Discover why this father/son coaching duo believes that they are running the most versatile and powerful play in the game.
By Steve Girolmo, Former HC, Livonia HS (NY)
Scott Girolmo, OC, Liberty HS (VA)
Hello my name is Steve Girolmo and it’s my great pleasure to present to you an offensive play that helped my teams at Livonia find continued success on the ground. Call it what you like; Sweep, Super Power, 134… This is the most powerful play I have known in 47 years of playing and coaching football. We have run it from a variety of backfield sets, (2 wings, Wishbone, I, Gun, Wildcat, Slots) and have adapted it to unbalanced lines as well. It doesn’t lose potency, it really is that effective.
The scheme itself (hereafter called ‘sweep’) contains very few rules for players. Its simplicity makes repetitions easier during installation and practice. For our purposes here we will diagram and describe the sweep from a 2 tight end, 2 wing formation.
Offensive Line Alignment: Foot to foot splits max 1 inch.
Play Side: C, G, T, TE will block gap down. (Occasionally against a great DT, we will isolate a double team on that player). In the gap down scheme, we try to emphasize each lineman getting his head on his brother’s shoulder to create a wall. The overlapping structure serves an important purpose in the play’s consistent success because it eliminates gaps on the front-side and forces defenders behind and around the wall. In the space left from their dispersal, we insert pullers and a runner. Every time a defender retreats, and our players fill the void, we gain yardage. Watch the movie “300” and see the Spartan Phalanx operate in the Battle of Thermopylae. It is an incredibly similar concept to gaining tactical advantage of space, and maximizing personnel through structure.
RB (WING): Either; arc inside to seal play side ILB, or arc outside to kick Corner. He can also be used to add an additional DOWN block if you want to personnel a blocking back or extra TE in here.
Back Side: G, T will skip pull to play side and lead up in C gap, looking IN to scraping LB’s. TE will cut off or CUT BLOCK inside (5, 4, 4i, 3 tech’s). This may SOUND crazy, however when aligned foot to foot, even an unathletic TE can reach and crawl his way to cut off a 3-tech, because they are so closely aligned. See the film for yourself.
QB: Reverse pivot, dead toss ball to RB (back side WING), continue turn and assist FB blocking the DE.
FB: Attack DE / Last man on LOS, inside-Out. Kick player out.
RB (WING): On snap, step 45 degrees play side away from LOS, eyes on the ball. Receive the toss, put away and immediately find back side pulling Tackle. Stay directly behind him as he turns up in C Gap, and follow him as long as possible. Look for a seam to make a cut, especially look for cut back.
The nature of the play is such that it does not necessitate many adjustments. Any way you want to count it, there are between 5 and 8 offensive bodies working a 2-gap area of the defense. Offensive personnel outnumber defensive personnel in that small area. This provides even smaller, weaker teams with a competitive advantage of pure numbers at the point of attack.
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- Coaching points to address common scheme adjustments by Defensive Coordinators.
- 7 additional formations that provide wrinkles from week to week.
- Keys to applying this concept to offenses ranging from the inverted I, straight T, gun, and everything in between.
- Video on both the base concept and change ups and more.
Whether you are trying to solve 3rd and short, or putting together a goal line package, you must have a weapon in your arsenal for when you want to run and the defense knows it. Sweep is the ultimate power play for providing the versatility to put your players in successful situations consistently. It is our hope that this scheme can help add SUPER POWER to your offense.