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Opposing coaches raising hell about our backside TE cut blocking  

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MIMustang
(@mimustang)
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Joined: 8 years ago
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October 2, 2019 5:01 am  

Finally after almost 15 years of running a strict doublewing offense, I am getting some blow back from coaches of opposing teams about our backside Tight Ends shoe shining. However, the real reason is because so far, we are beating the hell out of everyone in our conference, but I digress.

I even had a full blowout with an official during a game this past weekend who said, and I quote...."your tight end cannot block below the waist". I shook my head in amazement and told him, very calmly, "I can't believe I have to explain the rules to you, but blocking below the waist is allowed within the Free Blocking Zone. And my tightends are well within the 4 yards in each direction from the ball that designates the FBZ. It has NOTHING to do with what position that player plays". He didn't take too kindly to that. I also explained to him that we were not "Chop Blocking" (High -Low on a defender), which I realize is illegal. He wouldn't budge, so I just had my kids GATE block the rest of the game. We won 40-8. The ref made that incorrect call because he had opposing coaches in his ear before the game, and he was manipulated into making an incorrect call.

I know that this is going to be an issue going forward. I had to defend what we do again because the commissioner of the league we just whipped, sent a formal complaint to our Conference officials. I jumped into the email chain and responded with citing the actual rule in the NFHS rulebook, which outlines very clearly what is permissible in the FBZ. I had the head official agree with me. I know that he will contact coaches of every team we play going forward to tell them to complain to officials and it might effect me. I plan on having a pregame talk with refs to clarify the FBZ, so we are all on the same page based upon the RULE BOOK. God forbid we use the rule book rather than emotions.

Wondering if any of you have had this issue and how you handled it. My team is 12U division and we play Pop Warner. As I mentioned, I have already coached my boys how to GATE block (pull backside Guard and Tight End, rather tackle). But I really don't won't to take away something my boys are very good at and have practiced their asses off, just because grown men can't figure out how to defend our power plays.


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spidermac
(@spidermac)
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October 2, 2019 5:32 am  

I always kept copies of the pages of the rule book in my bag that I knew/suspected might be administered improperly and if I had a new crew to work with on a game day, I would go speak with them prior to the game. Sometimes it was with cut blocking, sometimes it was with assisting the runner when we ran wedge...I only shared the pages with the crew if they had an different interpretation of the rules than I did. The pre-game chats helped in a number of ways...one, it showed the crew that I was not some knucklehead who didn't know the rules, and it also gave me an indication of what they would accept and what they wouldn't accept.

THis last Saturday, we were going to run a play that may have looked like it was going to violate a special Rookie Tackle Rule...I spoke to the crew about it pre-game, seems like I confused them about it...I said, "Okay, well I am going to run the play, if you flag it, we won't run it again"...during an injury timeout...we had run it about 8 times to this point, the white hat came up to me and said "are you going to run that play?" I said, "I guess my OC decided not to run it this week"... 🙂 I guess it didn't come close enough to looking like we violated a rule with it...and I didn't want him looking for something that was not there 😛

None of them suck, they just haven't found what the kid is good at yet.


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bignose
(@bignose)
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Joined: 9 years ago
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October 2, 2019 5:37 am  

When I ran the DW (2006-2012) we ended up having the TE "seal and wheel."
That is, he would  take 2 pull steps, throw his far arm across the 4/5 technique and then swing his hips so his butt faced the POA. This was done at waist height.

The Head Official for our State made it clear that in his opinion, and in spite of the actual rules, all blocking below the waist would not be permitted.
It fell to the discretion of each official to call this.
We'd discuss this before the game, some officials allowed the shoe shine block, some wouldn't.

You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles!


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17281
North Carolina
High School
October 2, 2019 5:47 am  

Finally after almost 15 years of running a strict doublewing offense, I am getting some blow back from coaches of opposing teams about our backside Tight Ends shoe shining. However, the real reason is because so far, we are beating the hell out of everyone in our conference, but I digress.

--It's just catching up with you now?  I had to stop cutting in 2017.

I even had a full blowout with an official during a game this past weekend who said, and I quote...."your tight end cannot block below the waist".

--That's the same doof I spoke to.

I shook my head in amazement and told him, very calmly, "I can't believe I have to explain the rules to you, but blocking below the waist is allowed within the Free Blocking Zone. And my tightends are well within the 4 yards in each direction from the ball that designates the FBZ. It has NOTHING to do with what position that player plays". He didn't take too kindly to that.

--They don't take kindly to much of anything.  I've explained the rules to them, as well.  They don't care what the rules are, regardless of what it says in their job description.  I've offered to line up my o-line on the yard markers before the game, so that they could see for themselves that we didn't extend out of the FBZ.  They just tell me "if I see it, I'm going to call it."

I also explained to him that we were not "Chop Blocking" (High -Low on a defender), which I realize is illegal.

--Yes, when they refer to it as a "chop block" then you really understand that they have no idea what they're talking about, or what the rule is.  My favorite is when they refer to it as "an illegal chop block."  (As if to differentiate it from a legal chop block. ::) )

I know that this is going to be an issue going forward.

--In all likelihood, yes.  When you win a lot, win big, use an unconventional scheme, it's not only going to draw a lot of a) attention and b) complaints, then yes you will be legislated against.

God forbid we use the rule book rather than emotions.

--I learned a long time ago that refs don't use, read or know rulebooks.

Wondering if any of you have had this issue and how you handled it.

--We gave up on the shoeshine/superman/crab block.  It was pointless in trying to fight it.  We fill with the BSTE or BST, depending on who stays home.

But I really don't won't to take away something my boys are very good at and have practiced their asses off, just because grown men can't figure out how to defend our power plays.

--You do know that the least likely place to find grown men not behaving like grown men is in the game of football, yes?

--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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MIMustang
(@mimustang)
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October 2, 2019 5:56 am  

Thanks fellas.
Great response Dave!

I do think I can coach up the "seal and wheel" and my tight ends be effective at it. Will start today at practice, just in case we get a crew that wants to interpret their rules rather than enforce the actual rules.
Appreciate the feedback.


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G8trs
(@g8trs)
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October 2, 2019 7:27 am  

I also had to start GATE pulling for the same reason. The refs do not understand the FBZ.

I actually prefer to run the offense this way. It allows me to play a bigger kid at tackle that doesn't have to pull.

Now that I GATE pull I have had to deal with a couple other issues. We have been destroying teams with our Wedge. The last 2 games we have been flagged for locking arms. I know this is BS because we practice our wedge fits every practice and we have game tape that shows our lineman fitting perfectly.

If this wasn't ridiculous enough the same refs decided to flag us for a false start when our WB goes in motion. He was trying to tell me once the WB is set in a 3 point stance he can no longer go into motion. The ref allowed it for the first qtr of the game then decided it was illegal. Out of habit my WB put his hand in the dirt 3 times and we drew 3 flags. I was pretty pissed and asked the ref to show me this rule and he told me he would throw a flag on me if I didn't keep quite. After the game I approached him with the NFHS rule book to try to figure this out and he turned his back and ignored me.

I guess my point is when you are running a contrarian offense and winning you have to deal with some BS calls. 


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17281
North Carolina
High School
October 2, 2019 8:16 am  

The refs do not understand the FBZ.

--I should wear that on a t-shirt.

I actually prefer to run the offense this way. It allows me to play a bigger kid at tackle that doesn't have to pull.

--Agree.  Since we've gone away from the shoeshine, we have become more diverse in how we handle our backside.  Not just in pulling GaTE, but also in pulling all three at once.  I like our solution to their idiocy, and it's given us a better offense.  In our trials and tribulations over the years, we've often been able to come up with solutions that's made us better.  I don't sweat the challenge; we'll find a better way.  But as to their arrogance and idiocy, don't get me started...

Now that I GATE pull I have had to deal with a couple other issues. We have been destroying teams with our Wedge. The last 2 games we have been flagged for locking arms. I know this is BS because we practice our wedge fits every practice and we have game tape that shows our lineman fitting perfectly.

--Over the years, we've had an issue with refs flagging us for "interlocked blocking" when in fact our hands are simply pushing the outside hip of the man inside us.  But since I've gotten a chance to explain to the doofus before the game that we run Wedge, it's been far less of a problem.  They hit me with all that, "Coach, I know what a Wedge is" malarky.  lol

After the game I approached him with the NFHS rule book to try to figure this out and he turned his back and ignored me.

--I don't wait until after the game.  I go speak to them at halftime.  But it's pointless.  What are they going to do?  Admit they don't know the rule?  However, our Wings no longer put their hand in the dirt for that particular reason.

I guess my point is when you are running a contrarian offense and winning you have to deal with some BS calls.

--And even when you don't run a Contrarian.  We're AirRaid at the high school and the refs are just as ignorant, arrogant and mouthy.

--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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spidermac
(@spidermac)
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October 2, 2019 8:17 am  

I guess my point is when you are running a contrarian offense and winning you have to deal with some BS calls.

Yup...and when the defense grabs your linemen's legs on wedge...they didn't see it...

None of them suck, they just haven't found what the kid is good at yet.


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G8trs
(@g8trs)
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October 2, 2019 9:34 am  

Well I am glad to hear I am not the only coach that has to deal with knuckle head refs  :).

Dave, I totally agree. We have to adapt and find solutions to the problem. I have considered having my WB's in a 2 point stance full time to avoid any issues. We have been practicing both just in case we get the same ref later in the season. I will also attempt to meet with the refs before the game and explain our offense and go over the rule book if needed.

Refs in our league can do pretty much whatever they want. There is such a shortage of refs that they were blasting out emails before the season to get any warm body they could. They paid for all of their training, gear and increased their pay to attract more refs. The numbers were so low the President and Vice President of my club decided to to step up and ref games.

I only say this because many of the refs have no clue what they are doing. They take a couple classes put on the stripes and think they can officiate a game. The refs know they will not be fired so some of them abuse their power.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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October 2, 2019 9:38 am  

The only thing close to that I've experienced is a white hat who was very opinionated against blocks below the waist. He told us he'd be watching us like a hawk and would flag us for any chops that he saw. We took a chop penalty that on film was close enough not to get upset about it.

I did have one coach call timeout and instructed his player, "If he chops you again, you kick him in the ribs like this . . .", even demonstrating the proper technique. White had saw this and said, "Coach, if your player kicks someone, you will both be ejected."

My biggest beefs are with idiot coaches who teach cut blocking all over the field. WRs, backs, cut blocks on 2nd level defenders, cuts on special teams. I take that back. My biggest beefs are with idiot refs who let that crap go. Biggest mojo ass kicking I ever witnessed was a 7th grade team who injured my OLB with a block to the knee from a FB. The OLB was a tiny player with a heart of steel, pretty much the team mascot. He left the game and didn't return. That PISSED our boys off to the point that the opposing coaches did a 5k running onto the field to attend to hurt players.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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G8trs
(@g8trs)
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October 2, 2019 9:43 am  

Yup...and when the defense grabs your linemen's legs on wedge...they didn't see it...

Yes sir. I had this happen to us last Spring. The team would start in 4 point stances and tackle our lineman on Wedge. They also tried to tackle my pullers on Power. When I brought it up to the ref he said I cant see anything in that tight formation  ::)


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Boug
 Boug
(@boug)
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October 3, 2019 6:57 am  

Best thing I did was line up my guys in our double wing on the 10 facing the side line and took a picture of our base formation and also took a picture with our wing on the LOS.  Before each game I would go to the refs and show the picture and say our Te's cut, as you can see they are well within the FBZ based on the picture and based on the yard marks.  I then showed them the picture with our wing on and said "here is our wing on formation, as you can see he is also within the FBZ and he is eligible to cut also" we never actually cut with the wing on but just wanted to show them that even he was legal so the TE should never be an issue.  I never ever had a problem with the refs and my TE cutting.  Even though I switched to GaTe I still have those pictures with me just in case I ever feel the need to do it again.


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coachgregory
(@coachgregory)
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October 3, 2019 7:32 am  

We stopped using the shoeshine cut a while back because of PC rules after we joined leagues...  I started using a Radical Down block.  It is not as effective as the cut block but it does open other things up for us on the backside so in all it is a wash.

All we do is teach the BSTE to aim his down block to the hip of the center.  Our OL lines up helmet to the the center's hip.  On snap the BSTE takes a load step to the center's hip (inside foot) and then completes the LEG progression. He blocks the first defender to cross his face and immediately works his inside hip to the center.  It is essentially a very flat scoop block and it works well for us. 

1) It is not as aggressive as the cut block. 
2) It will not stop multiple perpetrators unless they are side by side and often the one inside will just be slowed.  Unlike a cut that can take out two penetrators on occasions.

1) It will slam a defender inside and then seal him off if executed correctly.  Not hard to teach.  We tell the BSTE to ride the BST's hip to the center's hip.
2) It sets up the BOOT PASS nicely as the BSTE takes three steps down his radical down block and then executes his route...it is a big sell to the BSLB and BSCB who often read that end.
3) It sets up the RAZZLE and SPEED tags as the inside DL is now seal off from the backside.  LB's reading blocks often see that and jump the power or if they see it as a DOWN block they step down into the C gap and we are attacking the D gap on both tags.  Makes both easier to run when you eliminate the LB if he sits on backside and then reads the BSTE block.  Now that counts on a LB actually playing with LB technique...most kids simply chase the power/power sweep/power pass or sit there because their coach told them if the play goes away they better not chase...  In that case it doesn't matter 🙂

Jack

Exsisto Fortis, Exsisto Validus


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DoubleWingCoach
(@doublewingcoach)
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December 5, 2019 9:45 am  

I also had to start GATE pulling for the same reason. The refs do not understand the FBZ.

I actually prefer to run the offense this way. It allows me to play a bigger kid at tackle that doesn't have to pull.

GATE pulling to be honest is an evolution of the DW.... And IF you have two kids that are athletic at Tight End and you GATE pull, your efficiency will go through the roof....

For us it was the downblock of the center, colliding with the cutblock of the TE.  We typically saw loaded fronts.... One kid in the a gap. one kid in the b gap.... TE cuts B to C.... Kid in the B gets cut... Kid getting downblocked by center in the A gap has his legs hit... falls..

flag..... everytime....

if you keep getting 15 yard penalties your DW will be some steaming Tokyo dog$hit in a heartbeat.... so i had to fix it... GATE pulling was the way and a change in the idea of "hide that BSTE and just make him crab into kids legs".....

Now I look for a KILLER at BSTE and i have him pulling and destroying kids worse than any of my youth tackles could.....


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17281
North Carolina
High School
December 5, 2019 7:17 pm  

if you keep getting 15 yard penalties your DW will be some steaming Tokyo dog$hit in a heartbeat.

Tokyo?

--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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