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Blending: your offensive package.

In our 11 years at Dover High School, we have tried to develop an offensive philosophy that plays to the strength of our kids. At a small school, you rarely get the great player or, unlike the larger schools, enjoy the luxury of being able to plug a back-up player into a starting position without skipping a beat.

We have always had to add or delete parts of our offense to adjust to the particular abilities of our kids. Since we did not have very large offensive linemen, the most practical approach was to run a triple option and not block people, but read them. We did that successfully until our 1,000-yard rushing Ivy League quarterback graduated and left us with no one who could read as well as he did.

It was time to tweak again. We went to a more conventional double tight end power attack. Then, in order, we added zone run schemes, a spread pass, an off-set I and unbalanced sets, motion to create number advantages, and, more recently, spread shot-gun sets and misdirection trey schemes.

All of this has led to the creation of an offensive package and philosophy that we call "Blending"-a mix of ideas from many packages.

Our most success has come from reading the opposing alignment and deciding which play will attack it best and making that play look like many others.

We have kept the concept of option in our package. We currently run a little triple option, but mostly we run more speed option, dive option, and sometimes reverse option. Since few teams in our conference run option, we force our opponents to spend a lot of time preparing for it.

The idea of blending allows us to develop packages that enable us to use multiple personnel to slightly change the way we attack defenses.

When we started to research the idea of running zone schemes, no one in the state was running such schemes. It would be another thing that our opponents would have to prepare for.

We started with the outside stretch play. Next, we added the outside stretch with a kick block on a hard force player, then went to more of a shorter version of the outside zone and ran it more like an Iso with zone blocking. Lastly, we added inside zone, which turned out to be a full cut-back zone scheme.

We have tweaked this as well and now all we run is outside zone (Stretch) with two reads and inside zone with three reads.

What we have discovered is that with so much variety, it becomes easier to plug in many different make-ups of personnel that may show up from year to year.

We are able to do this without tweaking the offense too much, something we couldn't do in a more conventional offensive scheme. Some teams in our conference can hang their hats on one package. We just cannot do this on a yearly basis. But the philosophy keeps working for us.

We face mostly 40 and 50 defensive schemes. Occasionally we face a rare 60 scheme. When teams play us in a 40 scheme, we may face some 4 or 4I technique, some 6 or 6I technique, and sometimes a 7 technique. In the 50, we see a 5 technique on both sides and a 7 technique on one side and a 6 or 6I on the other.

For the purpose of this discussion, we will refer to a 7 technique as an outside shade on a Tight End and a 6I as an inside shade on a Tight End. We try to keep things simple for our kids. Outside shades are odd numbers, head up are even, and inside shades are even/inside numbers.

Figs. 1, 2, and 3 show three of the formations we try to tie together. We have many other formations, but they lend themselves to other schemes.

I have also drawn up some of the looks we see in these fronts. In Fig. 1, we use our unbalanced look to see how much teams will move and who will move. If we are getting a 6 technique, with a soft force player, we will run outside zone (Stretch) Fig. 1A.

In the 50 if we get a 7 technique and a soft force SS, we will run the same, Fig 1B.

If we get a 6 technique and a hard force, we will use a power scheme up front, double down on the 6 and chip to Sam. We would then kick out the SS and run up inside him.

We can stalk on the corner if he's active or crack on the FS if needed. Backfield action would be a full zone flow, Fig. 2A.

In the 50, we will block down on the 7 technique with the wing, double the 5 technique to the Sam, and block full power scheme backside. The 2 back Will show zone and kick the SS, and we will again run under that block, Fig. 2B.

In Fig. 3A if we get a 7 technique with a hard forcing SS, we can combo our schemes to show outside zone and use a power scheme inside. This will allow us to run Iso on Sam but show outside zone flow.

If our angle on the FS is not good because he is active, we will run crack post and throw over the top in play action pass.

In the 50 Fig. 3B, if we have a 5 and a 7 technique we can run the same scheme and Iso Sam again. By running zone by the 4 back and crack scheme by the SE, we can get a better angle on the FS. We can also run crack seam and throw over the top in play action to the SE.

In Fig. 4A, if we get a Mike that is anxious or cheating his alignment, we can run inside zone. I said earlier that we have three reads for the inside zone. The first two have to do with what Mike is doing:

If Mike sits and reads the dive back, we stay on course and run over the top of him. If Mike keys Tailback and starts to flow, we run under him with a slight cut back, Fig. 4A, and under Sam in 4B.

The third read has Mike moving with flow mad Will taking off too soon. If this happens, we get a full cut-back zone play and run under the block of the 2 back on the 5 Technique.

We can also incorporate dive option into this package, Fig. 5A & B. We simply assign a dive key (DK) and a pitch key (PK) and look to double where we can and let the QB read it. We can also block the dive key and run speed option that can look like zone.

In Fig. 2, we are in our balanced double-wing look. We will read numbers and add motion to increase our advantage. If motion creates movement in the defensive front or secondary, we obviously can counter, trap or boot pass.

In this discussion, we will focus on alignment, and not so much on movement and the things we like to run against these alignments or adjustments.

In Fig. 6A, if we get a 7 or 6I technique, we can run outside zone with motion. The 4 back checks the 7 technique and moves to the SS. The 3 back in motion takes the soft corner. We can change the responsibilities of these two if motion gives us a better angle on the 7 technique.

If we get a hard corner or rolled up SS with the motion, we can run a power scheme and kick-out, Figs. 7A and 7B.

If we start to get movement from the linebackers with motion, we can run inside zone.

In the 40, the read is Mike again and in the 50 the read is Sam.

In Fig. 8A, if Mike sits but Sam is active, we will take the first option and run under Sam and over Mike.

If Mike becomes active, we will make a slight cut back and run under Mike.

If Mike and Will start to move, we can make a full cut back and run under Will and inside the 7 technique.

In the 50, Fig. 8B, if Sam sits we can run over the top staying on course. If Sam is active, we can wall him off and run under him.

If Will starts to move with flow or motion we can cutback and run behind the Nose and inside the 5 technique.

As a change up, we can also run an Iso scheme vs. a 7 technique in the 40 or a 6I in the 50, Figs. 9A and 9B.

If we are getting a hard force with motion out of the 3 back we can also run speed option. We simply establish a pitch key, fake outside zone and option the pitch key, Figs. 10A and 10B.

The last formation under discussion is our pro-I offset, which allows us to spread people out and still run the same plays and use the same schemes. Take a look at Fig. 11A. This is simply outside zone vs a 6I technique to the 40 and a 7 technique in the 50.

If we start to have a problem with an aggressive SS trying to blow the play up in our backfield, we can add motion by the 4 back and a crack/seal on SS, with the 2 backs switching to the C, Figs. 12A and 12B.

If we get a 7 technique in the 40 trying to out-flank the stretch play, we can run 4 back motion, control the SS, run a power scheme inside, and kick the 7 technique in the 40, Fig. 13A.

If we get a 5 and 7 technique in the 50 that's working outside to stop the stretch, we will double down on the 5 technique, chip to the Sam and kick the 7 technique, using the same power scheme, Fig. 13B.

We can also change up the scheme and run an Iso scheme by fanning the 7 technique in the 40 or 5 and 7 technique in the 50, than lead block on Sam. We would continue to zone step and show outside zone flow, Figs. 14A and 14B.

We also have inside zone. The reads stay the same on Mike in the 40 and Sam in the 50, Figs. 15A and 15B.

The full cutback occurs when Will becomes too active. This formation also allows us to use dive option. We can incorporate a number of blocking schemes, establish a dive key and a pitch key and run dive option to the TE side in Figs. 16A and 16B. If we make a formation change by adding a Queen Set, we can run dive option to the SE side, Figs. 17A and 17B.

When you incorporate play-action pass into these packages and add multiple sets with motion, you wind up with a very effective package that allows you to use a variety of personnel. This particular scheme makes up about one-third of our total offensive package.

Over the years, however, it has been the part of our offense most responsible for our rushing success. We are now a multiple offensive team that is always looking for new and innovative ideas to complement this package. We simply try to "Blend" the new ideas into what we axe already using!


You may need to change your offense to accommodate to the available personnel.

BY KEN OSBON Football Coach Dover (NH) High School
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Title Annotation:Football
Author:Osbon, Ken
Publication:Coach and Athletic Director
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2003
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