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A six-play toss sweep series.

How to build a great set out of a strong base play

In developing an offensive scheme, football coaches have to start with a base offense - the bread and butter plays. Once these plays are determined, the remainder of the offense can be developed against them.

I have always believed that a well-organized offense will incorporate a number of series each stemming from a base play. This kind of approach will allow for simplicity, orderly repetition, consistency, practical time management, and efficient skill development.

Like most "I" formation coaches, I like the Toss Sweep and have built a basic series around it. As you can see in the accompanying diagrams, the Toss Sweep lends itself well to a strong and deceptive series.

(Editor's note: Though Coach Parker designed his toss sweep series against both the 50 and 40 front, Scholastic Coach has chosen to focus on the 50 front in the interest of space.)


The two guards and the strong-side tackle pull to the right, with the back-side guard looking for the back-side LB, the strong-side tackle blocking the first defender to show outside of the WB, and the strong-side guard reading the block of his tackle.

If the tackle kicks out, the guard will turn upfield and look for the next defender to the inside. If the tackle turns the defender to the inside, the guard will take the next defender to the outside.

The fullback takes an initial lateral step and checks the playside LB for blitz. If the blitz isn't there, he will continue down the LOS to lead the play upfield - while reading the blocks of the pulling linemen.

One of the critical coaching points of the Toss Sweep is the depth of the Tailback prior to the toss. It will vary based on the offensive formation, but it is crucial for the TB to move laterally and to maintain his depth until after he receives the ball from the QB. This will allow the blocking to develop and give the TB a clear view of everything in front of him.

When run against a 40 (even) front, as shown in Diag. 1-B, the strong-side tackle and back-side guard will pull as before, while the strong-side guard will stay in and hook the man on him.

DIAG. 2, 28 O:

Illustrates a variation of the Toss Sweep in which only the "O"pen man on the playside will pull. The defensive front will dictate which player that will be.

The FB again takes a lateral step, checks for a blitzing LB, and then reads the block of the pulling lineman. If he kicks out (as shown in the diagram), the FB will turn upfield and look inside. If the blocker turns the defender to the inside, the FB will block the next defender to the outside.

DIAG. 3, 28 ZONE:

The play utilizes a reach block across the LOS. All of the offensive linemen must work together to get to the defender's playside shoulder. The FB blocks the first defender to show, either kicking him out or turning him inside, depending on his angle of attack.


In this highly effective play, the center pulls and leads for the QB. The only time C won't pull is when he and the two guards are covered.

C must block the first opposite-colored jersey to show. His first step must be deep, and if nobody shows he must check backside. Note: Patterns can be varied to capitalize on the player's skills and the defensive weaknesses.

The receivers: X runs a 15- to 20-yard post-corner; Y, a 7 yard drag; and Z, a 14- to 15-yard square-in.


A nice change of pace whenever the defense starts looking for the Boot Pass. Everything is identical to the boot, except for two things: (1) the QB shortens his roll to set up behind the tackle, and (2) the TB, instead of blocking, continues down the sideline.


Another variation of the Boot Pass, this play looks very much like the previous one except that the FB, after blocking, sets for a screen. The play really spreads the defense. The defenders are very much aware of the roll and, we hope, the CB is overly aware of the TB running down the sideline.

The strong-side guard and tackle pass-block first, then release down the LOS to screen-block for the FB. The QB can now get more width, compared with the shortened roll with the throwback pass.


This play is blocked like the typical inside FB trap, with the weak-side guard blocking the first defender past the center. The backfield action begins like the sweep, except that the FB breaks back against the flow to take the hand-off from the QB.

The play works very well whenever the defense is flowing hard with the Toss Sweep.


The QB pitches to the TB, who starts out as if on a sweep and then hands off to Z. The QB leads the blocking for the reverse. The blocking initially resembles 28 Zone. Once the defense begins to flow, the offensive linemen must work back to the opposite shoulders of the defenders.

If Toss Sweep is one of your base plays, you may consider building a Sweep Series around it. You can add a pass, a screen, an inside trap, a reverse, and maybe even a fake reverse and a reverse pass.

All in all, your series will give you a great way to stay fundamentally sound and to attack defenses in a number of different areas with a number of different players.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:football
Author:Parker, Randy
Publication:Coach and Athletic Director
Date:Oct 1, 1996
Previous Article:The seven steps in drive blocking.
Next Article:Keeping the ball in your best players' hands with a unique 3-man.

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