With governing bodies reducing practice time, one coach found a unique way to combine both conditioning and his Double Screen. See what he did...
By Ray Butler
Head Football Coach
Boston Latin School
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Governing bodies have become more restrictive on practice time, amount of contact, types of drills and many other things. Players and I don’t blame them, don’t like to run just for the sake of running during conditioning. My staff and I, essentially, needed to come up with a way to accomplish conditioning needs and still get X & O football time out of all of our practice periods, no matter what time of year or type of practice. We think we accomplished this through running one of our favorite plays, the Double Screen.
We believe the Double Screen as a conditioner has allowed us to involve all positions to be involved in a meaningful way, work in play related skills and develop a “Big Play” potential play that everyone is confident running.
We also believe that this is one of our most adaptable plays as far as what formations we wish to run it out of and what defenses we like to run it against.
Repping the Double Screen Concept
When we begin on day 1 and go over our practice format for the day, we install our Double Screen out of a 2 x 2 set verse cones. We do not set the cones up in a particular defense per se, but rather the areas we wish to see the players get to.
- We usually run this from the 25 yard line
- Cones usually go about 5 yards and 10 yards from the LOS
- After player passes the second cone, they run through the end zone
- Players peel off to their side of the field so the next group can go right now
- Q1 has the ball snapped to him and runs the cadence, Q2 has the ball in his hand
Our next step is transitioning from coaching against cones to a front and more specifically what formation we will run this out of to our opponent’s defense. We will also look at any adjustment we will make. For example, if we are in a 3 x 1 set, we may adjust the 3 receiver side to be the swing (#3 runs a bubble and 1 and 2 follow our bubble rules) and the A back will block the man over #1 to the single receiver side, OL stays the same, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
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- How Coach Butler uses the Double Screen from 11 personnel groupings, including the read of the quarterback and the blocking assignments of the offensive line.
- How Coach Butler uses the Double Screen from 10 personnel groupings, including the read of the quarterback and the assignments of the offensive line.
- Film of the “Double Screen Drill” that Coach Butler uses as a conditioner in daily practice.
- Game film of the Double Screen concept
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The Double Screen has become a play that has let us have meaningful conditioning periods during practice. It has become a play that has given us the “2 in 1” that so many coaches look for. The Double Screen is easily adjustable to run out of a variety of formations and against many fronts and coverages.
Meet Coach Butler: Ray Butler is a veteran football coach in the New England area. Prior to coming to Boston Latin School, he served as the Head Coach of South Boston High School, offensive coordinator at MIT, Framingham State, Curry College and Mount Ida College. He has also served on the staffs at Umass-Lowell and the University of Rhode Island working with the offensive line, running backs and coordinating video. Coach Butler began his collegiate coaching career at MIT in 1999 where he was the running backs coach. Butler has also coached at Holliston High School and Boston Latin School.