Best Practices: Defending the Wing T Buck Sweep

Oct 15, 2017 | Defense, Game Planning, Defending Specific Offensive Systems and Concepts

By Mike Kuchar
Senior Research Manager
X&O Labs
Twitter: @MikekKuchar


Editor’s Note: The following research was conducted as part of special report on “Defending Unconventional Offenses.”


Defending Buck Sweep:


Reader Responses:

“We will start with a twist with the 7-technique and the strong side linebacker in our four-down front. The defensive end is to rip through the outside shoulder of the tight end with a quick, short step of his outside foot and then he steps through with his inside leg and inside arm to the outside shoulder of the TE (a rock technique). We normally run this tech with DTs to the left or right from a 2- or 2i-tech on the guard, but it can also be run with a 7-technique to his outside at the outside shoulder of the tight end. We stress to them to not avoid contact with the tight end. In fact, we would rather he make contact with the tight end’s outside shoulder with his inside shoulder. With a 3-technique to that same side, who usually draws a down block by the offensive tackle, it can open the C gap for the outside linebacker. The outside linebacker will fire hard to C gap from his alignment over the wing. We usually play Cover 2 to that side, so the corner will have pitch, toss, etc. The strong safety aligns over the tight end at eight yards depth and has deep half on pass and alley fill on run to his side.”

“Attack the inside shoulder of the wing with outside linebacker. If not blocked by the wing, squeeze and burst into the inside leg of the pulling guard to make the runner bounce deep and wide.”

“The main concept we have worked is the outside linebacker on the wing must get his hands on the wing to prevent a clean release onto the MLB. Then the outside linebacker must be prepared to take on the pulling guard on the line of scrimmage keeping outside leverage and force the ball carrier back inside.”

“We have had success defending Buck Sweep by attacking the pulling guard with the strong safety. When he reads the Wing blocking down inside, the strong safety will attack the inside shoulder of the pulling guard forcing the ball even deeper. The aggressive play of the 6-technique defensive end should have already forced the play deeper than intended.”