By Joe Ginn, Offensive Coordinator, Choctaw High School (OK)
See how a team with Wing T routes uses their pulling guards to influence linebackers and create numerical advantages all over the field.
By Joe Ginn
Choctaw High School (OK)
Editor’s Note: Joe just finished his second year in 2012 as the Offensive Coordinator and Receivers Coach at Choctaw High School. Prior to serving his role as Offensive Coordinator, Joe spent 3 seasons Coaching Receivers at Choctaw. Before coming to Choctaw, Joe Spent 4 seasons (2004-2008) as Defensive Coordinator at Tecumseh High School (Tecumseh, OK.)Joe played 1 year of College Football at Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS; and 3 years of Football at East Central University in Ada, OK.
Great offenses are all about deception. Recently, there is a trend to package plays to allow for defenses to be wrong / confused regardless of the play call. One of the most common ways that we have been able to do that within our offenses is to combine the age old buck sweep play from our Wing T roots with our 1 and 2 back shotgun formations. From there, we package plays in a way that the quarterback can make a simple pre-snap read to decide which of the plays in the package attacks what the defense is giving up.
The key to the success of this play/concept is to attack the opposing linebackers. We know that they will have been coached to read our guards to locate the ball. Since we know what they are reading, we are able to use that to our advantage as we package the plays. Our goal through this process is to make sure that the opposing linebackers begin to doubt their coaches early in the game and that this confusion will slow down theirreading and reacting to our guards. With that said, here is a look at how we make this happen within our “down/bubble” package.
In our offense, the “Down” play is simply an old Wing-T Buck Sweep play that we adapted a bit to run out of our one back shotgun. We had utilized it very successfully during the 2011 season, however, we had a few hiccups with it towards the end of the year as teams began scheming to take it away based on formation. We wanted to come up with an answer, because it was far and away our best play that season. We came up with our down bubble scheme as an answer to teams over playing the wing formations we utilized to run the down. We figured we could make them give us one or the other, most defenses couldn’t align to take away both of those plays, and if they did somehow, they would have to give up somewhere else. We feel like we are dictating a little to the defense this way. You are either going to take away our best receiver on a bubble, or our TB on the edge with two lead blockers out in front of him. We feel like this is one way that we can hand cuff the defense a little bit.
This concept is a way we can stretch the field for width and make the defense attempt to defend the field from sideline to sideline. An added bonus to using this approach is that we also get a kick out of seeing Linebackers who are keying our guards chasing them and not our fastest kid who is our Z Receiver.
For the play to work, your QB must determine pre-snap which of these schemes the defense has chosen to give up. He is reading leverage and numbers just like he would in any passing game concept. His basic directives are to attack the side where the numbers are in our favor or if numbers are even we want him to attack the side where we have won the leverage battle pre-snap.
The key to the success of the play for us to make sure that there is no doubt about what needs to happen. The QB is told that if he has any doubt we want him to stay with the run play. We want his pre-snap thinking process on Down Bubble to be something like this…
Question1: Do we have a numbers advantage on one side or another?
Question 2: Do we have the defense outflanked on one side or another?
Running the Down Scheme
If we decide pre-snap to run the Down, our QB will read the backside end to determine whether to give or pull, just like a Zone Read. He is taught to read the shoulders of the read side end. If his shoulders stay square our QB is going to give the down, if the shoulders chase the RB he will pull the ball. Our back simply runs the path in front of our QB and the QB reaches and rides just like a Zone Read Play. We tell our RB he is responsible for the mesh. Our QB pushes the ball up towards the chest of the running back if he’s giving it and pulls it down and away if he’s keeping it. When the QB hands the ball to the back we tell our RB to ride the wave to the outside of the pulling guards and make a move on the first unblocked player and go score.
Running the Bubble
If our pre-snap read is bubble, our QB simply tells the RB he’s throwing bubble and the RB doesn’t worry about the mesh point, he just flashes in front of the QB, and our QB just flashes the handoff before throwing bubble. The receivers’ jobs are very simple:Anytime the Z is away from a down play he runs a bubble. We used the Z because he is our best receiver, you could tell any #2 or #3 receiver he runs bubble if away from a down call. This is where we as coaches get to be creative. For us, the bubble route asks the receiver to cross over run working for about 2 yards of depth on a banana path. He is coached to stay parallel to the line of scrimmage with his shoulders. His first step will drive off his inside foot which in our scheme is up.
We do different things with our #1 receiver. Against an aggressive corner or teams who like to switch the bubble between the corner and safety we will block the threat with our #1 receiver. We want him blocking the most dangerous threat to the bubble. For instance vs. Cover 3 we will block the inverted defender and expect our Z to beat the corner. Against Cover 2 we will block the hard corner. If it’s a Cover 8 type look we will press 2 steps upfield reading the safety, if he buzzes downfield hard to the bubble we will block him, if he drops, we will block the corner.
Running the QB
We have two other ways of getting our QB more involved in the running aspect of this play. The first way and the easiest way is by calling QB Down.(Diagram 6) When we call QB Down we add a blocker by setting the running back playside and getting him out in front as an additional lead blocker. The rest of the blocking remains the same. The QB again makes a pre-snap read to throw the Bubble or run the Down (he typically decides on the Down). On the Down, he must fake the Bubble before running the Down to give the blocking enough time to set up.
What You're Missing:
Join XandOLabs.com exclusive Insiders membership program and gain full access to Coach Ginn’s entire clinic report on the down/bubble concept including:
- QB read on the Down/Bubble vs. various defensive structures and fronts.
- Down blocking rules and coaching points
- Adjusting perimeter rules on the Bubble vs. differing secondary structures and leverage.
- Coach Ginn’s “Down/Smoke” concept used against over aggressive linebackers.
- Plus game film on all these concepts and more
I have always lived by the philosophy that a confused player is a slower player. Over the past few years, we have found packaging these plays provides away that we can remain simple while looking multiple to a defense and create that confusion. I hope that these concepts can be helpful as you look toward a new season with new opportunities to confuse and destroy. I welcome any questions and look forward to hearing from you guys in the near future.