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Spice up your I with your fullback. (Football).

MOST SCHOOLS THAT run a multiple set offense will usually align in the basic pro set, slot, wing or double tight end formations whenever it runs from a two-back formation.

To create mismatches or force defensive adjustments, the offense will motion its flanker or even move the tailback to an up position (wing) and/or split the backs.

The more complicated offenses will use a combination of the two--shifting the backs and moving the flanker before the actual start of the play.

In recent years, a lot of teams have gone to the one-back spread formation and will incorporate the inside zone or outside stretch running plays with three and sometimes four receivers.

In attempting to incorporate all of these things in our offense, we (unhappily) became a soft, passive running team. Our answer was to return two backs to the backfield and play more smash-mouth football with our offensive linemen and fullbacks.

But even with this run philosophy, we never gave up trying to create mismatches and forcing defenses to make adjustments. We merely incorporated our fullback into the scheme of things.

We have gone back to the basics with our running game by including the traditional trap, power, lead, and counter plays. We have also added some spice to the offense by mixing up the alignment and movement of our fullback.

Instead of the traditional I formation with the fullback four yards behind the quarterback and the tailback two yards behind the fullback, we introduced the Stud formation shown in Diag. 1, which has the fullback now aligned in the gap between our guard and tackle on the strong, or tight end, side.

Another alignment change is the Off formation shown in Diag. 2, with the fullback lined over the guard and tackle on the weak side (away from the tight end).

Both of these changes in the fullback alignment give us better blocking angles at the point of attack for the lead play (Diag. 3).

We can also put the fullback in a Stud/Off alignment and move him across the formation with a "Slide" call and run the lead to the opposite side of the formation (Diag. 4).

Defenses cannot just assume that we will run to the side that the fullback is on because we have put in the cross lead (Diag. 5). On this play, the fullback lines up in a Stud alignment but will still lead through the hole on the weak-side play, blocking for the tailback without the use of the "Slide" call.

The fullback trap (Diag. 6) has also been very effective in the Stud or Off and great when you add the "Slide" call to counter defensive schemes or mix-up offensive tendencies. The tailback and quarterback will carry out an option fake.

Our passing game has improved with our ability to protect the quarterback more effectively and have our play-action pass package involve our fullback. The use of the Stud, Off and "Slide" has also improved our ability to pass block with the fullback on the strong side of the formation (Diag. 7).

In our two-back alignment, the fullback will go to the strong or tight end side of the formation and block the first man that shows outside of the tight end.

The Stud alignment has given our fullback better blockings angles to attack and protect the quarterback more efficiently. These minor adjustments with our fullback have also provided us with improved opportunities to get the fullback out into the flats on pass patterns (Diag. 8).

Our commitment to the run and the old school approach of having two backs in the backfield have enabled us to create mismatches, force the defense to make on-the-field adjustments, and provide an offensive series that is very easy to install.

We are still able to run slot formations, trips, and even spread sets, but when it comes time to get down and dirty, we can add a little flavor to our two-back offense by moving the fullback around a little.
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Author:Bodine, Brad
Publication:Coach and Athletic Director
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2002
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