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The power sweep  

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lionscoach
(@lionscoach)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 144
June 18, 2018 10:49 am  

Having coached the power sweep as an assistant, I have observed some coaching behaviors that affect the success of the sweep. At least I think I have anyway.

1. Head coaches always want to tinker with the sweep. That's their prerogative of course, but they should not do so off the top of their head, because they think they are coaching geniuses.

2. Changes to the sweep should not be made based on how the play looks being run against air, bags or how it looks on the white board. Defense players react differently in game or scrimmage situations. Teach the sweep against bags, troubleshoot at thud speed or above.

3. One coach should teach each position. It may be the same coach for different positions, but having 3 different guys tell the FB three different things leads to disaster. This seems to be particularly common with telling the flex end who to block. Everyone seems to have a different opinion during practice.

4. Avoid telling the FB or the flex end that they have to "go get" a particular defender. This play works when the blockers are moving downfield in disciplined tracks, and is in effect zone blocking with the zones marching down the field. Chasing defenders is a very low yield strategy.

5. Respect the spatial relationship between the pulling guards and the FB. Resist the temptation to "fool" the defense by lining the FB up in weird places where he cannot get to his assignment when he needs to.

6. Don't get discouraged if the sweep doesn't work immediately. One of the key elements that make the play so effective is the spacing of the TB and the guards as they turn up. This takes reps and patience. The play works best when the flex end, pulling guards and TB are all within about 3 yards of each other when the TB reaches the line of scrimmage, and all are moving downfield.

7. Don't underestimate the psychological benefits of the play. Run it when the defense knows you are running it, and demoralize them with your success. Run it three or four ties in a row, then run a pass or counter off of it. Run it on third and long.

8. Take advantage of the trips formation that results on the strong side. Have a good package of passing plays that suits your quarterback and receivers. If your quarterback is a good runner, fake the handoff to the TB, let the TB get in the convoy and run the sweep with your QB once in a while.

DM me if you have any questions or suggestions. I don't know everything about this play. Let me know if you want to run the A gap power as a constraint play and can't find the materials.


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Dimson
(@dimson)
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 7455
June 18, 2018 11:34 am  

Man, you must really love the power sweep.


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lionscoach
(@lionscoach)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 144
June 18, 2018 11:59 am  

Man, you must really love the power sweep.

No, no. You're thinking about Chick-fil-A.


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Michael
(@michael)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 12890
June 18, 2018 4:34 pm  

I remember Jim McNally a few years ago at the Chicago Glazier discussing what he calls Scissors, which is basically power sweep action on the line and counter footwork into a power sweep from the ball carrier.

Anyway, some coach asked who the backside guard blocked when he came around the edge, and McNally essentially said, "Hell if I know. There's always some guy running around out there."

Michael can not receive PM's, emails or respond to Posts. He passed away in September 2018. To honor his contributions we are leaving his account active. R.I.P - Dumcoach Staff.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Posts: 4205
June 18, 2018 6:17 pm  

I remember Jim McNally a few years ago at the Chicago Glazier discussing what he calls Scissors, which is basically power sweep action on the line and counter footwork into a power sweep from the ball carrier.

Anyway, some coach asked who the backside guard blocked when he came around the edge, and McNally essentially said, "Hell if I know. There's always some guy running around out there."

I feel a little vindicated reading that. I never sweat who blocks whom at the 2nd level. I ask my linemen to understand what we're trying to do and what the defense is trying to do to stop it. Then I tell them to go hunting. Defenders have a tendency to move around. I want smart linemen who can figure out who the threats are as the play evolves.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Michael
(@michael)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 12890
June 18, 2018 6:20 pm  

I feel a little vindicated reading that. I never sweat who blocks whom at the 2nd level. I ask my linemen to understand what we're trying to do and what the defense is trying to do to stop it. Then I tell them to go hunting. Defenders have a tendency to move around. I want smart linemen who can figure out who the threats are as the play evolves.

My rule the rare times I taught pulling was never slow down unless you hit someone, and even then go as fast as you can.

That coming around the edge and stopping and looking around is brutal.

Michael can not receive PM's, emails or respond to Posts. He passed away in September 2018. To honor his contributions we are leaving his account active. R.I.P - Dumcoach Staff.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Posts: 4205
June 18, 2018 7:10 pm  

My rule the rare times I taught pulling was never slow down unless you hit someone, and even then go as fast as you can.

That coming around the edge and stopping and looking around is brutal.

One of our best plays was an unbalanced H back counter with the guard pulling to the short side. The kid was a 6', 225lb 8th grader. I swear I have not seen a single clip of him toughing a soul, but his mere presence sprinting downfield resulted in a " pressure wave" that created space.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
June 19, 2018 10:47 am  

I don't know why more coaches don't coach it that way.  I see much discussion online of a need for pulling & leading blockers to have a certain target & keep him in sight,  (I have a drill for doing that, but don't consider it essential.)  I suspect that these are coaches who think they're not doing their job if they don't specify everything.  A couple of ones I know of who grok this let-the-ballcarrier-set-it-up, get-in-the-way-of-whoever-comes philosophy are DumCoach here and the much-vilified J.T. Reed.  One way some put it if you're in the apex of the lead blockers (or the only lead blocker) is to pretend you're running for a TD yourself.  If I have 2 lead blockers, then they protect the runner's path inside & outside.  3 lead blockers, then inside, outside, & score the TD yourself.

And you really do benefit from a just-right spacing between the runner & his lead(s).  Too close & he doesn't have time to react to their blocks, & they can be piled up into him.  Too far & it's too easy for opponents to get around the lead blockers.  I don't know if the expert posting this thread has said so, but this should be practiced by starting at a walk & then increasing the speed.

I do give a more specific rule (like FBI) for blockers releasing from the line or fold blocking rather than pulling around 2 or more teammates, because that's different.


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tiger46
(@tiger46)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 397
June 20, 2018 10:41 am  

I feel a little vindicated reading that. I never sweat who blocks whom at the 2nd level. I ask my linemen to understand what we're trying to do and what the defense is trying to do to stop it. Then I tell them to go hunting. Defenders have a tendency to move around. I want smart linemen who can figure out who the threats are as the play evolves.

This is the level that we have our players to execute the play, also.  However, as a coach, I want to understand the play on the level of detail that lionscoach describes. 

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. ”  ― Frederick Douglass


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