Coach Lytle details how he uses formations, motions, and pass sets to vary his Power concept against different fronts and schemes.
By Rick Lytle
Euclid High School (OH)
Editor’s Note: Coach Lytle is serving as the Euclid High School Offensive Coordinator where he has served in that capacity since 2000. Prior to that, Rick was the head coach at Beachwood High School from 1998 to1999. He started his coaching career with six seasons at Lake Catholic where he served as Offensive coordinator (1995 – 1998) and QB Coach (1992 – 1994).
It seems everyone runs some version of the "Power" play. Some may describe it as a counter play but since we do not have any counter action in the backfield we have just called it our power play. My concept of a power play is when the front side of the line blocks down, somebody kicks out the front side “C” gap player and somebody will lead through from the back side to a front side linebacker. So whatever you want to call this play it is a downhill aggressive play that when we run it well we are tough to beat. When we struggled to gain yards on this play then we struggled as an offense to move the football.
I have been coaching for over 20 years and the power play has always been a big part of our offense. We used to run from under center but we now very rarely get under center so we now run it out of the pistol formation. Two years ago we made the switch from putting the back to one side of the QB in the shotgun to now we are in the pistol formation most of the time. We made this switch for a variety of reasons. Two of the biggest reasons were we like to run our QB and that is hard to do from under center. Second reason was we like the idea of our back coming down hill and the pistols allows that to happen.
I would like to share a few philosophical reasons why we like this play and then I will get into the specifics of how we teach it. Also through this article I will share the following topics pertaining to this play;
- Personnel grouping
- Formation we will use
- Responsibilities of each position
- Variations & adjustments
- Attitude Play: This is an aggressive downhill running play.
- It great in short yardages as well as a good 1st down play, 2nd down play to keep you in a 3rd and manageable situation.
- Keeps the clock moving when you need to hold the ball
- Take advantage of the big back that likes to run downhill.
- Sets up great play action
We will run this play from a variety of personal grouping. We are primarily a 20 personal team and we have run it out of that personal. We will also run it from 21 personal, and 10 personal.
Formations: We will run this out the following formations.
We will run it out of different formations and personal but these are our favorites. We have been a 20 personal team for the past few years and we will primarily run the play from King, Queen, Strong, and Weak formations.
- FS Tackle: Block down, if the FS Guard is shaded (3 technique) we will double him to back side LB. If DT crosses his face he will lock up with him and not let penetration.
- FS Guard: Against a 3 technique we will double team but must be aware of A gap run through. He is responsible for FS A gap. Vs odd front he will block down if nose disappears he will climb to BS LB
- C: Responsible for BS A gap. If there is no threat he will double team a 0 technique
- BS Guard: Flat pull into the LOS and kick out first man out side the tackle. He will need to pull into the line and adjust to a wide rusher.
- BS Tackle: He will sift the BS B gap and hinge verse a and edge player. He can not let any one beat him in the B gap.
- B “our FB” He will pull with depth and he is responsible for the front side LB.
- “We like him making this pull b/c he is a better athlete and can make adjustment better than our tackles.
- A “our TB” He will take a drop step and his aiming point is the crack of the FS Guard. We do not want him to bounce the play. It is an “A” gap play that might bend backside or front side depending on how the defense is playing it.
- QB He will open up and extend ball and boot away from play or set up in the pocket we will decide from week to week depending on what PA pass we like off of it.
- Y “our TE” He is responsible for the overhang player If he is attached to the formation he will arc to the overhang. We like this b/c it will widen the DE and create a better blocking angle for the BS Guard.
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As you can see you can get as varied as you want with this play. It is a play that would make Woody Hayes & Bo Schembechler smile. It is a very aggressive hardnosed play that the kids will like to run. Your back will be running down hill and I believe this will put a tremendous mount of pressure on the defense.