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rpatric
(@rpatric)
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Maryland
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January 8, 2020 10:18 am  

Good Morning Coaches,
This year I will be coaching a 12U team. Over the last couple of seasons we have been through a couple offensive coordinators who have been allowed to attempt whatever scheme they felt like with mostly unsatisfactory results. The little bit of offensive success they had came while running a very basic version of Cisar's UBSW. Since I plan on taking over as HC this year, have a solid understanding of the SW, and it checks the boxes of what type of offense I want to be. We will be running the SW. One of the issues with UBSW that I noticed, at least as far as my needs go, is the wedge game. I absolutely love the wedge game, it is paramount to the success of my offensive philosophy. The problem arises with the RG being the apex combined with my deeply recessed line. I'm not sure that my RG will be able to get to his position quickly enough for the wedge to develop. It seems that by going balanced and wedging behind the center, I could still keep my depth and not compromise my wedge game. I like the depth of line because I won't have monsters on my line and I feel it has a positive impact on pulling. Does anybody have any recommendations as to who to talk to? I don't want to abandon the UBSW as I love the numbers advantage it gives us by alignment and most teams we face don't adjust right away, if at all. If I could get away with just going balanced to wedge, that would be great, however any coach that really pays attention would likely pick up on it. Thanks in advance for any feedback, I hope I was in depth enough as to why I am exploring my options.

Thanks,
Ryan


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32wedge
(@32wedge)
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Virginia
Middle School
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January 8, 2020 10:51 am  

The recessed line should not hurt your unbalanced (RG) wedge. You are actually giving the center extra space to get fit in the wedge. Your right guard will need to explode forward but the recess should help both a balanced wedge as well as unbalanced wedge.


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rpatric
(@rpatric)
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Maryland
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January 8, 2020 11:11 am  

@32wedge

Thanks Coach


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32wedge
(@32wedge)
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January 8, 2020 11:40 am  

Also, there is nothing wrong with staying balanced if you have enough good linemen. You can hide one or two weak linemen easier in the unbalanced line, but wedging at center from a balanced double tight line produces the most consistent tight fit wedges. If that's all you do, it's the most predictable also.

I have ran wedge from balanced, unbalanced left and right, with 1 or 2 split ends, at LG, RG and C from all formations, and with the backs aligned opposite the line strength.

If you can make it March 6/7, I highly advise going to the Single Wing Conclave. There's going to be a presentation on wedge and over a hundred coaches who would be happy to answer any questions you bring.

https://www.facebook.com/events/545074492718428/


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rpatric
(@rpatric)
Bronze
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 172
Maryland
6th - 8th
Head Coach
January 8, 2020 11:56 am  

@32wedge

I checked myself as interested on the Facebook page. I'm really hoping my schedule permits it. So far it looks like a go and the wife is all for getting me out of the house for a weekend. Hopefully i see you there coach. 

Thanks again

Ryan


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32wedge
(@32wedge)
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January 8, 2020 2:17 pm  
Posted by: @rpatric

@32wedge

I checked myself as interested on the Facebook page. I'm really hoping my schedule permits it. So far it looks like a go and the wife is all for getting me out of the house for a weekend. Hopefully i see you there coach. 

Thanks again

Ryan

You're welcome! I have to be there to defend my 2019 Conclave Chili Cook-Off Championship.

Below is a link to a video of some our wedge plays this year (I went home at lunch and threw this together). It was a tough year for us, with only 17 players and one part time assistant coach, so there's a lot that's sloppier than I like, but the wedge consistently gained yards for us.


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rpatric
(@rpatric)
Bronze
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 172
Maryland
6th - 8th
Head Coach
January 8, 2020 2:58 pm  

@32wedge

That's awesome! Thanks a lot. I'm hoping to use a mix of UBSW and balanced this season. I'm still pretty green on the SW, but I know enough to get it up and running. Sucks that I have primarily non believers around me, but I don't care much. I know how devastating the offense can be. Being the HC i'll take liberty in coaching the O line!. We will be efficient, if nothing else.

Thanks for all the help Coach

Ryan


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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Joined: 9 years ago
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New Jersey
3rd - 5th
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January 11, 2020 9:45 pm  
Posted by: @rpatric

Good Morning Coaches,
This year I will be coaching a 12U team. Over the last couple of seasons we have been through a couple offensive coordinators who have been allowed to attempt whatever scheme they felt like with mostly unsatisfactory results. The little bit of offensive success they had came while running a very basic version of Cisar's UBSW. Since I plan on taking over as HC this year, have a solid understanding of the SW, and it checks the boxes of what type of offense I want to be. We will be running the SW. One of the issues with UBSW that I noticed, at least as far as my needs go, is the wedge game. I absolutely love the wedge game, it is paramount to the success of my offensive philosophy. The problem arises with the RG being the apex combined with my deeply recessed line. I'm not sure that my RG will be able to get to his position quickly enough for the wedge to develop. It seems that by going balanced and wedging behind the center, I could still keep my depth and not compromise my wedge game. I like the depth of line because I won't have monsters on my line and I feel it has a positive impact on pulling. Does anybody have any recommendations as to who to talk to? I don't want to abandon the UBSW as I love the numbers advantage it gives us by alignment and most teams we face don't adjust right away, if at all. If I could get away with just going balanced to wedge, that would be great, however any coach that really pays attention would likely pick up on it. Thanks in advance for any feedback, I hope I was in depth enough as to why I am exploring my options.

Thanks,
Ryan

The ease of wedging is what made my decision to go balanced line in 2015.  My only advice is that if you think coaches will pick up on balanced vs. unbalanced line (the better ones will), and you want wedge to be a substantial part of your offense, then definitely don't install wedge only from the formation you don't usually use, because a wedge play is so easy to kill if the defense knows it's coming.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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January 13, 2020 2:02 am  

The ONLY decent wedge teams in our area over the last 10 seasons or so have been UBSW teams. The HC of one of them is now coaching with us and we talk about wedge a lot. He came up with a system of moving his apex around the line so that he could wedge at any spot he wanted to. The point is, I don't think being unbalanced is necessarily an hindrance to wedging.  I cut my teeth wedging with double tight double wing. The one year I ran UBSW, wedge was the only play that worked for us.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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32wedge
(@32wedge)
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January 13, 2020 7:16 am  
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

The ONLY decent wedge teams in our area over the last 10 seasons or so have been UBSW teams. The HC of one of them is now coaching with us and we talk about wedge a lot. He came up with a system of moving his apex around the line so that he could wedge at any spot he wanted to. The point is, I don't think being unbalanced is necessarily an hindrance to wedging.  I cut my teeth wedging with double tight double wing. The one year I ran UBSW, wedge was the only play that worked for us.

I agree totally.

I use wedge as a dive play. I move the point of attack around and try to attack the bubbles and explode through the line of scrimmage as fast as possible.

I see coaches commenting that the wedge is easy to stop. That is true if you know where it is going to hit. You need a lot of d-linemen committing to stop wedge if the wedge hits at different points in the line. You could play a gap 8/10-1 type defense determined to stop our wedge, but that would leave you vulnerable to power and sweep. Also, defensive linemen who never have to bear crawl gaps except against us, usually aren't good at it and get soft after a few plays.

Attached is a drawing of some of our wedge plays. The Green 32 and Gold 33 plays at the bottom hit 2 men over from the snapper. Not shown on this attachment but we wedge at the center also from balanced and unbalanced formations.


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Bob Goodman
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New Jersey
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January 13, 2020 1:54 pm  
Posted by: @32wedge
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

The ONLY decent wedge teams in our area over the last 10 seasons or so have been UBSW teams. The HC of one of them is now coaching with us and we talk about wedge a lot. He came up with a system of moving his apex around the line so that he could wedge at any spot he wanted to.

I agree totally.

I use wedge as a dive play. I move the point of attack around

I'd be very interested in learning how to coach that.  It took long enough to practice wedging on one apex, I'd like to learn what shortcuts are possible to get teams to generalize it.


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32wedge
(@32wedge)
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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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New Jersey
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January 14, 2020 7:29 pm  
Posted by: @32wedge

@bob-goodman

I did it the same way as you thru step 6.  But instead of your step 7, the next in progession was been as some have suggested: throwing bags at their feet to step over.

But never mind all that.  I'm interested in your step 8: "Later on, we start teaching wedging at different apex points."  How!?  Do you start again at step 1?  I can see where you could skip some of the steps, but overall it seems like it'd take almost as long again as it was to start, for each apex point.


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32wedge
(@32wedge)
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January 14, 2020 8:21 pm  

@bob-goodman

Yes.  Start again at the first step.  It should go in much quicker the second time.

We practice for two hours Monday-Thursday.  I commit 5 minutes of practice each day to repping wedge, 20 minutes per week.  After 5 minutes or so, we move on and the next day we pick up where left off.  I don’t waste time and get a lot done in that 5 minutes.  I don’t do a lot of verbal explanations.

I demonstrate where and how I want the apex man to begin.  If he is not getting it after my demonstration, I will quickly assist him until he is perfect.  Then I will demonstrate to the next man by getting myself fit the way I want him to.  Then I help him get fit.  And so on until my line is froze in a good wedge fit.   Immediately I get in front and have them push me up field.  Then we go back and start working on getting from the normal down alignment to the perfect wedge and freeze.  It never takes more than a 3 or 4 minutes.  I don’t waste time talking about how they should do it.  I show them.  It don’t always look great early, but we pick up tomorrow and keep getting better.

I don’t over coach each players footwork.  I will work on steps if they need it, but all I really care about is going from down to a perfect wedge at 100 mph!

 I coach 7th/8th graders so about half of my players are second year players for me.   I almost always have 3 or 4 seventh graders on my o-line.  The second year guys know what’s going on that helps speed the process for everyone.

 You can go from balanced to unbalanced by moving ends, tackles or guards over.  I have mostly moved the guards.  A 3 wedge at the LG is still called a 3 wedge even if the LG lines up on the right side of the center.  A 2 wedge is still at the RG even if he is bumped out to the second man from the center (the “tackle” position).  A 0 wedge is at the center whether he is the middle of a balanced line or he is on the short side of an unbalanced line.  

 

By the time the season starts we hope to have multiple wedges installed at all three positions.  We practice fit and freeze and full speed wedges at the 3 man, the 0 man and the 2 man, and practice wedge at all 3 for every formation.  

I don’t install all of this ever season.  I have installed multiple wedges 2 out of the last 4 seasons.  If I don’t have the talent, I simplify.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bx-5hcNtCPzWdW1kU3RlMkJPUkUwcHZmRF9vVWgxMlhKNWp3/edit?usp=docslist_api&filetype=msword


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gumby_in_co
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January 15, 2020 12:31 am  
Posted by: @32wedge

 

That is true if you know where it is going to hit. You need a lot of d-linemen committing to stop wedge if the wedge hits at different points in the line.

Exactly what our coach said and why he decided to tinker with moving the point of attack . . . to counter the teams who cut the apex. Mahonz and I coached against him with our 8th graders. Mahonz and I actually got into it on the sideline (nothing new) because he insisted they weren't wedging us, but just quick diving us. When this guy joined our staff with his 2nd grade son, he told us, "Yeah, I was wedging you." It was our only loss of the year.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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