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The Wing T Sweep

Kurt Reynolds

Overview of the Wing T Offense:

In football the goal of every offense is to control the ball and score. Every team
faces how to best achieve this goal. The dilemma is whether the offensive scheme
will feature a running attack or a passing attack. A good team realizes the best
offensive strategy features a balance of running and passing. However, simply the
threat of balance is often the key to allowing a one-sided attack to succeed.

Just as a good team understands the need for balance, a good team also
understands, depending on the level and talent pool, the difficulty of
establishing that balance. Combine that with autumn weather conditions, the
added time and skill it takes to implement a complicated passing scheme, and the
old adage that "three things can happen when you pass, and two of those are bad,"
and I believe that an offensive scheme based on a running attack is the most
successful way to move the ball and score.

During a football game, each team will get the ball between ten and fifteen times.
The team which controls the ball through low-risk, positive-yardage plays,
decreases the opponent's number of opportunities to have the ball and, thus, score.
The Wing-T is a superb model of such a ball-control, ground oriented offense.

While the Wing-T has a wide array of formations and plays, fundamental play of the
offense is the sweep.

28 or 29 Sweep:
This play is designed to run "off tackle" with the tailback carrying the ball
through the 8 hole, if we run it to the right side from the T Right formation,
or the 9 hole, if we run it to the left side from the T Left formation. The TB (2)
will get the ball and follow the pulling guards, who will create an alley, a
running space for the TB, in either the 8 or 9 holes.
Skill Position Assignments:
Quarterback

• Take 2 steps straight back at 6 o'clock and give ball to the TB.
• Fake bootleg around backside.

Fullback

• Aim for the left foot of the center (for 28 Sweep) or right foot of the
center (for 29 Sweep).
• Fake a handoff from the quarterback and block backside A-gap.
• The block takes priority over the fake.

Tailback
• Take off laterally (like stealing a base in baseball).
• Take the handoff and follow the backside guard's block.
• Make almost a 90 degree cut up the whole created by the guards'
blocks.
• Be patient. The hole takes time to develop.

Wingback

• Block first free defender to your inside.

Tight End

• Follow your blocking rules (GAP, DOWN, BACKER).

Split End

• Run a 15 yard out pattern.

Basic Wing T Formations:


T Right

SE T G C G T TE
QB WB

TB FB

T Left

TE T G C G T SE
WB QB

FB TB

Numbering System:
Skill Position Numbering
The Quarterback (QB), Tailback (TB), Fullback (FB), and Wingback
(WB) are all assigned numbers. These numbers will be the first ones
mentioned in the name of the play. (For example, 28 Sweep-- the "2" means
that the TB is going to carry the ball).
SE T G C G T TE
QB WB
(1) (4)

TB FB
(2) (3)

Offensive Line Numbering


The left side of the offense is assigned odd numbers. The right side is
assigned even numbers. The numbers represent the holes for the runners.
These numbers will be the second ones mentioned in the name of the play.
(For example, 28 Sweep -- the "8" means that the TB will carry the ball
through the "8" hole, between the TE and the WB).

T Right Numbering:

9 5 3 1 0 2 4 6 8
SE T G C G T TE
QB WB
(1) (4)

TB FB
(2) (3)

T Left Numbering:

9 5 3 1 0 2 4 6 8
TE T G C G T SE
WB QB
(4) (1)

FB TB
(3) (2)

To recap: "T Left 29 Sweep." This means that the offense will line up in the T
Left formation. The TB (2) will carry the ball through the "9" hole, between
the WB and TE.

Blocking Rules for Linemen:


These rules always apply, unless an offensive lineman is pulling or has a
specific assignment.
• The general rule to follow is that offensive linemen will never block
the defender covering him. The Wing T blocking scheme is based
on angles and leverage. Thus, it would do little good to use a head up
blocking style.
• The rules are listed below in order. When linemen block, they should
follow the rules in this order:

1. First, block the defender that is in your inside gap. (GAP)


2. Second, block the down defender who is over the inside offensive
linemen. (DOWN)
3. Third, block the first inside linebacker you come to. (BACKER)

• Always remember these rules: GAP, DOWN, BACKER.

Wing T Strategy for Running the Sweep:


• The Sweep should be run until the defense adjusts.
• The defense will begin to cheat their defensive end or outside
linebacker outside of the TE.
• By doing this, they want to stretch the sweep out and allow the inside
defenders to catch up to the TB. This is exactly what we want.
• Once the defense shifts, we hit them with our inside running game (the
gut, and trap) or with our passing game (the waggle).
• The gut, trap, and waggle are run from the same formation as the
sweep with almost identical backfield motion and blocking
assignments.
• Once defenses shift inside to stop the gut and trap, we begin to run the
sweep again. Thereby, keeping the defense guessing as to which play
we will be running.

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