By Mike Kuchar with CJ Westler
Pleasant High School (OH)
Some coaches prefer to group Duo with gap scheme family runs while others, like Coach Westler, choose to pair it with inside zone. Over 50% of the run game at Pleasant High School consists of the Duo play and Coach Westler and his staff try to make it look like inside zone as much as possible. In order to do that, he teaches the play side Tackle to work with the Center in identifying the Mike linebacker. But like most schemes, all double teams work to the backside linebacker. “We tell the tackles that if you don’t know what to do, work to whomever the Center tells you to,” said Coach Westler.
The Mike linebacker is identified in every play. The Center’s rule is to identify the first defender head up to the play side of the Duo scheme. That tells the play-side Tackle to work to the identified Mike while the Center works to the next linebacker in the box. The running back is taught to track the backside leg of the Center and press the line of scrimmage. “We tell him that if linebackers are making tackles that is on him,” said Coach Westler. “He has to press the LOS and draw the linebackers to our linemen. We are not always good enough to block linebackers in space.”
How those linemen work the correct technique to block the second level is the focus of this report.
Double Team Technique:
First thing- Coach Westler doesn’t talk much about covered or uncovered principles in combination blocks. And he doesn’t talk about vertical double teams either. “With our RPO game, we don’t want five yards of vertical movement because we don’t want to get downfield,” he said. Instead he relies on a couple of specific techniques to get the first level moved to generate space in the Duo scheme.