Why Choate Prep (CT) Teaches Its H to Skip Pull on One-Back Counter

Jun 12, 2016 | Run Game Mechanics, Tight Ends, Position Groups

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


The following research was conducted as part of X&O Labs’ study on “Spread Gap Schemes,” which can be accessed in full on the Insiders website.

LJ Spinnato, the head coach at Choate Rosemary Hall, the number one prep program in Connecticut, spends his spring visiting with Coach Malzahn at Auburn. He also uses the Slant formation to run is Counter scheme. The rules for the scheme are below:

PST (play side tackle): B Gap or backside inside linebacker; sift if odd front.

PSG (play side guard): Block A Gap or backside inside linebacker.

C: Away A gap to 3-technique; sift if odd.

BSG (back side guard): Trap pull technique to C gap player, pick up play side foot and put it down toes pointed downhill through play side guard and tackle. Adjust downfield to up field shoulder of kick player. Get ready to log and spill player as physical up field as possible.

BST (back side tackle): Gap Hinge. If odd, sift punch, hinge to outside linebacker after stunning 4-technique before center overtakes him. Same concept on 3-technique away.

H Back: Always run from sniffer position otherwise true Counter Trey. Skip pull just like a pulling guard on our Power play. Keeps his shoulders up field and it times up the best for us. Lead up on play side inside linebacker.

Skip Pull Fundamental:

Once that sniffer is in position to execute his block on the Counter, and he knows who to block, he must be taught the specifics on how to block that second level defender. We’ve found that most coaches are teaching a typical square pull technique where the H turns his shoulder perpendicular to the line of scrimmage to hug the double team.

LJ Spinnato, the coach at Choate Rosemary Hall (CT), was teaching the same technique, but found that often times his H was overrunning the C gap and not squaring up on the play side linebacker. So, week one of this season Coach Spinnato decided that he would teach that sniffer to use a skip pull technique just like the backside guard. He found the timing worked better and it gave the ball carrier a two-way go in the C gap.

To study game film on how Choate Rosemary Hall (CT) runs its Counter concept, click on the video below: