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Coaching up the devastating criss cross counter.....

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DoubleWingCoach
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What's up coaches....

While going over questions that I hear on my youtube channel and emails I receive from coaches one of the most RESOUNDING themes I hear is about how some coaches across the country cannot get their criss cross counter to the devastating play that it is..... So I poured over film and my own personal notes and wanted to drop some knowledge about the single most devastating play in the DW arsenal IF IT IS RUN RIGHT.....

As you guys know I follow the Calande blocking scheme for the most part.  I utilize the GATE pulling on the back side because I got tired of chop/cut block penalties all the time.... But for the most part the blocking scheme follows his general direction....  But coaching up the 325XX and the 234XX is not as simple as it sounds... There are KEY differences to the play that will make it a STANDOUT part of ur attack...

1.  Work the power game:  This goes without saying. Your power game influences the first step of defenders. Without a power game you have no counter game. And you certainly dont have a criss cross counter game for sure..  If defenders take a bad first step with a STANDARD counter, they will usually take TWO OR THREE bad steps with the criss cross.... Because it looks MORE like power complete with the toss and everything..... So as the first step to developing a mean counter game, your power game must strike fear into your opponents.  (SEE WALL DRILL and POWER HOUR)

2.  Who's kicking out the DE???  On all my plays my QB opens to motion.  Every time... So when he opens up for criss cross counter it is to pitch the ball to the MOTION back... Who will then handoff to the actual CARRYING BACK.  Well the QB is in PERFECT position to kickout the DE.  I have my QB step to roughly 8 (8 O CLOCK) with his left foot opening his hips, then attack the DE downhill immediately.. Your QB does NOT spin to toss.... It's a quick little toss... and once the ball is out of QB's hand he is attacking to Kickout the DE.

3.  Well what about the BSG?  Well he's free to turn upfield into the hole and start sealing off backers.  My BSG runs the "C" which means he pulls from his position and then follows a "C" track into the LB corps.  Sealing off scraping LB's who are now turning the correct way when they realize its going the other way. 

4.  How many enter the hole as blockers?  In my scheme the BSG/BSTE/FB are all running as a group and turning into the 5 hole (assuming this is 325XX).  Once they hit the hole they fan out.  BSG runs the C route, BSTE takes an inside out scheme Looking for corners or OLB's.  FB comes right down the pipe looking for the Mike if the guard hasn't walled him off... At this point your blockers will take a "Block who appears first" attitude.

5.  Change your motion:  THIS IS THE BIGGEST ISSUE I SEE with 325/234xx for coaches.... SLOW DOWN THE MOTION and ensure it is MUCH MORE SHALLOW.  The wingback on power should receive the pitch at about 3.5 yds deep behind the LOS.  Well this is a counter and it needs to be MUCH closer to the LOS.  The 2 back can not RUN backwards to receive the handoff (unless you like losing 8 yards everytime you run this).... 

MY MOTIONING BACK will motion half speed and half distance on 325/234xx.  So instead of 3.5 yds behind LOS like Power, he is at roughly 1.5-1.7 yds behind LOS.  The QB literally tosses the ball like a foot and a half into his waiting arms.  Now the 2 back STAYS tight to the LOS, following a pack of blockers.  By the time he gets the ball handed to him he's literally invisible in the scrum. 

6. motion back and carrying back should literally almost scrape shoulders when the handoff occurs at roughly 1.5 yds deep into the backfield.... They should be turned 90 degrees to the line (carrying back can slightly turn towards the called POA but not much as I want the security of the handoff to be paramount)....  Make sure it is never a sketchy handoff... this is why the shallow motion is SOOOOO important.... Cause it turns a deep floating toss followed by a sketch handoff, into an easy 1.5 foot toss into a leisurely handoff to the carrying back...

Make these changes to your criss cross counter... And you'll be turning off scoreboards by halftime....

Both the 325xx and the 234xx can be seen here.... And we scored on both....  Pay close attention to how easy the handoff is when the toss is very shallow...

1:41 325xx
5:41 234xx


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Dusty Ol Fart
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Work the power game:  This goes without saying. Your power game influences the first step of defenders. Without a power game you have no counter game.

Gents I propose, that this is a Truism in any Offense!  If you cannot establish, Power, Midline, Iso, Off Tackle, OR, at the very least "Work It"  for a bit.  Any Counter, Play Action, will have less success. There is no "Trap to Spring" if you don't establish, the Anti-Trap first. 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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DoubleWingCoach
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100000%

The power game ALWAYS makes the counter go. Don't be the coach coming out running 8 counters to every 2 Powers.... 

I will usually come out running Power and Wedge almost exclusively.  I will work Power in both directions, then I will integrate some Wing On Powers, one or two blast plays (which look like Power)..... Sprinkled in there I will wedge provided they are not cutting my linemen or center (which if they scout they should)....  If they don't I just keep using Power/Wedge... Beating them down. 

Then typically around play 9-12 of the offensive series I will run a standard counter and see how it goes..... Followed by some more power/wedge and then you can GUARANTEE the 325xx/234xx is coming out depending on which side is the wide side of the field.....

I've usually scored by this point... So the attack starts all over again.....

My decision to pass is based on a few things. Usually how close the safety is to the LOS.....  After running 15 straight times I can usually hear the DC yelling at his safety to "MOVE UP BILLY!!!!!!!!"... When they do that a Ray Flood Pass Right is most certainly coming...


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CoachDP
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Don't be the coach coming out running 8 counters to every 2 Powers.

Actually, you could do this if you were willing to make your Counter the power play.  In other words, make the defense sit on Counter, so that when you rarely run Power there are fewer defenders at the point of attack. 

But I get what you're saying.  I've seen guys run Counter straight from the get-go, without baiting the hook at all.  Play doesn't work and they're left scratching their head.

--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."

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Coach Correa
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I was always of the thought by qb booting backside it helps widen the D-end making that KO easier for guard .

Head Coach Tito Correa New Britain Raiders 14-U


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DoubleWingCoach
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Actually, you coulddo this if you were willing to make your Counter the power play.  In other words, make the defense sit on Counter, so that when you rarely run Power there are fewer defenders at the point of attack. 

But I get what you're saying.  I've seen guys run Counter straight from the get-go, without baiting the hook at all.  Play doesn't work and they're left scratching their head.

Good Point Coach! Never thought about it that way.  You could also offset fullback to either side, making it that much harder of a read for the D. 

And yeah the critical thing about the counter right off jump is that they don't see the toss fly.....  So the defenders are sometimes able to key the QB and they don't bite.... But you run that POWER TEN TIMES and then run it.... every single time... big gain...

I was always of the thought by qb booting backside it helps widen the D-end making that KO easier for guard.

explain coach???? cause on a criss cross counter which direction would he boot?  He makes the toss to the motioning wing and then boots WHICH direction????  The reason I DON't do this other than the obvious extra blocker I pick up by using the QB to kickout the DE, the flow of the play has a lot of bodies moving in seemingly opposite directions.  So I worry about the QB colliding into someone. I would have to see it executed to see how you could avoid traffic. 

I use the QB for the kickout block on both 325xx/234xx AND the same exact "Step to 8 o clock with left foot, toss ball to motioning wing, attack play side DE" on my Ray 35 counter cutback, and Lee 24 counter cutback... I think some call it the YO YO Counter....


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Coach Correa
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Good Point Coach! Never thought about it that way.  You could also offset fullback to either side, making it that much harder of a read for the D. 

And yeah the critical thing about the counter right off jump is that they don't see the toss fly.....  So the defenders are sometimes able to key the QB and they don't bite.... But you run that POWER TEN TIMES and then run it.... every single time... big gain...

explain coach???? cause on a criss cross counter which direction would he boot?  He makes the toss to the motioning wing and then boots WHICH direction????  The reason I DON't do this other than the obvious extra blocker I pick up by using the QB to kickout the DE, the flow of the play has a lot of bodies moving in seemingly opposite directions.  So I worry about the QB colliding into someone. I would have to see it executed to see how you could avoid traffic. 

I use the QB for the kickout block on both 325xx/234xx AND the same exact "Step to 8 o clock with left foot, toss ball to motioning wing, attack play side DE" on my Ray 35 counter cutback, and Lee 24 counter cutback... I think some call it the YO YO Counter....

I thought you said you were handing off i run same play out of Hybrid Wing just very different. Youll see plenty of them here ....

Head Coach Tito Correa New Britain Raiders 14-U


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CoachCalande
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I was always of the thought by qb booting backside it helps widen the D-end making that KO easier for guard .

The QBs influence ALSO allows the countering wing to PITCH to the QBs downfield....

MOJO    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtcRmKnRcsA

Go to WWW.COACHCALANDE.COM  for Double Wing DVDs, Playbook, Drills Manuals, Practice footage and emagazines. Ask me about our new 38 special dvds!


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tinman
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We ran it one year using Wyatt hockey stick.  Counter to the left, QB would toss to Left Wing Back, then roll out to the right showing pass.  Right wing back gets from Left wing back as normal.

I think this is the most deceptive version of it.  Especially if they are thinking pass.  (Most of these are fake left counter right but you can get the idea)

We also had a double toss if people started ignoring the QB roll fake.


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Coach Correa
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The QBs influence ALSO allows the countering wing to PITCH to the QBs downfield....

Absolutely we've done it but when i got into Wyatt stuff we went hockey route because of overall plan of attack.

Head Coach Tito Correa New Britain Raiders 14-U


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Bob Goodman
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The power game ALWAYS makes the counter go. Don't be the coach coming out running 8 counters to every 2 Powers....

Have you ever seen, or even heard of, that?  Or close to that?


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CoachCalande
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Have you ever seen, or even heard of, that?  Or close to that?

Had a JV coach that believed running counter frequently set up better powers. Go figure...defense sits and waits on counter and get bludgeoned by power...

MOJO    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtcRmKnRcsA

Go to WWW.COACHCALANDE.COM  for Double Wing DVDs, Playbook, Drills Manuals, Practice footage and emagazines. Ask me about our new 38 special dvds!


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Bob Goodman
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I see what coaches DP & Calande are saying.  But from a normal defense, wouldn't it be easier to sit on any kind of counter than it would be to stop a power play?  Just seems starting from scratch that it's not the straight plays that need setting up, but the counters.


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bignose
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I have been breaking down a good bit of film from several DW and Power oriented programs.

What I am observing is that the well coached defensive teams are doing a very good job of having their inside LBs key the pulling linemen, whether it is Power or Counter. The play fakes on Counter fool some of the teams, but not all of the teams.

What is needed is a Counter to the Counter with false keys to attack these teams.

One of these is the Counter Keeper.
The QB fakes a handoff Wing Counter, along with false pulls from the linemen, and hides the ball on his hip away from perceived play flow. The motion Wing leads him around the edge.

To really screw with the defense, use no motion, and then run the wing counter fake and have the wing faking the counter exchange, then fake XX to the nomo wing back inside. The QB keeps the ball and tiptoes around the edge. The DE is faced with a XX fake inside and the QB outside.

Wedge (fake XX) is another answer for teams that are trying to sit back and read pullers.

Finally, Counter Boot Pass (like a Counter version of the Waggle Pass) makes a team pay for waiting and watching pullers and backfield actions

You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles!


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DoubleWingCoach
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I thought you said you were handing off i run same play out of Hybrid Wing just very different. Youll see plenty of them here[/.QUOTE]

Nope we are tossing to motion wing then handing off the the other wing underneath.....

Bignose, great post!!!

I do have a KEEP tag that I will sometimes use with Trojan Sweep and my counter.... I ran one versus a team in the playoffs and it went for a pretty big gain with ZERO lead blocks...

Even my pullers were off to the races in the opposite direction...


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