As a Wing T disciple, Ken Vigdal felt it necessary to open up his formations in order to maintain his interior run game against loaded run boxes. This transition led to the development of his unbalanced under center formation...
By Ken Vigdal
Brookings High School (SD)
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For a large part of my coaching career I have run a Wing T offense. I started with the double tight formation, through time I implemented the gun, and now we are a spread wing offense. The reason for the change to the gun was that defenses continued to put more and more defenders in the box. We then went to the spread to help our running lanes open up. As defenses have changed and adapted to the spread offense you see more 3-3 or 3-5 defenses. One formation we have kept throughout our transitions is our unbalanced formation from under center. We have kept this formation because it forces defenses to practice against a non-traditional spread set. They have to use their practice time to defend this formation and all it brings with it. Most, if not all of the teams in our conference run a spread offense. This gives us another opportunity to do something different that other defenses will not see every week.
We keep our normal two foot splits for our offensive lineman. The left tackle moves to a position between the right tackle and the right tight end. The reason we move the left tackle to this position is that the right tackle and the right guard are used to working together. We want to keep that consistency when we run other parts of our gap schemes. The fullback heels are at 4 yards from the ball. The tailback is slightly ahead of the fullback, usually heels at fullback toes and splits the inside leg of the right tackle. The wing is in a 1x1 position off the left tight end.
Coaching the Double Team
We always want to double team at the point of attack. Our rule is we always double the second man in on the line of scrimmage. Many times it is a double between the tight end and the left tackle. The left tackle is the offensive lineman who will communicate with either the tight end or the right tackle where the double team will occur. We will take the double that has the best alignment for us to seal down inside. In Diagram 3, it shows the two basic upfront alignments we get on the double team. The first one shows a good angle for the tight end to double and then move up to a backer. The second one shows a double between the two tackles.
We have used both the traditional Wing T double team, where you have a post player and a push player, trying to get the defensive player to move at 45 degrees back. We have gone to more of our zone double, stepping together to get a vehicle double. Both ways of doubling have worked. So whatever technique you use, it will be successful.
Timing the Play Call
The timing of this play call is a big part of its success, first down, second and short, or right after a timeout or quarter break with no huddle. We are also not worried about field position, we like this call when we are about 30 yards out and we will also use the reverse pass when we are backed up against our goal line.
Staying ahead of the Defense
Even though the reverse is our number one play out of this formation we will also run both a weak side and strong side pass. This is great when they start sending their corners off the edge to stop the reverse. The will also blitz linebackers into the unbalanced side between the two tackles; that is when we will run trap up inside.
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This has been a great changeup for us over the years. Even though we have it in our playbook, it does not get used every week. Sometimes we leave it out for a week or two, knowing we want to specifically use against a certain opponent. This way some teams may spend their practice time running it and never see it in the game. The other part of this play is that our kids love to run it, they have confidence that it will go big every time it is called.
About Coach Vigdal: Ken Vigdal was a head football coach and offensive coordinator for Sioux Center Community Schools and Ogden Community Schools in Iowa for 15 years. For the last 6 years, he has been the offensive coordinator in Brookings, South Dakota, with an appearance in the championship game in 2014.