Force the opposition to prepare for your extra point attempts by installing this 4 check system. Read more here...
By Eric Struck
Special Teams Coordinator/WR Coach/JV Head Coach
Washington High School (SD)
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Touchdowns are obviously a great momentum boost for your team so why not take advantage of that momentum on the scoreboard by going for two if the defense is unprepared. Using the PAT as an extension of your offense can be fun for your kids and cause headaches for the opposing teams.
I have been the Special Teams Coordinator at Washington High (SD) the past two seasons. When I was given the job, I had three philosophical goals in mind:
- Do things that set us apart from the competition
- Make special teams fun and exciting for our players
- Use schemes that gave us an advantage on game nights
Using the PAT and creating different formations while using the same set of checks on a week in week out basis accomplishes all of those things for us. When we first install PAT, we start with a basic formation that we will tweak from week to week.
We will install 4 basic checks that we will use determine what our course of action will be when we get lined up. Those checks will be consistent throughout the season and we may add or tweak things as we go along. For our checks, the Holder will look to the sideline at me and after I survey the defense I will give him a signal if we want to run a play to go for two points or if we will line up and kick it. I give a arm/hand signal that tells the Holder what we want to do then he will call it out to the rest of the PAT team. It is important that they get lined up quickly so that we have enough time to survey the defense as well as get lined up to kick if we need to.
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- The check Coach Struck use if he sees a one on one matchup for his best receiver on his PAT team.
- The gap scheme check Coach Struck will use if he sees a 3-on-2 advantage to the play side.
- The check Coach Struck will use if he feels his PAT holder is more athletic than the C-D gap defenders on the PAT block team.
- Plus game film of all these concepts.
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By going to this type of strategy you will have to have a bit of risk takers mentality and understand that if you don’t get it once you still have the opportunities to earn that point back. Over the past two seasons we are 8/15 on our two point attempts. That’s roughly a 53% conversion rate. The majority of our failed attempts had more to do with our lack of execution than what the defense did to us. It is difficult to determine how much this strategy affects other teams and how much time they have to spend preparing for it. Any time at all is less time that they are preparing for our offense or other aspects of our kicking game.
These are just a few things that we have done the past two seasons. You are only limited by your imagination. I can’t stress enough how much our kids enjoy being a part of this and how much they look forward to what we are doing from week to week. As a coach, anything we can do to add some excitement and enthusiasm for what we are doing is a good thing and I know that our PAT system has done that for our special teams.
Meet Coach Struck: Eric Struck is currently the Special Teams Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach/JV Head Coach for Washington High School in Sioux Falls, SD. He has been coaching there since 2001. During that time, he has coached in eight state championship games and been part of four state champion teams (including 2015). Struck has also coached Offensive Line, Defensive Backs, and Wide Receivers during his time at Washington High.