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32wedge
(@32wedge)
Silver Moderator
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 626
Virginia
Middle School
Only / Head Coach
December 18, 2019 5:41 pm  

If the profile name didn't tip you off, I love wedge also.

I spend about 5 minutes installing wedge at the right guard and about 3 minutes per practice after that for four practices per week for most of the season with 12-13 year olds. 

After the fit starts looking good, I add in wedge at the center and at the left guard.  Then we go guard over unbalanced right and guard over unbalanced left and continued to wedge at all 3 positions. 

I am throwing out there some things that are possible but do not recommend getting that complicated (wedging at multiple points) with your 9 year olds.  A perfected wedge at the center from the double wing will be devastating with that age.

Here is the progression that I use (Disclaimer: There may be a better way to teach wedge.  This is just how I teach it.  I have been running it for 15 seasons. This works for my teams.)

1. Start by placing the apex man (usually the center in a balanced line formation) in a low, strong two point stance.

2. Place the men on each side of the apex in a good wedge fit behind the apex, inside flipper behind the near side hip of the man to their inside and outside hand to the near shoulder of the man to their inside.

3. Continue placing each man, from the inside out, in the same fit position describe in step 2.

4.  When I have them in the correct fit position, I stand in front of the apex man and give a little resistance and have them slowly push me up field to get a feel for how powerful they can be working together.

5.  Starting the whole line from their normal tight split alignment position, I teach the apex man to fire out 2 steps and freeze in the lowered 2 point stance and the rest of the line to get fit on the apex man and freeze.  I correct any bad fits.  It is often ugly the first few times.

6. When we can go from down to the fit and freeze position quickly and correctly, I have them go full speed with me standing in front for resistance.

7. After it starts looking good, I have them do 10 full speed wedges per practice.  If they do 10 good wedges in a row, we are done for the day.  If it is falling apart, I go back to step one and start the progression over.

8. Later on, we start teaching wedging at different apex points.

In team offense, we sometimes do wedge power hour.  I put one back behind the line and everyone else on defense to stop it.  I put some fast guys to run around the edge and tackle the runner from the side.  I put scout defensive lineman in four point stances similar to what the opposition does to us in games.  The defense knows its coming and I challenge the line and runner to run it down their throat anyways.  I dare the defense to let them score.  I stand behind the defense and signal which man we are wedging at and let the runner call the cadence.  If the runner scores, we might have the defense do 10 pushups.  If the offense doesn't get a first down in four plays, we might have them do 10 pushups.

That's all I do.  Everyone on our schedule knows the wedge is coming.  We run it anyways.  It is almost always our biggest gainer and produces the most 30+ yard runs every year.


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Dannypat21
(@dannypat21)
Copper
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 6
December 19, 2019 5:15 am  

If the profile name didn't tip you off, I love wedge also.

I spend about 5 minutes installing wedge at the right guard and about 3 minutes per practice after that for four practices per week for most of the season with 12-13 year olds. 

After the fit starts looking good, I add in wedge at the center and at the left guard.  Then we go guard over unbalanced right and guard over unbalanced left and continued to wedge at all 3 positions. 

I am throwing out there some things that are possible but do not recommend getting that complicated (wedging at multiple points) with your 9 year olds.  A perfected wedge at the center from the double wing will be devastating with that age.

Here is the progression that I use (Disclaimer: There may be a better way to teach wedge.  This is just how I teach it.  I have been running it for 15 seasons. This works for my teams.)

1. Start by placing the apex man (usually the center in a balanced line formation) in a low, strong two point stance.

2. Place the men on each side of the apex in a good wedge fit behind the apex, inside flipper behind the near side hip of the man to their inside and outside hand to the near shoulder of the man to their inside.

3. Continue placing each man, from the inside out, in the same fit position describe in step 2.

4.  When I have them in the correct fit position, I stand in front of the apex man and give a little resistance and have them slowly push me up field to get a feel for how powerful they can be working together.

5.  Starting the whole line from their normal tight split alignment position, I teach the apex man to fire out 2 steps and freeze in the lowered 2 point stance and the rest of the line to get fit on the apex man and freeze.  I correct any bad fits.  It is often ugly the first few times.

6. When we can go from down to the fit and freeze position quickly and correctly, I have them go full speed with me standing in front for resistance.

7. After it starts looking good, I have them do 10 full speed wedges per practice.  If they do 10 good wedges in a row, we are done for the day.  If it is falling apart, I go back to step one and start the progression over.

8. Later on, we start teaching wedging at different apex points.

In team offense, we sometimes do wedge power hour.  I put one back behind the line and everyone else on defense to stop it.  I put some fast guys to run around the edge and tackle the runner from the side.  I put scout defensive lineman in four point stances similar to what the opposition does to us in games.  The defense knows its coming and I challenge the line and runner to run it down their throat anyways.  I dare the defense to let them score.  I stand behind the defense and signal which man we are wedging at and let the runner call the cadence.  If the runner scores, we might have the defense do 10 pushups.  If the offense doesn't get a first down in four plays, we might have them do 10 pushups.

That's all I do.  Everyone on our schedule knows the wedge is coming.  We run it anyways.  It is almost always our biggest gainer and produces the most 30+ yard runs every year.

This is exactly what I need. Thanks for the info, cant wait to get this implemented.


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G8trs
(@g8trs)
Copper
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 58
December 19, 2019 5:36 am  

-How long are your quarters?  If they are 10 minutes or less, then you really need very few plays in a run-dominant offense.  You simply don't have the time in a game that short to use them all.  Time is better spent on all of the various adjustments to your core plays, instead of adding more plays with no adjustments.

Our quarters are also 10 mins long. Your post got me thinking we have too many plays installed for 10 minute quarters. We had a couple plays we only ran a handful of times all season but we practiced them everyday at practice just in case we needed them  ::). This is time we could have spent perfecting the plays we actually use.

Dave what DW plays would you install at 11u with 10 min quarters? Sorry for taking over the thread but I am sure Dannypat21 would like to know as well since he is also new to the DW.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17055
North Carolina
High School
December 19, 2019 6:08 am  

It would have been fun to watch the Wedge running down the field in the rain on Friday lol. I think Wedge would have worked beautifully against LM.

I have absolutely no doubt that it would.  But that call, like several others, weren't mine to make.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17055
North Carolina
High School
December 19, 2019 6:41 am  

How long are your quarters?  If they are 10 minutes or less, then you really need very few plays in a run-dominant offense.

--He replied that they have 10-minute quarters.

Dave what DW plays would you install at 11u with 10 min quarters? Sorry for taking over the thread but I am sure Dannypat21 would like to know as well since he is also new to the DW.

--I would stick with our Core of eight plays (Wedge, Trap, Iso, Power, Sweep, Counter, XX/Reverse/Yo-Yo and a pass).  Do I need them all in by Week 1?  Not in youth ball.  But I will expand the playbook as I go through the season, by adding core plays, formations and tags.  In Week 1 (youth schedule), we will have Wedge, Power, Counter and Sweep.  Then for example, we could add pass for Week 2, Trap for Week 3, Iso for Week 4, a misdirection for Week 5, as well as a new formation per week.  All this is not mandatory, nor is it even needed, but it's what I did because we were heavily scouted and I felt confident in our installs. 

Our pre-season play install looked like this:

Monday: Install Power and Sweep.
Tuesday: Review Power and Sweep.  Install Counter and Trap.
Wednesday: Review Power, Sweep, Counter and Trap.  Install Wedge and Iso.
Thursday: Review Power, Sweep, Counter, Trap, Wedge and Iso.  Install misdirection and pass.
Friday: Full review.  Our install was done in the final week of pre-season.  And Friday's practice would determine which plays were most ready for Saturday's game.

We've also done install based on this schedule:

Monday: Install Power and Sweep.
Tuesday: Review Power and Sweep.  Install Counter and Trap.
Wednesday: Review Counter and Trap.  Install Wedge and Iso.
Thursday: Review Wedge and Iso.  Install misdirection and pass.
Friday:  Full review.

The following week, we would add one formation to the Double Tight and Nasty looks used in Game 1.  So we would add perhaps a Loose, Stack or a Twins look.  Or maybe add Beast, instead.  We would also look at adding a blocking tag, which was usually a combo.  This would continue through the season.  Overkill?  Maybe.  But I've run the offense a long time, so there are lots of things I looked to add to it through the season, but stayed within the foundation of the core.  In Pop Warner, we also had a longer season than most because of regional play-offs that took place after the regular season had ended.  So we felt more comfortable with some things carried in our back pocket, such as a direct-snap Wedge to the Fullback, or keybreakers for other Core plays.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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G8trs
(@g8trs)
Copper
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 58
December 19, 2019 7:26 am  

--I would stick with our Core of eight plays (Wedge, Trap, Iso, Power, Sweep, Counter, XX/Reverse/Yo-Yo and a pass).  Do I need them all in by Week 1?  Not in youth ball.  But I will expand the playbook as I go through the season, by adding core plays, formations and tags.  In Week 1 (youth schedule), we will have Wedge, Power, Counter and Sweep.  Then for example, we could add pass for Week 2, Trap for Week 3, Iso for Week 4, a misdirection for Week 5, as well as a new formation per week.  All this is not mandatory, nor is it even needed, but it's what I did because we were heavily scouted and I felt confident in our installs

This is similar to what we installed this season. Our plays for game 1 were Power, Sweep (Speed), Counter, Counter Trap, Reverse, Power Pass, Bootleg Pass and No Play. We also had the ON tag installed. As the season progressed we installed. Power Sweep, Toss Pass, QB Power, QB Counter, Dive, No Play Wedge as well as Over and Nasty tags.

Looking back on the season I feel like we have to get better at Power Pass and Reverse. Power Pass was great for us in the past but it was almost a wasted play this season. Reverse was rarely used and never successful. I kept it on the play call sheet because we ran Reverse behind Wedge, Counter and Counter Trap.

I think we would have been just as successful this season running only Power and Wedge. Now I have to decide how many plays I actually NEED for next season. Thanks for the feedback Dave.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17055
North Carolina
High School
December 19, 2019 7:34 am  

Our plays for game 1 were Power, Sweep (Speed), Counter, Counter Trap, Reverse, Power Pass, Bootleg Pass and No Play.

--Ooo!  I forgot to count No Play as a play.

We also had the ON tag installed.

--Yes, we like that one, too.

As the season progressed we installed. Power Sweep, Toss Pass, QB Power, QB Counter, Dive, No Play Wedge as well as Over and Nasty tags.

--Yes, I forgot about unbalanced.

Now I have to decide how many plays I actually NEED for next season.

--The better you can execute, the fewer plays you need.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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32wedge
(@32wedge)
Silver Moderator
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 626
Virginia
Middle School
Only / Head Coach
December 19, 2019 8:30 am  

This is exactly what I need. Thanks for the info, cant wait to get this implemented.

If you have any questions, let me know.  I will help anyway I can.

Also, you need to teach your runner to get fit up in the wedge as quickly as possible also.  He has to get out of the backfield and in the wedge now!  The defense will lose him in there.  He can bounce out when the wedge breaks up down field but he has to get in it through the defensive line.  That's a primary key to good wedge plays.


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G8trs
(@g8trs)
Copper
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 58
December 19, 2019 1:15 pm  

No Play is my 3rd favorite play behind Wedge and Power. We really pissed some coaches off with it  :P. Our sidelines love No Play. They go crazy when the other team jumps offsides.

No Play Wedge is also a killer. We picked up so many first downs with No Play and No Play Wedge. Get them on their heels with No Play than smash them in the mouth with Wedge on 2. Both plays will always be a big part of our offense.


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