While traditional clinic talk has pushed an "either/or" philosophy for gun and under center schemes in the Double and Single Wing offenses, Forreston High School (IL) head coach Denny Diduch has found success in merging these two entities by creating two ways for the QB to initiate the play.
By Denny Diduch
Forreston High School (IL)
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At Forreston, we have run the double wing offense for over 90 percent of our total snaps. When our program needed a switch-up, our kids’ mentality did not lend us to choosing a more traditional adjustment within wing T circles. Traditional wing T teams look to overload their lines with a tackle over or heavy backfields. We have seen other programs use these strategies effectively, but we believed those sets worked because of a hard-nosed, wrestler type team attitude. We play these types of teams in our conference, and when we tried to imitate that style it rarely worked, and at times felt like we were defeated before we even ran the play. Instead, we decided to replace our FB with a WR type player and put our QB in gun. We have been able to keep our blocking assignments simple, but still add a new dimension to our offense by making our QB become the FB and add an outside threat to our traditional Jet Sweep, Jet Trap, Off-tackle series.
Top: Hammer (with Traditional FB); Bottom: Rocky (Shotgun with the QB now the FB)
Troubleshooting Common Issues with Wing T/Double Wing Systems:
When the opposing front 7 is stuffing our trap and off tackle plays, and the secondary can run with our jet sweep, we (like many Wing T teams) have struggled to execute a consistent answer with the passing game. We find that the pressure good defenses use to combat our run plays also creates havoc on our slow play action game. We needed an answer that met the following criteria:
- Keep our blocking schemes and techniques the same and our total plays low.
- We didn’t want to move our TE. We want to know where the defense will be.
- Keep our OL/TE tied to each other in both gun and under center.
- Be able to attack all levels of the defense.
- Low risk. Get the ball out quick with little chance for negative plays.
- We wanted to give the LB’s a different “look” without sacrificing the tough nosed line play we have worked to develop.
For the purposes of this report, I will not break down our base plays but simply show how the base plays can be run from both formations.
Combating Traditional "Myths":
- Traditional clinic talk says to do one or the other (shotgun, under center) or risk being bad at both
- Negative plays
- Fumbled snaps
We addressed the shotgun and under center concern by marrying our plays in both styles. We did not create two offenses. We just created two ways for the QB to initiate the play. To avoid a change in mentality, we practiced our gun segments and under center segments interchangeably throughout the season, week, and practice. One style was not our tough style and the other our finesse style. Instead, we coached, practiced, and executed the two styles as much as possible as “2 sides of the same coin”.
To avoid negative plays, we increased the amount of total snaps between center and QB
throughout practice by using a no-huddle system. We stressed getting the ball out early on a pass and having the QB run rather than force a tight window.
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- How the Belly concept is utilized from both under Center and Shotgun alignments.
- How the Counter concept is utilized from both under Center and Shotgun alignments.
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This has been Forreston’s attempt to give our opponents a different view of our offense. We have found that the LB’s stand taller, hesitate a bit, and at the same time we are able to keep our offense physical and quick to the point of attack. It has also allowed us to pass effectively without taking too much practice time away from our traditional double wing offense.
Meet Coach Denny Diduch: Coach Diduch has been the head coach at Forreston High School since the 2008 season. Forreston is a school of about 275 students and plays 1A football in Illinois. The program has won state in 2014 and 2016 and also made the semi-finals in 2017. His record over the last 10 years has been 87-27.