Woody Hayes and Earle Bruce developed a concept of blocking called


SLAM blocking while at Ohio State from 1951 to 1970 that won Ohio State
four national championships during this time span. Ohio State was known
for their ball control power running offense and the SLAM scheme was a
big part of it.

It was a simple system of having the play side collapse down into the
gaps. It essentially created a wall of blockers at an angle.

“With patient encouragement and steady work, the blockers will develop
a tight bonding as they create their own version of a legal flying wedge.
Properly executed, this technique will handle virtually every alignment,
stunt, or blitz. Assignment simplicity and camaraderie of teamwork make
the SLAM a lineman’s dream.”

(Coach Earle Bruce, Head Coach Ohio State and assistant coach under
Woody Hayes.)

TRACK blocking

Track blocking became popular in the mid Nineties with College and
Professional teams that needed a complimentary scheme that they could
use with their zone schemes. The zone is a passive aggressive blocking
scheme that allows blockers to engage defenders and then take them to
where they want to go with reaches, combo, double team, and chip
block combinations and the use of landmarks that allow for inside or
outside pressure. Because zones are based on defender’s movement
more often then not defense would play a read or two gap technique
and squat on the line of scrimmage. So track blocking become popular
as it was a more aggressive scheme that countered this defensive
adjustment and moved the defenders out of the way.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 26


CP: To find out more about SLAM blocking you can read Don Schanke’s
book SIMPLE SIX.

Don’s comment on the SLAM – “Slam satisfies all the criteria for a base
play. The unique feature is the highly physical collapse blocking scheme in
which blockers in unison and shoulder-to-shoulder down block the gaps to
their inside.”

CP: To find out more about TRACK blocking you can go to AFCA’s
website and look up articles on blocking. VMI and Wisconsin University
both mention Track Blocking in articles their staff’s have written.

Barry Alvarez (Head Coach of WU) stated “The objective behind this
method of blocking are to attack the defense with gap-blocked play,
sometimes with misdirection. We force the defense to defeat gap blocks
as opposed to zone blocks, thus creating more defined running lanes for
the running back…These plays blocked on tracks are toughness plays,
which create basic looks at a run for the tailback.”

In 2002 John Carbon came up with a unique concept he called Severe


Angle Blocking (S.A.B). It was based off the premise of TRACK and SLAM
blocking. He used SAB with his Wing-T team in Panama. After speaking
with John for several months about the concept I decided to install SAB
into our system. I have adapted it somewhat from John’s initial scheme
into something that I think is very effective.

WHAT IS SEVERE ANGLE BLOCKING

• It is an aggressive angle-blocking scheme.


• It is designed to collapse the defense with blockers in unison and to deny
the defense any gap to penetrate into on the LOS.
• If properly executed it is capable of handling any alignment, stunt, or blitz.
• It along with the Wedge scheme develops lineman teamwork and
camaraderie in our offense.
• It creates more defined running lanes and holes for the running back to
attack.
• We focus on Angle Blocks first and getting of the LOS then if we need to
we adjust to various combo blocks.
• •

HOW IT WORKS

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 27


• Angle blocking scheme at a 30-degree angle on play side either
inward or outward.
• Shoeshine, Slide, or scoop blocks the backside to seal off backside
leakage.
• Blocks an imaginary 30-degree track to the boundary.
• Exploding off the LOS is KEY!
• Sound engagement technique and good footwork.
• Is used with or without pulling and trapping.

ADVANTAGES OF SAB

• Easy to understand
• Simple to teach
• Simple to implement
• Simple to execute
• Simple to adjust
• Allows your blockers to be aggressive
• Gives your lineman a force advantage
• Builds unity in the offensive line

KEY ADVANTAGE POINTS

• Puts defenders on the LOS and inside in an already blocked position


due to blocking angles.
• Allows a blocker to leverage a defender’s center of gravity making
him lighter and the blocker heavier due to blocking angles.
• Allows blockers to be more aggressive as it requires less thinking
(cycling through rules).

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 28


SAB ANGLE OF ATTACK

45

0 30 3 9

CP: Have your lineman point at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock and that is a
good representation of your 30-degree angles.

HOW IT WORKS

• The use of a 30-degree down block vice a 45 degree down block is


also key in defending the gaps.
• The angle allows the line to close their gaps down quickly. In two
steps they can close down a 2 to 2.5 foot line split as they attack
the defense.
• It allows the line to close down or wall off the defensive front from
getting to the runner.
• It does not lock your blockers on particular defenders but an
imaginary track.
• It allows your blockers to wall off defenders aggressively.
• It picks up blitzes at the LOS and walls them off and away from the
hole.
• It picks up line stunts in the same manner.
• It forces linebackers to over react making them susceptible to
misdirection. (Scraping high and fast to avoid wall off)
• It allows your backside-pulling lineman to pull flat on the LOS.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 29


WHAT WE FOCUS ON

Blocking Basics:

1) Good stance
2) Get off the ball
3) Maintain a wide base
4) Maintain a solid blocking surface
5) Keep your feet moving at all times with short powerful steps
6) Stay lower then the defender your blocking

Simple Rules:

1) Explode off the ball!


2) Block track not a man!
3) Block at a 30-degree angle!
4) All lineman play side blocks SAB.
5) All lineman backside slide block or shoeshine.

FUNDAMENTALS OF S.A.B

The keys to SAB are sound fundamentals

• Stance – narrow balanced two-point stance.


• Footwork – blast off step, explode step, elevate step, and finish off
step(s).
• Hat, Shoulder, Hand Placement. (Blocking surface!)
• Explode off the LOS! (First two steps!)
• Stay low! (Leverage!)

STANCE

• A good solid stance is key. We use a balanced two-point stance


with the dominant hand being able to barely touch the ground.
The head is up, the butt is down, the knees are bent and the legs
are relaxed ready to explode. The key is a flat back and head is
up. Initially the stance will not be comfortable but the more you
have them get into the stance and work from it the more
comfortable they will get and the more explosive they will become.
The hips and feet are inline vertically and the back is flat and
parallel to the ground and the heels are on the ground. The feet are

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 30


slightly inside the shoulders so the stance is a little narrower then
shoulder width.
• We use this stance because it allows slower lineman to move
laterally and forward much quicker and allows our lineman to see
out in front of them. It also provides more power because the entire
foot is on the ground providing more Ground Force Reaction (GFR)
as they take those short power steps.

B.E.E.F FOOTWORK

•B – Blast Off Step


•E – Explode Step
•E – Elevate Step
•F – Finish Off Step
•(This is a system that Coach Tim Murphy (Head Coach of
Clovis East, CA) uses to teach his lineman. I have incorporated
it into my SAB scheme and is differs only in that respect.)

B - We call the first step the BLAST OFF STEP as they have to get that foot
up and down fast (literally stomp the ground) into their track with a fast
short step while staying low (head up, chest on knee). The back should
not rise up at all on this step. The step should be no longer then 6 inches.
It should be the foot near the track. You must load your arms on this step
quickly.

Aiming Points:
Attacker (Penetrater) - Facemask aims for the soft part of the far shoulder.
First step aims for the far toe.
Reader – Facemask aims for the soft part of the near shoulder. First step
aims for the far heel.
If there is no one on the LOS as you blast off into the track you simply
apply this simple rule. If you are off the LOS anything else is a
reader/pursuer.

Footwork:
The foot should land flat, meaning all seven cleats hit the ground while
taking these steps. Literally stomping the ground as the blocker moves
down the track.

E - The next step we call the EXPLODE STEP, as that is the back foot taking
a short power step down the track. Staying low, the back should not rise,
and unload the arms (hands) into the body of the defender (chest plate

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 31


and ribs). It is important to get this second step down as fast as possible as
this is the step that first contact is made. The arms should unload has the
foot makes contact. (Creates an additional force production via Ground
Force Reaction – SYNERGY).

KEY POINT: The arms should unload hard into the body so that the
defender is literally being punched in the chest and ribs with the outer
portion of the heels of the hands.

KEY POINT: The facemask does not make contact with the body. The
facemask is a reference so that the eyes have a landmark so that the
body will follow.

E - The next step is the ELEVATE STEP and the near foot again takes a short
power step into the track that is fast and short (get it down quick).
Maintaining a wide base is key as you step and elevate. As you step you
immediately elevate from the ground up unloading from the feet, ankles,
knees, hips, shoulders, arms, and hands. You should stay under the
defender as you elevate him. Literally elevating through him driving your
hands inward and upward as you drive him down the track.

F - The final step(s) is the FINISH OFF STEP and it begins with the back foot
taking a short, fast, and power step. It should land where the defender
was on the ENGAGEMENT STEP. Each step after this step is a finish off step
and continues until the echo of the whistle to stop the play.

CP: If the defender is driven back and off his base then the blocker should
immediately speed up (get on the balls of his feet) and pancake the
defender. The steps should be fast (and short) and as you go to the balls
of the feet (vice flat) the stride length will increase so keep a wide base.

AIMING POINTS

I like to use aiming points as eye contact references. I want my blockers


looking at a specific place on a defender has he is about to block him so
that his body naturally follows his eyes. This ensures that he is correctly
engaging the defender and maximizing body surface contact.

•ATTACKER/PENETRATER
Face Mask aims into the soft part of the shoulder on the far side.
Blast Off Foot (near) aims for the far toes.

• READER
Face Mask aims into the soft part of the near shoulder.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 32


Blast Off Foot aims (near) for the far heel.

CP: An Attacker is any defender attempting to charge across the LOS.


Normally these defensive linemen playing gap, slanting, stunting hard, or
a one-gap technique are attackers. A blitzing backer is an attack if he is
attempting to cross the LOS.

CP: A Reader is any defender that is not attempting to cross the LOS or is
scrapping down the LOS. Linebackers in pursuit and reading defensive
tackles are good examples of this. A DE that squats or squeezes down the
LOS and reads is another good example.

Lineman need to have visual targets that they can look at as they move
towards a target this make it much easier for them make contact and
effectively engage a defender.

BLOCKING SURFACE

•The big key is blocking surface and we want to maximize the area
provided to us by the angle block. We want our blocker’s shoulder, body,
and hands on the defender and driving him down the track.

•Never lean into a defender (always attempt to drive your hips into the
defender to make sure your Center of Gravity is under the defender’s);
keep your center of gravity low and stay under the defender as you drive
him upward. Drive your hips into him so that your body stays under his.
The feet are constantly moving towards the defender. This leads me to the
next part of the equation.

(Head and Hand Contact)

The lineman load (cock) their arms past the hips with slightly bent elbows
and thumbs up (it doesn’t need to be perfect). As they elevate and the
face mask moves towards the soft part of the shoulder they strike into the
chest plate and/or ribcage with the palms and drives upward and
forward maintaining contact and force throughout the block. The
facemask should not actually make contact. It is a reference but
incidental contact does occur.

You don’t re-cock and strike again instead you keep driving into the
defender with the palms as you lock into the defender and keep taking
short power steps. The reason for this is two fold; one you want to get the
defender on his toes and moving down the track fast and secondly you
want to have a large platform or blocking surface (palm of hands, head,

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 33


and shoulder) that controls the defenders movements as he tries to break
away. The arms and hands should be driving upwards attempting to
drive the shoulders off the defender. The initial contact is actually made
with the hand, forearms, and shoulder and as lift is created the hand
extend upward trying to drive the defender off his feet (and base).

Never ever let your hands, shoulders, or body disengage the defender.
Always work to maintain your initial placement as you drive upward into
the defender and drive him down the track. If he starts to go back speed
up get on the balls of your feet and sprint through him and pancake him!!!

EXPLODE OFF THE LOS!!!

Last but not least the linemen must learn to EXPLODE off the LOS and into
their track and engage and clear out the first defender they cross. They
must realize that they have to be the first to move and the last to stop
moving on every play.

As they engage the defender they must learn to take short power steps
and speed up as the defender loses ground so that the advantage they
have is fully utilized and the defender is driven down the track and out of
the play or better pan caked.

BASIC ADJUSTMENTS FOR SAB

• Increasing and decreasing the line splits alters the angles of attack
on the defense. We use 0 to 6 inch splits but we can adjust out to 1
foot if needed. Coach John Carbon uses SAB with the Wing-T using
2-2-3 splits.
• Moving your play side blockers up to the LOS or back off the LOS
also adjusts the angle of attack.
• I prefer not to use either method above and our starting splits are
normally six inches vice the traditional zero of most DW teams as the
additional width helps SAB. But it is another tool in the toolbox if I
need it.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 34


MOVING YOUR BLOCKERS

Normal Path

Normal path allows PSG to get an incidental double team with Center.

Moving Your Blockers Up

Allows play side to get into second level better especially the PSG. Good
if you have a PSILB scrapping hard to play.

MOVING THEM BACK

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 35


This allows you to concentrate your blockers more on the interior line and
to create incidental triple teams. Good if your facing overloads and
superior defenders in the interior.

WIDEN THE SPLITS

By increasing the splits to a foot this allows the play side blockers that
reach the second level to seal off backside pursuit.

INDIVIDUAL LINEMAN ADJUSTMENTS

When facing superior interior defensive lineman we have a variety of ways


of adjusting our scheme to block him. Be aware you will face lineman
that have to be blocked by more then one blocker or a different
technique; even with the force advantage the angle block gives you.
The scheme does not account for athletic ability, instinct, or
aggressiveness and often these things have to be accounted for by either
using an extra blocker or adjusting our blocking technique.

SHOULDER HIM

• Shoulder Block
If a defender is presenting a problem either due to poor explosion by the
lineman or the defender simply has a solid escape technique, or more
upper body strength, then we will attempt to simply shoulder block him at
the hip. This simplifies the EXPLODE STEP and ELEVATE STEP. When we
communicate this to our line we simply say, “Shoulder him”.

B.E.E.F STEPS

• Blast Off Step – Same as SAB B.E.E.F


• Explode Step - The back foot taking a short power step down the
track. Staying low, the back should not rise, and attack the near
hip with the far shoulder driving it into the defender’s hip. As your

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 36


shoulder makes contact do not unload the arms (hands) into the
body of the defender. It is important to get this second step down
as fast as possible as this is the step that first contact is made. The
far shoulder should drive into the near hip has the foot makes
contact. (Creates an additional force production via Ground Force
Reaction – SYNERGY).

KEY POINT: Do not use the arms! Keep the arms loaded.

• Elevate Step – On the next step the near foot again takes a short
power step into the track that is fast and short (get it down quick).
Maintaining a wide base is key as you step and elevate. As you
step you immediately elevate from the ground up unloading from
the feet, ankles, knees, hips into the shoulder driving into the near
hip. You should stay under the defender as you elevate him. Literally
elevating through him driving your far shoulder inward and upward
as you drive him down the track.

• Finish Off Step – Same rules apply for SAB B.E.E.F. Apply from

Aiming Points:

•Attacker (Penetrater) - Facemask aims for far hip pad. First step aims for
the far toe.

•Reader – Facemask aims for the far hip pad. First step aims for the far
heel.

CUT HIM

Cut Block –

• If a defender is again presenting a problem for any reason and the


shoulder block is not working we tell the lineman to simply “Cut
Him”.
• If applied correctly this is a very safe and effective block.
• The blocker must attack aggressively and quickly for this block to
succeed.
• He must keep body surface contact on the near hip of the
defender.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 37


B.E.E.F STEPS

• Blast Off Step – Same as SAB B.E.E.F


• Explode Step - The back foot taking a short power step down the
track. Staying low, the back should not rise, and attack the near
sheen with the far shoulder driving the shoulder in front of the sheen
and not actually at it. As the second step goes down the arms
should explode outward so that they are in front of the body. As
the defender’s sheen makes contact with the shoulder/arm it is
important to keep contact with the defender’s body. It is important
to get this second step down as fast as possible as this is the step
that first contact is made. The far shoulder should make contact
with the defender’s leg as he runs into the blocker.

–KEY POINT: Do not use the arms! Keep the arms loaded.
–KEY PONT: This only works on a Penetrater at the line.

•Elevate Step – On the next step the near foot again takes a short power
step into the track that is fast and short (get it down quick). The blocker
must elevate his body down the LOS (not upward) as if to lay out on the
LOS. This creates a wall that they defender must go over, around, or stop.
Normally as the defender attempts to penetrate he hits the blockers body
at the sheen level and flops over him.
•Finish Off Step – At this point the blocker will be on all fours as he
elevated down the LOS. He must keep on all fours and keep moving up
field and inward driving the defender away from the LOS. This is similar to
a crab block.

Aiming Points:

• Attacker (Penetrater) - Facemask aims to in front of kneepad. First


step aims for the far toe.
• Not used against a Reader.

POST TRACK ADJUSTMENT

SAB DOUBLE TEAMS

• Coach Barry Alvarez and Coach John Carbon use this


adjustment.
• A blocker who has a head up defender or an inside eye
defender can post the defender and then get in his track

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 38


to negate a tough charging or slanting defender so that
the next outside blocker can wall him off.
• He must not have a defender in the gap or man over to
his inside.
• If that blocker calls “HELP” he calls “GOTCHA” to indicate
he can POST and TRACK. If not he stays silent.

Tough 2
tech

POST TRACK FOOT WORK

POST MAN

•Blast Off Step – He has to get that foot up and down fast (literally stomp
the ground) into their track with a fast short step (foot near track) while
staying low (head up, chest on knee). The back should not raise up at all
on this step. The step should be no longer then 6 inches. Foot near the
track. You must load your arms on this step quickly. Instead of going at an
angle the step is towards the head up defender.
•Explode Step - The back foot takes a short power step towards the
defender. Staying low, the back should not rise, and unload the arms
(hands) into the body of the defender (chest plate and ribs). It is
important to get this second step down as fast as possible as this is the
step that first contact is made. The arms should unload has the foot
makes contact. (Creates a additional force production via Ground Force
Reaction – SYNERGY). At this point the track blocker should have made
contact as well.
•Elevate Step – This is the key step in the POST TRACK block as this when
you must stand up this defender so that the track blocker can get the
defender moving down the track. This step is the near foot taking a short

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 39


power step into the head up defender that is fast and short (get it down
quick). Maintaining a wide base is key as you step and elevate. As you
step you immediately elevate from the ground up unloading from the
feet, ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, arms, and hands. You should stay
under the defender as you elevate him. Literally elevating through him
driving your hands inward and upward as you drive him down the track.
As that happens the track blocker should be elevating as well causing the
defender to be driven back and down the track at the same time.
•Finish Off Step – as the track blocker fully engages the defender and
moves him down the track your next step is the far foot taking a fast short
power step aiming down your new track line and resetting as you come
off your block. You should drive your hands off by punching out (literally
shoving off the defender) and moving down your track as you get low
and block the first defender that crosses your face.

Combination Blocking

If a defender presents a problem that Post & Track can not solve then the
lineman can call “COMBO” (or any word with the letter C) to ask for a
combo block. The call to lineman will check to see if he has an
immediate threat and if not he will call out “GOTCHA”. If not no call will
come and the lineman making the call knows he has it on his own.

The combo blocks the post man must drive the defender up and back as
the lineman making the angle blocks joins hips and forms a solid surface
between the two blockers and drives that defender down the line and
away from the whole. The block will actually push the defender up field
and at slight angle vice the hard angle.

“TANK” ADJUSTMENT

•Tank is used on any scheme when the BSG and BST pull. It tells the BSG to
mirror the play blocks while the BST takes the BSG’s job and the BSTE takes
the BST’s job. This is a good way of handling backside leakage or a tough
interior defender and still get the full power of our backside pulling line.
•Example: Bear Super Seal Right Tank
FINAL THOUGHTS ON LINEMAN ADJUSTMENTS

• The Shoulder and Cut are adjustment blocks that I like to teach my
individual lineman to use with SAB. These have been very effective
for us in dealing with one on one-match ups over a course of a
game.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 40


• The Post Track is our way of getting double teams on a tough
defender on play side. It is not a traditional double team but a
quick double team that allows the angle blocker to “more of an
advantage” on the defender.
• Being able to change up a block at one time or another in a game
can often allow us to get in the head of a defender as the game
goes on. During the course of a game that defensive lineman is
going to be SAB blocked from the inside, outside, trapped, cut,
shoulder blocked, and wedged. That is a lot for a defender to take
in during the course of a game.

S.A.B Blocking Schemes

Standard Schemes Adjustment Schemes


SEAL Short Seal
KICK Long Seal
TRAP Long Kick
G Short Trap
SIDE
PART
T.A.G

Our most basic blocking scheme is the SEAL scheme (called the power
scheme in my old playbooks).

SEAL Scheme

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 41


SEAL – simply tells the BSG and BST that they seal blocking inside outside.
Playside from PSTE to Center block SAB IN. You have to have one back
that provides a KICKOUT (or LOG) block (our BB) and you need to have
one other back to seal the first linebacker playside (our WB).

With the addition of SUPER you can have the QB lead into the hole and
block outside inside as well.

Adjustments to SEAL

SHORT SEAL

This adjustment allows us to attack a problematic inside linebacker on the


playside that is over shooting the SAB tracks.

SHORT = one less gap; first man near the hole release up field and seals
vice SAB block.

CP: If you plan on using the PSTE as a inside seal block then you need to
make sure you stress to the back making the kick out block that he must
take a step right at the PSG’s inside heel and then travel down the LOS
and block the first defender to cross his face. This ensures that he takes the
first inside threat and not bypass the most dangerous man. This can occur
on a short call with the PSTE releases off the LOS and does not block a
defender inside him on his usual SAB path. SHORT also tells everyone the
GAP is one less or shorter so they need to be ready to get up field to
daylight faster. Handles a tough PSLB or ILB can have the PSTE and PSWB
double a tough LB.

CP: This handles a tough PSLB or ISLB. We can either double a tough PSLB
or seal a PSLB with the WB and seal a ISLB with the PSTE (if he is scrapping
over the SAB).

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 42


LONG SEAL

This adjustment adds one more blocker on the SAB Tracks by adding the
WINGBACK on the LOS (Shifts on the DOWN call by the CENTER). You can
also get the same thing from an OVER/UNDER call and still get the WB’s
seal block as well.

This adds additional power on the LOS allowing us the pry a hole open
better. Normally used against defenses that stack the LOS (10-1 or GAM
type defenses).

CP: Just as SHORT tells the unit that the play is one gap short LONG tells
the unit that the play is one gap more. Handles a tough 6 or 9 tech.
Should snap the ball after the shift; don’t wait and allow the defense to
adjust.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 43


KICK Scheme

Called Counter scheme in my old playbooks.


This is similar to the SEAL scheme except KICK tells the BSG to KICK OUT
block the first defender to cross his face on the play side (our LOG if
BOUNCE called). The BST seals inside outside just as he does in the SEAL
scheme.

This blocking scheme is often used in our misdirection plays and counter
plays as we fake action to one side (using the BB or WB and TB) and goes
the other way.

LONG KICK

This adjustment adds one more blocker on the SAB Tracks by adding the
WINGBACK on the LOS (Shifts on the DOWN call by the CENTER). You can
also get the same thing from an OVER/UNDER call and use the WB as a
misdirection decoy.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 44


CP: Handles a tough 6 or 9 tech.

TRAP SCHEME

This is really nothing more then a SHORT KICK and if you teach it that way it
will be much easier for the lineman to grasp and learn. This scheme allows
us to trap a 4 tech our wider were a KICK we trap a 6 tech or wider.

This scheme compliments the SEAL and KICK and it allows you along with
the SHORT TRAP to trap anybody on the LOS; which gives you great
flexibility in attacking an overly aggressive defender.

One this play the PSTE releases off the LOS and seals the first linebacker he
comes to on the inside. The PST to the Center block SAB IN and the BSG
kicks out the first defender to cross his face on the play side. The BST pull
and seals for additional power.

SHORT TRAP SCHEME

Adding SHORT to the call has the PST and the PSTE both release and seal
the first linebacker they come to on the inside. This allows you to double
up on an inside linebacker and at the same time trap a 2 technique
defender.

On Trap the WB can either seal the safety inside, double seal the first the
linebacker inside with the PSTE, or triple team a tough LB with the PSOT,
PSTE, and WB, run some type of misdirection, or run a pass route to pull a

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 45


safety. On SHORT TRAP he can do all the above except double up on the
linebacker as that is already being done by the PST and PSTE.

G Scheme

This is a PSG kick out scheme with the BSG and BST pulling into the hole
playside. It offers a quicker kick out on the playside by a different blocker
vice the BB or BSG in our scheme. Although in this offensive scheme the BB
is actually closer to the KICK OUT path this offers a different blocker on the
kick out target. So if the defender is starting to attack the kick out blocker
you can change up your scheme and have the PSG kick him out as he
extends to meet the common kick out blocker. Normally he gets blind
sided by the change up.

I would caution you and say that when you pull a PSG you do leave a
gap open to be penetrated by the defense initially as the PST and PSTE
block SAB IN. You have to be aware of this and really stay on your PST
and PSTE to get off their blocks and explode into their tracks to seal off
that gap.

Center blocks MAN ON MAN AWAY (MOMA) to account for NOSE TACKLE
while the PST and PSTE block SAB IN. Both our BSG and BST pull and seal
inside outside.

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Normally we have the WB release and seal off the first linebacker coming
play side.

SIDE SCHEME

This has turned into a very good blocking scheme for us that compliment
the SEAL and KICK scheme very well. It uses SAB OUT blocks on the play
side to drive defenders away from the LOS.

The BSG to the PSTE block SAB OUT. The BST and BSTE can block the
backside a few different ways; they can hinge block it and force the
defenders to the outside, reach block the backside side, or shoe

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 47


shoeshine the backside. You could have the BSTE run a route to run off a
backer as well.

CP: We have the BB lead into the hole by jab stepping to the backside
getting hip to hip with the BST as he pulls (letting the BSG cross his face
and then lead into the hole. We often just drop the LEAD tag because we
use this with our side scheme so often.

PART SCHEME

This is another complimentary scheme for the SEAL and KICK. It is a great
scheme against a tough 6 tech expecting the SEAL or KICK scheme. It
creates a natural part as the perimeter defensive lineman fights to
establish position against the SEAL or KICK scheme. We have the BSG pull
and kick out to create a natural trap against any defender slipping
through. We have the BST pull and seal.

This is a great power play scheme when used in conjunction with LEAD,
WHAM, or BLAST tags.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 48


T.A.G SCHEME

This is a complimentary scheme to the SEAL and KICK schemes. I use this
scheme within its own series of plays. On the backside it has the BSTE to
the Center block SAB IN; which gives it the look of a SEAL or KICK on the
backside of the play and forces the defense to either react to the SAB IN
blocks backside or hold.
On the play side the PSTE blocks SAB IN while the PST pulls and either kicks
out the first man to cross his face or log the first man to cross his face
depending on the specific play called in that series. The PSG pulls and
seals the first linebacker he comes to inside.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 49


How to Teach S.A.B

S.A.B Blocking Progression

First thing is to STRESS CORRECT STANCE. Once you do that go over


cadence and do it every practice. The better they are at knowing and
reacting to the cadence the more effective your offense will be.

•Break Down Stance to Blocking Stance Drill – Circle Formation or all in a


line – have each player get in a break down stance and then a two –
point stance on “DOWN”. Check and correct stances. Repeat as
needed.

•Cadence Clap Drill – (Coach Wyatt’s drill) Circle Formation or all in a line
– Coach has all players place hands up in front of face palms facing
each other. Go through each leg of the cadence having them clap in
unison on the call. For us our cadence is GO READYYYYY_HIT. We also go
on second HIT as well. We will work on GO and HIT firsts and then add
READY and second HIT. This is a very effective way of teaching cadence
and having everyone realize the importance of timing. You should have
one immediate clap if it is right.

B.E.E.F FOOTWORK PROGRESSION

B.E.E.F
•Teach the Blast Off step.
•Then Blast off Step and Explode step (first two steps that stay low).
•Then add Elevate (most import step in progression)
•Then add Finish Off
•Add live contact (1/2 speed work to full speed)

Have the lineman get on a LOS (all of them) and on Coach’s commands
they execute their footwork.

1) DOWN – get into a good stance.


2) BLAST OFF – first step the left and the right. Correct form by having
several coaches correct mistakes. Repeat until everyone does it
correctly.
3) EXPLODE – first two steps. Correct form as above. Repeat until
everyone does it right. Don’t be surprised if they revert to poor form
on the first step when doing two steps. (Load arms)
4) ELEVATE – third step. Correct form as above. Repeat until everyone
does it right. (Unload arms)

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5) FINISH OFF – fourth step. Correct form as above. Repeat until
everyone does it right.
6) Don’t be afraid of going back a step to correct problems.
7) At first you might only get to Step 1 or 2 so be patient.

TRACK PROGRESSION

•Team Line Drill – Can use either Painted LOS with seven 30-degree lines
going the left and the right in different colors that are five yards long or
you can simply use the clock method and start by having the show you
the path vie 2 o’clock and 10 o’clock. You do this with all your lineman or
small groups of 3 to 7 for more control and correction (good way to begin
this drill at first). If using the painted lines they line u up with the angle lines
in the center of the body. The coach calls DOWN and all of the player set
in a two-point stance. (With the clock method start with “Lines” and the
show you the right or left track). On Cadence they explode into the SAB
sprint down the line until the whistle blows. Watch for good B.E.E.F
technique and stress explosive footwork (stomp the ground).
•If it is not correct stop everyone explain why it is wrong (and who) and
start over. Coach should be behind the line watching that every blocker
stays on his path and is using correct footwork and upper body tech. This
is easy to see because everyone is parallel to each other. Work for 5
yards at first then 10 yards and then extend it out to the boundaries as
they master it and do it to the left and the right. As they get good at it
have them close their eyes and do it a few times.
•The key is stressing that they stay in their tracks and create an angler wall
of bodies.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 51


Coach

LINE CONTACT DRILL

•Team Contact and Boundary Drill – same as above but using the painted
line or clock method – have the same number of defenders place
themselves on the left lines of the blockers facing the blockers at 30-
degrees with the defender holding shield facing blocker. On “GO” the
defender steps fast towards the GAP while the blocker explodes out of
their stance and executes his B.E.E.F progression at slow speed (bird dog).
•This allows you to check for good technique. Repeat until the footwork
and contact is done correctly and then do at full speed after correcting
any technique maintaining contact and driving the defender to the
boundary while making sure the blocker is staying on his track and not
adjusting it. Stress correct B.E.E.F technique at all times and finishing off to
the echo of the whistle. Stress being nasty and aggressive at all times.

CP: It might be necessary to condense this down to maybe 2 to 4


blockers so that you can really watch the lineman make contact on the
explode step and then elevate and finish off. It is imperative you correct
mistakes as soon as you see them.
ADJUSTMENT PROGRESSION

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 52


•This is taught after the SAB progression is taught and mastered by the
lineman. Once they have a good understanding of the concepts of
B.E.E.F and Track the blocking adjustments can be shown and taught.

• Moving the Play side (width and depth) using the track
progression. If you plan on using this it only requires a brief
explanation and review.
• “Shoulder Him”, “Cut Him” and “Post-Track” using the B.E.E.F
progression and blocking bags. Rep them so that they
understand how and when to utilize them in a game like
situation.
• You can break the drill down even further by simply having two
linemen work with a defender (or a defender holding a bag in
the case of the “Cut Him” call) and have the defender move
around to different ON positions on the blockers. Rep each call
and explain how it works. Then add the entire line and work with
multiple linemen while having the blockers make each call the
coach assigns to the blocking unit.
• As they run scrimmage drills create opportunities or take
advantage of opportunities within the scrimmage and remind
the line to use the adjustments.

COMBATIVE ARM TECHNIQUES

This is an additional tool in instructing our lineman how to better deliver the
necessary punches during the explode phase of our B.E.E.F progression.
Once your lineman master the other elements or if you have linemen that
need the additional training to improve their blocking performance you
can add this drill in.

•This is an invaluable way to teach fine motor skills and hand punching
techniques that are necessary for our linemen to be successful. This is
especially necessary when coaching pre-adolescences as their fine motor
skills are just developing and it is imperative to teach them proper punch
technique and this helps in developing upper body quickness as well.
Often with youth lineman this is a quality that needs to be developed.
•You need two blockers one with a shield to act as a defender and one
as a blocker.
•They face each other with the blocker in a fit position. On “Down” he
loads his arms and the shield man readies to allow the blocker to punch
into the shield.
•The coach will call out the hitting pattern. The blocker must immediately
respond and reload as fast a possible.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 53


•Pattern #1
–Left, Both, Right = 5 times
•Pattern #2
–Both, Left, Right = 5 times
•Pattern #3
–Both, Right, Both, Left = 5 times

CP: Stress loading and unloading with force. Teach the to step into the
punch with one of the feet. Explain that that foot is the near foot of the
track in a game like situation. Remind them that this is the EXPLODE phase
of B.E.E.F.

PULLING

A key component to our blocking system is pulling and being able to


effectively pull blockers to the Point Of Attack (POA). I teach this using a
progression that first shows our linemen how to move as they pull and then
how to block as they move.
1. Pull and Fly Drill – one line of blockers facing a coach – a cone five
yards away on each side of the first blocker after stepping up to the LOS
and on GO the blocker drops his near foot as he swings his near elbow
back and then explodes his far foot forward as he stays low and explodes
to the left cone. Everyone goes through the drill and then goes to the right
doing the same thing. Latter on in the season you can do everyone at
once in a vertical line facing the coach with the players about 2 yards
apart.

2. Pull and Contact Drill – again one line of blockers as above except a
player offset so that he can hold a blocking bag on the path. The blocker
is told on GO to explode down the path and using our contact technique
drive through the bag while he stays on his feet and runs through.

3. Pull Around Drill – one line of blockers facing a coach – a cone is


three yards away on each side of the first blocker after stepping up
to the LOS and another cone is one yard up field and two yards
inside on GO the blocker executes his pull as above but now as he
reaches the first cone he moves up field and inside sprinting to the
inside cone. After the entire line does it they go to the other side.
Stress to read Inside/Out and block the first defender he comes to.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 54


Pull and Fly Drill

Pull and Kick Out

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 55


Pull Around Drill
Note: OT puts his near hand
on the BSG so that he can
feel the BSG pull as he finds
his target.

Note: You can add to this drill by


adding a PSTE that is SAB IN
blocking so that the BSG and BST
can scrape off his outside hip and
get the feel of the SAB block.

After you do singles work on doubles so that you have two linemen pulling
to simulate the BSG and BST. Use two defenders and move them around.

Move the defender around and get the blockers used to reading INSIDE –
OUT. Use multiple defenders as well to teach them that they must read
INSIDE to OUT.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 56


Chapter 6
Reach Blocking
This is not a base-blocking scheme for us but as a complimentary scheme
it can often wreck havoc on defenses trying to stop our wedge and SAB
scheme. This is because the way teams attempt to stop the wedge and
the “down” blocking is to slide down or crash inside of those schemes
staying shallow to the LOS and trying to penetrate into the backfield. This
leaves them susceptible to being reached as they give up their outside
shoulder.

Since this is not a base scheme for us I don’t want to spend a lot of time
installing the scheme so I have tried to simplify the process as much as
possible and at the same time make it as effective as possible. Bear in
mind we count on teams trying to stop our base schemes thus making it
easier to reach them.

B.E.E.F Foot Work Progression

B – Remember we call the first step the BLAST OFF STEP except when
reaching that step is a bucket step (goes back wards for depth (parallel
to the LOS) as they have to get that foot up and down fast (literally stomp
the ground) to the back with a fast short step while staying low (head up,
chest on knee). The back should not raise up at all on this step. The step
should be no longer then 6 inches. Foot to the outside is the first step; you
must load your arms on this step quickly. The step should be back not
forward of the LOS as that will create a opportunity for the blocker to try
and lean into the defender (called a bucket step).

Bucket Step.

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Aiming Points:
Reader/Slider - Facemask aims for the soft part of the far shoulder. First
step should point at 45 degrees outside for the far toe.
Attacker – Facemask aims for the soft part of the near shoulder. First step
again points for the far heel. (in this case you must engage him and then
work to the outside shoulder so that he does not penetrate into the
backfield). You might have to be satisfied with driving him up field

Footwork:
The foot should land flat, meaning all seven cleats hit the ground while
taking these steps. Literally stomping the ground as the blocker moves
down the LOS.

E - The next step we call the EXPLODE STEP as that is the back foot taking a
short power step down at the defender’s outside heel (literally stepping
towards it). Staying low, the back should not rise, and unload the arms
(hands) into the body of the defender (inside hand to center of chest
plate and outside hand into the funnel (the funnel starts in between the
far hip and elbow into the arm pit). It is important to get this second step
down as fast as possible as this is the step that first contact is made. The
arms should unload powerfully into the defender has the foot makes
contact. (creates an additional force production via Ground Force
Reaction – SYNERGY). It is important that the outside hand rips into that
funnel and turns the outside shoulder up field.

KEY POINT: The arms should unload hard into the body so that the
defender is literally being punched in the center of the chest and far
shoulder with the outer portion of the heels of the hands ( arm pit is the
best spot).

CP: If you can’t get to the far shoulder and chest it is simply better to
punch into the near rib and chest and drive the defender UP FIELD (NOT
LATERALLY ALONG THE LOS!!!)

KEY POINT: The facemask does not make contact with the body. The
facemask is a reference so that the eyes have a landmark so that the
body will follow.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 58


1 2

E - The next step is the ELEVATE STEP and the near foot again takes a short
power step up field step to the outside of the defender’s hip. Maintaining
a wide base is key as you step and elevate. As you step you immediately
elevate from the ground up unloading from the feet, ankles, knees, hips,
shoulders, arms, and hands. You should stay under the defender as you
elevate him and turn his outside shoulder inward. Literally elevating
through him driving your hands inward and upward as you drive his
outside shoulder and body inside and up field.

F - The final step(s) is the FINISH OFF STEP and it begins with the back foot
taking a short, fast, power step inward and up field. It should land where
the defender was on the ELEVATE STEP. Each step after this step is a finish
off step and continues until the echo of the whistle to stop the play.

CP: If the defender starts to be driven back the blocker should get on the
balls of his feet and speed up and drive him up field and inside and try to
pancake the defender.

CP: At any time the defender causes a stalemate the blocker should
lockout and keep moving his feet but shorten the steps and keep all
seven cleats on the ground. Get him up field not to the boundary.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 59


CP: The same sequence is used if the defender is also outside of the
blocker. In that case the inside hand will punch first more often and on
the elevate step the outside hand will make contact with the far shoulder.
Bear in mind this is a complimentary scheme and more often the
defender will be working inside on the LOS so that the blocker will actually
be ON the defender just as if they started HEAD UP.

REACH LINE PROGRESSION

Coach is behind the offensive linemen.

He calls “DOWN” and all blockers get in a proper stance. Defenders (can
use a shield) get in a balanced two-point stance. ON “GO” the blocker
goes through the REACH B.E.E.F progression one step at a time adding a
step as they begin the master each step both directions.

Work first in an ON position and then in an OUTSIDE position.

BLAST OFF
BLAST OFF – EXPLODE
BLAST OFF – EXPLODE – ELEVATE
BLAST OFF – EXPLODE – ELEVATE – FINISH OFF

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REACH SCHEME

Playside to center blocks OUTSIDE-ON. Meaning the first defender outside


to a man ON is who they block. Backside guard to back side tight end
works up field go through the inside shoulder of the first defender on him
or away from the play. This forces defenders on the backside to go
around the backside as the backside blockers work up field to cut off
backside pursuit. An easier way of doing it is to simply count from the
outside inside and have the first outside blocker take the first outside
defender.

COUNTING THE PERIMETER

3 2 1

On the playside the offense (to include the Wingback) count from the
boundary to the inside. The first defender reaches the first offensive player

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 61


blocking on the playside (normally the Wingback), then each blocker
takes the next defender as you move inside. In the above example the
WB takes one, the PSTE takes two, and the PSOT takes three. The PSG
would follow this and take the fourth defender and the center would take
the fifth.

CP: teach the PSG and Center to reach on their defender ride him and
then release up field and seal off backside pursuit or a safety up field.
Normally anything inside of the playside B gap doesn’t need to be
blocked but I always stress the PSG and CENTER get on their blocks initially
and then ride off them as they work up field.

TEACHING REACH

Simply line up the offensive unit then rep their count with cones in various
defensive alignments. Bird-dog it a few times (this having them execute
the first step of the play only). Then on air and then finally add live
defenders (with shields and dummies at first) and rep the scheme until
they understand who they have and how to block them.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 62


Chapter 7
Pass Protection
Main Goal

Protect the passer so that he can effectively get the ball to the receiver.
That means he needs time, space, and good passing lanes in order to be
effective as a passer.

I keep things very simple and in the passing game I mimic my running
schemes as much as possible so that the defense does not know it is pass
until the last moment.

The Free Blocking Zone

There is a common misconception that lineman cannot cross the LOS


while pass blocking. This is not the case at all and you need to read your
rules books thoroughly; even highlight the sections that are important and
tab them.

In order for an interior lineman to be called for INELIGIBLE PASSER DOWN


FIELD he must go pass the FREE BLOCKING ZONE, which is defined as three
(3) yards from the LOS on each side of the ball and four (4) yards wide
from the center. That means you have three (3) yards to play with before
a flag is thrown. With that being said I would not tempt fate and keep it
at two (2) yards to give you a cushion.

“SECTION 17 FREE-BLOCKING ZONE - LEGAL BLOCKING BELOW THE


WAIST, LEGAL CLIPPING
ART. 1 . . . The free-blocking zone is a rectangular area extending laterally 4 yards either
side of the spot of the snap and 3 yards behind each line of scrimmage. A player is in the
free-blocking zone when any part of his body is in the zone at the snap.”

From the NFHS rule book.

Basic Pass Protection Schemes

I use two basic schemes when teaching pass protection and three
additional schemes as my player’s age, football ability, and technique
mature. I always have to remind myself that I am coaching kids and that
when I teach something it has to be simplified so that every player has the

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 63


ability to master it. This is especially true in the passing game as so many
more aspects have to be perfect in order for a pass play to actually work.
With a playaction pass it is a little easier as the defense can be fooled into
temporally playing run and allowing us to get separation for both our
receivers and the passer.

WEDGE PASS – this is simply wedge blocking with the adjustment that the
center only moves three steps down field and then stops. Once he stops
everyone works to seal up the inside and force the defense to flow
around the wedge. The passer takes a drop (normally a quick drop (one
step) or a three-step drop. The key is the blockers keep their hips together
and not allow any separation on the inside. We will have two additional
blockers in the backfield that will seal of the perimeters on each side as
well. Their rule is to allow nothing to get inside of them.

Center takes three


steps and stops.

Force everything to
flow around the
wedge wall.

RED/BLUE – This is really a modified version of SIDE that pushes the play side
defenders wide as the QB rolls. The backside hinge blocks from the BSG to
the BSE (if not going out in a pass route) sealing off backside penetration.
It is the simplest way to teach young lineman to pass pro on a roll out. The
only difference between RED/BLUE and SIDE is that on the play side they
only track for four hard steps and then attempt to seal off the defense
and take their defenders flat to the boundary and the backside hinge
blocks.

CP: Hinge Block - nothing more then a group of lineman dropping


towards the rollout on the backside and sealing the defense off from the
inside towards the backside. The purpose of this is the force the defense
to go around the hinge forcing them to go all the way to the backside

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 64


and away from the roll out. Pass drop at an angle with inside-over-
backside priority.

CP: Bear in mind that since we are using a 30 degree angle we actually
have to travel five yards down field (not 3 yards) so that gives us five to
seven steps which is why we use four as a nice buffer.

BLACK/BROWN – This is really the classic buck sweep blocking action using
SAB blocking. The playside end (if not in a route) and tackle and center
block SAB IN while the playside and backside guard pull getting two steps
of depth and then turn up field and attack the LOS attempting to log and
push their defender up field as they seal him inside. If they cannot do that
they simply kick them out and attempt to drive them up field. The
backside tackle and end (if not in a route) hinge block.

CP: Instead of the pulling guards pulling through the LOS as taught in SAB
Pulling we have them take that first step for depth and then the next step
aims away from the LOS getting more depth and then as they clear the
EMLOS they attack the LOS squaring their hips and shoulders.

CP: If playing against an ODD front have the Center block MOMA (MAN
ON MAN AWAY) since you have both guards pulling someone has to pick
up the NT as he is more of a threat then the backside defensive tackle
who can be picked up by the backside tackle hinge blocking.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 65


GREEN/YELLOW – Is the next step in the teaching progression from
RED/BLUE. If you have taught the REACH blocking progression to your
lineman you can add GREEN/YELLOW. It is simply RED/BLUE with the
playside lineman using REACH blocking instead of simply SAB blocking.
This gives your playside more of a chance of sealing the outside up and
allowing your passer to get outside cleanly and make a big play either on
in the air on the ground.

CP: Make sure you instill in them that PASS means no more then four steps
up field.

These are really the heart of what I teach when it comes to pass
protection. If I am coaching older kids and I know that they are going into
a high school that uses a lot of base pass protection I will teach a basic
drop back pass protection. I simply call it BASE PASS and the rules are
INSIDE/OVER/OUTSIDE.

At the snap of the ball they drive out for one step punching into their
defender as they take short choppy steps staying low. They keep the LOS
and the QB separated. They always seal off the inside first.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 66


DRILLS FOR PASS PROTECTION

If it is wedge pass I simply teach wedge pass along with wedge blocking.
I go over the differences and explain how it works and then we rep
wedge pass along with wedge. I do add defenders into the drill so that
they can learn how to move up and then seal off.

If it is SAB or REACH based I teach them with my regular SAB/REACH


progression by first showing the differences and how to utilize the scheme.
Otherwise we use the same drills.

BASE pass protection is a different thing all together so when I teach them
this I simply line up all seven blockers and work on driving out, dropping,
staying low, and punching into the defender. I first do it on air, then on
head up defenders, then with five or six defender that position themselves
as the defense that we are going to face.

CP: PASS TAG – any pass tag added to a running play tells the line these
things:

1) Tells all SAB to take three steps down their track and turn their
butts to the passer and seal off.
2) Pulling linemen stay the same but anyone sealing seals off no
more then 3 steps past the LOS and away from the passer
(inside).
3) BSTE if staying in hinge blocks vice shoe shine (cut).

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 67


Chapter 8
Buck Wedge Series

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 68


The Basic Inside Series
Purpose: Basic inside power series using the wedge scheme as the base-
blocking scheme. It is a simplified scheme that is easy to install.

Age Level: Recommend this as the base series for age five to seven.
Used as a primary series early in the season for seven to nine year olds in
conjunction with the power series. Used as a complimentary or
secondary series for ten year old and above teams.

Base Plays: Buck BB Wedge, Buck Wedge Sweep, Buck Drag Pass
(Waggle).

Support Plays: Keep tag.

This series is designed to be used exclusively with the wedge-blocking


scheme so that younger teams can have a simple series that allows them
to focus on execution and attacks the middle of the field effectively. It
also provides a simple series of plays for older teams that is different then
the power series.

It threatens all three areas of the field and forces the defense to defend
the inside and both perimeters on every play. By keying those areas and
then watching for lapses in the defense you can take advantage of what
the defense is not doing. The additional use of the KEEP tag allows you to
utilize an athletic quarterback as well.

This series focuses on threatening the three areas of the field (INSIDE, LEFT
PERIMETER, RIGHT PERIMETER) with run and setting up the basic WAGGLE
PASS we call DRAG.

CP: You can teach several alternative pass protections for the DRAG pass if you have an
older team.

RED/BLUE – SIDE SCHEME with backside hinging.


BROWN/BLACK – REACH SCHEME with backside hinging.
YELLOW/GREEN – Two Guards pull, PS SAB IN, BS HINGE.

The BB and TB are the main running focus while the WB is mainly a
receiving threat. The QB is both a run and pass threat. The BB is obviously
going to get the majority of carries in this series as he sets up the entire
series. He must be capable of being patient; staying in the wedge and
driving straight up the field. He also must know to be explosive when the
wedge breaks apart and take advantage of the open field.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 69


Buck BB Wedge
Bear Buck BB Wedge Right

CP
Faking by the
QB and TB are
key to this
play sitting up
the entire
series.

Line Backs
PSE - Wedge QB – pivot hand off to BB and then continue with pivot
PST - Wedge by reversing out and bootlegging for depth. Put your
PSG - Wedge eyes on the DE and force him to look at you as you
Center - Apex boot out. Keep your arms in as if the ball is in your
BSG - Wedge chest.
BST - Wedge
BSE - Wedge GOOD FAKING!
TB – AT the snap of the ball sprint right at the CB’s near
hip fake toss and attack the corners inside hip. Make
eye contact and force him to look at you.

GOOD FAKING!
BB – Lead step into center’s back taking handoff. Get
small into the Wedge and stay in it until you see
daylight.
WB – Reach the 1st defender outside. If the defender is
wide then kick him out vice reaching.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 70


BISON Right BUCK BB WEDGE Right

Adjustments
In Bison the CB
moves to the left
side. Since it is not
feasible for the CB
to get to the first
defender outside
we have him cross
over step aiming at
the PSE’s near hip
attacking the 1st
defender outside of
the PSE and
reaching him as the
defender tries to
scrape down the
LOS.

Over Bear Buck BB Wedge Right

Adjustments
The BST moves over
to the inside of the
PSE. The PSG
becomes the APEX
of the Wedge to
keep the wedge
balanced.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 71


Buck Wedge Sweep
Bear Buck BB Wedge Sweep Right

CP
Faking by the
QB and BB
and running a
solid wedge
opens the
wedge sweep
up. You are
looking for the
perimeter
defenders at
the side to
crash in and
attempt to
stop the
wedge.

Line Backs
PSE - Wedge QB – pivot and soft pitch, the pitch should be aimed
PST - Wedge at the near hip of the BB, to the TB and then continue
PSG - Wedge with pivot by reversing out and bootlegging for depth.
Center - Apex Put your eyes on the DE and force him to look at you
BSG - Wedge as you boot out. Keep your arms in as if the ball is in
BST - Wedge your chest.
BSE - Wedge
GOOD FAKING!
CP: If the CB and DE are TB – AT the snap of the ball sprint right at the CB’s near
hip get your eyes on the ball and secure toss and
presenting a problem then have
attack off the WB’s outside hip. corner’s inside hip.
the PSE fold under the WB and Work for the numbers up field and then to the
REACH/KICK the CB while the WB boundary.
reaches the DE. I simply call this
FOLDING. BB – Lead step into center’s back faking handoff. Run
it just as if it were real. The fake is key!
GOOD FAKING!
WB – Reach the 1st defender outside. If the defender is
wide then kick him out vice reaching. If he crashes in
hard then shove him in and work up to an inside
backer.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 72


BISON Right BUCK Wedge Sweep Right

Adjustments
In Bison the CB
moves to the left
side. We
automatically have
the PSE to fold on
the corner and let
the WB take the DE
since that is his
normal target in the
Bison BB WEDGE.
Again we have the
CB cross over step
aiming at the PSE’s
near hip attacking
the 1st defender
outside of the PSE
and reaching him as
the defender comes
in.

Over Bear Buck Wedge Sweep Right

Adjustments
The BST moves over
to the inside of the
PSE. The PSG
becomes the APEX
of the Wedge.
Other then those
adjustments
everthing else is the
same.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 73


Buck Wedge Drag Pass Left
Bear Buck Wedge Drag Pass Left

LO-HI
CP
READ Faking by the
BB and TB and
running a solid
wedge opens
the drag pass
up. You are
looking for the
perimeter
defenders at
the side to
crash in and
attempt to
stop the
wedge.

Line Backs
PSE – release and run the seam up field. QB – pivot and fake BB hand off and then continue
PST - Wedge with pivot by reversing out and bootlegging for depth.
Get your eyes up field and read the BB as soon as he
PSG - Wedge
clears and shows get him the ball. If he is not open
Center - Apex
then look high to the WB drag route. When you boot
BSG - Wedge
get depth and get out of the backfield fast while your
BST - Wedge
eyes are up field. Don’t stop moving.
BSE - Wedge
CP: The PSE needs to sell the SEAM and If you feel pressure then run!
pull/freeze the safety. TB – AT the snap of the ball sprint right at the WB’s far
CP: The receivers must pop block a hip fake toss and attack the corner’s inside hip. Make
defender if a receiver below them eye contact and force him to look at you.
catches the ball or the QB decides to run GOOD FAKING!
it. This creates a wall that seals off the BB – Lead step up field let the QB clear then go inside
boundary. of QB and aim at the far hip of the BSE. Try to chip the
CP: PSTE SEAM add TAG SEAM. DE if possible. As soon as you clear the LOS get your
CP: TB FLY add TAG FLY. head around and look for the ball. If it doesn’t come
CP: BSTE run FADE add TAG THROWBACK. work to the sideline and up field. LOW READ.
CP: WEDGE PASS center fires out three WB – Release up field as if to initially reach and then
hard steps and all blockers slide in and work at a slight angle to the opposite side. You should
mesh forcing everything outside. be eight to ten yards deep on the other side. Get
there fast once you release. You are the HIGH READ.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 74


BISON Right BUCK Wedge Drag Pass Right

Adjustments
In Bison the BSTE runs
the Drag route. The
WB aims for the far
hip of the BSTE and
gets there. He kicks
out the first
defender to cross his
face. The mesh
between the QB,
WB, and BB must be
worked on and
timed up to be
effective. The cross
buck action can
really throw
defenses for a loop.

Over Bear Buck Wedge Drag Pass Right

Adjustments
The BST moves over
to the inside of the
PSE. The PSG
becomes the APEX
of the Wedge.
Other then those
adjustments
everthing else is the
same.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 75


Chapter 9
Power Series

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 76


Purpose: This is our base series and makes up the core of our offense. This
series uses power and misdirection (both run and pass) to move the ball.
It focuses on running the ball off tackle and forcing teams to stop the off
tackle power play and countering with a variety of misdirection plays
dependant on what the defense does.

Age Level: This series is really suited for ages 9 and up. The older and
more mature the team is the more you can do. You can run this with
younger kids just keep the list of plays to the base plays.

Base Plays: Super Seal, BB Trap, Lead WB Kick, XX BB WEDGE

Support Plays: WB Pass Tag, Keep Tag, BB G, BB KICK, BB PART, SIDE,


PART, G, LEAD WB TRAP, LEAD WB PART, TB RED/BLUE BENCH PASS,
RED/BLUE BUNCH PASS, RED/BLUE DRAG PASS, RED/BLUE FLOOD PASS,
WEDGE FADE PASS.

Notes: This is really our base series and the set of plays that will most often
be ran the most in any game unless it is a younger age level. The play we
must execute and execute well is the Super Seal. Once that play is
established it allows you to use other plays in the series to attack the
defense as the defense attempts to stop that base play. Because of the
unbalanced backfield we give the same perception of movement that
the motion does in the double wing by backfield alignment. That means
as we start running our base plays teams will tend to shift, stem, rotate, or
adjust to the strong side in an attempt to stop our base play and
perceived strength. This sets up a tremendous amount of misdirection
both on the ground and in the air (playaction pass) to the backside.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 77


Super Seal
Bear Super Seal Right

CP
The TB must
run inside the
kick out block.
He has to
attack the
field at full
speed once
he secures the
ball.

Line Backs
PSE – SAB IN QB – reveres pivot soft toss ball to path of TB and then
PST – SAB IN flow straight down the LOS and hitting SEALING first
PSG – SAB IN defender outside that crosses your face. Try to stay
Center – SAB IN tight to the LOS so that you can get in the alley fast.
BSG – Pull & Seal (GET THERE!) TB – Slide step to playside and then attack down field
BST – Pull & Seal (GET THERE!) as you get the toss and secure it. DON’T WAIT for the
BSE - Cut backside to pull. You hit right behind the BB and QB
and let the BS linemen get in the hole as you explode
CP: SHORT SEAL if the PSLB is going over the into it. ATTACK DAYLIGHT!
top of the SAB tracks. BB – cross over step and kick out the first defender to
CP: LONG SEAL if a 5,7,6, or 9 is a problem. cross your face. YOU MUST DRIVE HIM OUTSIDE TO THE
CP: DOUBLE (QB/BB) if the kick out target is
BOUNDERY!
giving the BB a problem. (double kick out).
CP: Call KEEP and have the TB take it wide to WB – Release off the LOS and get inside tight to the
the D gap and the QB keep it into the hole. LOS and seal the first linebacker that crosses your face
CP: POST & TRACK at the hole to get a double inside.
team if you need it. CP: If BB TARGET is giving him a problem chip him on
CP: You can call SEAL instead of Super Seal and the outside shoulder as you release and force him to
have the QB hand off the ball and then bootleg as look at you. This will give the BB a better kick out as he
well. I strongly recommend the toss though. takes his eyes off the backfield.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 78


BISON Right Super Seal Right

Adjustments
In Bison the WB
moves to the
opposite side of the
BB and in doing so is
no longer capable
of sealing off.
Instead he slide
steps and then
follows the QB and
as soon as he sees
daylight he leads
into the hole and
seals IN the first
defender that
crosses his face.

Over Bear Super Seal Right

Adjustments
The BST moves over
to the inside of the
PSE. The BSG is the
only puller. This
extends the line out
on the playside by
adding the BST as
another TRACK on
the playside; same
as a Long Seal but
you still have the WB
sealing.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 79


BB Trap
Bear BB Trap Left

Line Backs
PSE – Release and Seal In QB – reveres pivot and open up making an inside
PST – SAB IN hand off to the BB quickly. Then carry out a bootleg
PSG – SAB IN getting depth and looking down field to the WB.
Center – SAB IN GOOD FAKING!
BSG – Pull & Kick Out 1st to cross face. TB – Slide step to playside and then attack the far hip
BST – Pull & Seal (GET THERE!) of the EMLOS. Make eye contact with him. GOOD
BSE - Cut FAKING!
BB – Jab step and follow the BST to the hole. Take the
CP: SHORT Trap if you want to trap a 3 tech or inside handoff from the QB and get up field to
smaller. daylight fast. Do not cut back into the defense.
CP: BB KICK instead of BB TRAP extends the
WB – Release off the LOS and run a corner route at ten
gap out.
yards. Sell the pass route and pull the safety over.
CP: TB must attack far hip to set up play action
pass. Once the DE gets used to seeing the log of
CP: If FLAT is tagged that tells the TB to break off run
the TB on trap he will scrape down on the BB
action /reach to a run action/Flat route. QB throws LO-HI
sitting up the bootleg for the QB.
CP: Call KEEP and have the QB bootleg outside. Read off of FLAT-CORNER.
CP: Call WB Pass to have QB throw to the
Corner route of the WB on the bootleg. (Flat
route in BISON).

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 80


BISON Right BB Trap Left

Adjustments
In Bison the WB
moves to the
opposite side of the
BB and in doing so is
no longer capable
of running the
corner route.
Instead he aims at
the far hip of the
BSTE and gets there
and then works up
field in a flat route.
As soon as he clears
the LOS he gets his
head around.

Over Bear BB Trap Left

Adjustments
The BST moves over
to the inside of the
PSE. The BSG is the
only puller. Since
there is no WST the
WSE must block SAB
IN and there is no
seal on the LB. We
are counting on the
defense to over play
the unbalanced
line.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 81


Lead WB Kick
Bear Lead WB Kick Left

Line Backs
PSE – SAB IN QB – reveres pivot soft and open up making an inside
PST – SAB IN hand off to the WB quickly. The carry out a bootleg as
PSG – SAB IN you clear the perimeter attack up field since you
Center – SAB IN don’t have a receiver.
BSG – Pull & Kick Out 1st to cross face. TB – Slide step to playside and then attack the far hip
BST – Pull & Seal (GET THERE!) of the EMLOS. Make eye contact with him. GOOD
BSE - Cut FAKING!
BB – Jab step and follow the BST to the hole. Lead
CP: TB must attack far hip to set up play action block by blocking INSIDE OUT on the first defender to
pass. Once the DE gets used to seeing the log of cross your face.
the TB on trap he will scrape down on the BB
WB – Drop step and take an inside handoff then
sitting up the bootleg for the QB.
attack the first daylight you come to. Get up field and
CP: Call KEEP and have the QB bootleg outside.
CP: Call WB Trap vice WB Kick to move the do not cut back into the defense. Get to the
play inside one more gap and to seal a backer off. boundary.
CP: FLAT Tag tells TB to run action/flat route.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 82


Over Bear Lead WB Kick

Adjustments
The BST moves over
to the inside of the
PSE. The weak side
is going to be short
since the WST is on
the Strong side now.
That means the KICK
is actually more like
a trap and the WB
needs to know that
he has to get into a
short hole.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 83


XX BB Wedge
Bear XX BB Wedge Right

CP
The better the
fakes are by
the QB, TB,
and WB the
better this
play is.

Line Backs
PSE - Wedge QB – Reverse pivot and handoff to the BB going into
PST - Wedge the wedge. Then open up and let the WB go by you
PSG - Wedge as you fake the inside handoff to him and then
Center - Apex bootleg. As you pass the perimeter attack up field.
BSG - Wedge
BST - Wedge GOOD FAKING!
BSE - Wedge TB – AT the snap of the ball sprint right at the PSTE’s far
hip fake toss and attack up field. Make eye contact
CP: FLAT tag tells TB to run action/flat route. with the defender.

GOOD FAKING!
BB – Lead step into center’s back taking handoff. Get
small into the Wedge and stay in it until you see
daylight.
WB – Drop step and fake inside hand off attacking up
field on the outside hip of the BSTE.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 84


Over Bear XX BB Wedge Right

Adjustments
The BST moves over
to the inside of the
PSE. The PSG
becomes the APEX
of the Wedge to
keep the wedge
balanced.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 85


BB G
Bear BB G Left

Line Backs
PSE – SAB IN QB – reveres pivot and open up making an inside
PST – SAB IN hand off to the BB quickly. Then carry out a bootleg
PSG – Pull &Kick Out 1st to cross face. getting depth and looking down field to the WB.
Center – SAB IN GOOD FAKING!
BSG – Pull & Seal TB – Slide step to playside and then attack the far hip
BST – Pull & Seal of the EMLOS. Make eye contact with him. GOOD
BSE - Cut FAKING!
BB – Jab step and follow the BST to the hole. Take the
CP: Used when you need to kick out the EMLOS inside handoff from the QB and get up field to
fast and you want additional power on the daylight fast. Do not cut back into the defense.
playside.
WB – Release off the LOS and run a corner route at ten
CP: The BB should time his move into the hole
yards. Sell the pass route and pull the safety over.
so that he gets there on the shoulder of the BSG
so that they pull inside and seal just has he attacks
the gap.
CP: Keep tells QB to bootleg it.
CP: WB Pass tells QB to throw on the bootleg to
the WB running the Corner route.
CP: FLAT tag tells QB to throw LO-HI off of
TB FLAT / WB CORNER.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 86


BISON Right BB G Left

Adjustments
In Bison the WB
moves to the
opposite side of the
BB and in doing so is
no longer capable
of running the
corner route.
Instead he aims at
the far hip of the
BSTE and gets there
and then works up
field in a flat route.
As soon as he clears
the LOS he gets his
head around.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 87


BB Part
Bear BB Part Left

Line Backs
PSE – SAB OUT QB – reveres pivot and open up making an inside
PST – SAB OUT hand off to the BB quickly. Then carry out a bootleg
PSG – SAB IN getting depth and looking down field to the WB.
Center – SAB IN GOOD FAKING!
BSG – Pull & Kick Out 1st to cross face. TB – Slide step to playside and then attack the far hip
BST – Pull & Seal Inside of the EMLOS. Make eye contact with him. GOOD
BSE - Cut FAKING!
BB – Jab step and follow the BST to the hole. Take the
CP: TB must attack far hip to set up play action inside handoff from the QB and get up field to
pass. Once the DE gets used to seeing the log of daylight fast. Do not cut back into the defense.
the TB on trap he will scrape down on the BB
WB – Release off the LOS and run a corner route at ten
sitting up the bootleg for the QB.
yards. Sell the pass route and pull the safety over.
CP: Call KEEP and have the QB bootleg outside.
CP: Call WB Pass to have QB throw to the
Corner route of the WB on the bootleg. (Flat
route in BISON).
CP: FLAT tag tells TB to go to run action/flat
route and that QB throws on LO-HI read from
Flat to Corner.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 88


BISON Right BB Part Left

Adjustments
In Bison the WB
moves to the
opposite side of the
BB and in doing so is
no longer capable
of running the
corner route.
Instead he aims at
the far hip of the
BSTE and gets there
and then works up
field in a flat route.
As soon as he clears
the LOS he gets his
head around.

Over Bear BB Part Left

Adjustments
The WST moves over
to the inside of the
SSE. Other wise the
play is exactly the
same as above.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 89


Side
Bear Side Right

Line Backs
PSE – SAB OUT QB – reveres pivot and open deep up making a hand
PST – SAB OUT off to the TB. Then carry out a bootleg getting depth
PSG – SAB Out and looking down field to the WB. GOOD FAKING!
Center – SAB Out TB – Slide step to playside and then attack the far hip
BSG – SAB Out of the EMLOS. As soon as you get the handoff cut
BST – Reach (or Hinge) back inside and follow the BB into the hole. SELL THE
BSE – Reach (or Hinge) OUTSIDE TO PULL THE ILB OUT.
BB – Jab step let the BSG cross your face and then
CP: TB must sell the off tackle hole and lead into daylight and seal the first linebacker to cross
then cut back in and follow the lead your face.
block. WB – Release off the LOS and run a corner route at ten
CP: QB must make the handoff clean yards. Sell the pass route and pull the safety over.
and boot out to really pull the perimeter
defenders and ILB out so that the TB can
cut into open space.
CP: KEEP tag tells QB to bootleg.
CP: WB PASS tag tells QB to throw to
WB in Corner.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 90


BISON Right Side Right

Adjustments
In Bison the WB
moves to the
opposite side of the
BB and in doing so is
no longer capable
of running the
corner route.
Instead he aims at
the far hip of the
BSTE and gets there
and then works up
field in a flat route.
As soon as he clears
the LOS he gets his
head around.

Over Bear Side Right

Adjustments
The BST moves over
to the inside of the
PSE. BSE is the only
blocker that is
reaching or hinging.
The unbalanced line
and the faking of
the TB on the
offtackle is often
more then enough
to open a nice lane
on the weakside for
the side.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 91


Part
Bear Part Right

Line Backs
PSE – SAB OUT QB – reveres pivot soft open with depth and handoff
PST – SAB OUT ball to TB. Bootleg with some depth and threaten
PSG – SAB IN perimeter.
Center – SAB IN TB – Slide step to playside and then attack down field
BSG – Pull & Kick Out 1st to cross face. as you get the hand off explode into the hole.
BST – Pull & Seal BB – jab step and fake inside handoff to backside and
BSE - Cut then kick out first defender to cross your face all the
way to the boundary.
CP: LEAD tag that tells the BB to jab step and WB – Release off the LOS and run a corner route.
lead block into the hole after the BSG cross his
face.
CP: WHAM tag tells WB to drop step and lead
into hole.
CP: BLAST tag tells BB and WB to lead into the
hole.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 92


BISON Right Part Right

Adjustments
In Bison the WB
moves to the
opposite side of the
BB and in doing so is
no longer capable
of running the
corner route.
Instead he cross
bucks and runs the
flat. The timing of
the QB, BB, and WB
must be developed.

The Bison Right Lead


Part Right is more of
a power play.

Over Bear Part Right

Adjustments
The BST moves over
to the inside of the
PSE. The BSG is the
only puller. This
extends the line out
on the playside by
adding the BST as
another TRACK on
the playside.

OverBear Lead Part


Right is a good play
to use for more
power.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 93


G
Bear G Right

CP
BEAR Right
Lead G is a
very good
alternative
that adds
additional
power to the
play vice
misdirection.

Line Backs
PSE – SAB IN QB – reveres pivot for depth and handoff ball to the
PST – SAB IN TB. Then get more depth until you pass the EMLOS
PSG – Pull and Kick Out 1st to cross face and then attack the LOS going for daylight.
Center – SAB IN – if NT you base block him. TB – Slide step to play side and then attack down field.
BSG – Pull & Seal (GET THERE!) Take the handoff and hit to the inside of the PSG’s
BST – Pull & Seal (GET THERE!) kick out. Stay to the outside hip of the BB so that he
BSE - Cut can misdirect the defense on his fake as you attack.
BB – jab step and fake inside hand off from QB and
CP: Call KEEP has the QB bootleg it. then kick out for the first defender to cross your face
CP: LEAD has the FB lead block instead of fake t backside.
the backside.
WB – Release off the LOS and get inside tight to the
LOS and seal the first linebacker that crosses your face
inside.
CP: If PSG TARGET is giving him a problem chip him on
the outside shoulder as you release and force him to
look at you. This will give the BB a better kick out as he
takes his eyes off the backfield.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 94


BISON Right G Right

Adjustments
In Bison the WB
moves to the
opposite side of the
BB and in doing so is
no longer capable
of sealing off.
Instead he slide
steps and then
follows the QB and
as soon as he sees
daylight he leads
into the hole and
seals IN the first
defender that
crosses his face.

Over Bear G Right

Adjustments
The BST moves over
to the inside of the
PSE. The BSG is the
only puller on the
backside. This
extends the line out
on the playside by
adding the BST as
another TRACK on
the playside; same
as a Long Seal but
you still have the WB
sealing.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 95


Lead WB Trap
Bear Lead WB Trap Left

Line Backs
PSE – Release and Seal In QB – reveres pivot and open up making an inside
PST – SAB IN hand off to the WB quickly. Then carry out a bootleg
PSG – SAB IN getting depth until you clear the EMLOS and then
Center – SAB IN attack the LOS.
BSG – Pull & Kick Out 1st to cross face. TB – Slide step to playside and then attack the far hip
BST – Pull & Seal (GET THERE!) of the EMLOS. Make eye contact with him. GOOD
BSE - Cut FAKING!
BB – Jab step and follow the BST to the hole. Lead
CP: SHORT Trap if you want to trap a 3 tech or block sealing the first defender that crosses your face.
smaller. WB – Drop step and the follow BB into the hole. Take
CP: TB must attack far hip to set up play action
the inside handoff and hit the first daylight you see
pass. Once the DE gets used to seeing the log of
and get up field.
the TB on trap he will scrape down on the BB
sitting up the bootleg for the QB.
CP: If FLAT is tagged that tells the TB to break off run
CP: Call KEEP and have the QB bootleg outside.
action /reach to a run action/Flat route. QB throws LO-HI
Read off of FLAT-CORNER.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 96


BISON Right Lead WB Trap Left

Adjustments
In Bison the WB
moves to the
opposite side. He
takes a jab step and
lets the BSG, BST,
and BB cross his
face and then hits
the hole. He takes a
outside hand off
and sits until (getting
small) until the
blockers cross his
face.

Over Bear Lead WB Trap Left

Adjustments
The weakside is one
blocker shy so the
play hits one gap
tighter. This is a
good play against
teams that overshift
to the strong side.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 97


Lead WB Part
Bear Lead WB Part Left

Line Backs
PSE – SAB OUT QB – reveres pivot and open up making an inside
PST – SAB OUT hand off to the WB quickly. Then carry out a bootleg
PSG – SAB IN getting depth until you pass the EMLOS then attack
Center – SAB IN the LOS.
BSG – Pull & Kick Out 1st to cross face. TB – Slide step to playside and then attack the far hip
BST – Pull & Seal Inside of the EMLOS. Make eye contact with him. GOOD
BSE - Cut FAKING!
BB – Jab step and follow the BST to the hole. Lead into
CP: TB must attack far hip to set up play action the hole and seal off the first defender to cross your
pass. Once the DE gets used to seeing the log of face.
the TB on trap he will scrape down on the BB
WB – Drop step and take the inside hand off from the
sitting up the bootleg for the QB.
QB and hit the first daylight you come to.
CP: Call KEEP and have the QB bootleg outside.
CP: FLAT tag tells TB to go to run action/flat
route and that QB throws on LO-HI read from
Flat to Corner.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 98


BISON Right Lead WB Part Left

Adjustments
In Bison the WB
moves to the
opposite side of the
BB. Instead he
takes a few jab
steps to the
backside and the
lets the BSG, BST,
and BB cross his
face and then hits
the hole. QB should
give him an outside
handoff. He might
have to jab step
after the handoff to
time this out.

You can also have


him slide in farther
and take an inside
handoff as well.

Over Bear Lead WB Part Left

Adjustments
The BST moves over
to the inside of the
PSE. The BSG is the
only puller. Since
there is no WST the
WSE must block SAB
IN and there is no
seal on the LB. We
are counting on the
defense to over play
the unbalanced
line.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 99


Bench Pass
Bear Red Bench Pass Right

LO-HI
READ

Line Backs
PSE – Track and chip release up field let the QB – reveres pivot and open deep up faking hand off
WB go by and then break outside on with ball in belly. Drag hand and eyes as you go by
ARROW route. Work for 3 to 5 yards up TB. Work for depth and get outside fast. Turn belly
field. button and hips down field and get the ball out.
PST – SAB OUT – 4 steps Read is LO-HI with WB to PSE.
PSG – SAB Out – 4 steps TB – Slide step to play side and then attack the far hip
Center – SAB Out 4 steps of the EMLOS. Make eye contact with the defender
BSG – Hinge and attack his outside shoulder. Make a hard fake as
BST - Hinge you go by the QB then attack the defender.
BSE – Hinge BB – Jab step then move inside and block backside
hip of center and seal off leakage.
CP – make sure the QB and TB sell the fake well! WB – Release off the LOS and run a corner route at ten
CP – THROW BACK tag tells BSTE to drop as if yards. Sell the pass route and pull the safety over.
hinge for two steps and the release and run fade.
He is primary. CP: Any passing play can be converted into a TB Pass by
CP – BB SEAM tag tells BB to step inside and simply adding TB in front of the pass…..BEAR TB RED
find daylight and release up field into the seam. BENCH PASS RIGHT. QB tosses the ball on all TB Passes
He is primary. and then attacks the LOS kicking out the first defender to cross
his face.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 100


BISON Right Red Bench Pass Right

Adjustments
In Bison the WB
moves to the
opposite side of the
BB. The outside man
runs the corner
route and that is
now the PSTE. The
WB cannot run a
Arrow route so he
runs a flat route
instead. The BB
SEAM and the
THROWBACK tag
can still be used.

Over Bear Red Bench Pass Right

Adjustments
The BST moves over
to the inside of the
PSE. Play is ran the
same as the normal
formations.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 101


Bunch Pass
Bear Red Bunch Pass Right

LO-HI
READ

Line Backs
PSE – Track and chip EMLOS then drive up QB – reveres pivot and open deep up faking hand off
field for 3 to 4 yards and then attack the with ball in belly. Drag hand and eyes as you go by
boundary aiming for 10 yards up field. TB. Work for depth and get outside fast. Turn belly
PST – SAB OUT – 4 steps button and hips down field and get the ball out.
PSG – SAB OUT – 4 steps Read is LO-HI; BB to PSTE.
Center – SAB OUT – 4 steps TB – Slide step to play side and then attack the far hip
BSG – Hinge of the EMLOS. Make eye contact with the defender
BST - Hinge and attack his outside shoulder. Make a hard fake as
BSE – Hinge you go by the QB then attack the defender.
BB – Attack the LOS as if Kicking out; chip the first
CP – make sure the QB and TB sell the fake well! defender to cross your face and get in the flat. Get
CP – WB must attack through the BSLB as he your head around fast for the ball. LO READ.
drags. Once he passes the Lbers he gets his head
WB – Release off the LOS and run a drag route to the
around.
backside. Should be 8 to 10 yards deep at end.
CP – Throwback tag will have the BSTE drop
two steps as if hinging and then run fade. This
CP: Any passing play can be converted into a TB Pass by
can be set as LO-HI read (WB-BSTE) or as a
simply adding TB in front of the pass…..BEAR TB RED
primary read.
BENCH PASS RIGHT. QB tosses the ball on all TB Passes
and then attacks the LOS kicking out the first defender to cross
his face.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 102


Over Bear Red Bunch Pass Right

Adjustments
BISON formation is
not used with
BUNCH pass. Need
two outside
receivers.

OVER

The BST moves over


to the inside of the
PSE. Play is ran the
same as the normal
formations.

This is a good
formation to call
Throwback from as
well.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 103


Cross Pass
Bear Red Cross Pass Right

LO-HI
READ

Line Backs
PSE – Outside release, drive off the LOS and QB – reveres pivot and open deep up faking hand off
drag to backside. Stay below the BSE. with ball in belly. Drag hand and eyes as you go by
PST – SAB OUT – 4 steps TB. Work for depth and get outside fast. Turn belly
PSG – SAB OUT – 4 steps button and hips down field and get the ball out.
Center – SAB OUT – 4 steps Read is LO-HI with WB to PSE.
BSG – Hinge TB – Slide step to play side and then attack the far hip
BST - Hinge of the EMLOS. Make eye contact with the defender
BSE – outside release drag to play side to 8 and attack his outside shoulder. Make a hard fake as
to 10 yards deep. you go by the QB then attack the defender.
BB – Attack the LOS as if Kicking out; chip the first
CP – make sure the QB and TB sell the fake well! defender to cross your face and get in the flat. Get
CP – THROW BACK tag tells WB and PSTE your head around fast for the ball. :LO READ.
they are primary read – LO-HI; or simplified – WB – Release off the LOS and run a post route at ten
WB’s POST is primary. yards. Sell the pass route and pull the safety up.
CP: Any passing play can be converted into a TB Pass by
simply adding TB in front of the pass…..BEAR TB RED
BENCH PASS RIGHT. QB tosses the ball on all TB Passes
and then attacks the LOS kicking out the first defender to cross
his face.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 104


BISON Right Red Cross Pass Right

Adjustments
In Bison the WB
moves to the
opposite side of the
BB. WB releases to
the backside and
runs right up the
seam forcing the
safety to drop.
Otherwise the play is
the same.

LO-HI read but more


then likely the
corner will take the
BB so the BSTE is the
key route.

Over Bear Red Cross Pass Right

Adjustments
The BST moves over
to the inside of the
PSE. Play is ran the
same as the normal
formations.

This is a more advance pass as it sends four receivers into coverage and
requires a lot of timing.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 105


Drag Pass
Bear Red Drag Pass Right

LO-HI
READ

Line Backs
PSE – SAB OUT – 4 steps QB – reveres pivot and open deep up faking hand off
PST – SAB OUT – 4 steps with ball in belly. Drag hand and eyes as you go by
PSG – SAB OUT – 4 steps TB. Work for depth and get outside fast. Turn belly
Center – SAB OUT – 4 steps button and hips down field and get the ball out.
BSG – Hinge Read is LO-HI from BB to BSE.
BST - Hinge TB – Slide step to play side and then attack the far hip
BSE – outside release drag to play side to 8 of the EMLOS. Make eye contact with the defender
to 10 yards deep. HI READ. and attack his outside shoulder. Make a hard fake as
you go by the QB then attack the defender.
BB – Attack the LOS as if Kicking out; chip the first
CP – make sure the QB and TB sell the fake well! defender to cross your face and get in the flat. Get
CP – CORNER tag tells QB to make the WB your head around fast for the ball. LO READ.
primary route…throw to corner. WB – Release off the LOS and run a GO route
breaking.
CP: Any passing play can be converted into a TB Pass by
simply adding TB in front of the pass…..BEAR TB RED
BENCH PASS RIGHT. QB tosses the ball on all TB Passes
and then attacks the LOS kicking out the first defender to cross
his face.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 106


BISON Right Red Drag Pass Right

Adjustments
In Bison the WB
moves to the
opposite side of the
BB. WB releases to
the backside and
runs right up the
seam forcing the
safety to drop.
Otherwise the play is
the same.

LO-HI read but more


then likely the
corner will take the
BB so the BSTE is the
key route.

Over Bear Red Drag Pass Right

Adjustments
The BST moves over
to the inside of the
PSE. Play is ran the
same as the normal
formations.

This is a more advance pass as it sends four receivers into coverage and
requires a lot of timing.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 107


Flood Pass
Bear Red Flood Pass Right

LO-HI
READ

Line Backs
PSE – Track for one step and then release QB – reveres pivot and open deep up faking hand off
up field for 8 yards then break to the with ball in belly. Drag hand and eyes as you go by
boundary aiming for 12 yards. HI READ. TB. Work for depth and get outside fast. Turn belly
PST – SAB OUT – 4 steps button and hips down field and get the ball out.
PSG – SAB OUT – 4 steps Read is LO-HI with BB to PSE.
Center – SAB Out – 4 steps TB – Slide step to play side and then attack the far hip
BSG – Hinge of the EMLOS. Make eye contact with the defender
BST - Hinge and attack his outside shoulder. Make a hard fake as
BSE – Hinge you go by the QB then attack the defender.
BB – Attack the LOS as if Kicking out; chip the first
CP – make sure the QB and TB sell the fake well! defender to cross your face and get in the flat. Get
CP – THROW BACK tag tells BSTE to drop as if your head around fast for the ball. LO READ.
hinge for two steps and the release and run fade. WB – Release off the LOS and run a GO route to pull
He is primary. the safety.
CP – DEEP tag tells QB to throw to the WB
running the GO (Primary). CP: Any passing play can be converted into a TB Pass by
simply adding TB in front of the pass…..BEAR TB RED
BENCH PASS RIGHT. QB tosses the ball on all TB Passes
and then attacks the LOS kicking out the first defender to cross
his face.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 108


BISON Right Red Flood Pass Right

Adjustments
In Bison the WB
moves to the
opposite side of the
BB. PSTE runs GO
route. BB runs 8 and
out route. WB runs
FLAT route.

The WB attacking
the flat often is wide
open since he is
coming from the
backside.

Over Bear Red Flood Pass Right

Adjustments
The BST moves over
to the inside of the
PSE. Play is ran the
same as the normal
formations.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 109


Wedge Fade Pass
Bear Wedge Fade Pass Right

CP
The better the
fakes are by
the QB, TB,
and WB the
better this
play is.

Line Backs
PSE – SEAM route QB – 3-step drop read is OUTSIDE-IN. Reading the WB
PST – Wedge pass to the PSE (FADE to SEAM). 1st step get separation and
PSG – Wedge pass the faster you get back the more time you have. If
Center – Apex – 3 steps and seal the ball is not out in less than 2.5 seconds you will be
BSG – Wedge pass sacked.
BST – Wedge pass TB – AT the snap of the ball sprint right at the PSTE’s far
BSE – Fade Route hip fake toss and attack up field. Make eye contact
with the defender.
CP: THROWBACK tag tells the QB to throw to
BSE in fade route. GOOD FAKING!
CP: TB Flat – tells the TB to chip the first BB – Lead step towards center’s back. Let the QB drop
defender to cross his face then attack the flat. He
the go backside and seal the first defender outside
is the primary route.
that crosses your face.
WB – outside release go wide for two to three steps
and then get up field.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 110


Over Bear Wedge Fade Right

Adjustments
The BST moves over
to the inside of the
PSE. The PSG
becomes the APEX
of the Wedge to
keep the wedge
balanced.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 111


Chapter 10
T.A.G and JET Series

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 112


Purpose: These two series are complimentary series but could be used as
base series if you wanted too.

The T.A.G series stands for TACKLE AND GUARD pulling. The series is a
weakside series that has the TB running sweep to the weakside. It gives
me a series of plays that gets to the outside and has playside misdirection
as well as a backside perimeter threat and passing threat too. It uses a
unique blocking scheme called T.A.G that has the tackle and guard pull
as the end blocks SAB IN. The backside blocks SAB IN as well which can
really mess with linebackers and lineman reading blocks. It also allows
you to isolate backside perimeter defenders as well within one scheme
since the backside is blocking down.

CP: If you have a youth organization that runs the same offense from the
younger levels up you can install the backfield action using WEDGE
blocking schemes with 5 to 7 year olds. That means you have backfield
action and terminology installed and as they get older you simply install
the actual blocking scheme.

JET series is another backside attacking series that uses the WB in a fast flat
wing-t jet motion that he sweeps off of. This sets up misdirection all along
the line of scrimmage as well as passing. The fast motion allows you to
jump a defense that is over shifting on the backside. A speedy WB can
really punish the defense. You need to have the REACH blocking installed
in your offense in order to use this series.

CP: If you have a youth organization that runs the same offense from the
younger levels up you can install the backfield action using WEDGE
blocking schemes with 5 to 7 year olds. That means you have backfield
action and terminology installed and as they get older you simply install
the actual blocking scheme.

Age Level: These series are really suited for older ages (10 and up). The
older and more mature the team is the more you can do. With that said
note the coaching points above.

You need an athletic BB to really run the TAG effectively as his asked to
block (KICKOUT or LOG) the corner.

Base Plays: (T.A.G) TAG, BB TAG, BB WEDGE (JET) WB REACH, BB WEDGE,


BB TRAP, LEAD G.

Support Plays: (T.A.G) WB Pass Tag, Keep Tag, Delay tag to have the BSE
run a delay short route. (JET) KEEP, BB PASS, TB PASS, BB Trap, LEAD G.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 113


(There are obviously a lot of other plays you can use in these series I simply
have not listed them all. See my website www.gregorydoublewing.com
for updates.)

Notes: Again both of these series are complimentary and you should only
use these once you have mastered the base plays of the POWER and the
BUCK WEDGE unless you decide to use these as base series. Both series
allow you to attack the weakside of the formation. Neither one is very
effective in the BISON or OVER formation and I don’t use them in that
formation because it is a balanced look and no weakside is present. They
are effective with the UNDER look.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 114


TAG
Bear TAG Left

CP
The TB must
run off the
block of the
BB. If he logs
the corner
you take it
outside, if he
kicks out you
run inside him.
Attack the
LOS
aggressively.

Line Backs
PSE – SAB IN QB – pivot soft toss ball to path of TB and then bootleg
PST – Pull and LOG first to show. gaining depth until you get past the EMLOS then
PSG – Pull inside and seal in first LB coming. attack the LOS. Open wide enough to let the BB clear
Center – SAB IN (as if inside handoff).
BSG – SAB IN TB – cross over step and attack the LOS aiming at the
BST – SAB IN corner’s inside hip. Secure the toss and read the BB’s
BSE – SAB IN block.
BB – cross over step and get on the PSG’s heels fast
CP: PST must pull and log the 1st and block the corner on the playside. If he squeezes
defender to show. down you log him. If he stays wide you kick him out.
CP: KEEP tag tells the QB to keep it on WB – free release and run a corner route on the
the bootleg. backside.
CP: WB PASS tag tells the QB to the
throw to the WB on the corner route on
the backside.
CP: for younger squads you can block
this WEDGE SWEEP w/FOLD.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 115


BB TAG
Bear BB TAG Left

CP
The TB must
attack the
corner and
make eye
contact with
him. Attack
the LOS
aggressively
and force the
corner to
come down.

Line Backs
PSE – SAB IN QB – pivot tuck ball in belly (let the TB sell the fake).
PST – Pull and trap first to show. Inside handoff to the BB gain depth and bootleg for
PSG – Pull inside and seal in first to show. depth until you pass the EMLOS then attack the LOS.
Center – SAB IN TB – cross over step and attack the LOS aiming at the
BSG – SAB IN corner’s inside hip. MAKE EYE CONTACT!!! Attack the
BST – SAB IN LOS and force the corner to come up and force the
BSE – SAB IN run. THIS OPENS THE OUTSIDE BOUNDARY FOR THE BB.
BB – cross over step and get on the PSG’s heels takes
CP: PST must pull and trap the first the inside handoff and follows the PSG. GET UP FIELD
defender that crosses his face. TO THE BOUNDARY. Do not cut back inside.
CP: KEEP tag tells the QB to keep it on WB – free release and run a corner route on the
the bootleg. backside.
CP: WB PASS tag tells the QB to the
CP: OPTION – tells the BB to option the corner
throw to the WB on the corner route on
using the TB as the pitch man. IF he comes you
the backside.
pitch, IF he squats you GO.
CP: for younger squads you can block
(FOR OLDER SQUADS)
this WEDGE SWEEP w/FOLD.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 116


TAG BB Wedge
Bear TAG BB Wedge Right

CP
The better the
fakes are by
the QB, TB,
and WB the
better this
play is.

Line Backs
PSE - Wedge QB – pivot tuck ball in belly (let the TB sell the fake).
PST - Wedge Inside handoff to the BB gain depth and bootleg for
PSG - Wedge depth until you pass the EMLOS then attack the LOS.
Center - Apex TB – AT the snap of the ball sprint right at the PSTE’s far
BSG - Wedge hip fake toss and attack up field. Make eye contact
BST - Wedge with the defender.
BSE - Wedge
GOOD FAKING!
CP: KEEP – QB keeps the ball gaining depth BB – Lead step into center’s back taking handoff. Get
until he passes the EMLOS and then attacks the small into the Wedge and stay in it until you see
LOS. daylight.
CP: WB PASS – QB bootlegs and passes ball to
WB – free release and run a corner route on the
WB running corner out.
backside.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 117


JET WB REACH
Bear JET WB Reach

CP
The WB must
take a flat fast
motion at a
spot one foot
behind the
QB’s near hip.
He has to
attack the
numbers up
field and get
to the outside.

Line Backs
PSE – REACH 1 QB – reverse pivot (tight to the LOS as if opening a
PST – REACH 2 door) and ball off to the WB then gain depth until you
PSG – REACH 3 get past the EMLOS and then attack the LOS.
Center – REACH 4 TB – slide step and then attack the LOS aiming at the
BSG – Release up field inside cut off inside hip of the EMLOS faking run then blocking 1st
BST – Release up field inside cut off defender that crosses your face.
BSE – Release up field inside cut off BB – cross over step to the backside and chip the first
defender to cross your face. Then attack the flat.
CP: CAN BLOCK THIS WEDGE WB – On “GO” lead step in to a fast sprint motion then
SWEEP but the PSE must REACH. take the handoff on the playside side attacking the
CP: KEEP tells QB to keep it on the PSE’s outside hip. Get up field to daylight!!!
bootleg. CP: QB must time up snap so that the WB get the
CP: BB Pass tells QB to throw to the BB handoff as he goes by and doesn’t slow down. This
on the backside flat route. takes time so it will take reps to get it down.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 118


JET BB Wedge
Bear JET BB Wedge Right

CP
The WB must
sell the JET
motion and
the sweep.
Make eye
contact with
the corner
back or DE
and attack his
outside
shoulder
forcing him to
respond.

Line Backs
PSE - Wedge QB – reverse pivot tuck ball in belly (let the TB sell the
PST - Wedge fake). Inside handoff to the BB gain depth and
PSG - Wedge bootleg for depth until you pass the EMLOS then
Center - Apex attack the LOS.
BSG - Wedge TB – AT the snap of the ball sprint right at the BSTE’s far
BST - Wedge hip faking TOSS and attack up field. Make eye
BSE - Wedge contact with the defender.

CP: KEEP – QB keeps the ball gaining depth GOOD FAKING!


until he passes the EMLOS and then attacks the BB – Lead step into center’s back taking handoff. Get
LOS. The TB must seal inside the defender he small into the Wedge and stay in it until you see
crosses.
daylight.
CP: faking by the QB, TB, and WB sells this
play. WB – On “GO” lead step in to a fast sprint motion then
CP: If TB Pass is tagged that tells the TB to fake the handoff on the playside side attacking the
break off run action /reach to a run action/Flat PSE’s outside hip. Get up field to daylight!!!

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 119


JET BB Trap
Bear JET BB Trap Left

Line Backs
PSE – Release and Seal In QB – reveres pivot and open up making an inside
PST – SAB IN hand off to the BB quickly. Then carry out a bootleg
PSG – SAB IN getting depth and looking down field to the WB.
Center – SAB IN GOOD FAKING!
BSG – Pull & Kick Out 1st to cross face. TB – Slide step to playside and then attack the far hip
BST – Pull & Seal (GET THERE!) of the EMLOS. Make eye contact with him. GOOD
BSE - Cut FAKING!
BB – Jab step and follow the BST to the hole. Take the
CP: SHORT Trap if you want to trap a 3 tech or inside handoff from the QB and get up field to day
smaller. light fast. Do not cut back into the defense.
CP: BB KICK instead of BB TRAP extends the
WB – On “GO” lead step in to a fast sprint motion then
gap out.
fake the handoff on the playside side attacking the
CP: TB must attack far hip to set up play action
pass. Once the DE gets used to seeing the log of PSE’s outside hip. Get up field to daylight!!!
the TB on trap he will scrape down on the BB
sitting up the bootleg for the QB. CP: If TB Pass is tagged that tells the TB to break off run
CP: Call KEEP and have the QB bootleg outside. action /reach to a run action/Flat route.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 120


JET Lead G
Bear JET Lead G Right

CP
WE use LEAD
because the
WB is in JET
motion and
faking the
sweep we use
the BB leading
to account for
the WB not
blocking.

Line Backs
PSE – SAB IN QB – reveres pivot for depth and handoff ball to the
PST – SAB IN TB. Then get more depth until you pass the EMLOS
PSG – Pull and Kick Out 1st to cross face and then attack the LOS going for daylight.
Center – SAB IN – if NT you base block him. TB – Slide step to play side and then attack down field.
BSG – Pull & Seal (GET THERE!) Take the handoff and hit to the inside of the PSG’s
BST – Pull & Seal (GET THERE!) kick out. Stay to the outside hip of the BB so that he
BSE - Cut can misdirect the defense on his fake as you attack.
BB – jab step and lead into the hole sealing the first
CP: Call KEEP has the QB bootleg it. defender to cross his face.
WB – On “GO” lead step in to a fast sprint motion then
fake the handoff on the playside side attacking the
PSE’s outside hip. Get up field to daylight!!!

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 121


Chapter 11
Building an Offensive Philosophy
And
The Offensive System
What Do You Want to Achieve?

You need to ask yourself some important questions when coaching a


youth team. You need to know what your end goal is and what your
priorities are for your team. You need to sit down with your league rules
and any franchise rules and read them and understand them. They will
affect your overall philosophy and system for that team.

1) Is your team a recreation team? If so what is the goal of the league


overall? This is important to know and fully understand because it
can really affect what you can and can’t do in your offense. Often
recreation teams have some very restrictive league rules on what
type of offensive formations you can run, what plays you can run,
what types of blocking you can run along with a host of other
restrictive rules. So understand them and be ready to adapt your
philosophy and system if you chose to coach with in those rules.
2) Is your team a competition team? If so are there any league rules
that are different from the state rules (NFHS or NCAA)?
3) Is there a draft in a common pool, in a franchise pool? Is it first
come first serve in a local area or within the league itself?
4) Do you keep returning players (veterans) or do they go back in the
common pool?
5) Is getting everyone equal playing time important or is being
competitive more important (often a mix of both)? Often in a
Recreation league this is dictated for you but you do have some
flexibility.
6) Do all players have to have a starting position or can you deploy
your personal as you see fit but follow a number of plays per game,
half, quarter? Does special teams count?

Once you figure this all out you need to put that in context with your
offensive philosophy so you have some guidelines as you progress.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 122


The Philosophy of this System

This offense is a run oriented, ball control offense that uses power and
misdirection; both run oriented and pass oriented (play action) to move
the ball. It uses series based play calling that establishes a set of base
plays (or a single play) and then forces the defense to defend those base
plays and then adapt the play calling to the defense and their
adjustments.

How it can Vary

You can actually adjust this basic philosophy with a few things as well that
get a little more specific.

1) Do you want a power based offense that uses misdirection that


supports the power system?
2) Do you want a misdirection based offense that uses power to set up
the misdirection offense? Often misdirection based teams are little
more explosive the strictly power based teams.
3) Do you want to be a run only offense that uses the pass only when it
absolutely has to? (younger teams)
4) Do you want to be run to set up the pass and be more vertically
aggressive (older teams)?
5) Are you a classic three down offense or a four down offense?
When do you decide to punt (if you plan to) within your down
belief?
6) Do you want a Back Specific offense: example the TB gets the
majority of the carries? Do you want to be a three or four back
offense that tries to move the ball to most effective ball carrier from
game to game or even series to series?

Note: These additional adjustments are often determined by personal


and that is why your basic offensive philosophy can be adjusted from
season to season based on need.

What you’re doing when you put this on paper and implement it is you
are laying the groundwork for developing your system that season.
Everything revolves around that philosophy. It is basically your mission
statement for your offense.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 123


EXAMPLE OF AN OFFENSIVE PHILOSOPY FOR TEAM X

“Our offense is a run oriented, ball control offense that uses power and
misdirection; both run oriented and pass oriented (play action) to move
the ball. It uses series based play calling that establishes a set of base
plays (or a single play) and then forces the defense to defend those base
plays and then adapt the play calling to the defense and their
adjustments. We will focus on power and use misdirection in the running
game and passing game to support our power running game. We will
make the tail back the focus of our running game and support him by
using the other three backs in the misdirection game.”

EXAMPLE OF AN OFFENSIVE PHILOSOPY FOR TEAM X SECOND YEAR

“Our offense is a run oriented, ball control offense that uses power and
misdirection; both run oriented and pass oriented (play action) to move
the ball. It uses series based play calling that establishes a set of base
plays (or a single play) and then forces the defense to defend those base
plays and then adapt the play calling to the defense and their
adjustments. We will focus on power and misdirection in the running
game and passing game utilizing all four backs in the offense. We will
throw the ball after setting up the run.

These are two examples of one team in two seasons of football. Notice
the differences and think about what might have affected the change
from one season to the next? More then likely the first season they had a
dominant tail back and very little else in the back field so the coach
tailored his system to take advantage of that. The next season he got a
pretty stacked backfield to include a quarterback that can throw the ball
so he decided to open up the offense a little more. Make sure you have
a plan and put it down on paper so that you stick to it.

Main Emphasis

My main emphasis is always on the fundamentals first; stance, footwork,


exploding off the ball, blocking, ball handling, ball carrying, faking,
passing, and catching. All of these are important for an offense to be
successful and has to be reinforced at each and every practice practice.

Key Points to My System:

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 124


1) I want to run the ball using power and deception. I do this with my
core series (Power and Buck Wedge) and the core plays from those
series out the three base formations to take advantage of what the
defense is showing us. We excel in these plays as they allow us to
branch out to other plays and series that feed off of the base
system. I will not add anything else until I am 100% sure that we can
effectively run the base plays.
2) The base of our offense is the power series (super seal, Lead WB
Kick, and XX BB wedge) and the buck wedge series (BB wedge,
wedge sweep, and drag pass).
3) I will use misdirection and play action passing to attack defenses
that over pursue or over defend our base plays. We will attack a
team through the air vertically and horizontally when they press the
line of scrimmage.
4) I will keep our system simple and try to paint a mental picture for our
players to follow as we teach each formation, scheme, and play to
them.
5) We use Wedge, Severe Angle Blocking, and Reach blocking to
simplify our offense and allow our blockers to be more aggressive at
the LOS.

Key Advantages

TB

1) It gives you a down hill runner that gets to the point of attack at full
speed. More often then not some of your best running backs are at
their best running down hill at the LOS.
2) It gives the backside a little more time to get to the hole because
the tailback is at depth and not chasing slower players. They have
a short distance to cover then the tailback does.
3) It greatly reduces the chance of a backside defender chasing your
primary runner down.
4) It forces the defense to KEY on the tailback.

QB

1) Since the tailback is at depth behind him the toss is much easier to
perform for the Super Seal play. It allows the tail back to attack the
hole and run into the toss at the same time so that his eyes do not
have to divert from the ball to the hole.
2) Footwork for the Super Seal is much easier to execute because the
quarter back can actually gain a little more depth allowing the

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 125


backside to pull easily. This is because the toss is at depth and not
to a lateral target.
3) Footwork for misdirection plays is much easier to execute since the
BB is offset.
4) The bootleg to the strong side is a very important part of the entire
offensive system and makes the quarterback a primary part of the
offense and not just a handoff back.
5) He is a blocker, runner, and passer. He must be willing to block and
block well.

BB

1) Being offset allows him a better path on the kick out block, which is
essential on the SEAL schemes.
2) Puts him in a better position (execution wise for younger players) to
execute misdirection plays to the weak side. Since he is offset to
the strong side his footwork is simplified allowing for an easier teach
and increased execution.
3) Allows him to get into passing routes more easily on the strong side.

WB

1) Is both a running back and a primary receiver making him a dull


threat that the defense has to account for at all times.
2) You can adjust the offense so that a variety of different types can fill
the role of wingback.

Offensive line

1) The combination of SAB and Wedge blocking makes installation of


the blocking schemes much easier.
2) It allows the line to learn how to explode of the LOS and be more
aggressive while you stress footwork and schemes vice using a set
of blocking rules.
3) The blocking schemes easily transfer from various series and plays
and are easily adjusted to adapted to what a defense is doing.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 126


Offensive Goals of Success

My main goal is to control the ball and control the clock while scoring
more points then the opposition. I want to maintain field position and
allow my offense to play on a shortened field while forcing the defense to
play on a long field. I do not consider my offense successful if I score a
touchdown in one or two plays and then allow my opponent to score in a
few plays as well. I want to push the ball down the field while running the
clock out and wearing the defense out. That doesn’t mean I won’t score
from anywhere on the field if I see the opportunity to do so. It simply
means I want to maximize the amount of time my offense is on the field. I
like to see the offense get five to ten plays each series and wear out the
clock and my opponent.

I consider this offense a four down offense and in most situations we will
gear our strategy towards the use of all four downs in achieving a first
down and driving the ball down the field. This lends to my strategy of ball
and clock control as well as field position. I will not hesitate to quick kick
on 3rd down if I have my end zone at my back and take advantage of the
defense being caught off guard by the move. I don’t like to punt instead
my offensive system is geared to allow me to quick kick and make it
appear as if it is going to be a run play much like the play action passing
game. Anytime my offense gets past our twenty-yard line I consider my
team in four down territory; otherwise we are in 3rd down territory.

If you only use three downs in your offense that means you need 3.4 yards
a down to achieve a first down while in four downs you only need 2.5
yards a down to achieve a first down. This often puts the defenses in a
unique situation as most are only prepared to play three downs which
means you apply more pressure on the defense and increase the
likelihood of wearing down the opponent as it requires much more energy
to react then it does to attack; both physically and psychologically.

Concentrate on TECHINQUE, INTENSITY, and EXECUTION those are the


three keys to success with any offense or for that matter football team
period. A player, unit, and team that is technically proficient, brings
intensity to the field and to practice, and executes the scheme will be
successful so preach T.I.E to your team. Be intense in your coaching but
be fun as well; you can do both and it doesn’t hurt if your kids laugh just
make sure they know that practice is a time for them to improve all three
of the above attributes.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 127


STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

I keep my strategy simple; if I am having success running a play to a side I


will keep running that play until the defense stops it. I will mix up my play
calling so that the defense cannot zero in on the play if I can but I will that
one play right up the defense’s throat. I will use my counters and play
action passing to attack a defense that over adjusts or over pursues
against my base play. I will not hesitate to run a play ten times in row if I
think that will succeed against the defense. I will also not hesitate to mix
up my play calling as I see the defense adapt but my main objective is to
always establish my base play and then run it at least 50% of the time
during the game.

Be positive and constructive in your feedback at all times. It is not wrong


to get on your players about doing something wrong but understand that
some kids take several times and often several practices to master a skill
or technique. When you give feedback explain what the problem is and
how to fix it. It might take several ways of explaining it until they get it right.
Always try to give some positive feedback as well when you give negative
feedback. I always try to give at least three positive comments to every
kid this allows me to give negative feedback when it arises and it will arise.
Kids really respond to positive feedback and are more apt to listen to
negative feedback once you have given them positive feedback. They
soon realize that you want them to get better and notice when they do.
Kids will bend over backwards to get those positive comments and when
they do they will listen to the negative feedback and really attempt to
correct those problems.

Stay on your coaching staff to be positive and to really coach up each


player. It is not the top players that need the most coaching it is the kids
that struggle to execute or get playing time that should be coached up.
Often working with those kids will give more to the team in results then
trying to coach up an already gifted athlete. More bang for the buck
theory.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 128


Chapter 12
Installing the System
Thoughts

This is a conglomeration of some of my thoughts on installing the system


and how to utilize it. I get asked a lot of questions on how I would do this
or how I would do that so I thought I would share some of my thoughts on
how I do things and why I do things the way I do.

What Age Level?

What is the age you’re coaching? This is really going to determine what
you run and how much you can run. If you are coaching a 5 to 6 year old
team it is going to differ greatly from a 12 to 13 year old. You have to
realize that the younger the team the less you should try to run. Keep it
simple but keep it simpler with younger kids. That doesn’t mean you can’t
run ten plays but you need to realize that they should meld together so
that every kid on the team understands their role and can effectively
execute it.

AGE-FORMATION TABLE

AGE Number of Formations


5-6 1 maybe 2
7-8 2 maybe 3
9-10 3 maybe 4
11-12 3 up to 5
13-14 5 up to 7
High School 7+

This is based on being able to have all eleven players get into and out of
the formations as soon as the formation name is give. It also means they
can be given the formation and a play and immediately execute it. The
important thing to remember is that the formations should be related in
way that when the name is called a mental picture is created so that they
can associate a “word” with a formation and then get into it. Just
remember you must not add any more then the entire team can handle.
That often means if one kid that plays a role on the offense cannot do

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 129


more then two formations then don’t bother adding a third unless you are
going to have a different kid fill in for that particular formation.

Formations in this playbook

BULL, BISON (RT/LT), BEAR, OVER BULL, OVER BISON (RT/LT), OVER BEAR
UNDER BULL, UNDER BISON (RT/LT), UNDER BEAR, RHINO, LION,

AGE-PLAY TABLE

AGE Number of Plays


5-6 4 to 5 (one less then age range)
7-8 6 to 7 (one less then age range)
9-10 8 to 9 (one less then age range)
11-12 11 to 15 (lesser age + four)
13-14 13 to 17 (lesser age + four)
High School 17+

This is based on team mastery of the each play. Meaning that the
offensive unit fully understands how and why to run the play and can
execute all the needed techniques in any given situation. If they can’t do
that then you will have problems in a tough game or an extreme
condition. One play is both ways not one play to a side.

My numbers are based on age and ability to master skill sets. At the age
of eleven and twelve, just as they are reaching adolescences, they can
really start to take in much more information and master it.

The key is to add a few things and then have your team master those skills,
techniques, and plays first. Don’t add anything until they have at least
mastered the basic requirements. Then add only things that are relative
and go with the initial skill sets. As they become more and more proficient
you can add more. A good indicator is when your execution peaks and
the team become bored. At the point you can add one or two new
things to keep their interests peaked and at the same time maintain and
even increase execution of the initial plays.

Teaching

Talk it, Chalk it, Walk it, Run It

Live by those four sayings and good things will always happen on the
field. Every time you teach something always discuss it first, then explain it

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 130


either on a white board, chalk board, with cones, or even a some kids as
examples (good for younger kids). Then walk through it a few times so
that every kid can experience it at slow motion. The body learns things
both by repetition and by slow motion so that the central nervous system,
peripheral nervous system, and neuromuscular system and create the
proper patterns to coordinate the movements. Once you do things at
slow motion increase the speed to ½ then ¾ until they have mastered the
movements. The run them at full speed and if mistakes are being made
back up until they do them right and start fresh. This seems time intensive
and it can be but you would be really surprised how far along you can
get by simply going through this process with complex skills. Some things
will be picked up quickly and can be address fast while other things you
will have to repeat the process a few times. That is the nature of kids and
coaching them.

A good rule to follow is SHOW IT, HAVE THEM SHOW IT, SHOW IT AGAIN,
HAVE THEM SHOW IT AGAIN, SHOW IT AGAIN.

Not Only How But Also Why!

Take the time as you explain a drill and how to perform a specific
technique, scheme, or action to explain why you do it that way. Always
follow up a how and why with a how we do it question and a why we do
it question as well. This gets the kids involved at and the younger age
levels for more involved they are the more of their attention you have.
This allows them to correlate a skill with a task and gives them the ability to
mentally create a picture of them accomplishing that task using that skill.
Remember the more ways you give them to learn a skill the faster they are
going to master it.

Bobble Heads

This leads me into coaching bobble heads. This is a term of endearment


given by youth coaches to that group of kids below the age of ten that
appear to be bobble head figurines when wearing their helmets.
Coaching younger kids requires a lot more patience’s and the ability to
teach things in shortened stints while maintaining every kid’s attention.
This can be really difficult but some of the most rewarding coaching I
have ever done is with younger kids. Figure that if it takes more then ten
minutes to get something taught to these kids than more then likely it will
not be taught in one lesson. Normally when dealing with kids younger
then ten I try to keep chalk talks short (five minutes) and then do a walk

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 131


through to make thing more interactive and hands on. Then we sit back
down and chalk the next thing.

Giving Kids Ownerships

I think this is a very important aspect of having a successful team and


getting a good performance from it. Give the kids ownership of a system
and instill in them that it is their system. You can do this in a lot of ways but
one way I really like to do is give each position (line and backs) a position
leader (who is often a team captain) the chance to run drills. Once your
team starts to master basic drills have the position leaders supervise the
drills as everyone does them. Encourage every player to give positive and
negative feedback on each other. Often kids can relate to another kid’s
problem far better then we can and in doing so come up with a creative
way of getting that kid to better understand how to master a skill or fix a
problem. When you do this you are giving those kids ownership of the
team and that is important. You can do this with kids starting at age ten
and up. This can also be very useful with a team that is short on coaches
as it literally creates coaches on the field. Choose kids that have positive
attitudes and that kids gravitate to. Make sure they have a firm grasp on
the drills and techniques even if that means spending a little extra time
with them.

Make Parents into ANTS

Not to be taken literally but if you watch ants every one of them has a
specific task to fulfill in the nest and they are highly specialized in that role.
If you are short handed with coaches then find parents that show up at
every practice and get them involved. Some criteria I have for using
parents; they need to be positive and they need to understand their role.
Don’t bother using parents that focus solely on their kids and often I will
put them with a group that does not involve their kid so that they can
focus on the drill and not their kid. Use parents that don’t know anything
about football since your working with a blank slate that means what you
put on it is going to be taught. Have them run that one drill and only that
one drill. Show them exactly how you want it run and why. You can
always find three to five parents that are always at the practice that
would love to be involved in some way. Get them involved and explain to
them that they are not coaches but simply drill managers. If you get three
parents that can each run one drill (say tackling drills or defensive position
techniques of some sort) you can run stations to allow your kids to
increase their proficiency and at the same time free up a coach or if short

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 132


handed allow yourself the ability walk around and teach. As the parents
master one drill you can teach another.

Installing a Series from the Ground Up

Once you have established what kind of talent you have you need to set
down and figure out what exactly you can do as far as series and plays
with the talent you have on hand. Often your talent level and abilities are
going to determine what plays you can run and be effective with.

You need to establish these things and build off them:

1) Dominant TB (power runner, slasher, speed demon) (receiver,


passer, both)
2) Dominant BB (blocker, runner, receiver)
3) Dominant WB (runner, receiver, both, passer) (power type, slasher
type, speed demon type)
4) Dominant QB (blocker, runner, passer, receiver)
5) Receiving TE (none, one, or two)

These are going to really determine what type of offense you are going
run. More power or more misdirection or a balance of the two; it will also
determine if your going to be a one back focused, two backs, three
backs, or a four back offense.

Know what you have at each position and then build your power series
based on that. You might have a team that runs a lot of BB plays and
uses him to fake as well. On the other hand you might use him as a lead
blocker more often for the TB and WB. Take a good accounting of your
talent and build on that.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 133


Review of the Series
BUCK WEDGE SERIES

Inside power play to BB with perimeter threats on both sides of the field
and the ability to throw down the field. Forces the defense to defend
both sides of the field and defend against the wedge blocking scheme.
This places a lot of pressure on the perimeter defenders as they are often
forced to take the wedge runner down from behind. Any over
commitment on their part can lead to big plays on the perimeter by this
offense.

AGE Notes
5-6 Best series to use. All WEDGE
schemes.
7-8 Best series to use. RED/BLUE pass
pro.
9-10 Compliment series to Power. MPP
series.
11-12 Compliment series to Power. Would
use REACH scheme for sweeping.
MPP series
13-14 Compliment series to Power. Use
REACH scheme for sweeping.
High School Would have the BB TRAP vice
WEDGE as base and use REACH
scheme for sweeping.

I strongly recommend this series as the base series and the BB Wedge as
the base play for really young teams (5-6 and 7-8). At this age level having
the Buck Wedge series and using the wedge scheme for the majority of
your plays can give you a pretty capable offense that is tough to beat. It
is three easy plays that all use the wedge scheme but you can easily
implement other pass protection schemes into the drag pass and you can
implement the reach scheme into the BUCK WEDGE SWEEP.

BASE – BUCK BB WEDGE

COMPLIMENT – WEDGE SWEEP, KEEP tag

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 134


.
PASS – WEDGE DRAG PASS (younger teams) RED/BLUE DRAG PASS (older
teams)

Large roster teams that have to play every player can use the Buck
Wedge series with a WEDGE TEAM. A wedge team is basically your
starting center and guards and then everyone else is a back up player. I
normally try to keep my starting TB and BB in so that we have at least two
main threats but you can rotate backs in as well. The key is having a
strong middle (guard-center-guard). We focus as a unit on running the BB
WEDGE and WEDGE SWEEP and the KEEP. Our goal is a first down in four
plays. I never put them out on the field with the end zone behind them. I
want them to be successful working as a unit. I have found that giving a
set of Minimum Play Players (MPP) a goal and have them work in a unit
makes them stronger and it gives them ownership in the team. The first
time that squad scores for you a lot of good things will happen. Now that
doesn’t mean I pigeon hole these kids into only the wedge team. They
are still getting reps and practicing skills and increasing their technique
but during a game their goal is to perform on the wedge unit.

POWER SERIES
This is the base series for any team above the age of 8 in my opinion. It
attack the strong side with an off tackle play that develops a lot of
misdirection and play action pass. It uses SAB blocking and pulling to
maximize man power at the point of attack. It also uses wedge blocking
as well but not as a base scheme. Once the defense starts to over
commit to the strong side/off tackle play you can start attacking them
with a variety of support plays.

AGE Notes
5-6 Use Super Seal and one
misdirection play (LEAD WB KICK or
BB TRAP) as a complimentary series
with this age group. Can obviously
use XX BB Wedge as it is pretty
much installed except for the
backfield action so that really gives
you three plays.
7-8 Use three to four plays in a
complimentary series. Suggest the
base plays in the series.
9-10 Base series. Base plays + 1 to 3

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 135


more plays that compliment the
personal and base package.
11-12 Base series. Base play + 2 to 4 plays.
13-14 Base series. Base play + 3 to 5 plays.
High School Has much as they can handle and
master. Use the KISS principle.

The Super Seal is the base play in this series and everything is derived off
this one play. You have to coach this play up and you should get no less
then five yards a carry from this one play. If not you need to troubleshoot
it and find out why it is not getting five yards a carry. If it is the defense
then you simply adjust the play or use a support play. The series allows
you to modify it some what so that you can either use BB misdirection
plays or add the BB blocking into the plays to give them more power by
adding LEAD. This holds true for the WB as well he can become either a
big part of the running game, more of a blocker by using WHAM, and/or a
threat in the passing game. The QB can be utilized in a variety of ways as
well by using him as a blocker, runner, and even a receiver. I consider
the BB Trap, XX BB WEDGE, and Lead WB KICK are the base plays in this
offense. They along with the KEEP tag and WB PASS tag make this a
potent and effective series.

BASE – SUPER SEAL

SUPPORT - BB TRAP, XX BB WEDGE, LEAD WB KICK

COMPLIMENTARY – (LEAD/WHAM/BLAST) PART, (LEAD/WHAM/BLAST) G,


(WHAM) SIDE,LEAD WB TRAP, LEAD WB PART, BB G, BB PART, KEEP TAG

PASSING – WB PASS tag, FLAT tag, TB PASS tag, THROWBACK tag, SEAM
tag, BENCH, BUNCH, CROSS, DRAG, FLOOD, WEDGE FADE.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 136


T.A.G Series

This is a complimentary series used to attack the outside on the weak side
of the formation. It also sets up a nice gap on the inside for the BB to
exploit as well when the defense moves to force the outside and holds on
the backside. The WB PASS and KEEP tags allow you exploit the backside
if they over pursue or over adjust. You can also utilize various other plays
as well that are not listed in the playbook but will be posted on my
website.

AGE Notes
5-6 Use only with the wedge scheme
and the PSTE reaching. Only as an
end of season series.
7-8 Use only with the wedge scheme
and the PSTE reaching. Only as an
end of season series.
9-10 Complimentary series.
11-12 Complimentary series.
13-14 Complimentary series.
High School Complimentary series. Could use
speed option or even a triple option
as well (further discussed on website
in upcoming releases).
Base – TAG

Complimentary – BB TAG, KEEP tag


Support – BB TRAP, BB G, BB PART, LEAD WB KICK, WB TRAP, LEAD G, SIDE

Pass – WB Pass tag, other of the various base passing patterns.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 137


JET SERIES

The JET series is the only motion series we have in this play book. It utilizes
the fast flat motion right at the quarterback’s hip and then attacks the
outside. This is a wing-t motion based series that allows you to attack the
weak side perimeter of the formation using the reach scheme. Because
you use angle blocking and wedge blocking as our base it sets up the
perimeter defenders to be reached as they attempt to slide or scrap
down to defend our to base schemes. The series uses the BB Trap and the
LEAD G as complimentary plays along with the KEEP tag to keep the
defense honest. I have not included other plays in this series but will add
more to my website as I add additional resources.

AGE Notes
5-6 Use only with the wedge scheme
and the PSTE reaching. Only as an
end of season series.
7-8 Use only with the wedge scheme
and the PSTE reaching. Only as an
end of season series.
9-10 Complimentary series.
11-12 Complimentary series.
13-14 Complimentary series.
High School Complimentary series. Could use
speed option or even a triple option
as well (further discussed on website
in upcoming releases).

Base – WB REACH

Complimentary – BB TRAP, LEAD G

Support – KEEP tag, BB G, BB PART, BB KICK, SIDE, (LEAD) PART

Passing – various passing patterns found in this playbook.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 138


ORDER OF INSTALLATION

(Dominant TB)
Buck Wedge Series (especially for younger age groups)*
BB WEDGE
WEDGE SWEEP (older go REACH SCHEME once taught)
KEEP tag

Power Series
SUPER SEAL (implement SHORT/LONG as needed) (BOUNCE)*
BB TRAP (SHORT)*
LEAD WB KICK (TRAP/SHORT/BOUNCE)*
XX BB WEDGE
BENCH PASS (TB PASS)
(LEAD) G
SIDE
WEDGE PASS
(LEAD) PART
PASSING PLAY

(Dominant TB and BB)


Buck Wedge Series (especially for younger age groups)
BB WEDGE
WEDGE SWEEP (older go REACH SCHEME once taught)
KEEP tag

Power Series
SUPER SEAL (implement SHORT/LONG as needed) (BOUNCE)
BB TRAP (SHORT/KICK)
LEAD WB KICK (TRAP/SHORT/BOUNCE)
XX BB WEDGE
BENCH PASS (TB PASS)
BB PART
(LEAD) G
BB G
WEDGE PASS
SIDE
(LEAD) PART
PASSING PLAY

* = Bobble head installation. Note that WB PASS Tag gives you one simple
playaction pass.

Practice Planning

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 139


Make sure you do two things in every practice. One make sure you
develop your players into athletes. Not football players but athletes. As a
coach you have an obligation to make every player on your team be a
better athlete. That means teaching him or her how to move correctly;
linearly, laterally, and multi-directions. Develop their balance, stability,
agility, and strength (core, body, and explosive leg strength). Two, always
develop their football fundamentals and techniques. Make sure you are
making them better blockers, tacklers, and sound at their position. If you
can deliver in those areas you have done a great job as a coach.

My practice plans always include these things:

Dynamic Flexibility Warm Ups: These are movement patterns that both
stretch, strengthen, and warm up major muscle groups, stability muscles,
synergy muscles. They develop correct movement patterns as well and
by doing so are the foundation of my practices and are one way I
develop or improve my number of athletes on my team. Dynamic
stretching is far better then static stretching but that is for another chapter.

Basic Tackling: Every practice includes a tackling segment to improve


tackling skills.

Blocking: Every practice will include a segment for every player to


practice blocking skills related to his position on the offense.

Offensive Individuals (INDYS): Used to work on individual techniques


related to the positions assigned. I split my teams in to Backs and Linemen
and then work on techniques with those players that are important to their
position.

Defensive Individuals (INDYS): Used to work on individual techniques


related to the position assigned on defense. I split my teams into
Defensive Lineman, Linebackers, and Defensive Backs and then work on
techniques with those players that are important to their position.

Offense Series REPS: This is the time that the entire offense reps plays
within a series. It is our team to review, bird dog, run at ½ speed, full
speed, and under near live conditions to develop timing and execution.

Offense Perfection Drill: This is a test really that is used to see how many
plays an offense can execute to perfection. You start at the end of a
football ball and work to the other end. Every play ran correctly (zero
mistakes) gets 5 yards. That means if you run 20 plays to perfection you

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 140


get to the end zone. Every time they mess up they go back to the
beginning. At times I might penalize them 10 yards if pressed for time.

Speed and Endurance Training: Work on movement form, anaerobic


energy system training (10 and older), agility, balance-stability, core-
conditioning, explosive leg strength, body strength, and other aspects of
speed and endurance training. I start with two days of training in each
and as the season progresses I go to one a day each.

Scout Report (Offense/Defense): Time period to review what the


opposing does on offense (punt/kick return as well), defense (punt
return/kick off). What adjustments if any we are going to make.

Special Periods: Cadence clap drills and things that need to be covered
specifically.

Tension Relievers: When a team gets tight or to much pressure this is a


good time to put in a period to unwind. Fun stuff like two hand touch
football, power ball, deer hunter. Just let the kids be kids and have fun.
Some times a good 20 minutes of this can save a game or even a season.

Make sure you include water breaks and preach water intake every day
all day. Every player should be drinking at least eight glasses of water a
day. Have them lay off the sodas and candy. Preach fruits, veggies,
protein.

Make sure your practices run smoothly. Have plan and stick to it. Make
sure you can adjust things and move things around because things will
happen and you have to be able to adjust.

Coaches should be early so they can meet and discuss the practice plan.
Email the plan to them before hand so they can review it and make
comments on adjustments and what not.

Be prepared, be intense, be flexible, and be knowledgeable.

Practice Plan Template


4 days – 4 week Preseason – 2 hours per practice (32 hours)

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 141


1st Week 1st Day

20min
Dynamic Warm Ups (DFWs) ((See end of playbook for how to do a football DFW))

5 min
Cadence Clap Drill (clap only)

15 min
Tackling Drills (fundamentals – tackling dummies/ form)

30 min ASSESSMENT STATIONS (split into three groups and rotate once complete)
Flying 40 Assessment (40/20/10) times (BREAK AWAY SPEED/SPEED/QUICKNESS)
Pro Agility times (LATERAL SPEED)
Bear Crawl Weave (20 yards) times (BODY STRENGTH & COORDINATION)

5 min Water break (Coaches meet and split team into RB/OL from initial assessment)

20 min INDYS RB/OL

OL – STANCES, TRACK PROGRESSION, WEDGE


RB – STANCES, Ball Security, TOSS, HANDOFF, STEP & GO, CONE WEAVE (assess footwork of backs)

5 min Water break (Coaches meet and reevaluate and adjust)

15 min – SPEED TRAINING

5 min – TEAM CIRCLE

1st Week 2nd Day

20min (work for 19 min)


DFW

5 min
Cadence Clap Drill (stance to clap)

15 min
Tackling Drills (various short distance/stay up drills)

30 min ASSESSMENT STATIONS (split into three groups and rotate once complete)
1 minute – MAX PUSH UPS (UPPER BODY STRENGTH)/ 1 minute MAX JUMP SQUATS (LOWER BODY EXPLOSIVE STR.)
2 CONE WEAVE – (FOOTWORK/AGILITY)
ENDURO CIRCLE – (MENTAL TOUGHNESS/HEART)

5 min Water Break (Coaches meet – make changes in OL/RB if needed – RANK OL/RB)

20 min INDYS RB/OL

OL – STANCES, SAB BEEF FOOTWORK, WEDGE, PULLING (assess OL)


RB – STANCES, Ball Security, BUCK WEDGE Back field action, Step and GO. (assess backs)

5 min Water Break (Coaches meet and reevaluate and rerank if needed) Look for Guards, Center/Backs)

15 min – ENURANCE TRAINING

5 min – TEAM CIRCLE

1st Week 3rd Day

20 min (work for 18 min)


DFW

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 142


15 min – Tackling

15 min – DEFENSE INDY – DL, LB, DB (basic stances and techniques)

5 min – Water Break – Coaches meet and discuss and eval defensive positions – swap around personal if
needed.

15 min – INDYS OL/RB

OL – stance, SAB BEEF Footwork, SEAL SCHEME, KICK SCHEME. TRAP SCHEME
RB – stance, SUPER SEAL, BB TRAP, LEAD WB KICK walk through.

30 min – PLAY REPS


FORMATION REVIEW – BULL/BEAR
BUCK WEDGE SERIES – BB WEDGE, WEDGE SWEEP, KEEP tag.
POWER SERIES – SUPER SEAL, BB TRAP, LEAD WB KICK

5 min – Water Break – Coaches review personal and make any adjustments.

10 min – SPEED TRAINING

5 min – TEAM CIRCLE

1st Week 4th Day

20 min (work for 18 min)


DFW

15 min – Tackling

15 min – DEFENSE INDY – DL,LB,DB (stances and basic techniques)

5 min – Water Break – Coaches assess positions and personal.

20 min – INDYS OL/RB

OL – stance, Track Progression, WEDGE, Pulling


RB – stance, Stiff arm progression, Buck Wedge SERIES

20 min – PLAY REPS


FORMATIN REVIEW – BULL/BEAR
BUCK WEDGE SERIES – BB WEDGE, WEDGE SWEEP, KEEP tag
POWER SERIES – SUPER SEAL, BB TRAP, LEAD WB KICK (review KEEP tag, WB Pass tag)

5 min – Water Break – Coaches review and finalize positions for next week.

15 min – ENDURO CIRLCE – “HEART CHECK”

5 min – TEAM CIRCLE

2nd Week 1st day

15 min DFW

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 143


15 min Tackling (fundamentals and full contact)

30 min INDY OFFENSE


RB – Stance, Step and Go, Stiff Arm progression, Power Series – Base plays
OL – Stance, WEDGE, Pulling, BEEF SAB footwork, SEAL-KICK- TRAP scheme

5 min Water Break – Coaches MEET (Team will break with CADENCE CLAP DRILL ON ALL WATER BREAKS)

15 min – TEAM – BUCK WEDGE SERIES (BB WEDGE, WEDGE SWEEP, KEEP tag)
15 min – TEAM – SUPER SEAL

5 min Water Break – Coaches MEET

15 min – SPEED TRAINING


5 min – TEAM CIRCLE

2nd Week 2nd day

15 min DFW

15 min Tackling (fundamentals and full contact)

30 min INDY OFFENSE


RB –Step and Go, Stiff Arm progression, Power Series – Base Plays
OL – WEDGE, Pulling, Track Progression SEAL-KICK-TRAP scheme (Short/Long)

5 min Water Break – Coaches MEET

15 min – BUCK WEDGE SERIES – add DRAG PASS and rep.


15 min – BB TRAP

5 min Water Break - Coaches MEET

15 min – ENDURANCE TRAINING


5 min – TEAM CIRCLE

2nd Week 3rd Day

15 min DFW

15 min Tackling (Fundamentals and Full Contact)

10 min INDY OFFENSE


RB – Step and GO, Cone Weave, Stiff Arm Progression
OL – Pulling, Track Progression

5 min Water Break – Coaches Meet

15 min – LEAD WB KICK (Trap/Short adjustments)

10 min – Kick Off


10 min – Kick Off Return

20 min – INDY DEFENSE


DL, LB, DB skills and techniques

15 min – ENDURO CIRCLE (HEART CHECK!)

5 min TEAM CIRCLE

2nd Week 4th Day (SCRIMMAGE DAY) (SCRIMMAGE ANOTHER TEAM – plan in advance)

15 min – DFW
15 min – OFFENSE INDY

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 144


OL – Wedge, SAB BEEF Foot work, pulling
RB – Ball Security, Step and Go, Cone Weave, Stiff Arm

30 min – OFFENSE (rep Starting Unit/Wedge Team)


(work for 30 plays)

30 min –DEFENSE (base D – rotate back ups)

12 min – OFFENSE
(work for 15 plays)

12 min – DEFENSE

5 min – TEAM CIRCLE


HARD WORK – PAYS OFF!!!

3rd Week 1st Day

15 min – DFW
15 min – Tackling
15 min – DEFENSE INDY

5 min – WATER BREAK –COACHES MEET

20 min – OFFENSE INDY


RB – Gauntlet, Step and Go + BAG, BUCK SERIES ACTON
OL – WEDGE, Pulling, Track Progression, SEAL-KICK-TRAP-SIDE

15 min – SUPER SEAL


10 min – BUCK WEDGE SERIES

20 min – PASSING INDY


OL – WEDGE PASS, RED/BLUE
QB – Passing progression
RX – Receiver progression

5 min – Team Circle


HARD WORK – PAYS OFF!!!

3rd Week 2nd Day

15 min – DFW
15 min – Tackling
15 min – DEFENSE INDY

5 min - WATER BREAK – COACHES MEET

15 min – OFFENSE INDY


RB – Ball Security, Step and Go + BAG, POWER SERIES
OL – SAB BEEF FOOTWORK, SEAL-KICK-TRAP-SIDE, WEDGE

15 min – BB TRAP
10 min – BUCK WEDGE SERIES

10 min – PASSING INDY


OL - RED/BLUE – WEDGE PASS
QB – Passing Progression
RX – Receiver Progression

15 min – SPEED TRAINING

5 min – TEAM CIRCLE


HARD WORK – PAYS OFF!!!

3rd Week 3rd Day

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 145


15 min – DFW
15 min – TACKLING
15 min – DEFENSE INDY (DL, LB, DB)

5 min – COACHES MEET

15 min – LEAD WB KICK


10 min – SIDE

10 min – KICK OFF

15 min – Perfection Drill (20 plays)

15 min – ENDURANCE TRAINING

5 min – TEAM CIRCLE


HARD WORK – PAYS OFF!!!

3rd Week 4t h Day (SCRIMMAGE DAY)

15 min – DFW
15 min – DEFENSE INDY

30 min – DEFENSE

30 min – OFFENSE (work for 40 plays)

12 min – DEFENSE
12 min – OFFENE (work for 16 plays)

5 min – TEAM CIRCLE


HARD WORK – PAYS OFF!!!

4th Week 1st Day

10 min – DFW
10 min – TACKLNG
10 min – OFFENSE SCOUT REPORT FOR DEFENSE (drink water during report)
15 min – DEFENSE INDY

15 min – OFFENSE INDY


OL – WEDGE, PULLING, SCHEME – SEAL, TRAP, KICK, SIDE
RB – BUCK WEDGE SERIES (3 plays), POWER SERES (3 plays)

10 min – TEAM – BUCK WEDGE SERIES


20 min – TEAM – POWER SERIES (SUPER SEAL, BB TRAP, LEAD WB KICK, XX BB WEDGE, SIDE)

10 min – KICK OFF RETURN


15 min – SPEED TRAINING

5 min – TEAM CIRCLE


UARD WORK – PAYS OFF!!!

4th Week 2nd Day

10 min – DFW
10 min – TACKLING
10 min – DEFENSE SCOUT REPORT (drink water during report)
15 min – OFFENSE INDY
OL – ADJUSTMENTS – SHOULDER HIM, CUT HIM, POST TRACK
RB – DOUBLE tag, LOG tag. POWER SCHEME

15 min DEFENSE INDY

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 146


10 min – TEAM – PASSING (BW – DRAG PASS, PS – BENCH PASS)
30 min – Power Series (40 plays)
10 min – BUCK WEDGE SERIES (20 plays)

15 min – TEAM – POWER BALL


5 min – TEAM CIRCLE

HARD WORK – PAYS OFF!!!

4th Week 3rd Day

10 min – DFW
10 min – TACKLING
15 min – DEFENSE INDY
15 min – OFFENSE INDY
OL – ADJUSTMENTS – Shoulder Him, Cut Him, POST TRACK, BOUNCE
RB – LOG, BOUNCE,DOUBLE – BUCK WEDGE SEREIS

20 min – Power Series (30 plays)


10 min – BUCK WEDGE Series (20 plays)

10 min – KICK OFF


10 min – TEAM – KING OF THE RING

15 min – ENDURANCE TRAINING

5 min – TEAM CIRCLE

HARD WORK = PAYS OFF!!!

4th Week 4th Day – FINAL PRACTICE BEFORE GAME

10 min – DFW
10 min – Tackling
20 min – DEFENSE INDY
10 min – DEFENSE SCOUT REVIEW
10 min – OFFENSE SCOUT REVIEW

10 min – BUCK WEDGE SERIES – PERFECT SERIES


10 min – POWER SERIES – PERFECT SERIES
10 min – PASSING – PERFECT SERIES

15 min – SPECIAL TEAMS REVIEW

15 min – TEAM CIRCLE – DISCUSS BEING ON TIME, PREPARING FOR GAME, TIMES, GOALS.

BBQ and VISIT

HARD WORK- PAYS OFFS!!!

NOTE: ENDURANCE TRAINING for below 10 should be replaced with either more offensive reps or defensive
Indys. Studies show that endurance training below this age group is not necessary as the energy systems are
basically all the same in this stage of a child’s development.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 147


Setting Goals for the Team

If you want to have a really strong team you need to set goals that are
both achievable and credible. That simply means that they should be
able to reach them and they should note marked improvement and
noteworthy accomplishments.

I always have Season Goals (long term goals) and Game Goals (short
term goals). I also set goals for each team and each unit in a team as
well. This gives them specific objectives for being on the field and it gives
them a reason to perform. Some kids simply don’t care about winning
(most do) but a linebacker with a goal of not allowing more then Twenty
positive yards in any one quarter will make darn sure he tries to achieve
that goal.

I use a little system that I picked up in a management class I attended for


setting goals.

S.M.A.R.T =
Specific (is it specific and straight forward)

Measurable (can we measure the success of this goal)

Achievable (can we achieve our goal based on the above criteria)

Realistic (is it a realistic goal for our team in its current and possible future
condition)

Time Specific (define short term as a game, I define long term as the
season.)

Some good short term goals:

Offense

Achieve 200 yards rushing in the game.


Achieve 15 first downs in the game.
Score at least 8 points a quarter.
Don’t make any offensive penalties.
Possess the ball for 75% of time each quarter.
Have two big plays each half (+25 yard gains).
Defense

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 148


Hold the running game to only 20 yards of rushing a quarter.
Get two turnovers a half.
Get at least one defense score a game.
Force the offense to a three and out every time the get the ball.
Make four tackles for loss in each quarter.

These are just a few goals that I have set for a game.

Season or long term goals:

Team Goals
Go undefeated. ( This should be realistic if a team is not capable of it
don’t set them up to fail.)
Have a win percentage of .750 or we will achieve a 6-4 record. (some
times it is better to say we will win a certain number of our games (after
reviewing the schedule). This way if they bet that goal you can set a
higher mark and it can develop some much need team spirit in a young
or developing team.
Have zero unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the season.

Offense
Have the TB get 20 rushing TD’s for the season.
Have the BB get 10 rushing TD’s for the season.
Have the WB get 10 rushing TD’s and 10 receiving TD’s for the season.
Have the QB get 15 passing TD’s for the season.
An average rushing yards per game of 200 yards.
An average points per game of 28.
An average of 2 penalties per game.

Defense
Average rushing yards of 50 per game.
Average points scored of 8 per game.
Average Defense points per game of 6 per game.
An average of 1 penalty per game.
An average of 10 tackles for loss per game.
An average of two turnovers a game.

These are few season goals that I have had.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 149


Training the Running the Backs

BALL SECURITY is the KEY to being a SUCCESSFUL Back!

In order for your backs to be effective they must be aggressive blockers


and good fakers as well as runners. This offense requires everyone not
carrying the ball to either block or fake and executing these correctly
makes this offense very deadly. The fewer defenders chasing the actual
runner means more opportunities for him to have a breakaway play
(Fewer Defenders to ball = Bigger chance of a TD!). Stress the little things
at all times like proper stance, location, footwork, ball handling, and path
to daylight. It is the little things that make each back and your offense
successful.

Offensive Back Priorities:

1) Be an aggressive and fundamentally sound blocker.


2) Protect the ball at all times.
3) Hit the proper lane.
4) Get up field when you see daylight.
5) Never ever take negative yardage to get away from a defender.
6) Fake as if you have the ball and are really running with it (rock the
cradle).

Training the Backs

Key elements:

1. Ball Security and Ball Handling (Protect the ball)


2. Good Stance and Position (QB/BB/WB)
3. Blocking
4. Faking
5. Footwork
6. Schemes

Drills used to teach the Backs:

When we start teaching backs we stress stance, ball security, and ball
handling first and foremost. Once we feel that all the backs understand
the emphasis we place on them and they should place on protecting the
ball we move to blocking. Every back on this offense is required to know
how to effectively execute the blocks for his position. Once these are
established we start working on running schemes and within this process
we emphasis faking and proper footwork. At all TIMES we STRESS BALL

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 150


SECURITY. We stress these areas specifically when teaching our backs the
running game.

• Stay low and protect the ball


• Explosiveness
• Attack the hole
• Know the blocking scheme
• First daylight you see get up field immediately

Stances

QB – balanced pigeon toed two point stance. Low stance by bending at


the hips and knees so that he is under center.

• Feet back as far as possible with arms fully extended to avoid


colliding with pulling linemen (guards).
• Narrow stance with toes pointed in (pigeon toes) to make pivoting
easier.
• Feet are shoulder width a part and knees are slightly bent.

BB – balanced three point stance. He is lined up from the inside shoulder


of the play side guard to the outside shoulder of the play side tackle. He
can line up from snug to the line to one yard back. He should not over
adjust to give any play away.

WB – balanced two point stance tilted so that he is aiming right at the


outside hip of the EMLOS and within arms distance. His inside toe should
be lined up with the heel of the QB.

TB – balanced two point stance seven yards behind the QB. Eyes are
looking right at the QB’s back. Hands are resting on his hips.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 151


Stance Drill

Coach lines up all the backs and calls out a position and then calls DOWN
and every back gets in that position.

BB, TB, WB, QB.

Use a cone to simulate their markers. So the marker is the QB when you
call out BB, The center for the QB, EMLOS for the WB, and the QB for the
TB. Simulate depth and proper positioning.

Ball Security and Handling

Holding the Ball

1) One arm – Open Field Running - ball rests on the forearm with the
rear point in the cup of the inner elbow and the top point is
covered by the middle finger and cupped by the remaining fingers.
The ball should be tight and resting against the ribcage. The ball
should always be on the opposite side of the tackler or pursuit if
possible.
2) Two arms – Contact/LOS – ball in the one arm method but the ball is
moved to right below the chest and the opposite arm covers the
top of the ball with the forearms resting on top of the ball as the ball
is pressed into the body with the ball arm. The opposite arm’s hand
should rest over the cup of the ball arm’s elbow. When ever the
runner is near the boundary line the ball should go to the near
boundary arm.
3) Switching the ball – the ball carrier moves the from one hand to the
other by moving the ball across the lower chest line with forearm
and palm of hand over the top of the ball facing inward. The
opposite hand goes on top of the ball with the middle fingers now
cupping the point in the carrying arm’s elbow. He rolls the old arm
down and out and rolls the new arm down and gets the near point
into the cup of the elbow and down the side.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 152


4) Make sure the runner moves the balls and arm when he runs. If he
holds the ball in place on the side it will slow him down as he is not
using proper running form and the other sides proper motion will
cause the body to over torque to one side.

Hold and Switch Drill

Coach lines up all the backs in a line each with a ball. He explains how to
hold the ball in one arm and then in two arms and how to switch the ball
when needed.

He then has them all start with the ball in the left arm, checks it, then calls
out switch and the ball carries switch to the right hand quickly and
correctly. Coach watches each ball carrier and checks that the switch is
correct. Walk around and tug on the ball on each ball carrier as well to
check that they are holding the ball correctly.

Pairs and Tug Drill

Coach pairs up two runners facing each other. One has a ball and the
other is facing him an arms length away. The coach calls the side the ball
carrier places it and the defender swaps it. The ball carrier then switches
the ball to the other side as fast as possible and the defender attempts to
slap it. They keep doing this until the coach blows a whistle. These
develops the switch that is needed for the back to move the ball to one
side and the other when he is protecting the ball.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 153


Step and Go Drill

Teaches the juke move; 5 cones in a straight line 5 yards apart from each
other and 5 yards from the runner. At first tell the runners to start with a jog
and concentrate on footwork. The footwork is key and as they gain
confidence and skill in it they can increase the speed. The key to a good
juke is the first step and where it goes. The cone represents a tackler and
we tell the runner to run right at the cone and then (if juking to the right)
lower you hips slightly (to lower center of gravity) to maintain control and
speed while taking a hard step to the left. Aim for the outside of the left
shoulder to force the defender to turn his hips and shoulders to the left
and immediately step hard to the right with the right and get up field; one
step and one step only. The wider and more controlled the step to the left
is the more effective the juke will be on the defender. Make sure the
runner doesn’t step in front or short step that first step. He must lower his
hips and step to the outside of the shoulder. We have the runners do it
the right going out and to the left on the way back. We have them jog it
until we see they have mastered the first step and hip drop. Then we
have them go a little faster, and then we have them do it at full speed.
Usually it takes a few weeks to get them going to full speed. By four weeks
your runners should have a really nice juke move to counter open field
tacklers and the infamous last defender on the edge.

Note: We always emphasize the importance of getting up field to


daylight.

Step and Go with a Bag

Same drill but we add a player with a bag that the runner immediately
lowers his non-ball shoulder to and delivers a blow. Running through and
lifting the shoulder as contact is made.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 154


Singe-Cone and Two-Cone Weave

The cone weave is used to develop quick feet and fast cutting ability that
is need for a running back. The runner should first start the drill doing it
slowly or jogging so that he can develop the proper movement patterns.
What is important is to lower the hips and bend the knees as you move
laterally. It is important to keep the hips square as possible and not the
cross the feet but take small fast steps that allow you to apply force from
the ground.

Single Cone Weave – the cones are spaced in a straight line with two feet
between each cone. Use eight cones and a ninth cone that is ten yards
a way. When the runner slides out from the last cone he steps and sprints
to the ninth cone and jogs back to the end of the line.

Two Cone Weave – two cones are placed together and each set is offset
by one cone so that it increases the weave and cutting of the runner.
Again eight sets are used with a ninth cone for a ten yard sprint.

Mule Pull Drill

Need a piece of rope ½ inch wide 10 feet long with a piece of 2 foot
water hose on it and knots at both ends to keep it from falling off. Surgical
tubing or resistance line can be used as well. At least two to four helps this
go faster. A ball carrier starts in a two-point stance with ball in hand. The
rope is around the chest plate and a resistance man is behind him with
the line taunt (he is not putting his weight into it). On GO the runner
explodes down the path for 10 yards and when the resistance man sees
him pass it he releases the rope and lets him sprint for 10 more yards. They
then switch and repeat the drill going the other way. The resistance man
must keep the line tight but not pull on the rope at all. He should just relax
and let the ball carrier pull him along. The runner must explode and

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 155


increase speed and then burst into the next 10 yards. You can add a
defender at the end of the drill with a shield to bump the runner and force
him to show shoulders and knees. Runner must stay low – this helps to
improve his explosiveness coming out of his stance and into the hole. The
distance that the runner goes under resistance should be no more then 10
yards.

10yds 10yds

Stiff Arm Progression Drill –

Set 1 Teaches a back how to properly stiff arm. (Kevin Thurman’s drill).
Two cones ten yards apart with a coach over the inside cone and a
runner 5 yards away from the inside cone. On GO the runner (holding the
ball with the outside arm) runs straight for the far cone. As he does the
Coach tosses the bag at the runner. He must vary the height from Knee to
Shoulder height as well as varying the angle of the bag. The runner must
use his inside hand (with thumb down) as the “lever” and use the bag’s
momentum to push himself away from the bag. If any part of the bag
touches the runner he is tackled. Do not lock the elbow out; it should be
slightly bent.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 156


Set 2 – Once the backs have mastered the technique involved in a stiff
arm we then move to a live drill using a tackler. The tackle lines up over
inside cone. On “GO” the tackler attempts to cut off the runner and
tackle him. The runner must execute a correct stiff arm. We teach the
tacklers they must hit the tackler where he exposes himself. The ideal
points to use the stiff arm are: top of the helmet (not the facemask), top of
the shoulder pad plate, chest plate (try to get to the far shoulder plate to
turn him away from you).

Cut Back Drill


Teaches how to make a proper cut back and when to use it. (Kevin
Thurman’s Drill). Two traffic cones are laid out 20 yards apart. A triangle
of cones is set in the direct middle with the tip of the triangle at the center
(10 yards) of the two traffic cones. The triangle is formed with three cones
and it is 3 yards from tip to bottom. The runner starts 5 yards from the
bottom of the triangle. On GO he runs straight at the coach (holding a
shield and inside the tip the triangle). When the coach slides to one side
he must immediately cut to the opposite side into the triangle and bend
his path back up field when he passes the traffic cone line. Repeat this
several times to the left and right for each back. This develops his ability
to make a cutback and reinforces the need to cut it back up field as fast
as possible.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 157


Teaching the Back to Block

BB Blocking Drill#1:

This simple drill is used to teach a BB how to make the all-important kick
out and log block effectively and to know when to execute each block. I
have five cones representing the five interior linemen and a cone that is
set properly behind the center so that the B-Back can get in a proper
stance and depth. We always check his stance and depth. We have a
EMLOS on each side with a Shield. The coach is standing behind the BB
and on the blocking side. HE will call the side and then hand signal to the
EMLOS to either BOX (done at first), CRASH, or SIT. We tell the BB to always
kick out a boxer or a defender sitting and wide. We tell the BB to always
log a crashing defender or a defender sitting and in tight. We rep this to
each side several times and at first we work on the kick out and getting it
right and then incorporate the log. We can also signal the EMLOS to
widen or tighten as well. We tell the BB to cross over step at the inside hip
of the PSG and then go down the LOS and block the first defender to
cross his face. If he sees a crash he gains depth as he works to get his
head to the outside of the defender and then drive him up in to the LOS.

LOG KICK OUT

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 158


BB Blocking Drill#2

This is a more advanced drill for your B-back once he masters the concept
of kicking out and logging. It teaches him how to move down the LOS
and engage the first defender to cross his face. Just as in #1 we start with
kicking out first and then logging and mix the two in as he begins to
master it. This should be done to the right and the left side. We use four
defenders to conduct this drill that are numbered 1 to 4. 1 to 3 are filling in
just 1 foot off the LOS at C gap, tight D gap, loose D gap, and 4 is playing
wide at the same depth. The 1 and 2 simulates a defender crossing the
BB’s face from the guard out in a 4 to an 8 tech. The coach signals who is
crossing and how he is crossing. 1-4 straight across (kick out), 3 and 4 sit
(kick out). 1-4 crash (log) and 1-2 sit (log). We normally work on just the
kick outs at first and then move to logs and then mix them in. We want
our kids to master the kick out first though.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 159


Wing Back Blocking Drill

This drill teaches the Wingback how to execute his inside seal block on a
LB and the LONG call SAB IN block, and the REACH block. An offensive
line is formed using traffic cones with a cone representing a QB as well.
The WB gets in the angled two-point stance on the right side. The coach
signals a defender to either move in a LB position (20, 30, 40, 50, or 60), 6
tech, or a 8 tech. If the Defender goes in a LB position on GO the WB
releases outside and up field and back inside hugging the LOS and seals
the LB using a proper inside seal technique. If the Defender moves into a
6 tech the coach yells LONG and the WB moves up to line and sets. On
GO he executes a SAB IN block. I like to get a WB up and go through the
INSIDE SEAL two times and then rotate. Then work right the side as well.
Once they have the inside seal down we then do the LONG call the same
way. We then work on the Reach block and perfect them sealing off the
defender to the inside. Once they get them all down we can add to this
drill by having the coach do two of the three blocks randomly and then
rotate. We do this twice for each back and make sure we get every
block.

“reach”

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 160


QB Toss & Block Drill

This drill teaches our QB how to make the soft toss, spin flat, and get into
the hole and make the Outside/Inside seal block. The key component is
the stance, footwork, soft toss, and staying flat to the LOS and get up field
and out of the hole quickly. It is also important that he makes his block
with the head on the inside of the defenders head on an outside seal and
on the outside of the defender’s head on an inside seal. He must seal the
defender from scraping to the ball carrier. The key is to first teach the
Outside look (outside run force) and then teach the inside part and have
the CB cross the LOS and have the safety roll up. Teach the QB to look
outside and if he does not see a defender coming towards the hole he
then looks inside and the first defender he crosses he blocks. Start with
outside blocking to both sides and then add the inside and rep both sides.
Then have two defenders in place and mix up who he has to block.

Note: We have the BB do this same drill as well to teach the Lead block. We just
line him up at his position and perform the counter step and lead through.

Combining Drills – You can combine the BB, WB, and QB drills in various
forms to rep the super seal action as well. This will improve the timing of
the BB, QB, and WB’s blocks and creating the tunnel to run through. This
can be done to teach the QB/BB double block as well.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 161


Teaching the Schemes:

Backfield Action Drill – Skeleton Line of Cones – two pairs of backs working
in mirrored pairs (BB/DE, QB/CB, WB/LB, TB/LB for blocking and WB/Safety
for runner – his job is to attack the runner and force him to work for his
yardage)

We run each action against a mirrored set of defenders with shields


and/or bags. The purpose of this drill is to teach the scheme, timing, and
fine-tune the techniques involved for each play.

When we first teach the offense we start with either of two series:

Super Seal: Super Seal, Lead WB Counter, BB Trap, XX BB WEDGE.


Buck Action: BB Wedge, Wedge Sweep, KEEP tag.

We have each group do it twice to both sides. Then we have the groups
switch and repeat. We keep doing this until we get the timing and
techniques down. We always talk it, show it, and then have them bird
dog it until the master the basic footwork. Then they run it at ½ speed
building up to full speed.

Each time we add a play we have the backfield practice it in the


skeleton form so they can develop the timing and footwork needed in the
full team drill.

This allows us to concentrate on developing the back’s timing and


footwork on each play. As they realize that for the most part they are
doing the same thing for each play except for change in one or two
assignments it becomes easier and easier to use variations off the same
plays. When you are doing this drill you really want to stress the Blocking,
Faking, and Footwork along with the Ball Handling. Make sure your runner
is hitting the hole correctly and keep stressing that he has to explode into
the hole and get up field. To many younger players want to dance
instead of putting their shoulder down and gaining yardage.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 162


Chapter 13
Adjustments and Tactics
Reading the Defense

Since most youth teams do not have the luxury of a press box you have to
have to know how to scout a team from the sidelines. This can be a
tough thing to do but if you know where to line and how to watch it can
really help you in your decision making process as you call plays.

1) Read the play side offensive linemen’s feet.


2) Read the kick out target or the APEX of the wedge.
3) Note the jersey numbers of the linebackers and what side they play
on. Also note the jersey numbers of the defensive ends.
4) Have scout plan in place for your coaching staff and an easy signal
system so that you can relay information quickly.
5) Don’t watch the running back.

Sound Advice

1) Note the defensive front (odd/even) and put it down on paper.


2) Train yourself to watch the lineman’s feet on the playside as the
play develops. You can get a lot of information by simply watching
the lineman’s feet.
a. It will clue you in right a way if you are getting explosion off
the line.
b. It will clue you in if your line is taking the right track and
executing the proper techniques.
c. It will clue you in if you are getting leakage as well as opening
a hole.
d. It gives you an instant picture of the hole being opened as
you are focused on the feet and as they move you will see
the hole develop. This allows you to quickly troubleshoot it.
3) As you watch the feet of your linemen you can also watch the
perimeter defender’s reactions when calling off tackle and outside
running plays. Key on the defensive triangle (DE, OLB, CB) and
what they are doing.
a. How do they adjust.
b. How do they support run.
c. How do they support pass.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 163


4) As you watch the feet you can also quickly ascertain what the
interior defenders are doing.
5) This also allows you to see what defensive linemen are doing to your
blockers as well (tackling, pulling down, and things like that).

Defense Game Scout Plan (EXAMPLE)

OC – watches Point of Attack Key (POA).

1) Kick out target on SEALS, KICKS, TRAPS, G, PARTS.


2) LB on SIDE.
3) NT or DG’s on WEDGES.

The play caller needs to know the action and reaction of the defenders at
the point of attack.

If you note the Linebacker’s jersey numbers after each play simply look at
the play side and see if the BSLB is on the play side. If so then you know he
is attacking the play and more then likely not holding ground and reading
counter.

If you want additional eyes on the field

Select a few coaches and show them what to look for and how to signal
you. Below is an example

LB SCOUT – Watches the inside linebacker and backside linebacker.

1) Is the inside linebacker shooting his gap, reading, or flowing to the


play?
a. Two hand signal system.
b. First hand (what backer) ; ILB = 1 finger.
c. Second hand (action);
i. Shooting gap = 1 finger
ii. Reading and holding = 2 finger
iii. Scraping or flowing to play = 3 finger

2) Is the backside linebacker shooting his gap, reading, or flowing to


the play?
a. Two hand signal system.
b. First hand (what backer); BSLB = 2 fingers.
c. Second hand (action);
i. Shooting gap = 1 finger

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 164


ii. Reading and holding = 2 finger
iii. Scraping or flowing to play = 3 finger

After each play the LB SCOUT looks at the OC to see if he needs


information and then signals the information to him. A simple thumb up
by the OC confirms that he got it. A thumb down means repeat it.

Remember you don’t necessarily need a coach to do this. If your short


handed you can simply train a parent (a responsible one) to watch for this
and signal you. Just make a laminated card that has the instruction on it
for him or her. OF course it is always better to have an assistant coach
doing it because you can always walk over to him to get additional
information.

DB SCOUT – Watches the backside corner back and the Free safety (note
jersey numbers).

1) Is the Corner back playing pass? Crashing or Blitzing and chasing


the play backside? Squeezing and flowing to the play side?
Reading the play and sitting (reading counter)?
a. Two hand signal system.
b. First hand (what DB): 1 finger means BSCB.
c. Second hand (action):
i. 1 finger = playing pass
ii. 2 finger = crashing/blitzing
iii. 3 fingers = flowing to play side.
iv. 4 fingers = sitting and reading.

2) Is the safety (safeties in cover 2) playing pass (dropping)? Coming


up to support run? Blitzing?
a. Two hand signal system.
b. First hand (what DB): 2 fingers mean safety (near safety), 3
fingers means far safety.
c. Second hand (action):
i. 1 finger = playing pass
ii. 2 fingers = run support
iii. 3 fingers = blitzing

Youth Defenses

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 165


Youth defenses are not complex or fancy. They want to stop three things
normally; the sweep, the dive, and the off tackle blast (iso). They also
want to limit the big pass play going deep that is so often used by youth
teams. They are also aware of the quarterback sneak that is so prevalent
as a last ditch effort by the average youth offense.

The other keynote about youth defense is they tend to be gap


attack/penetration type defenses and not reading types. That means
you are going to see a lot of 10-1, GAM, 8 Gap, and other 9 and 10 man
front type defenses that are aggressive. You must have an offense that
can easily counter this and take advantage of it.

NOTE: This is based on a football coach that knows what he is doing


defensively. The average youth daddy coach doesn’t know these things
and normally assumes that what he sees on Sundays will work on
Saturdays on a youth field; which any experienced youth coach knows is
wrong. So you need to ascertain what type of coach you are facing. If it
is a daddy NFL coach your job becomes pretty easy (but don’t under
estimate him some have a lot talent to make up for the short fall of
common sense and experience) and you can plan accordingly.

The number one area that youth offenses attack is the outside with the
sweep (this is because it is the easiest home run play in the youth team’s
arsenal) because of this the number one area youth defense defend is
the outside D gap (Sweep). In order to do this they must give up another
hole somewhere in the line or in the secondary. Usually that hole is the
inside D gap or C gap (off tackle). This is the Achilles heel of most youth
defenses and should be the main focus of attack. Once you attack this
hole defenses adjust one of four ways.

1. They move the outside defenders in tight and the DE pinches to


stop the off tackle run. Time to LOG that DE and bounce the
play outside.
2. They move an inside defender (A or B gap ) into the off tackle
hole. Time to wedge or trap since those guys are probably
coming hard to stop the off tackle play or attempting to clog
the hole by sitting and stuffing the blocker.
3. They move the backside over in a shift to the strong side. This is
simple to beat, just show them what they expect and then
pound them backside or play action them backside;
somewhere they are weak.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 166


4. They move up the secondary in an effort to put more men in the
box. Time to pass or run a super seal keep. Both attack the
defense by forcing them to respect the power run and still hit
them in the same exact areas.

Just bear mind those quality defenses are going to show you eight or nine
man fronts of some sort. They are going to attempt to cause pressure in
the backfield and force you to get the ball out of the backfield fast.
Good youth coaches realize that causes problems for the average youth
offense.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 167


Common Defenses

62 (64 w/ corners in tight) Split 6

Wide Tackle 6 Diamond 7 (71)

7-2 Eagle (74 Eagle w/ CB’s tight) GAM


(52 Eagles w/ cover 2 safties)

44 Tight 52 Okie (72 Okie w/CB’s up)

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 168


Power Series

Fundamentals of the Super Seal Play

My thought process on the super seal is that I want the defense to know
that we are capable of running this play every time at them on every
down. I want them to fear this play and fear the repercussions of over
committing on it as well. Thus they must remain mirrored against the
defense and attempt to stop the play by either technique or ability.

I tell my tail back he must that he must secure the ball while keeping his
eyes on the hole. He must attack that hole aggressively while he lets the
back side linemen pull through the hole to give him a wall of blockers. We
tell him to hit the hole hard and fast reading the QB and pulling linemen.
If the QB and backside linemen go under the BB as he logs he must stay
inside of the QB’s seal block and explode up field at first daylight. Do not
let the TB string this play out at all. The key to this play is to get up field
and inside at the first outside seal block. The reason for the shuffle step
after the snap is to keep the Tail back square to the hole and give his
blockers an initial moment to pull down the line and get in the hole. We
emphasize to the tail back (runner) that he must follow the QB, Backside
linemen, and B-Back and read what they do. It also forces the tail back
to stay as square as possible to the LOS as he hits the hole; we want this so
that he has a cutback to the inside or the outside as well as driving
forward.
S

C B B B C

E T N T E

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 169


Note BB and QB relationship: The sequence is B-back first (kick out or log),
then QB (outside – inside seal), then BSG and BST and then runner into the
tunnel. The QB must spin, toss, and get into the tunnel created by the
down block inside and the kick out. This means that his footwork and
technique must be well tuned, as they are key to the super power being
effective. The QB should have a pigeon toed stance that is no more than
shoulder width apart to allow for a good balanced spin and toss stay tight
to the LOS so that you can easily get inside of the BB. He should be facing
nearly 180 degrees when he spins. If he gets caught up along the LOS it
will affect the path of the runner and the run force can shut the play
down from the outside in by stepping into the tunnel. The B-Back must
take a cross over step towards the far hip of the play side guard and the
flow towards the EMLOS unless that defender sits or squeezes inside and
then his next step is to gain depth away from the LOS and arc around the
EMLOS so LOG him inside. The reason for the cross over step is it clears him
away from the QB and BSG faster.

Note: Unlike the classic double wing offense where the wingback attacks
the hole from a lateral position the tailback is attacking the hole vertically
from a seven yard position (6 yards for younger teams). This makes the
footwork for the quarter back and backside linemen a little more forgiving
as the distance covered by the tailback is longer then the three pullers.
Also since the blocking back is offset to the play side this allows him to get
to the kick out much faster then in a traditional double wing formation.

Note about the Tunnel: the Down/Seal block inside and the Kick out/Seal
block outside on the LOS create the tunnel. Also if a blocker on the play
side does not have a target on the LOS to block his path will take him into
the second level and force backside pursuit to go over him, which will
cause him to give ground and time to the runner. Creating that tunnel at
the first level with the Down block inside and the Kick out/Log outside is
very important as well as the seal block on the inside and outside on the
second level.

Play of the B-Back

Kick Out (take an inside banana path and attack the inside shoulder of
the DE and kick him outside). The backside footsteps towards the play side
near outside lineman’s near hip (crossover). His helmet must be behind
the inside shoulder of the defender so that he signals the QB and ball
carrier that the hole is open. He must continue to drive the defender to
the outside and if he his stopped he must lock out his arms and keep his
feet moving.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 170


Log (take an outside banana path and attack the outside shoulder of the
DE and seal him to the inside). He must take a depth step to get away
from the LOS so that he can arc around the EMLOS and seal him inside.
Initially you will still take your cross over step to the inside hip of the near
out side lineman but you must widen out (gain depth away from the LOS)
as you go by the PST.

E E

The key to teaching this is to drill it into the B-Back so that when he sees it
he can respond correctly.

Tactic of EMLOS BB Block Note


Boxing Kick Out Seals him OS and away
from LOS and runner.
Wide (9 or 8 tech) and Kick Out Seals him OS and away
reading/ squatting from LOS and runner.
Tight (6 or tighter) and Log Seals him IS and away
reading from runner.
Scrapping down the Log Seals him IS and into
LOS the LOS and away
from runner.
Crashing inside Log Seals him into the LOS
and IS and away from
runner.

Note: There are obviously other ways to adjust to a tough EMLOS that is
tough to kick out. See the table for how we adjust using play calling
tags.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 171


Tactic of the EMLOS Adjustment Note
6-tech that is scraping, LONG SUPER SEAL WB shifts to the LOS
sliding, or crashing and in a 3 pt stance
giving the BB a and SAB IN blocks. BB
problem. kicks out next defender
to show. Attacks the D
gap.
Tough LB on play side SHORT SUPER SEAL WB and PSE release off
crashing in the hole. the LOS and doubles
No interior lineman the LB. BB kicks out first
from 4,5,7 and the 6 defender to cross his
tech can be kicked face. Attacks the B
out. gap.
A tough EMLOS that SUPER SEAL DOUBLE The quarterback and
can be kicked out but blocking back kick out
is to tough for the BB. the EMLOS.
EMLOS and run support SUPER SEAL SWEEP The WB reaches the
are sliding inside to EMLOS and the QB
stop the off tackle kicks out/logs the run
play. force and the back
side line pull under and
lead to outside.
Attacks the wide D
gap.

Misdirection

Explanation of Misdirection

When I say misdirection football what I am talking about is forcing the


defense to react to one look while the offense is actually doing something
else. Sounds generic but I did this for a reason. I personally think there are
different forms of misdirection and having a good understanding of the
different types and how to use them can only make you a better coach in
my opinion.

1) Immediate Misdirection – The offense at the snap of the ball


executes several actions in the backfield (normally going in different
directions or changing directions in mid step) forcing the defense to
commit early to protecting their area of responsibility and isolating
the area, gap, and defender that we are actually attacking.
Several examples of this in other offenses: a cross buck action out of

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 172


a split backfield, the spinner series out of Single Wing, and the buck
lateral out of the single wing. Each of these forces the defense to
immediately respond and attack. In my offense a good example
would be the Buck Wedge Series that forces the defense to
responds to both perimeters and the interior right at the start of the
play.
2) Developing Misdirection – The offense runs a base play forcing the
defense to respond to that action and then offense counters off
that action. A good example is the Criss-Cross of the Wing-T, the
lead-draw of the I formation, and the infamous double wing
counter. Each forces the defense to sit and wait while the base
play develops which in turn forces the defenders at the point of
attack to stop the base play by themselves as the rest of the
defenders sit reading the counter off that action. A good example
of this in my offense is the WB KICK or LEAD WB KICK in the power
series. We fake the power action with the blocking back, tail back,
and quarterback (who also fakes bootleg as well) showing the
defense a base play and forcing them to defend it and isolating
the backside. By adding lead we reduce the faking aspect but
improve the power aspect of the play.
3) Play action passing game – Yes this is a form of misdirection. You
are faking a run action and forcing the defense to respond to that
run-action all the while attempting to throw behind the defense or
to the perimeter of the defense. You can actually subdivide this by
using either immediate misdirection or developing misdirection. A
good example of immediate misdirection play action passing is the
Buck Drag pass and a good example of the developing
misdirection play action pass is the BB Trap WB Pass as we are
forcing the defense to respond to the BB trap and the TB power
action while attacking the deep perimeter.

My thought process on the misdirection is that I will call it when I see the
defense start over pursuing from specific points of the defense that
weaken the defense’s ability to defend every gap. Once I see these
things occurring I note them and then attack them accordingly. Often
one misdirection play feeds into another misdirection as the defense
attempts to fill the leaks (like a kid trying to plug a leaking dam that is
about to burst). Once you get a defense into this state it falls apart so you
can’t let up. The base play becomes the jab and the misdirection play
becomes the punch so you set up the misdirection with a few power plays
then punch them with the misdirection. Then jab them with a few more
power plays and then punch them with the misdirection.

Golden Rule: Don’t counter from a play until the defense fears that play.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 173


SUPER SEAL AND MISDIRECTION
S

C B B B C

E T N T E

Above is an example of super seal flow and the backfield and line that
moves to the play side. Note that the TB, BSG, BST, QB, and BB are
shaded. The flow going to right side is forcing the defense to respect
super seal via formation and movement in the backfield.

At the youth level defensive backfields generally key the backs or key the
backs through the guards. By doing this they allow us to deceive them
with the use of our obvious strong side formation and movement in the
backfield. Even more importantly is the fact that any defense that sees a
constant swarm of bodies moving to one side and then seeing the ball
appear on that side is going to respond with movement towards that side.
The illusion we create with this constant action gives us the ability to use it
against the defense and gives us an effective misdirection game. The key
is setting up the illusion (Power Action) and forcing movement by the
defense.

Normally a youth defense keys in this manner against our offense –

ILB/MLB = TB (they perceive him to be the primary back)


SLB = BB

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 174


WLB = TB
SCB = WB
WCB = BSTE
FS = Flow (well coached teams coach the FS to key the QB has he sinks)

If the defense wants to match up (man up) then they key in this manner –

SCB = WB
SLB = PSTE
MLB = BB
WLB = TB
WCB = BSTE

FS = QB

Often the defense might have the MLB/ILB key through the guards and
into the backfield. At the youth level what that really means is that the
backfield can still misdirect the defense. There not a lot of youth teams
that have the linebackers reading linemen and often even if they do the
backfield action often mesmerizes the young linebacker.

C B B B C

E T N T E

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 175


Backside Linebacker and Cornerback: When the defense over pursues to
flow they leave the backside open to these plays and we have to attack
this weakness. By effectively countering a team that has it backside
pursuing hard across the field (east – west) vice cross reading or filling their
gap it allows us to attack them against the flow of the play allowing us the
big play opportunity and the ability to score quickly. That is not the only
thing it does though. It also takes away from the defenses ability to put
more defenders at the point of attack when running our base plays
because now the defense must sit and read counter on the backside or
fill the backside gaps. The ability to make the defense hesitate or sit on
the backside as we attack with our power plays makes our power plays
more effective.

Backside Defensive End and Depth of Tail Back: I really feel the depth of
the tail back forces the backside end to react and move up field to cutoff
the runner’s path off; in doing so that backside defensive end leaves
himself open to the counter plays on his inside as he takes a direct to the
tailback.

L C L C
E E

1) 2)

Two Schools of Thoughts: There are those that believe you should hold the
counter plays and use them sparingly; more of a big bang play when the
defense gets lulled into defending your power running game. Then there
are those that believe it should be mixed in liberally to keep the defense
honest and allow for a more honest playing defense. I do both
depending on the defense I am facing. If I see an opportunity to get a
big play off the counter I don’t wait I call it and take that opportunity
given to the team. In the past I have been more of a hold it till I need it
but I have found that mixing in the counters a lot more keeps the defense
on its toes and forces them to defend the entire front at all times. The

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 176


yards per play on your counter will drop if you use it more often along with
the amount of long yardage touchdowns but the impact of the play is still
very significant in the impact it has to your overall power running game.
Also I have found if I am mixing power and counter plays the play action
pass becomes the big play as the defense tends to squat on the LOS
trying to stop your running game.

Misdirection and Faking: The key to good misdirection is faking or making


the play appear as your base play. You must stress that anyone not
blocking must fake and do it well. They must execute their assignment just
has if it were the real thing and the better and longer they fake the more
likely they are going to pull a defender away from the actual play. Bear
in mind for every false step a linebacker or defensive back makes that
equates to one yard of additional gain by the runner. So stress faking to
everyone not blocking or carrying the ball. This is especially important for
the quarterback and the wingback (when in a pass route) to carry out
their fakes well every time because once the defense starts ignoring them
they are going to become big plays.

Play of the Wing Back: The wing back must take a drop step to slide him
out of the way of the B-back who is going to be executing a kick out (if he
is not leading) to the EMLOS near him. Once he does that he aims for the
far hip of the last player on the LOS (OT or TE) and heads toward him
keeping the QB to his outside. As soon as he secures the ball he looks for
daylight. That daylight might appear on the other side of the center (A
gap) or down the line at the D gap. He has to get up field fast and get to
the outside boundary fast. The runner must never cut this play back inside
as the defenders that are recovery from the power action will be heading
towards you from that direction.
L C L C

E E

1) 2)
BB Trap

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 177


When I start to see the inside linebackers playing the super seal by flowing
and not attacking through their gap I start calling the BB Trap. This is
especially a big play if the backside linebacker is sticking his nose into the
backside D gap expecting or filling on the counter. That opens a huge
seam to run into and to the boundary on the backside of the power
action. Especially once you have established the WB as a passing threat
now the Safety must slide to play that corner route and the booting QB.
Big play potential in the BB trap to the weak side of the formation.

Adjusting the Trap blocking scheme – remember KICK, TRAP, and SHORT
TRAP are basically the same except they either extend or shorten the gap
you hit. That is the nice thing about the BB being offset to one side it
makes the timing and footwork easier and simplifies a lot of timing issues
that the normal DW counter trap has but it should be noted you don’t get
the quick trap to the play side that you do from a balanced set. With that
said if those linemen are trappable you simply flip the formation and go
from there.

Blocking Scheme Reason Notes


BB KICK Trap the 6 or wider. EMLOS is attacking.
BB TRAP Trap the 4 or wider. Interior defender is
Seal the inside backer. attacking .

BB SHORT TRAP Trap the 2 or wider. Interior defender is


Double seal the inside attacking.
backer.

LEAD WB Kick

If the backside linebacker and inside linebacker is flowing to the power


action side and not attacking through their gap then they are ripe for
Kick. If you need more power to the weak side this is good answer as well
since you are getting the additional lead block from the blocking back.
Don’t use this play until you see a fasting reacting backside that is when it
has home run potential and can be an impact play. Once you see that
key use it and keep using it; don’t be afraid to call it twice in row if you
think the linebackers will over react once more (very sneaky and it has
paid off for me in big games).

Like the BB Trap you can adjust the blocking schemes on this as well to
take advantage of a certain defender or to seal off a problematic inside
linebacker.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 178


Blocking Scheme Reason Notes
LEAD WB KICK Trap the 6 or wider. EMLOS is attacking.
LEAD WB TRAP Trap the 4 or wider. Interior defender is
Seal the inside backer. attacking .

LEAD WB SHORT TRAP Trap the 2 or wider. Interior defender is


Double seal the inside attacking.
backer.

XX BB Wedge

This is an awesome play once you set up the powers and counters. The
defense gets so fixated on defending the edges that the backfield action
draws them into the edges and the wedge runs right up the middle and
normally for a huge chunk of yardage.
BB Part

This is a good change up to the Trapping schemes when you are facing a
EMLOS that is expecting the kick out or the wedge and suddenly gets SAB
out blocked. This leaves the next defender inside isolated and if he is
attacking or pressing up field that makes him a huge target for the BSG’s
trap block. I like to us this against teams expecting the wedge or trap.
The play side line parts and suddenly the interior defender must make a
choice and often with all that space he attacks and is then trapped.

LEAD WB Part

This is just a more powerful version of the BB part using the blocking back
as a lead blocker now. You don’t have the passing threat of the WB in
the corner so that means the safety has to bite on the quarterback’s
booting action only.

SIDE

I think this is one of the best plays that I have come up with to compliment
my running attack. If the defense over plays the power action to the
strong side and the strong side linebackers are flowing hard to stop the
power action then seal will be a huge gainer as it will seal off the entire
strong side and send a lead blocker into the backside line backer with
your best runner cutting back into the alley. You get decent power with
good deception as the wing back and quarterback fake bootleg pass.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 179


Tactics

I base my adjustments on what the defense is showing me as I read the


defense and any weaknesses that I detect in their personal or alignments.
I always start with Super Seal as my first play unless I feel that the defense
has scout me enough that they will attempt the stop the super seal all out
on the first play. If they do plan do that then I will open with a play that I
think will be a big gainer and put them on their heels based on scouting.
For the most part I run Super Seal and watch the defense for their reaction
and response. I run it to both sides (Bull and Bear) and not reactions and
formation adjustments. Then if Super Seal is going for 5+ yards I keep
running it but I mix in other elements like KEEP TAG or WB PASS TAG that
doesn’t sell out our misdirection game but includes the other aspects of
the actual play forcing the defense to defend those points of the play.
Once we get them concentrating on the power aspect, perimeter threat
of the quarterback, and the play action of the WB pass that is all built in
we have now opened them up to the full arsenal of the offense and we
can establish other plays easily. Once you start springing the traps, kicks,
and other plays on them they have to not only respond to your base play
and all the aspects of that one play but they must also attempt to stop
the other plays your calling.

Buck Series

Because this is intended to be a pretty straightforward series with very


simplified blocking there really is not much to the play calling. We
attempt the set the entire series up by running BB Wedge. We then focus
our attention on the perimeter defenders and how they respond to
quarterback and wing back. Once we see those perimeter defenders
slamming down inside to chase the ball carrier as the interior defenders
attempt to slow or nullify the wedge we call Wedge Sweep or the KEEP
tag.

We can adjust some things that we do within a game as well to adapt to


the defense.

Play Adjustment Note


BB WEDGE BB CUT WEDGE Penetration in the C
gaps.
BB WEDGE KEEP Seeing the perimeter
defender on the QB
boot side committing
to the wedge and

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 180


sweep action and not
containing.
WEDGE SWEEP FOLD Run force is presenting
a problem. Has TE loop
under the WB reach
and block the run
force.
WEDGE SWEEP KEEP Seeing the perimeter
defender on the QB
boot side committing
to the wedge and
sweep action and not
containing.
DRAG PASS When the defense
secondary commits to
the perimeter and the
interior defenders are
biting down on the
wedge this opens the
field for the drag pass
DRAG PASS FLY If the defense is
reading the release of
the WB into the drag
route and rolling
coverage the TB
running the fly will be
wide open.
DRAG PASS SEAM If the defense
secondary (safety) is
playing the run hard or
is rolling to cover the
top of the drag route
attack the deep route.
If the safety doesn’t
sink throw deep.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 181


Chapter 14
Teaching the Passing Game

Beginning Stage

You need to develop some basic skills in your passer and your receiver.
Often coaches neglect this one area because they simply don’t
understand the mechanics involved in a well-thrown ball or how a
receiver actually catches a ball. There is really nothing complex in the
process at all once you understand what mechanics have to be taught
so that they will be successful.

Finding the Key Elements

In order to have a passing game you have to have reliable passers and
receivers. You have to have kid that can throw the ball and a few kids
that can catch the ball. The good news is they don’t have to be perfect
but they do have to have the natural instincts to get the job done. The
rest is up to you has a coach to make sure he gets the necessary skills and
masters them in order to be successful.

First you have to find a passer and a receiver. Lets talk about the
receivers first because they are pretty easy to find and pretty easy to
coach up once you find them.

Receiver

Teaching a receiver how to catch is fairly simple but you have to find kids
that can naturally catch to begin with. Some kids simply don’t have the
motor skills or coordination development to catch a football. More often
then not this is simply because they haven’t developed the
neuromuscular patterns and physical skills necessary to do so or they
simply have not done it enough to understand the concept. So your first
job is to just watch the kids playing catch and note the kids that can
catch pretty easily on their own and pull those kids aside and work with as
your receivers. Speed is not a big importance remember your using play
action (a form of misdirection) so the emphasis is on catching not
separating as that is going happen from the faking of the run action.

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Basic Requirements

•First and foremost a receiver must learn how to properly catch a football.
•They must be given a variety of ways to catch a football. Often if you
look at a young receiver who is struggling it is because he only knows one
way or just a few ways of catching a football. A good receiver must be
able to catch a variety of throws.

Finding a Receiver

•At the beginning of practice simply throw out a few footballs and watch
the kids play.

•Make a note of kids that can naturally catch the football, release, and
run routes also note the kids that can throw as well for later when you start
looking for passers. The kids that you noted that could catch are the ones
you want to work with as receiver. Find kids of various sizes as well as you
are going to want some bigger kids at tight end that will block as well as
catch.

The Basic Fundamentals of Receiving

Teaching the Fundamentals of the Reception:

The key to having a successful passing offense is finding kids that can and
want to catch. You have got to get them reps and stress the importance
of stance.

Keys to Receiving:
• Get your eyes on the ball and get your body in front of the ball.
Focus on the center of the white stripe and wrap your hands
around it.
• Focus on the ball and attempt to catch it at its highest spot as it
approaches you.
• Go after the ball; don’t wait for it to come to you.
• Spread your fingers and get your thumbs together to form a triangle
if the ball is above your waist. Watch the ball in to the triangle and
as the ball comes in wrap your hands around it. Keep your hands
loose and not straight out. They should be relaxed but spread with a
slight inward bend in the fingers and palms.
• If the ball is below your waist get your pinkies together and form a
shovel and get them under the ball.

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• If the ball is over your shoulder your head turns towards the ball and
shoulder it is coming to and your hands go up and together with
pinkies touching.
• Secure the ball to your side by locking it in.
• Get up field fast.

Basic Receiver Fundamentals

What we stress:

•Focus on the tip! (Watch the ball from first sighting it till it is secured).

•Soft hands! (You cannot catch a ball with stiff hands. We ask them if a
NET is stiff or soft, so we want your hands soft like a net to absorb the ball
and wrap around it). Do not catch a ball with your body or pads!!!

•Thumbs together if chest or higher! (Keep the hands soft and let them
wrap around the ball has it makes contact with the hands.)

•Pinkies down and together if below the chest! (as above)

•Pinkies together and up if over the shoulder! (as above)

•Secure it! Don't attempt to take off up field until you secure the ball.

Basic Catching Drill

Tennis Ball Drill

Place two cones five yards apart and have the receiver in the middle.
You can do multiple stations with two receivers working together in pairs
as you watch. This gives everyone a lot of reps.

The ball thrower stands five yards back with five tennis balls. He throws the
balls with medium force, not fast and not slow but good enough to make
the receiver work for the catch.

1st drill – toss at the chest – Thumbs together – 5 balls and switch.
2nd drill – toss at the waist – Pinkies together – 5 balls and switch.
3rd drill – receiver turns around and looks over either shoulder – pinkies
together over the shoulder – 5 balls (switch up shoulders)

These are basic skills you can develop with a tennis ball.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 184


Rapid Fire Drill (Tennis Ball)

Again working in pairs if you have enough balls.

Receiver stands in the middle and you throw five quick balls in various
areas between the cones. Stress getting in front and using proper
technique. Throw them low and high and explain how to dig and jump
for the balls. If in pairs switch and repeat and you should do this twice
with each player so they get a good amount of reps.

Receiver Progression Drill

•QB in the middle with receivers forming the circle around the QB. If you
have two or three QBs you can put them all in a circle so that the QBs
form a triangle facing the receivers. The receivers should be ten yards out.

•1) QB's throw to every receiver's chest (midline). First high. Second round
is low. IF you have two QB's that is a total of four catches. We focus on the
above rules correcting mistakes.

•2) QB's throws to every receiver's left side. First high then low. Total of four
catches again. We focus on the above rules correcting mistakes.
•3) QB's throws to every receiver's right side. First high then low for a total
of four catches. We focus on the above rules correcting mistakes.

•At this point every receiver has caught 12 passes (6 high/ 6 low).

•4) Receivers turn around so they face away from the middle. QB throws
to over the shoulder to left side so that the WR has to go and get it (about
5 to 7 yards). Then we go to the right side for a total of 2 rounds (4 catches
each). Stressing pinkies together and over the shoulder.

•At this point every receiver has caught 16 passes and the more times a
receiver catches a ball with correct form the more natural these
techniques will become.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 185


Notes About Receiver Progression

•With two QB's this takes 15 to 20 minutes the first time you do it due to a
lot of dropped balls and teaching. The second time it will take about 12 to
16 minutes. The third and fourth time it should drop to about 10 to 14
minutes of time. That is about as good as it gets on time. The key is to get
them to feel comfortable watching the ball in, catching the ball, and
securing it quickly.

•Getting quality reps is what will improve the quality of your receivers.

Adding to it

•Have the QB's on their knees to work on arm strength.

•Have the receivers facing away and the coach calls his pre-assigned
number just as the QB releases the ball for 1,2,3. (good way to add to it
during the season for quick reaction).

•Have the receivers widen out to 12, 15, or 20 yards to work on distance
accuracy.

•Have one QB in the circle one at a time performing rollouts and passing
sequences to the left and right. This is a very good way to teach accuracy
of throw on the move to the QB and for the WR to focus on the ball.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 186


•Have the QB throw really low or really high ball to force the WR to dig or
get up on the ball. Teach the WR how to cradle/dig a ball out on a low
throw. Teach a WR how to catch a high ball off the ground and protect
himself.

Release and Route Progression

•Because of limited practice time I teach these in a progression that


allows me to teach release, routes, and patterns along with how the
packages we use work in one simple drill.

•It allows us to teach multiple kids at specific positions while teaching


passing plays.

•We use only the receivers and passer in the drill. (TE, WR, FB, WB, TB, QB)

•1st step – stance. We teach receivers how to get in their stances. We


review this several times for a few minutes each practice as we teach
passing. At the same time we teach formation and position as well. Once
they have mastered these things we drop this step.

•2nd Step: Release – we teach and review how each position releases.
–TE/WB: outside radical release, play action inside-out release.
–FB: bump and go release, inside playaction release.
–TB: bump and go release, outside playaction release.

•3rd Step: Routes – we then review route patterns with our receiving corps.
This step they simply run the routes at slow and then full speed. The passer
practices footwork as well. No ball is used.

•4th Step: Passing – QB then begins throwing the ball using his key for that
particular pass play. He will throw to every receiver to include any tag
receivers. We try to hit each key receiver three to four times and each
tag receiver two to three times.

•5th Step: Defense – add in defensive backs, linebackers, and defensive


ends to simulate live action.

This is the basic receiver progression I use to develop my receivers.


Nothing fancy just work on the basics. There are a lot of other drills you

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 187


can add to improve your receiver’s performance in specific skills but these
are what I believe are important to a receiver successfully catching balls.

The Passer

Fundamentals of Passing

Holding the Ball

• The ball is just below the ear and the throwing arm is cocked (elbow
out) and ready to throw as soon as you drop or make your run
action off of play action.
• Both hands are on the ball with the off hand mirroring the passing
hand on the other side.

Footwork and Body Motion

• You must set with the non-throwing foot and hip pointed in the
direction of the target along with the point of the elbow of the non-
throwing arm.
• As you throw it starts from the twisting of your hips, upper body, and
into your arms. The index finger as you release the ball should point
in the direction of the receiver. This forces the hand to come down
on the ball creating spin.
• Upon delivery of the ball the non-throwing foot is pointed just inside
of the receiver and your hips are square to the receiver as well. This
is caused from the rotation of the hips and shoulders as you throw.
The throwing foot should be point down field now at the receiver
and the heel off the ground.

Aiming

• If the ball is thrown directly at the receiver the throwing hand should
be pointed at the chest of the receiver. The index finger should be
the last part of your body to touch the ball and should be pointed
right at the receiver. (bullet pass) If it is a longer pass then you raise
the finger up to the head so that ball drops into the chest and then
adjust accordingly.
• If the ball is thrown deep (a bomb) at the receiver the hand (index
finger) should be point above the receiver and the throwing
shoulder should drop slightly. The height of the finger above the
head varies with distance and arm strength. The index finger
pointed above the receiver. The dipping of the shoulder and the

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 188


finger pointed over the receiver causes forward tip to track the
receiver (or drop).
• A receiver moving must be lead. The distance you have to throw to
the receiver determines the lead. The longer the throw and/or
faster the receiver the more lead. A bullet type pass needs less
lead then a bomb pass.

Drop and Movement

• If throwing off an action you can either Stop, Set, and Throw or you
can throw on the run. A younger less experienced passer benefits
from the Stop, Set, and Throw as it is easier for him to execute but
you need to give him time to throw.
• Throwing on the run the passer must open his hips (belly button) to
the receiver (hips facing the receiver) and he must realize that he
has added power if throwing to a receiver on his throwing side and
less power throwing to a receiver on his off side since he is now
throwing across his body. He also must realize that there is a natural
tendency to under throw the ball when moving laterally so you must
stress the hand points at the target correctly (start at the head vice
chest and adjust upwards as needed).

Ball Grip:

A proper grip affects the throwing mechanics and trajectory of the


football so it is imperative that the passer learns to hold the ball correctly.
Each passer’s grip will be slightly different due to variations in hand size
and hand strength but a few things are common amongst every grip and
they must be stressed to every passer.

Thumb – Pushes the ball during the initial throwing and release action;
provides leverage. If a passer’s hand is big then the thumb will tend to
point to the back of the football while a passer with a small hand the
thumb will tend to point more towards the middle of the ball. The
important thing is that there should be a space between the thumb,
palm, and football that should not exceed a ½ inch of space. The easiest
way to check this is the place your non-throwing hand index finger can fit
between the palm and the ball. The space and size is proportional with
kids; so his index finger should fit into his palm or a coaches pinky finger will
do as well.

Little Finger – Controls attitude of the ball (like front sight alignment of a
rifle). It must be on at least one of the first three laces of the near the front
of the ball. Once it gets set correctly it should not be adjusted.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 189


Fore Finger (Index) – The forefinger controls the accuracy of the football. It
needs to be about 45 degrees to the back of the football. You might
have to adjust this if the ball does not leave the hand correctly. The
forefinger is the last finger to leave the grip of the football and is
responsible for completing the spinning rotation on the ball and propelling
the ball forward.

Middle Finger – Just on or just off the laces and is pointed vertically across
the ball; perpendicular to the point of the ball.

Fourth Finger - Should have contact with the laces, at least to the first
knuckle overlapping the laces.

Spacing – Two points of spacing that should be noted; one is the spacing
of the finger from each other. A proper spread of the fingers, that is the
fingers are spread wide, provides stability of the overall grip of the ball.
Proper spacing allow the QB to hold the ball in one hand as he rotates his
arm to throw. He should be able to run with his arm down at his side. If the
ball does not fall out he has proper spacing and grip. Secondly; the
spacing between the palm and the football is important as well since
palm provides nothing in the way of ball security or delivery. The spacing
is critical for a correct feel of the ball as this affects the pushing of the ball
on the release.

Proper Throwing Mechanics and Delivery:

Like ball grip proper throwing motion is affected by the body type and
arm length of your passers but a few things need to be taken into
consideration when instructing your passers on throwing mechanics.

Arm Rotation – (assuming a right handed passer)

Step 1 Arm Position - right handed passer uses his left hand to drive the
ball up into the throwing motion. The left pushes up and comes off the
ball naturally at about the shoulder.

Step 2 Shoulder Position – throwing arm elbow extends out and back just
below the wrist until the ball reaches shoulder level. The football is lifted
up above the shoulder to position behind and higher then the elbow.

Step 3 Angle of the Football – football is turned slightly outward from the
body. The nose of the ball is pointed away from the passer and should be

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 190


tilted upwards slightly. The non-throwing hand hip and shoulder are
pointed down field at the receiver.

Step 4 Release – The non-throwing shoulder and hip must rotate


backwards as the throwing hip and shoulder followed by the throwing
shoulder and hip rotating forward to apply momentum and force to the
throwing arm as it completes the throwing action. The elbow leads the
releasing action as the front hip and shoulder open towards the receiver.
The front foot steps towards the target as the hips rotate. DRIVE YOUR
BELLY BUTTON TOWARDS THE TARGET! At this point the football goes from
pointing outwards to naturally pointing at the target as it is thrust forward
as it reaches its highest point in the passing arc. As the front foot steps the
whipping twist of the lead hip must take place. This gives you complete
hip rotation and applies that force to the throwing arm which in turn
applies it to the ball.

Step 5 Finger Release – The fingers leave the ball in this order – little finger
(attitude), fourth finger, middle finger, thumb, and fore finger. The
forefinger provides accuracy and the final spin of the ball. It should be
pointed at the target (bullet) or above the target (lob or bomb) and the
throwing shoulder should drop if it is a lob or bomb. Velocity is generated
from the feet, hips, and shoulder and then into the arm, wrist, and finally
the hand. The arm should straighten or lock out as the football leaves the
hand, which provides additional push.

Ball Position:

The ball once snapped (quick pass) or after bringing it up from the belly
button (play action) should be a below the throwing shoulder with both
hands on the ball. This allows the passer to set and throw the ball with
relative ease and quickness. The higher the ball is held the faster the ball
can be delivered. The ball should be just above the numbers and below
the ear and away from the body. This ensures a full range of motion and
allows for a tight spiral.

If playaction is occurring hand fake and put the ball on the hip away from
the LOS then execute the proper mechanics to get it up as you prepare
to pass.

Foot Work:

The feet must work in concert with the arms in the passing process if not
one of two things often happen. First if the feet lead to far ahead of the
arm in the throwing action the ball dives or sails. Second if the arm is to far

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 191


ahead of the feet the ball lacks velocity or force behind it. The passer
must get in the habit of stepping towards the receiver as he passes to
improve both velocity and accuracy of the pass. Generally the throwing
arm should be at the middle of the arc when the lead foot hits the
ground.

Now those are the basics and it sound really complex but teaching a kid
how to throw is not that complex. Above was a perfect situation and you
drill to get to that perfect situation.

BASIC PASSING PROGRESSION

Take passers working in pairs (note you can have the receivers catch the
balls and hand them to the passers).

Take a Knee (both knees on the ground) – 8 yards to 10 yards.


The passers start off by simply throwing the ball easy a few times to each
other and warm up.

Look for and correct:


• Holding the ball with two hands
• Hand placement
• Ball placement near head
• Arm rotation
• Hip rotation
• Follow through
• Arm and hand mechanics
• Aiming (most important aspect) – HAVE THEM AIM AT THE CHEST.

After two to three warm up throws have them start throwing the ball hard.
They have to get used to throwing accurately while throwing with force.
Stress aiming the finger and adjusting it as they need to. At first they will
tend to have the index finger point up or outward and that will cause the
ball to rotate with a big wobble and be inaccurate. The other problem is
they will push the ball with their palm vice rotating their hand. The index
finger should pointing at the target and the thumb should be pointing
upwards. If you correct these two problems you have gone a long way to
making your passers more accurate.

After they throw ten to fifteen passes like this then move on.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 192


Take One Knee (passing knee is on the ground) - 8 yards to 10 yards.
Each passer is going to again work for ten to fifteen passes. You start off
slow and build up to full speed throws.

Again focus on upper body mechanics but now you are going to
introduce the non-throwing foot and hip facing the receiver.
Have them throw five passes and then one of them moves left or right.
Then tell the passers that their off hand foot (one on the ground) has to
point in the direction of the receiver and you have to rotate your hips so
that the belly button points at the receiver.

Look for and Correct:

• All the items in the first drill


• Off hand foot pointing at target
• Hips rotating so that belly button points at target
• Good ball rotation

Standing Throw
Each passer stands and gets in a proper pre-delivery stance. Off foot
pointed at target, both hands on ball, ball above shoulder, and ready to
throw.

They will throw back and forth using a good delivery and good
mechanics. Again starting slow and building up to full velocity for ten to
fifteen throws.

Look for and Correct:

• All the items in the first an second drill


• Proper foot and hip rotation on throw
• Proper follow through
• Velocity – practice bullets and touch passes (throws with very little
force at short and medium distances)

Down the Line Throw


Pair of passers get ten yards away and move down the yard lines
throwing back and forth working on proper mechanics and techniques.
Go there and back for 1 rep and work for 2 to 3 reps. The length is the
normal length of a football field or 40 yards distance. This teaches the
proper mechanics for throwing on the run.

Looking for and Correct:

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 193


• All the items in the above drills
• Proper placement of the hips and belly button.
• Proper aiming and follow through
• Proper roll out technique

Three Stop Drop Drill

Each passer sets up at a cone and practices making a three-step drop


correctly.

Three-Step Drop: This drop allows our QB to get depth from the LOS and
time up to patterns that are at a short to medium depth like fades. The
depth of the drop is 4 to 6 yards depending on stride and height of passer.
The QB must have the ball in a throwing position from the snap. As soon as
the last foot hits the ground the passer must have the ball off.

Assuming a Right Handed QB – He drop steps with his right foot for
maximum depth (the deeper this step is the farther from the LOS he is)
and the left crosses over, then the right foot drop steps again. As the foot
hits the ground he must position the body so the off hand foot points
down field to the receiver.

When throwing to the left his first step is to reach, then crossover, and
finally reach. On the final step he should open his front hip to a 45-degree
angle with the LOS. He must get his belly button at the target.

Practice Routine on Drop

1) No ball just drop. Correct footwork (depth of first step and speed).
2) Add ball and check for ball getting to the correct carrying position.
3) Check footwork on final step.
4) Add a receiver that in a specific position down field (end point of
route) (can be a coach).
5) Add a cone to the left and right of passer and tell the passer that is
a rusher. When you call out a side just has he sets he must set and
then immediately move two steps laterally set and throw as fast as
possible.

After that we simply add in the play and practice the routes as the
receiver progression above, first using skeleton (receivers and passer) and
then the entire team. Adding pass defenders or rush defender after
working on it on air.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 194


Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 195
Chapter 15
Quick Kick and Special Plays
Field Position

Football games are won and lost on field position. Because this is a ball
control offense you have to understand the concept of field position in
relation to your offense and defense.

Position Action
On your Goal or –10 yard line Get as much yardage as you can in
the first down and consider quick
kicking on 2nd through 4th. A good
rule is if your getting 3.5 yards a
carry each down attempt the next
down.
-10 to -35 yard line Get as much yardage as you can in
the first and second down and
consider kicking on 3rd through 4th.
Apply same rule as above.
-36 to Opponent End zone Play all four downs unless game is
nearing the end and you are in the
lead by eight points or less. Then
apply same rule as above.

That is a general rule that I like to follow on quick kicking and punting.

Quick Kicking

I am not a big fan of traditional punting at any level or the traditional punt
formation. Why tell the defense what I am about to do? So I would rather
quick kick and let the defense assume that I am going to run or pass the
ball until the very last second. This gives you more advantages then the
defense in my opinion.

1) They are not prepared to rush the kicker as they are in a normal
punt.
2) Playaction forces them to respect your base action or play action.
3) Often their best return man is not set or position to receive the kick.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 196


4) Increased chance of a dropped catch or touched ball which
increases the likelihood of a turnover.

How do I do it

I use either the Bull or Bear formation with the strong side on the wide side
of the field. We kick to pin the ball to the sideline and allow our hunters to
go from outside in and pin the ball down field. We use a Super Seal
playaction to set the quick kick.

BEAR SUPER SEAL – QUICK KICK RT

PSTE to Center blocks SAB IN waiting for ball to be kicked and then release
up field separating at 5 yards to from lanes. The head straight and pin the
ball up field. BSTE shoe shines then releases up field when ball is kicked.
He takes an angle to seal the side line off as he has side line containment.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 197


BSG and BST pull and seal until the ball is kicked. Then they hunt the ball
inside out.

WB releases up field working wide until the ball is kicked he then hunts the
ball outside in.

BB kicks out first defender to cross his face and when the ball is kicked he
works up field outside inside hunting the ball.

The QB reverse pivots tosses the ball then seals the first defender outside
inside. When the ball is kicked he works up field outside inside hunting the
ball.

The TB takes the toss attacks up field for two steps and then kicks the ball
up field aiming at the near side line. Not right at the side line but towards
that side. Make sure he turns and steps to the back side to kick.

The key to the quick kick is establishing the run fake for just a few moments
forcing the defense to commit to the run action and then kick the ball.

A good quick kick should hit the ground and roll up field or out bounds not
allowing the defense the opportunity to field the ball. If the ball is short
kicked or handled by the defense there is a good chance that it will be
mishandled or fumbled.

BONUS PLAY

I decided to add one play into this playbook that I used at the end of my
2005 Spring Select season. I had a lot of success with this play and I really
like using it if I have a wingback that is more of a power runner like the tail
back. The play is run only out of the Bison formation and uses a bit of
deception with the tailback faking the power action like the power series.
It is a power running play that slips the wing back into the inside of the
faking tail back as he fakes the power wider forcing the defense to step
down and attack the tailback as the wing back goes by.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 198


WB Super Seal
Bear WB Super Seal Right

CP
The TB must
give a great
fake and take
the ball
outside
towards the
EMLOS
outside hip to
force the
inside hole to
open so that
the wingback
can slip in.

Line Backs
PSE – SAB IN QB – reveres pivot soft toss ball to path of TB and then
PST – SAB IN flow straight down the LOS and hitting SEALING first
PSG – SAB IN defender outside that crosses your face. Try to stay
Center – SAB IN tight to the LOS so that you can get in the alley fast.
BSG – Pull & Seal (GET THERE!) TB – Slide step to play side and then attack down field
BST – Pull & Seal (GET THERE!) faking toss and attacking the outside hip of the
BSE - Cut EMLOS. DON’T WAIT for the backside to pull. Fake all
the way up field and outside forcing the defense to
CP: SHORT SEAL if the PSLB is going over the BB – cross over step and kick out the first defender to
top of the SAB tracks. cross your face. YOU MUST DRIVE HIM OUTSIDE TO THE
CP: LONG SEAL if a 5,7,6, or 9 is a problem. BOUNDERY!
CP: DOUBLE (QB/BB) if the kick out target is
WB – Align right behind the BSG and just behind the
giving the BB a problem. (double kick out).
CP: POST & TRACK at the hole to get a double hip of the quarter back. On the snap the wingback
team if you need it. open steps with the play side foot then takes the
handoff lets the backside lineman pass and gets on
the hip of the BST and hits first daylight and gets up
field. Make sure he does not take it wide but gets up
field.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 199


Chapter 16
Athletic Training for Youth Football
One of the most important aspects of being a coach is making our young
athletes better. That doesn’t only mean at football but at being better
athletes. Often we as coaches overlook that important aspect of our job
and I am sad to say the only people that suffer are the kids we train or
don’t train depending on how you look at it. It has taken me about ten
years and a lot of reading, experimenting, and learning. What I have
found is that if we as coaches take the time to develop and foster basic
athletic skills once these basic skills are established you set the ground
work for your players to develop into superior athletes. I have found that
the study of functional development, adolescent development,
functional anatomy, and kinesiology are great starting points as a youth
coach.

Stretching

Flexibility – the range of motion that is available at a given joint of the


body while at rest.

Flexibility is related to the extensibility of all the soft tissue including


muscles, tendons, ligaments, joint capsules, and fascia that surround the
bone structures and joint structures. It should be noted that flexibility is
variable and pre-determined by gender and genetics; however since we
don’t know the true ceiling of most athlete’s genetic pre-disposition to
flexibility we must first put a well rounded flexibility program in place so
that athlete can reach that ceiling and maximize his or hers potential.

More often the not if you go to a football practice the first thing you see is
the coaches lining up the players into neat lines or circles and then having
the athletes do static stretching. This comes from the good old days of
when we where players and our coaches really didn’t know any better.
However times, and more importantly our knowledge of the human body
and how it functions, have changed and we know that the muscles in the
body operate in a chain or series of muscles working together not in
isolation as science assumed in the past. A major muscle contracting
(agonist) induces the opposite muscle (antagonist) to relax or stretch all
the while also getting additional help from synergist muscles and the
stability muscles (deep muscles around the joint structures involved in the
movement). Static stretching has its place but it is not before a practice

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 200


and it is certainly not before you are getting your players ready to
conduct full speed drills with out warming up the body structure correctly.

If we look at a football player in a functional mode then we can notice


right off the bat that the body we are viewing is in an upright, dynamically
moving position rather then a static position holding a stretch or one that
is lying prone and holding a stretch. Our body moves through three
planes of motion (sagittal, coronal, and vertical) and if our warm up and
stretching are not accounting for the multiple planes of motion then our
stretching routine is not going to be effective. Also we must account for
how the body moves even while simply walking the muscles are
accelerating, stabilizing, and decelerating the body. This movement is
dynamic (always changing and moving) in nature. The majority of all
sports movements are done in an upright posture. Doing static stretches
in a seated or supine posture doesn’t prepare the body for proper
movement while accounting for bodyweight, gravity, and ground
reaction forces. Static stretching has its place but if your attempting to
increase flexibility and reduce injuries due to sports specific movements
then dynamic stretching before a workout or practice makes much more
sense. During the cool down phase is when static stretching makes much
more sense in the practice schedule. This is when muscles need to be
realigned (and reset from a neuromuscular perspective).

Planes of Motion

Sagittal – plane bisects the body from the front to back into right and left
symmetrical halves. Flexion and extension motion will occur on this plane.

Coronal – plane bisect the body form side to side dividing it into front and
back halves. Lateral flexion, abduction, and adduction motions occur
on this plane.

Transverse - plane divides the body into superior (upper) and inferior
(lower) halves. Rotational movements will occur in this plane.

Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching involves stretching while performing a specific


movement pattern (fundamental or sports specific). It utilizes movements
that are controlled which allow the individual to mimic and prepare for
the movement patterns that will follow the stretch. Dynamic stretching
helps to set the proprioceptors of the muscles, ligament, and joint
capsules while allowing the muscles to strengthen eccentrically. Dynamic
stretching includes stretching in all three planes of motion. This is a huge

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 201


benefit in preparing, strengthening, and developing the joint structures
and supporting structures like the major muscles, stability muscles, and
synergy muscles along with the joint capsules. Static stretching simply
does not do this and that means you as a coach are not preparing your
young charges correctly for what you are about to do in a full speed
practice.

A Good Base for a Warm up and Stretching Routine

Warm up Sequence

Have the team split into lines so that you have no more then five players in
a line (that means if you have thirty players you would have six lines of five
players). Any more then five and it can become cumbersome to watch
each kid as they perform the warm up routines with one coach. If you
have an additional coach you can increase it up to ten lines.

LINEAR WARM UP
This is done to twenty yards out and a form run back and then to the end
of the line.

1) Form Run
2) High Knees
3) Butt Kickers
4) Drum Majors
5) Fast Skips *
6) Straight Leg Bounding *
7) Walking Lunges

LATERAL WARM UP
This is done to ten yards out and back.

1) Walking Shuffle
2) Walking Crossover
3) Shuffle
4) Tapioca
5) Carioca
6) Shuffle and Touch *
7) Lateral Run *
8) Lateral Lunge

UPPER BODY WARM UP


This is done to ten yards and sprint back.

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1) Bear Walk
2) Bear Crawl
3) Crab Walk *
4) Spider Man *

BACKWARDS WARM UP *
Done at ten yards and form run back.

1) Backwards Walk *
2) Backwards Run *
3) Slow Back Pedal *
4) Back Pedal +

* You can add these after the base movements are mastered.

This is the basic Warm up cycle that I use before any practice. It takes
twenty minutes when you first introduce it and start teaching form and
proper movement. After they begin to master the movements and
understand the warm up sequence it gets down to about ten minutes. At
that point you can add the additional movements.

Start slow and work on proper movement and form and as they master it
then have them increase the speed. When you’re doing warm ups
nothing is ever at 100%, at most it is 75% and no more then that.

Explanation of Movements

Linear – warms up body in the sagittal plane for the most part.

Form Run - a run at 50 to 60% using correct linear form.

High Knees – a jog stressing the knee lift portion. The knee should attempt
to go above the belly button. Maintain proper linear form at all times. This
stretches the hamstring and all the stability and synergy muscles
associated with the hamstring.

Butt Kickers – a jog stressing the heel lift portion. The heel should make
contact with the butt. Maintain proper linear form at all times. This
stretches the quadriceps and all the stability and synergy muscles
associated with the quads.

Drum Major – this is at a fast walk. One leg is raised and the lower leg is
rotated inward so that the heel of the foot strikes the hand of the opposite
arm. The hand is at the waste line. The heel should go as high as possible

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 203


crossing the midline. This stretches the hip flexors and gluteus and all the
stability and synergy muscles associated with the hip flexors and gluteus.

Fast Skips – this is basically skipping at a fast rate using good linear form.
Start with a slow longer skip and work towards a fast rapid skip with the
feet touching the ground and quickly coming off the ground. Stretches
and warms up the muscles in the foot, ankle, and shin.

Straight Leg Bounding – Some times called Russian skips. The legs are
straight using a good linear. The feet should have very little ground
contact and work for the feet to get good height off the ground. This is
another good movement for the hamstrings and gluteus.

Walking Lunges - Take a long step out so and lean forward so that the
back leg is almost straight and then sit down into the lunge. This stretches
the pelvis muscles, inner muscles around the hip joint, quadriceps, and hip
muscles. It also works stretches the hamstring of the front leg as well. All
the stability and synergy muscles are being warmed up and stretched as
well. Make sure the upper torso is upright at all times. Have them do this
slowly so that they get a good stretch.

Lateral – warms up and stretches the body in the coronal and transverse
planes.

Walking Shuffle – This is nothing more then a shuffle at a walk. IT is the first
exercise we do in our lateral warm up. Make sure you are using correct
lateral form at all times. The feet do not touch or cross over. The hips and
knees are bent and the body is low to the ground but not bent at the
waste. This stretches the hip and pelvis muscles as well as the groin
muscles and all the stability and synergy muscles involved.
Shuffle – This is a faster version that further warms up the muscles and
stretches them.

Walking Crossover – This is nothing more then a carioca at a walk. The


back foot cross over as far as possible causing the front knee to slightly
bend. This warms up and stretches the hip flexors, lower back, and pelvis
and all of the associated stability and synergy muscles.

Tapioca – This is a fast short cross over steps using good lateral movement
form. This really stretches the hip flexors and gluteus as well as the lower
back muscles and all of the associated stability and synergy muscles.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 204


Carioca – This is a longer cross over step using good lateral movement.
This further stretches the hip flexors and gluteus as well as the lower back
muscles and all of the associated stability and synergy muscles.

Shuffle and Touch – This is nothing more then a shuffle with the upper body
staying low and on every second shuffle the hands touch the ground in
between the feet while the head stays up. This further stretches the lower
back, gluteus, and hamstrings as well as all the normal muscles being
stretched during the shuffle.

Lateral Run – This is running laterally with the rear leg being in front at all
times. Good lateral movement form is important. This stretches all the leg
muscles, hip flexors, pelvis, and lower back muscles as well as the stability
and synergy muscles involved in the coronal and transverse planes.

Lateral Lunge – Does the same thing as the walking lunge but in the
coronal plane. Make sure the upper torso is upright and this is done as a
slow pace.

Upper Body – This warms up the upper body in the sagittal plane but it
adds body weight and ground force reaction.

Bear Walk – A bear crawl at a walk. The butt should be down and the
knees stay off the ground. The walk is to develop proper movement form
for the full speed bear crawl. It stretches and warms up the muscles in the
arm, shoulder, upper back, and chest along with the stability and synergy
muscles. It also warms up the core. This is performed on all fours with the
stomach facing the ground using all four appendages.

Bear Crawl – A full speed version of the bear walk. Further warms up and
develops the upper body; also good for developing coordination in the
four appendages and body awareness.

Crab Walk – This is performed on all fours with the butt facing the ground.
This basically works out and stretches all the muscles that the bear crawl
does but in reverse order.

Spider man – This is a more complex bear crawl. The athlete basically
starts in the prone position with the arms and legs away from the body.
He then lifts his body off the ground and crawls (like spider man). This is a
much more complex movement that further develops body awareness
and coordination.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 205


Backwards Walk – This simply walking backwards. The athlete is warming
up and stretching all the muscles that a form run or a linear exercise
would except in reverse. This is a complex movement that helps to teach
and master backwards movement.

Backwards Run – Running Back wards applying good linear form and
leaning slightly forward. Your eyes are forward at all times and you simply
look for the last marker out of the corner of your eyes.

Slow Back Pedal – The chin is over the knee and the hips and knees are
bent so you are low. The heels of the feet drive back in short slow steps as
you pump your arms. Done at 50% of the normal speed.

Back Pedal – As above but at full speed.

Speed Training

I have found that with young kids if you apply some time to practice to
develop linear and lateral speed that over the course of the season you
are developing superior athletes. If you have a four-week preseason you
can actually start to see benefits in game one.

First and foremost is upper body technique. It is the most overlooked area
of youth athletes. Youth athletes simply have sloppy upper body form and
correcting it is fairly easy and the payoff is enormous.

Second is balance and stability. Most kids simply don’t have good
balance and stability and that is because their body is growing and
developing and the last muscles to develop are the muscles around the
joints that provide balance and stability to the major muscles and joint
structure. Taking time to develop these allow for smoother movement
and more coordinated movement. From a neuromuscular stand point this
is a key component to speed.

Third is explosive leg strength conditioning. The vast majority of kids either
simply have poor explosive leg strength or don’t know how to skip , hop,
or jump which are fundamental parts of explosive leg strength and
running in general.

Fourth is core conditioning. Young athletes normally have weak cores


and developing them is a pretty easy task if you know what your doing.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 206


Lastly is starting that is how to start from multiple positions and get into full
speed. If you take the time to teach kids how to start and how to
accelerate properly it will increase overall quickness and speed.

Couple all these together and you get quicker and faster athletes.

Basic Linear Speed Techniques

The first rule you should always apply to coaching is not to "over coach"
an athlete. The second rule is to not teach an "unnatural movement
technique". I see a lot of so called knowledgeable speed coaches over
teaching techniques and teaching incorrect movement techniques that
do not fit the athlete’s natural movement patterns. This can cause more
problems and damage then good so be aware of it at all times.

Linear Actions you are looking for in the athlete:

Tall action: This means erect; running on the ball of the foot (not toes or
heels) with full extension of the back, hips, legs as opposed to "squatting
down low" when running. Developing and stressing proper posture while
in movement and static is fundamental to creating a good running form.

Relaxed action: This means move easily, as opposed to tensing and


"working hard" to move. Let the movements of running flow; the athlete
should look like a wheel in motion with the hips and torso being the hub of
the wheel. Keep the hands relaxed, the shoulders low, and the arms
swing rhythmically to the sides.

Smooth action: This means float across the top of the ground. All motion
should be forward not up and down or to the side. Leg action should be
efficient and rhythmic. The legs should move easily under the body in a
constant even pattern like a moving wheel.

Drive action: This means push from an extend rear leg (very important),
rear elbow drive with a high forward knee drive followed by a strike of
claw foot action just behind the body's center of gravity (COG),

Proper Sprint Technique

Head and neck are aligned with the body. You should have straight line
from the head, neck, back, and rear leg. The head and neck should be
relaxed; by simply letting the jaw hang will help reduce tension in the

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 207


head and neck area. This tension can cause the shoulders, arms, and
back to tense as well so it is imperative to relax the jaw and neck
muscles. It will cause restricted arm movement; which reduces speed.
The eyes are looking straight ahead past the finish point.

The arms should be relaxed with elbows bent near or at 90 degrees.


Swing should come from the shoulder and should be in line and straight; it
should never cross the body at all but instead be motioning down field at
the finish. The fingers should go just above the midline of the chest and go
jus behind the hip. Arm swing should be in concert with the lower body.
When the right arm goes completely forward (elbow pointed down and
up field) at the same time the left foot (rear foot) is coming off the ground
(from ball of foot). The left arm is coming back with the elbow pointed
back and slightly up as the right leg is going forward (knee is lifting). As
knee is driven forward, the arm on the opposite side of the body is also
driven forward from a position behind the body. The arms move forward
in front of the body until the hands are about shoulder high. The arm
should never leave the flexed position (often runners swing the arm out at
the back). The amount of the opening and closing of the angle should
be fairly small. The elbows should never be away from the body but
almost brush the ribcage (staying in line with the direction).

There is a myth that the hands should be straight out (as if shaking some
ones hand) is in fact a false misconception and should not be listened to.
When you keep your hand straight you tense the muscles in the palm and
this causes the muscles in the forearm to tense as well which in turn cause
the muscles around the elbow to tense causing the elbow to lift from the
body or run in a less smooth manner. Instead the hands want to be in a
curled position naturally. Meaning the fingers should curl into the palm as
if wrapped around a roll quarters and the thumb should rest just over the
index finger.

Let the body lean forward naturally but don't not bend over. The body
should have a slight forward tilt with the head, neck, back, hips, and back
leg inline. At the acceleration phase (starting) there is going to be more
lean initially. The athlete should be looking down in front of him, which in
turn creates additional lean to create a shorter stride (faster shorter steps
= more power). The athlete as he accelerates and the body begins to lift
to it natural lean his head comes up and looks past the finish line.

Run on the balls of the feet and not the toes or heels. The ball should strike
the ground and stay on the ground for just an instant as the leg turns over
and drives (pushes) off the ground. This is key point a lot of young runners
run on the toes and that causes excessive braking or a loss of power

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 208


(push) due to not contracting the calve muscles when the ball of the foot
strikes the ground

The foot should land directly underneath the sprinter. An over-stride will
result in the foot landing in front of the center of gravity, which will cause
braking. Under striding causes a lot of fast movement and energy
expenditure without covering enough ground. A key point is that the
body leans at about 60 degrees (approximation) and if a line is drawn
through the body from the head to the foot and the line becomes
baseline the forward thigh of the runner should be at or near 130 degrees
to that baseline. This means the knee needs to drive forward (not
upward) to create the pulling force necessary to increase speed.

Keep the head and trunk still and the entire body relaxed. The body
(specifically muscles) is more receptive to neuromuscular commands from
the brain when it is relaxed. Furthermore the torso and core must be
relaxed as it must move in multiple directions as the body increases in
speed. When the right arm is back the left leg is back that means the
right shoulder is forward and the left hip and lower back is moving
backward. This means the torso is twisting and in doing so if the torso is
tensed there is a bigger chance of muscle pulls in the torso area
(specifically the lower back and rear shoulders). Also the more tense the
torso is the less flexible it becomes and this reduces not only
neuromuscular control but decreases speed as the body cannot create
additional force through the torso.

Rotating the shoulders creates sideward-motion forces, which detract


from the force needed to propel you directly forward as quickly and
forcefully as possible.

Part of good technique is to relax the trunk, arm, and antagonists of the
stride movements. Energy is often wasted to keep accessory muscles
contracted and the body rigid, and wasted energy equals decreased
speed. Use relaxation to be as efficient as possible and recover as quickly
as possible.

Now bear in mind if you are football player and you carry the ball (QB, RB,
WR) you need to understand how to carry a ball and run as well. Simply
follow the above techniques and lock the ball into the inside of the elbow
by turning the hand upward with the palm of the hand on the front tip
and the bottom tip in the inner elbow. Simple press the ball and the
fingers lay on the top of the football keeping it locked in. The angle is still
90 degrees and the arm still moves inline with the direction. The ball
comes in and is locked by turning the hand inward and pressing the ball

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 209


into the body and the other hand going over the ball to cover it. Do not
let the ball affect your technique. Also you must be aware of your gear
(helmet and pads altering your technique. So work on perfecting it while
in gear with a ball.

Upper Body Training

Knees – sitting on both knees with butt of the legs so that the thighs, butt,
and upper body are straight. Using good arm form start slow using good
arm technique and relaxing the upper body. Start of very slow and build
up to 75% speed. Arm turnover is the real key to speed. The faster the
arms go the faster the legs go.

Standing – Now standing with feet shoulder width apart work on upper
body technique once more but now really stress the importance of the
hip swing in concert with the arm swing. Let them feel how the body
works together. Again start slow and build up to 75%.

Running Place – Now have them incorporate the lower body by using
good form again. Make sure they are on the balls of their feet and the
knees are driving up wards. Everything appendage wise should be
moving towards the finish line. Start slow so that they can feel the body
movement and allow the neuromuscular system to develop proper
patterns then increase the speed.

FORM RUN – Four to Six reps at 40 yards. The key is to let them do it at their
own pace at 50%. Allot at least a full minute for this may be more.
Watch as they do the runs and stress correct form.

At first you will do Knees and Standing for one minute each. As they
master it and get comfortable (that is key) add Running In Place then
Form Run.

EXAMPLE – BEGINNER

KNEE – 1.5 minute


STANDING – 1.5 minute

(lasts for two weeks)

EXAMPLE – INTERMEDIATE

KNEE – 30 seconds
STANDING – 1 minute

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RUNNING IN PLACE – 1 minute

EXAMPLE – MASTERING

KNEE – 30 seconds
STANDING – 30 seconds
RUNNING IN PLACE – 1 minute
FORM RUN – 1minute

EXAMPLE – ADVANCED

STANDING – 30 seconds
RUNNING IN PLACE – 30 seconds
FORM RUN – 2 minutes

As they master the techniques you can move away from upper body
technique and only introduce it occasionally as a refresher.

Balance and Stability

This is actually a very easy portion to teach but offers a lot of positive
feedback.

Have every player stand on a line double arms distance or in a circle


double distance apart.

Balance Progression (Left first and then right leg)

During the progressions remind them as they lose balance and need to
rebalance or stabilize to simply bend or straighten the weight bearing
knee and hip. This teaches them how to shift their center of gravity and
use their lower body to correctly stabilize themselves.

BASIC –

Keeping Leg Straight raise the left foot straight out so that it is almost a
foot of the ground. Calling out NEURTAL allow them to hold it for three to
five seconds once they achieve balance.

KNEE UP so the knee is above the groin line. Have them hold that position
for three to five seconds once they achieve balance.

KNEE OUT so that the knee shifts out to the side at the same height as the
KNEE UP and hold for three to five seconds once they achieve balance.

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 211


NEUTRAL and hold for three to five seconds.

Switch legs. They should not allow their leg to rest at any time during the
sequence. This develops strength in the stability muscles of each leg in
different manners.

Do each side two to three times.

INTERMEDIATE –

KNEE UP
KNEE OUT
NEUTRAL

HEEL UP – left the heel of the foot up towards the butt and hold that
position for three to five seconds.

NEUTRAL

SWITCH

Do each leg two to three times.

ADVANCED –

KNEE UP
KNEE OUT
NEUTRAL
HEEL UP
NEUTRAL
TOUCH THE GROUND – have them bend over and touch the ground with
both hands as they lift neutral leg behind them. It must remain straight at
all times. Hold that position for three to five second.

Do each leg two to three times.

At this point you should be about six to seven minutes into speed training.

Core conditioning

Abdominal Bridge – ten reps – body is in a supine position (back on the


ground) and the knees are bent with the heels near the butt and shoulder

Copyright © 2005 Jack Gregory 212


width apart (REST POSITION). The hands are resting palms down on the
ground just to the sides. The athlete on UP raises the pelvis off the ground
so that from the knee to the top of the chest is one straight line. Hold that
position for a few moment call DOWN. Stress not letting the butt rest on
the ground but keep it slight off the ground.

Abdominal Bridge with one foot resting on one knee – five reps each side.
This places additional body weight on the weight bearing leg and requires
the hip, knee, and ankle joints to stabilize as well.

Abdominal Bridge with one leg straight out and up in the air – five reps
each side. This places further body weight on the weight bearing leg and
requires the ankle, knee, and hip to stabilize.

V ups – from the rest position above shoulders come off the ground and
the arms come off the ground and to each side of the legs forming a V.
The legs come of the ground and point up in the air so that the body
forms a perpendicular V to the arms. Hold position for a few moments
then REST. UP – REST. Ten Reps.

(as they get stronger add)

V ups with leg sequence – UP (hold) – OUT (legs open up) (hold) – IN (legs
close) – LOWER (legs drop to 6 inches) – REST. Work for 5 reps.

(add this to the sequence)

V ups with alternating leg – One leg at a time as you do V ups alternating
on each rep. 10 reps.

(add another set of V ups for teams that are advancing)

Roll over on Bellies. Legs and arms straight out.

Super Mans – like flying the arms, shoulder lift off the ground slightly, and
the legs and pelvis lift off the ground. This causes the lower back and
supporting muscles to contract. Do ten reps with a pause on the UP
position.

Kneeling Extensions – On all fours (REST POSITION) – Starting with right arm
straight out and the opposite leg straight out. Make sure the fingers are
point straight out and the toes are as well. Make sure the leg and arm are
neutral with the back and that the body is fully aligned. Do ten
alternating reps with a pause.

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Plank Raise – IN supine position with the elbows resting on the ground and
inside the frame go to a push up position resting on the elbows and toes.
Make sure the body is straight and hold for ten seconds. Do three to five
reps.

Side Plank Raise – in a lateral position on the ground with the left elbow
under the body lift off the ground so the left elbow is bearing the upper
body weight and the left foot the lower body weight. Make sure the body
is straight and the hip is off the ground. Hold for ten seconds and do three
to five reps.

Explosive Leg Strength

Skip Progression

Using 40 yards with a midline of 20 yards. Skip first twenty and sprint last
twenty. Doing it there and back.

1) Fast Skip
2) Skip for Height
3) Skip for Distance

( this six reps going there and back)

Hop Progression

Using same 40 yards with it separated in 10 yard increments. Doing it


there and back.

1) Bunny Hop 10, Sprint 10, Bunny Hop 10, Sprint 10


2) Alternating single leg hops - Left 10, Right 10, Left 10, Right 10
3) Bunny Hop 10, Left Leg hop, Bunny Hop, Right Leg hop
4) Distance Jump 10, Sprint 10, Distance Jump 10, Sprint 10

(Bunny hops are feet together fast long hops trying to develop height.)
(Distance Jump is feet together jumping for max distance on each jump.)

Starting

40 yards distance with 5 yard increments to twenty and then an open


twenty.

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Falling starts – standing in a balanced two-point stance fall forward and
then execute a good starting release to the next 5 yard line. Sprint
through it. You should get two to three arm turnovers minimum on each
arm. Go to the 40 yard line and back. The long twenty at the end and
the beginning of the reps is to allow them to sprint through a distance
after starting. Make sure they focus on the ground in front of them until
they come up.

There and back.

Sprinting starts – in a sprinters four point stance (heel toe staggered


footwork.) Repeat sequence above. Concentrating on the starting
phase as the leg and arms drive forward out of the stance. Watch for eye
placement and arm and leg turnover.

There and back.

The above five segments are what I concentrate on in the 15 minute


period. I always have a core segment as I believe it is important. When I
first start I focus on upper body technique, core conditioning, balance
and stability and then try to quickly ascertain what is the weaker of the
two on my team (explosive leg strength or starting). At times I even
switched from speed sessions to speed session. At first your probably only
going to get the Upper Body Technique, Core, and one other segment
completed as you will be teaching. But you can add and take away
things as you see fit.

Again I normally start seeing results around week four with eight fifteen
minute training sessions but bear in mind I actually get an additional
fifteen minutes every practice with DFW’s. So I get eight thirty minute
training sessions or four hours.
Also you can hold one hour speed camps using the above segments and
the DFW segment as well as a fun drill like Air Force football during the pre
season to evaluate players.

Endurance Conditioning

Frankly at this age endurance conditioning is overrated since the body is


not developed enough (age 5 to 13) to actually have an aerobic and
anaerobic energy system. So what I do is simply concentrate on my
players giving everything for ten seconds. So every drill we do during an
endurance segment is based on giving 100% for eight to fifteen seconds.
The average play in youth ball lasts five seconds so if you stress ten
seconds your kids become conditioned for double the time an average

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play lasts. Bear in mind it is not only giving 100% during the play but how
to quickly recover in the average twenty five to thirty seconds in between
each play that is really a factor.

The more important factor and often overlooked by coaches that say the
only conditioning they ever do is repping plays is the mental toughness
training that it provides and that is important in testing and pushing a
player’s psychological and physical boundaries. Often these never get
pushed until a game and that is not the time to be pushing them and
then find out that you have players that are not used to being pushed in
that manner.

I do two things really in an endurance segment that simulate this for me


one is an ENDURO DRILL and the other is the SPRINT & MOVE DRILL. Both
utilize the entire body in the drill and they are multi-directional. This
simulates the activity in a football play far better then a sprint. IT also
requires the player to push himself as he fatigues.

RECOVERY MADE SIMPLE

As you exercise in an anaerobic activity you begin to build up latic acid in


the muscles (waste product of the muscles) that cause cramping and
soreness. The only way to get rid of that is through oxygen restoration in
the muscles. That means you have to breath and get oxygen into your
lungs so your blood system can take it to the muscles. So you have to
stress deep slow controlled breathing when they are resting. They should
not be bent over but upright with their hands on their heads so that they
expand their lung cavity. Remind them that recovery is just as important
as 100% effort. Often it is not the fastest athlete that is the best but the one
that maintains their performance level through out a game that is the
best.

DEEP SLOW CONTROLLED BREATHS IN AN UPRIGHT POSTURE!!!

SPRINT & MOVE DRILL

Adjust the distance to account for the correct time of the exercise for the
age group. A good rule is 40 yards for 12 and above, 30 yards for 10 to 12,
and 20 yards for below 10.

In the 40 you have four 5-yard segments and a 20 yard segment. In the 30
you have three 5-yard segments and a 15 yard segment. In the 20 you
have two 5-yard segments and a 10 yard segment.

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Crossing Sprint & Sprint Side to Side Sprint & Touch
Cone

5 yards 5 yards

20 yards 20 yards

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The players do a rep and then walk back on the side and wait their turn. I
try to run the drill so that every one does it and gets three times the rest. If
I have to I set up two or even three stations.

Cross Sprint & Sprint the player cross sprints to the side cone then
immediately sprints to the cone ahead and repeat the process all they
way up until they hit the long cone and sprint through.

Side to Side Sprint and Touch Cone the player sprints to the second cone
on the other side touches the cone with the near hand and then
immediately cuts and sprints the second cone on the other side until he
hits the last cone before the long straight and then sprints full speed.

We to two to four reps each.

MENTAL TOUGHNESS – ENDURO DRILL

I like to know how tough my kids are psychologically and physically. I


want to know how much stress they can take during a game while those
two issues are factor. Knowing who and who will not break is really
important so this is a way I can tell.

Get the entire team in a circle; double arms apart. Tell them the next
portion is going to test your Courage and Heart. I tell them that as long as
your mind is in control of your body you can do anything with it you want.
I am going to be yelling, screaming, and getting on to you for everything
you do wrong I tell them not to take it personally. At any point you decide
you have had enough step out of the circle and go get some water and
take a knee.

So the point - place them in a physically demanding drill that does not
stop. Add mental and emotional pressure to it and see who breaks and
who holds up. This is a mental and physical test that pushes kids to the
edge and then checks to see if they can push that barrier.

The rules - I sound off an exercise and they keep doing it until the hear
another exercise. IF they don't understand it they run it place or do
jumping jacks until they figure it out. Everything is at full speed. I have a
stop watch and do each exercise for twenty or thirty seconds and then
switch it.

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One coach in the middle sounds off exercises from the card. Any exercise
that doesn't seem clear explain it before hand. All the other coaches are
outside of the circle.

If anyone stops, slows down, or can't keep up they are told to leave the
circle. If they break down or complain they leave.

(Note this is a tough drill and kids will cry but the point is to push those
boundaries a little and see what you have).

On the first exercise you get them going. Any one making mistake or
going slow you jump on them and you jump on them fast and furious. You
are not talking you are screaming and yelling. If they get smart with you
are slow down stay on them. Make it tough for everyone.

Jumping jacks
Jump Squats
Good Morning
Burpees
Push ups
Jumping Jacks
V ups (long holds)
Super Mans (long holds)
Walk Out
Wind Mills
Jumping Lunges
Jumping Jacks
Mountain Climbers
Jump Squats
Shoulder Rotations
Alternating Crunches w/ Knees
Jumping Jacks

The exercises are endless just have a note card with a list and follow the
list. Make sure you have two to three full body movement exercises with a
static isometric exercise or an isolation exercise in between to break up
the routine and allow for a controlled recovery.

The exercises alone are tough but you start to tear into them a little and
put a lot of emotional and mental stress in it that 10 to 15 minutes will tell
you a lot about a kid and what he is capable of. It will also allow the kid
to understand how to handle adversity of that nature. Just like a game
where there attempting execute physical skills while under mental duress
and pressure.

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Again I keep a stop watch and I constantly remind and bark out the
time....one thing I do is if we go for 15 minute then I am sounding off 900
seconds...890 seconds.....860 seconds..makes it tougher. I never do
minutes. Everything is long and forever to apply more pressure. I want to
see if they will break under that pressure.

Just make sure you explain that the ENDURO DRILL is tough and the
screaming and yelling is a part of it. JUST like football games are tough
and the opponent is unforgiving you are during the ENDURO DRILL.

This is a really good mental toughness and physical toughness exercise


that pushes kids in a controlled setting. Do not use demeaning comments
just stress what they are doing incorrect and get them to do it right. Make
them push themselves. If someone messes up call him out and tell them
we added time (don’t add time though they will never know). Beat them
up mentally and see what they can take and push the edge a little.

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In Closing
This has been a real labor of love and I hope youth coaches can find this
to be a useful resources. I am really amazed at how many parents and
coaches apply so much of their time to actually learn this great game
that we play and coach. I know that football was a big part of my life
when I was young and I have always been a football coach at heart and
I often cannot believe that I am doing something that I really enjoy and
derive a great deal of pleasure from. As always if you want to talk about
something or discuss a drill or play feel free to email me at
fasterthenlight@sbcglobal.net. I am always willing to help out a fellow
youth coach so don’t hesitate to contact me.

Good luck to you and your kids in the following seasons!

Coach Jack Gregory

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