By David Weitz
Hamilton Southeastern High School (IN)
When taking over as an offensive coordinator for the first time one of the biggest problems isn’t finding what to do, it’s finding what not to do. In a world where we have access to so many different resources and tools for developing our knowledge, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. There are so many good schemes out there and all of them work.
When I first took over as an Offensive Coordinator four years ago that was definitely an issue for me. As a lifelong football nerd, I had studied and could talk about a variety of different schemes and offensive systems. I have coached in a Modified Wing T, Traditional Pro, and Up Tempo Spread under some of the greatest offensive minds in the state and arguably the country.
Through experimentation and a lot of bad ideas, I finally arrived at a way of thinking about offensive game planning that fit my brain. I have always been a fan of Flexbone's systematic approach to attacking a defense. I loved the Up-Tempo Spread’s ability to thin the box out and adjust plays at the line. At the same time, I really enjoyed the misdirection of the Wing-T. We have worked to combine this into a way of thinking about attacking a defense that has been great for our players and coaches.
One of the core components of our offense is that we want to make teenagers think. One of the best things I ever heard was from Jayson West who told me “I’m not trying to trick 40 year old’s, they’re smarter than me. I’m trying to trick teenagers.” That has become the foundation of our philosophy and how we approach game planning. The more variables and potential outcomes we can force players to think about before and while the ball is being snapped, the better we will be.
The other thing we really believe in is the idea that we want to have answers. If we are having success running a play a good defense is going to adjust and find a way to stop us. Well they only have 11 players so if they are going to adjust to stop one play, it’s going to open up another one. With a series we are able to exploit that adjustment.
The result is a very systematic way of thinking about play calling. If they are going to stop our Outside Run then that should open up another play. The series based play calling style, made famous in the Tubby Raymond Delaware Wing-T, gives the coordinator answers. Which is one of the things I always loved about the Flexbone and the If-Then style call sheets that Paul Johnson made famous.
The thing that was the big breakthrough for us wasn’t the series system, it was the application of the series system. I had only thought of the series system as a Wing-T or Flexbone type of system. When we looked at the series based system and applied it to our spread formations, we made a huge leap as a program.
Why Formation into the Boundary
When considering different formations and motions that are going to stress the defense it’s always nice to be a little non-traditional. When you are able to get outside of the conventional box you force the defense to play and plan for formations they don’t always see. This is why we love the concept of going formation into the boundary.
With our formation into the boundary series we are going to put the passing strength into the short side of the field. This leaves the defense with a difficult choice, do they put their defensive strength into the boundary and leave open space or do they let us gain an advantage and risk dealing with our quick game.