Notifications

What I learned in my first year running wing T...  

Page 1 / 2
  RSS

CoachSteel
(@coachsteel)
Copper
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 37
OC
November 25, 2019 5:15 pm  

This season was my 3rd year as an OC, all 3 at the 10u level. This past season we bought in to running the wing T. It was a bit of a transition for some of the kids going from a Power I to wing T.  In the beginning of the season the biggest obstacle we faced believe it or not was with our running backs. The wing T requires backs to be disciplined and our backs were not. It was more about getting our backs to trust that the hole would be there even when it seems like it’s not. They wanted to “bounce” plays to the outside especially on Down and Buck Sweep. Once we got our backs to buy in, things started to take shape.

Things I learned after my first season in the offense:

-“Down” was our go to play throughout the season, there were two games where we really struggled to run it with consistency and both times it was when we had a dominant and quick 0/1 tech slanting to play side. Our tackle a lot of times just couldn’t get there quick enough to help and our center was overpowered and out of position.  Our answer to this was to have our center cut the nose witch worked sometimes. Tuff play to run vs a stud nose.

At the beginning of the season I tried to run Down sweep a lot with an X Over tag to get a body on the play side CB. But I realized that a lot of time this was just making things worse.  When I left the X opposite play side, most of the time the playside CB would play tighter and get caught peeking inside to help stop the down play, thus setting us up for down sweep.

I chose not to run trap this year with 10 year olds as I felt that a quick A gap dive was “less expensive” and just as effective at the 10u level. As for Buck Sweep, once we got our RB to trust the kickout block and make that 90 degree cut off tackle this was one of our most effective plays. Points of emphasis were continually demanding a good fake from our FB throughout  the season and making sure our QB didn’t get sloppy with getting his back to the LOS to really hide the ball. We only pulled our PSG this season and we flipped our line to the strong side. We had a really good pulling guard that was a full back type kid. Getting him to understand the difference between pulling on Buck vs Down took some time but overall this was one of my favorite plays to call this year.

We really struggled with weak side belly/ISO play any time we had to X block. At the beginning of the season I had my HB trying to insert between the X block and it was a mess more often than not. It got to the point where we did not run this play against even fronts unless we knew we could just base block it. We did have a lot of success running it when we played odd fronts where we could fan block the DE and 4 tech DT. This was a lot easier block for the kids and there was a lot less congestion without the X Block. One adjustment  that worked really well was to move the TE over to widen out the DE. This allowed us to double with our G and T on the DT and our TE would just ride the boxing DE out of the play. We gotta get better with the X block next season, that’s on me. 

Bellly Sweep was a home run play for us this season, anytime we were having success with the Belly ISO, it was only a matter of time before the DE/OLBs and corners started sticking their nose where it didn’t belong. We had a lot of big plays on Belly Sweep. For us the keys to success was getting that FB to really sell his fake and the QB to ride the fake from hip to hip before pulling it to handoff to the wing.

I learned that you have to have some running plays that do not require pulling. A lot of teams this year liked to blitz A gaps when they saw that we were pulling guards. We had a power sweep, blast, a weak side toss to the FB, and Rocket toss. Toward the middle of the season we gave our QB the freedom to check out of certain plays if a team showed A gap blitzes.

We used  Gap down backer blocking rules for most of our interior run plays. The kids understood the rules and were able to identify the man they should block pre snap. Where we ran into issues was when the defensive line wasn’t predictable with their slants or gap responsibilities.  I found that the easiest way to get the kids to block the correct defender was to emphasize that their first step is down. Once  the kids understood that if they step down and someone is there they block them, and if not they get to backer, they seemed to do a lot better. The down blocking scheme in the wing T is perfect for an undersized OL and it’s a thing of beauty when everyone executes.

A mobile QB is a big advantage in the wing T. My QB was a really smart kid with a pretty good arm but he was not mobile at all. I would have loved to run some naked boots off of Buck this year but he was just too slow. I think his lack of mobility made it tuff for him on pass plays like waggle because he wasn’t able to really throw on the run or roll out very well. I think next year I will be hunting for a more athletic kid at the position.

We had one game this season where absolutely nothing was working, we were getting blown up in the backfield and I couldn’t figure it out! The defense wasn’t doing anything special and with their alignment I knew the plays I was calling should have worked to a certain degree. It wasn’t until I watched the film the next day that I realized our backs had taken it upon themselves to align almost 6 yards from the ball.  I was so mad at myself for not seeing it during the game. We corrected it the following week and suddenly our offense worked again! This was a big learning lesson for me. I had gotten s little lax with the backs alignment and I paid the price. That one was on me as a coach, not the kids, I never empathized how important proper depth was to my backs, but you better believe it didn’t happen again the rest of the season!

We finished the season 6-3 in the regular season, went to the semi finals and lost 26-14 to the eventual champs. We averaged 172 rush yds/game and 26 pts/game.

I just  wanted to share what my experience was like as a first year OC in the wing T. I had a lot of fun this year and I’m excited to get better! I have a lot to learn and I’m always looking for ways to get better so if you guys got any advice, shoot!


Quote
Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9492
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
November 26, 2019 4:45 am  

I chose not to run trap this year with 10 year olds as I felt that a quick A gap dive was “less expensive” and just as effective at the 10u level....

It wasn’t until I watched the film the next day that I realized our backs had taken it upon themselves to align almost 6 yards from the ball.  I was so mad at myself for not seeing it during the game. We corrected it the following week and suddenly our offense worked again! This was a big learning lesson for me. I had gotten s little lax with the backs alignment and I paid the price. That one was on me as a coach, not the kids, I never empathized how important proper depth was to my backs, but you better believe it didn’t happen again the rest of the season!

How deep did you want your FB and how deep your HB?


ReplyQuote
Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
Diamond
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 7609
Illinois
Other
Club Admin
November 26, 2019 4:49 am  

Nice observations.  Gives you several months to work out more details and tweaks for next year. 

Question what in the weakside OL doing Rule Wise when the play goes away from them.

Dusty

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


ReplyQuote
CoachSteel
(@coachsteel)
Copper
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 37
OC
November 26, 2019 9:17 am  

How deep did you want your FB and how deep your HB?

I wanted both FB & HB 4 yards from the ball.


ReplyQuote
CoachSteel
(@coachsteel)
Copper
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 37
OC
November 26, 2019 11:42 am  

Nice observations.  Gives you several months to work out more details and tweaks for next year. 

Question what in the weakside OL doing Rule Wise when the play goes away from them.

Dusty

I usually had them reach to playside.


ReplyQuote
Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9492
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
November 26, 2019 12:38 pm  

I wanted both FB & HB 4 yards from the ball.

Did that work as well for the FB dive as it would for trap?

Did you have the QB reverse out for the handoff on the FB dive in the buck sweep series?  And did the FB bend his path around the QB?  When the FB fill-blocked, which G did he fill for?


ReplyQuote
CoachSteel
(@coachsteel)
Copper
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 37
OC
November 26, 2019 1:44 pm  

Did that work as well for the FB dive as it would for trap?

Did you have the QB reverse out for the handoff on the FB dive in the buck sweep series?  And did the FB bend his path around the QB?  When the FB fill-blocked, which G did he fill for?

So the way we ran it, Dive always went opposite of Buck sweep, so if we went 21 Dive, QB would open to the left on midline. FB would step off midline to the left and take the handoff on a simple A gap dive. QB would then fake Buck sweep to the right.  We only pulled our strong side guard so our FB wouldn’t backfill for anyone, we would just have him carry out his dive fake on Buck sweep.


ReplyQuote
Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9492
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
November 26, 2019 4:55 pm  

So the way we ran it, Dive always went opposite of Buck sweep, so if we went 21 Dive, QB would open to the left on midline. FB would step off midline to the left and take the handoff on a simple A gap dive. QB would then fake Buck sweep to the right.  We only pulled our strong side guard so our FB wouldn’t backfill for anyone, we would just have him carry out his dive fake on Buck sweep.

Interesting, thanks, especially with that midline footwork.  So the QB starts out facing the direction he ends up waggling, and just has to do some sideways shuffling to carry out all his ball work with the other backs...except maybe counter.  On a wingback counter, does the QB open the same way, and then after the FB and HB fakes, turn for an inside handoff to the WB?

I wrote in a thread here about a month ago that I thought it worthwhile to mix FB straight dives with FB traps.  Trapping is hardly worth it below a certain age -- the players they have in the interior of the DL not being worth trapping, better to just blow past them -- but at a certain point, you encounter teams where you could sure use that trap threat.

We've been playing with our FB and HB at the same depth.  The "classic" way has the FB about a foot deeper than the HB, and Clark has explained the reason.  But apparently the way a lot of wing T teams are doing it now, the FB is 2-3' ahead of the HB.  I'm interested in that last formation because I suspect it'd help the FB hit faster on a straight buck (dive).  My idea for the buck sweep series is for the QB to open by turning to the side where the sweep would hit, and then either hand to the FB for a front side dive or have the FB delay and meet the QB continuing to turn for a trap to the front side.  The QB would continue around for the sweep-waggle sequence.  The FB sitting in place as for the trap delay would then pick up whoever came thru the guard holes.  WB counter would be an inside handoff, probably off the straight dive fake rather than trap.

My main misgiving about moving the FB forward would be losing the better downhill path on belly.  However, I've never been all that sold on the importance of that particular geometry, and would like to try belly as a slant run.

I wouldn't be interested in all this tinkering but for the fact that this past season my team changed its footwork for the buck sweep series in conformity with what they say the high schoolers are doing now, so I figure they should be open to suggestions.  We did pretty well with the trap this season, but belly when it worked was the real producer -- but when it didn't, feh.


ReplyQuote
CoachSteel
(@coachsteel)
Copper
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 37
OC
November 26, 2019 6:13 pm  

On a wingback counter, does the QB open the same way, and then after the FB and HB fakes, turn for an inside handoff to the WB?

We ran two variations of the counter to the wing and neither were from the Buck series. We ran it off of Rocket motion with our FB faking back side dive, our strong side G and TE pulling and an underneath handoff. We also ran counter off of our Down play (Belly G). On this play our FB would make his strong side down fake tighter, more like a dive to backfill for our pulling guard and to clear out for the wing. QB would reverse pivot and continue his turn to handoff to the wing underneath.

We've been playing with our FB and HB at the same depth.  The "classic" way has the FB about a foot deeper than the HB, and Clark has explained the reason.  But apparently the way a lot of wing T teams are doing it now, the FB is 2-3' ahead of the HB.  I'm interested in that last formation because I suspect it'd help the FB hit faster on a straight buck (dive). 

We had our backs at the same depth, 4 yards from the ball. We would however have our FB cheat up to 3 yards when we ran dive. The way I looked at it, if your running a straight dive, the quicker you hit the hole the better.

My main misgiving about moving the FB forward would be losing the better downhill path on belly.  However, I've never been all that sold on the importance of that particular geometry, and would like to try belly as a slant run.

At the 10u level, I found it beneficial for my backs to be closer to the LOS. Yes it does create more of a “slant” type run vs the traditional downhill  belly path, but this seemed to allow my FB to locate the guard’s kickout block as he was in more of a trailing position with the pulling guard vs the guard crossing his face.  It also seemed to help when DEs were able to spill the play. 


ReplyQuote
Coyote
(@coyote)
Bronze
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 160
3rd - 5th
Coordinator
December 15, 2019 11:42 am  

The wing T requires backs to be disciplined and our backs were not. It was more about getting our backs to trust that the hole would be there even when it seems like it’s not. They wanted to “bounce” plays to the outside especially on Down and Buck Sweep. Once we got our backs to buy in, things started to take shape.

Hi Coach,

We just completed our 4th season in the wing-t, we have this problem every year with new backs.  Esp. those who have played before elsewhere.  Our main two problems…

1) Tendency to bounce

We found that kids are not seeing the blocking, with all the crossing and pulling, etc.  They don’t see grass, so they think there is no hole there.  Often we'd ask kids why they'd bounce, and they swore there was no hole.  Thankfully, camera's are in the phones these days, and we'd show them the hole on play-back.  And if they’ve played elsewhere, they’d usually had more success outside than off-tackle, so we often had to break them of that.

We've started talking about the OG’s as their “personal Protectors” / ‘Body Guards”.  That they want to put their hands on the OG’s back and follow them into the hole (if the OG is turning up the gut).  Naturally, due to spacing they can’t do it, but with the image in their minds they start trying to do so. 

Little harder on K-out blocks, we just keep asking the Back if he likes getting tackled, he must, otherwise, why keep running out there where we are pushing the defender to.

This season, or HB was a superior blocker we mostly used 100 / 900 formation with him blocking out the DE on Belly.  He’d kick out the DE, OT angled down, the PSOG would come behind the OT (like cross block) and Gut to the LB.  Our FB had constantly been bouncing the play outside the previous yr.  With the image of putting his hand on his “personal protector’s” back, he started actually hitting the hole for major gains this season.

We found on this tight gut action, OG a kinda half-bucket step but wide to gain depth and width, and with near hand "spank" the OT as he crossed down, then get upfield.  Improved the timing on the blocking.

2) Parents.

Sometimes the parents are telling the kid to bounce it.

That kid I just mentioned…  serious talent with a seriously myopic Dad.  Big Daddy was telling him to take it outside.  When he got away with it – which did happen a couple times/ game, the kid could out-athlete most kids – that proved to Big Daddy - and the kid - that the dad was right.  When it didn’t work, Big Daddy would be screaming, “No Blocking!  Nobody’s Blocking …” big mouth you hear half-way across the county.  We had a challenge with this kid.  We stayed the course, kept asking him why he liked getting tackled, and why he wouldn’t follow his blockers.  This past season, with the ‘hand on the back’ image in his head, he finally started following his blockers and moved up from good to great. Instead of 2 -3 big plays and a bunch of bad ones, he started getting a bunch of big plays with a couple bad ones.  Toward the end of the season, he was telling the other backs to follow the blockers -  he had learned to run behind his blockers instead of away from them. 

The Dad is still knuckle-head…  My pop used to say “There’s nothing sadder than a man who doesn’t know, and doesn’t know that he doesn’t know.”  This Dad still doesn’t know.  In his mind, his kid over came a lousy offense with terrible coaching, a testament to his kid’s greatness.  The Dad hated our offense, translation, his kid didn't get the ball enough (we're a 4 back attack).

The kid moves up, so big daddy will be someone else’s problem next season.

One kid, I had to grab a shield and threaten to flatten him if tried to go outside.  I exaggerated it, so he'd know I was joking, but I was prepared to tag him if needed.  Fortunately, he started hitting it off-tackle as intended.  - Still bounced a couple times in games, but I'd repeat the 'threat' in practice and he got better.

Hope this helps

Umm.... why does that 6 ft tall 9 yr old have a goatee...?


ReplyQuote
CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17325
North Carolina
High School
December 16, 2019 6:32 am  

We just completed our 4th season in the wing-t, we have this problem every year with new backs.  Esp. those who have played before elsewhere.

--Glad to see there's a coach who understands the difficulty of coaching players who have been previously "coached" by someone else.  My pref has long been to have players who were true rookies, as it made them easier to teach, rather than having them "undo" all the bad habits of their previous coach.

We found that kids are not seeing the blocking, with all the crossing and pulling, etc.  They don’t see grass, so they think there is no hole there.  Often we'd ask kids why they'd bounce, and they swore there was no hole.  Thankfully, camera's are in the phones these days, and we'd show them the hole on play-back.

--We tell them to hit the "called hole" anyway.  I don't care about him seeing a "hole," but seeing the pile of "personal protectors" in front and around him, much like we run our Wedge.  It's one thing for the defense to know where the ball-carrier is.  It's quite another for them to still be able to get their hands on him.

My pop used to say “There’s nothing sadder than a DAD who doesn’t know, and doesn’t know that he doesn’t know.

--I fixed it for you.  Now you can put it on a t-shirt and distribute them to your staff.  You're welcome.

--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


ReplyQuote
Coyote
(@coyote)
Bronze
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 160
3rd - 5th
Coordinator
December 16, 2019 12:36 pm  

Greetings

Question what in the weakside OL doing Rule Wise when the play goes away from them.

FWIW,  due to time considerations, we have our backside severe angle block.  The H.S. coaches would like us to have them Turn-Back [Old days we called it 'cup and pick'], but we feel that, we can't afford to do so time-wise, and that its a bit 'passive', and we want our kids to be aggressive.  Some of the teams we play turn back on the backside, and it seems our DL tend to run past them, or bull-rush 'em.
our Belly sweeps (its a tad slower than our other plays), we've adjusted by having the FB come out of the mesh stick his foot in the ground and cut back hard into the backside pursuit. 

If we get a crashing DE trying to catch plays from behind, we waggle him.

Hope this helps

Umm.... why does that 6 ft tall 9 yr old have a goatee...?


ReplyQuote
Coyote
(@coyote)
Bronze
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 160
3rd - 5th
Coordinator
December 16, 2019 12:48 pm  

Greetings

How deep did you want your FB and how deep your HB?

We want ours 4 yds off the ball.  The past two seasons our FB kept running out-running the QB to the mesh point, (QB reverse pivots to get a deeper hand-off and to hide the ball) so we backed him up  a step.  He's fast, loves being fast, loves to show off how fast he is, and is contrary enough to just running past the QB to  prove how fast he is.  His dad pushes him to explode out of the blocks on every play so we just stopped fighting it, we had tried to emphasize the timing aspects, but with counter teaching from Big Daddy -  who loves to point out his kid's superiority, and what a dumb offense we run  -  it was just easier to back him up a step.

Umm.... why does that 6 ft tall 9 yr old have a goatee...?


ReplyQuote
CoachSteel
(@coachsteel)
Copper
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 37
OC
December 16, 2019 10:28 pm  

We just completed our 4th season in the wing-t, we have this problem every year with new backs.  Esp. those who have played before elsewhere.  Our main two problems…

1) Tendency to bounce

We found that kids are not seeing the blocking, with all the crossing and pulling, etc.  They don’t see grass, so they think there is no hole there.  Often we'd ask kids why they'd bounce, and they swore there was no hole.  Thankfully, camera's are in the phones these days, and we'd show them the hole on play-back.  And if they’ve played elsewhere, they’d usually had more success outside than off-tackle, so we often had to break them of that.

Ive coached the same kids for the past 3 years and the 2 years prior to this we ran out of the I with very little pulling and a lot of either insert blocks from our wing backs or lead/ISO blocks. I learned first hand how tuff it can be to break those kids of their old running habits. Our FB this year had a lot of trouble trusting the Down play. It drove me crazy! Another teaching point that really seemed to help with this was making sure our QBs footwork was correct. After watching film of our practices I noticed that he was not rotating enough when he reverse pivoted. We bird dog all our backfield footwork every offensive day (especially in the beginning of the year) and the QB would have perfect footwork, but when we went live I noticed he was getting too much depth and not rotating a full 180 degrees. We teach our QB on Down to try and almost  step on the pulling guard’s feet as he pivots. I think by the QB getting too much depth it encouraged the backs to take a flatter angled path, rather than coming more downhill/belly path with shoulders square to the LOS. By correcting our QBs pivot and making sure he rotated 180 degrees it forced the FB to take the proper angle to the mesh point and thus get him hitting the designed point of attack.


ReplyQuote
Coyote
(@coyote)
Bronze
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 160
3rd - 5th
Coordinator
December 17, 2019 10:35 am  

After watching film of our practices I noticed that he was not rotating enough when he reverse pivoted. ... but when we went live I noticed he was getting too much depth and not rotating a full 180 degrees.

Greetings

We try to get the mesh point at a minimum of 45 degrees to the LOS - takes some doing with some kids, not so much with others.  We run Belly both sides, we don't run a true "down' play.  We feel the time constraints we face are such its better to run a couple series (Buck and Belly) well, so we don't run the 30 power and 80 Down series.  My HC hates seeing the ball in the air so we don't pitch or shot-gun.  We see too many bad things happen to other teams when they do 'em. [Passes are a different thing, he'll take the chance on a pass, though he quotes Woody a lot... "Only 3 things can happen when you pass, and 2 of them are bad."]

I'd be interested why you went from I, to wing T.  I coached under one of Pennsylvania's Al Black disciples (H.S. level '88-92 seasons) Slot-I, Sprint-draw, w/ emphasis on the QB-TB option.  Loved it when we had players for it...  not so much when we didn't.  Felt it was too dependent on the talent being there.  later coached under a Wing-T guy ('93 - 98 seasons) when the talent level was down, we'd still finish 6-3.  The ability to play w/ the big boys w/ lesser talent sold me.

My 1st yr with this youth team, we ran the H.S. offense, which had evolved out of the Joe Gibbs Redskin offense.  it was pass happy and the H.S. did well with it.  Not so much with the 3-4th graders.  W/out the threat of the pass, the running game was in trouble.  I came along the team was already 0-2 when I took over the Oline, put in Wing-T blocking, we started winning, got hot made a run in the play-offs and made the championship game.  Where we got hammered to smithereens by a vastly more talented club.  However, the HC was totally enamored of our blocking scheme and from there I talked him into trying the Wing-T.  We've never looked back.  4 straight championship games winning the last 3 in a row.  Even tho we keep drafting last. 

We are now reviled throughout the league and face the kind of jealousy normally reserved for the NE Patriots.  😛

Umm.... why does that 6 ft tall 9 yr old have a goatee...?


ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 2
Share: