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coachbreck

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Hi everyone I assume everyone's season is done by now. this board has been very slow as of late I love talking football and have learned alot from some of you fine coaches out there this year.

I just thought I would start a discussion on what type of systems you run and what systems you play against that have successs against you.

I coach 5th and 6th graders and I like to run a veer style of offense or an old Nebraska style of offense. It really depends on what type of personel I have from year to year.

#1 I make sure I have a smart QB to be able to run an opion attack

if I have a true fullback type of player I normally run out of the I formation. But this year I had two small skat back type of running backs and ran mostly split backs and ran veer action on nearly every play It was altot of fun buy the last game and everyone was in a groove and executed to perfection.

We run mostly a 6-2 defense and for the most part if the ends contain and the ILB's stay home and step up we have been very successful with it.

What has given us fits over the years is teams that run a single wing with no qb under center I don't know how they get those centers to be able to direct snap to the backs as well as they do. we absolutly could not stop that attack in one of our losses this year.

Most of the teams we play in our leauge use a six man front and we can block that real well. and we normally abuse teams up the middle if they try running a five man front to try and stop our outside veer. But one team that gave us fits in a five man front had so much team speed and where very sure tacklers we just could not get in the groove. Another team put their best player at a deep saftey so we could not effectivly block him and he ran all over the field untouched making nearly all the tackles I have run into that a few times over the years and it is very frustrating.

Well thats our system in a nutshell I am very interested in hearing yours I know some of you are experts at your system such as coach gregory and his double wing.

I just like talking football and looking for some activity to get my football fix through the winter.

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Coach Breck,

Myself and one of the other coaches run the offensive line and the defense. I guess you could say we are the co-defensive coordiantors. Believe it or not, this works very very well for us (only because we get along so well and see things very much the same). Anyway, I consider myself a much stronger defensive and OL mind than an offensive coach. I leave that to our head coach who has a phenomeanal offensive mind. With that background, here is my input:

Offense: We started with a single wing but with variations. We had one really solid ball carrier with experience. Our other running back was in his first year at the postion. He played OT the previous year. It took him a few games to get used to taking a pitch and to see the field but once he got the hang of it, he was a devestating runner. He did not go around people, he went through them. It also turns out, he was my best defensive player - I played him at OLB. Anyway, the offense worked fairly well once we got it going. It took us till the fourth game of the season to get it to click. A lot of this was due to coming into the season with very, very litle experience and very little size. (I coach Jr. Midget). The HC twiddled with several formations before we settled into 2 TE sets for the most part. The HC ran a lot of misdirection to help us with some of the size and experience problems we had; especially on the o-line. We had a lot of successes during the season and I put a lot of credit on the HC's shoulders. He has a knack for calling the right play at the right time. He reads the opposing defenses well and he knows how to attack a defense. He watches how a defense reacts to a play and then finds ways to exploit the weaknesses he sees. Of course, that is what the HC/OC is supposed to do. This HC is exceptional at it.

On Defense: This year, we ran a 5-3. We did this because that is what the personell dictated we do. We had a kid who was just a terror at NT and he loved to brutilize the center. He created more fumbles than I can count just by bull rushing the Center back into the QB during the exchange. Our biggest problem early was our DE's. None of our DE's had ever played the position before and, of course, all wanted to pinch inside and they often bit on plays going away from them. Instead of staying home, they tried to go back across the LoS. Obviously, reverses hurt us early in the season; it would have been a lot worse except for two very talented OLBs. Once we broke the DE's of the pincing habit and convinced them to stay home, they did very well. The only time we had trouble was in the last game when the slot back was cracking back on the DE on their sweep play. That took out our DE no matter how much we told them them how to read it and what to do. Our OLB's that game finally found a back who was faster then them and their little sweep gave us fits. couple that with a very bad day tackling (we looked like we had been to the Anne Murray School of Dance rather than practice) and we lost a shootout. Anyway, our personnel dictated a 5-3. Out of the 5-3, we would also switch into a 5-2 so that we could use the extra S as either a monster man or in coverage. It worked well and our defense played very well. We did shift to a 6-2 for short yardage or goal line.

All things considered, I would have rather run a 4-4; we just did not have the kids to run it this year but we will next year if we have the players. If you have the players, the 4-4 can be very effective. It opens up all kinds of run blitz possiblities and gives solid balance in the box. The key to the 4-4 for me is disciplined gap control. Each player must know his primary gap and must cover it first. The other thing the 44 does that I like is give us some space on the DL to run some stunts and rolls. We can also "accodian" the DL in and out and still have 4 LB's behind us. Again, knowing your gap and holding your gap are key. But, to run the 4-4, you have to have stout DL and at least six LB capable players. We do anyway because we a lot of our kids go two ways and we need to rotate in and out to keep them fresh for the fourth Q.

We did not use playbooks this year at all. In part, that was because the HC just got back from overseas and this was our first year together. We are building playbooks this off season. I would love to see some examples from people on this board but I received no response to my querry a few months ago. I am now in the middle of developing our Master Defensive playbook for next year. It will include the 4-3, the 4-4, 5-3, 5-2, and 6-2 when all is said and done. That does not mean we will run all of them; just that we have it all drawn up and we will decide on which defense to run as training camp unfolds and we see our players.

Now, just my 2 cents on the 6-2. We used it well in short yardage situations but did not use it for our base defesnse. Our kids were a little older than yours - we had 6th through 8th - and our competition does have some ability to throw the ball. We saw a lot of trips sets from several teams this year and even a few quad sets. We only saw one team run a wishbone and one team run a power I. Mostly, teams ran either a variation on the single wing or a few pro set packages. Anyway, with the sets we saw, I think the 4-4 and the 5-3 do work well at this age group. If I were to coach a division younger, I would very likely run the 6-2 like you did.

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Coach Steve, I know what you mean with the 44 defense it is a great D to stunt and blitz I have watched some real good high school teams run it over the years it's a fun D to watch. Also that damn single wing is a killer I have had some real intense shoot outs with some teams in our confrence that run it.

This year we were blessed with some big athletic linemen, next year is going to be the smallest we have ever been on the line. I could use some advice on implementing some severe angle blocking techniqes. We do trap and cross now but I don't think we can just match up anymore and run over our oppenents.

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I know little on the SAB techniques. We had a small line this year and had to rely a lot on slants on defense and misdirection by the backs on offense. The one big saving grace was we pulled our guards very well and our center/NT was a beast. Other than that, if it wasn't for our LB's we would have lots more problems.

I looked into the SAB links from this board and downloaded the powerpoint presentation. I have not had a chance to get through it all with the holidays though and all my football time has been spent building our defensive playbooks for next year.

On the 44 - Like I said, I would not run it at anythign younger than the Jr. Midgets I coach now. I am not even sure we will run that this year. It depends on the kids. If we get enough LB capable kids to run a rotation and some DL that can hold up.

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I COACH 13-15 YEAR OLDS(MOSTLY 7TH AND 8TH GRADERS)....I RUN WING T OFFENSE, PRETTY EFFECTIVE AT THE YOUTH LEVEL IF RAN PROPERLY AND EVERYONE DO THEIR BLOCKING ASSIGNMENTS, BUT YOU HAVE TO BLOCK TO RUN A GOOD WING T OFFENSE,NOONE LAGGING.WE SEND ONE OF THE BACKS(WING OR HALFBACK) IN MOTION JUST ABOUT EVERY PLAY..GOOG THING ABOUT THE WING T OFFENSE IS THAT YOU CAN RUN POWER AND SPEED PLAYS AND SET THE DEFENSE UP FOR THE PASS BECAUSE THEY GET SO CONCENTRATED IN STOPPIG THE RUN..........THIS TYPE OF OFFENSE ALSO GIVES US FITS. BUT THE DOUBLE WING CAN BE ###### ALSO TO STOP,.,JUST LIKE THE WING T, YOU REALLY DONT KNOW WHO TO CONCENTRATE ON AND ITS EXTRA EFFECTIVE IF YOU HAVE A MOBILE QB, THAT IS THE DAGGER. THE WING T OFFENSE AND DOUBLE WING HIDES THE BALL PRETTY WELL,BUT THE BACKFIELD MUST SELL THEIR FAKES ...THAT IS THE KEY....

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coach steve, just a note to ask a few questions :o

I thought i would ask about the passing effectiveness for youths in the age range you have experience with.

specifically, i would like to hear about 6 th graders, however i will face the older ones sooner or later.

I have heard it stated that the passing is weak in most offenses at the 6 th grade level. with the exception of the half back pass for the suprise when pass coverage comes to support the run and occasional dump pass ran in tight and close (like slant) that majority fall into these categories incomplete, in end holding penalty on OL, sack, broken play and interceptions. what have you seen?

i have read j.t. reed book that condones passing pretty much across the board and to be honest his arguement looks pretty iron clad. i do realize that a combo of a very special thrower and catcher could be the exception, but

i wander if you had seen these and other exceptions out there.

i was at the 10 year old level last season and passing there was ugly and unsuccessful.

thanks in advance for your reply.

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Fishn4U,

Wow, that is a tough question. Here is why, the typical mentality at this age group is that passing doesn't work; however, if you want to have any chance in the playoffs (e.g., Pop Warner Championship), you have be able to pass when you need to and be able to stop the pass on defense.

We ran a few different pass paterns this year - our wideouts and slot guys mostly ran fly patterns or screens. On the screen, they hardstep forward and then pull back and turn to the QB. The ball should already be on its way. We ran some stuff to the TE - little pop passes with some success. We were fortunate to have a TE with very soft hands. I also like screens to the back. Slants, in my mind, can be tough. The reason is that it is a quick timing pattern that has to be practiced and because a lot of defenses will line their DB on the inside shoulder of the receiver to stop the quick hitting inside stuff. This opens the outside stuff but that is a very hard throw for a QB at this age group.

I have seen other teams run their back through the line and then either across or out. I saw one team this year try a hook and ladder but we had scouted that out and broke it up everytime. We almost picked one and ran it for 6. Too bad our DE has a better foot for kicking than he has hands for catching. One team we played tried to run a 4 reciever set. Our DB's did not cover the deep stuff very well (they sent all 4 deep) and had they actually caught one, they would have scored. However, they were going to the limit of the QB's arm and well past his accuracy limit.

So, my thoughts are basically this - look at your talent - QB and receivers each season. Run passes in practice and find out what works for your QB and receivers. We have lots of pass plays in our PB but only run those that seem to work in practice. Use the pass for a reason - for example, as a surprise, to get your RB into open space, to keep the defense honest.

I know that is a bit vauge and I hope it helps. In my mind it all comes down to what kind of talent you have.

If I get some more time, I'll add more later.

Coach Steve

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A little more time came may way....

What you might want to do is draw up some pass plays you like and then mark them as basic, medium, and advanced. In training camp, run pass plays as part of your conditioning. Have the kids alternate lines and playing QB. That will help in conditioning because of the running, help you find your talent, help them learn routes, and help you see what you can throw. As the season progresses, practice your base passes (e.g. the screen or TE stuff) over and over and add wrinkles (new route) once in a while and see how it works. If not, don't run it.

The pass play that I like most at this age group is a screen pass because there are so many ways to run it. You can go to your slot guy (like I described above), your back, to a man who was in motion - you can pull your guard or lead with your FB, etc, etc, etc. If you have a particularly good runner at QB, this opens a fake screen to naked bootleg run in the other direction if the defensive end fails to honor it.

Another thing you can do is reduce your splits on your wide outs. I see a lot of formations with pro or college level spits for the WRs. The average QBs at this age just can not throw it that far. Bring them in a little bit and you make the throws easier for the QB. This also allows you to use the WR's in blocking for the run game. for example, send your slot guy across the middle and have him target a playside lb (e.g. on a sweep or off tackle run). His cover man (e.g. S) will likely be following him in the pattern and may not read the run and the WR can block the LB. Even if the CB makes the read, I'd rather have my TB aiming up on their CB over their OLB - the better tacklers are usually at LB.

Anyway, it all comes down to what talent you have (it always does). I would try to find about five passes you can run fairly effectively. Also, choose pass plays that are companion plays to running plays. Use the pass to either exploit an offensive tendency towards the run or just throw the pass to force the defense to stop overplaying the run. "Keep 'em honest". Sometimes it does not matter if you actually complete the pass (although it is nice to do so) as long as it keeps the defense from overloading or over persuing your ball handlers.

One last - I forgot to mention the HB pass you mentioned. If your HB can make the throw and your receiver can catch it, it can be very effective. We had a HB who could throw this year and a Reciever who could catch - they just didn't do it at the same time :rolleyes: . We ran the play several times during the year. Had we ever connected, it would have gone for six. Our problem was the receiver would slow down thinking the ball would not be there instead of just sprinting it out. I think if we had practiced it a little more, we would have gotten the timing down and run it extremely well.

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Fish4u, I coach 5th and 6th graders also, like coach steve said it really makes a big difference with your personell at QB and receiver. Three years ago I had a small qb with a weak arm and we threw three passes all year and completed one for a touch down the last game of the year. and still finished 7-2.

Sometimes you just have to pass to keep the opposing D honest even if you don't complete a pass sometimes a long fly pattern will help keep on their heels.

What I have found over the years is to run a play action pass off your best running play.

My best pass plays are:

#1 speed option pass. we sell the speed option then hit the TE on a post .

#2 Bootleg pass. We will run a reverse pivot qb sweep a few times then come back and hit the play side TE on a 5 yard out.

#3 Power pass. This pass is off your best power dive play. The full back leads through the hole then give a good ball fake to the tail back then dump the ball to the fullback in the seam between the line backers and saftey.

I will run pass plays a max of three times per game with 5th and 6th graders and never ever on 1st down. Nothing kills a drive faster than getting greedy and trying a pass play when you are moving the ball on the ground. Incompletions, Sacks, Holding penalties, and Interceptions will kill you.

For me the best game time situation to pass is 2nd or 3rd and short when we are in four down territory.

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where are the 9-10 coaches out there doing offesively and defensely i want to know i going to run the singlewing and a simplfied 46 defense

on offense the wing in the singlewing what is his path to the lb's is it around the end or straight to the second level following the off end.

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