Running the Wedge

Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays

By: Coach Jack Gregory
As Presented at the 1st Annual Double Wing Symposium

Why Run the Wedge

  • The Wedge is a very simple blocking scheme that can be built into a highly successful series of plays.
  • It builds offensive line unity.
  • It sets up other plays in the series. When the defense sells out on the wedge it opens up other plays.
  • Lineman become interchangeable.
  • It can be a power or deception play. It is surprisingly deceptive.
  • It can be used with smaller or weaker players (MPPs).
  • It is demoralizing to the other team.
  • It is always an offensive line and team favorite.
  • Weaker backs can run in the wedge. The backs become interchangeable.

The Wedge

The Wedge With Counter Action

Base Plays

  • Wedge with BB getting the ball.
  • WB’s can either move up field and block second level. QB boots.
  • WB’s can hinge block to stop penetration. QB boots.
  • Fake Super action.
  • Fake Buck action.
  • Counter action (my favorite).
  • Jet Sweep Action.

Complimentary Plays

Quaterback Keeper

  • BB fakes fumble while WB’s hinge block.
  • Buck Action with BB leading into hole.
  • Super Action with rest of backfield faking super power action.
  • Counter action with rest of backfield faking counter. QB spinner.
  • Jet Sweep Action with BB kicking out to backside.

    Counter Back Play

  • Fake super action and inside hand off to CB.
  • Fake super action with shovel pass to CB (incomplete pass). Allows the defense to see QB in space with ball. Really draws the perimeter defense up field.

Teaching the Wedge

Progression Drill

  • Formed Wedge on NT. Shows them how the wedge looks and moves.
  • Formed Wedge Eyes Wide Shut. Center’s eyes are opened. Teaches them to stay together by feel.
  • From LOS (five or seven man line) – Get into the wedge and freeze.
  • From LOS (5/7) – Full speed on NT. Work for 5 then 10 yards and then as far as it will go.
  • From LOS (5/7) – Full speed on NT Eye Wide Shut.

    Knees and Feet Up

  • Two blocking bags lined up horizontally on LOS with top at the guards outside hip and the extending towards tight ends.
  • Stress getting the Legs and Knees up for entire group to include runner when running full offense.

    Key Points of the Wedge
  • Center must fire out on a NT and drive up field.
  • If there is no man over the center he aims for the endzone. Fires out and then takes a half step and lets the rest of the line form and drive him up the field. (we don’t shift our wedge from odd to even fronts – Center/PSG).
  • The Guards out to the Ends (if you have TE’s) must step inside (slide inside) and get their inside shoulder into the near rib cage and their outside hand on the near shoulder pad while the inside hand presses on the lower back. It might take the tackle and ends two steps to get fit.


  • Running the wedge takes a bit of getting used to, it’s an art of sorts. It is NOT a dive play; it requires power, patience and acceleration. We start with the Back getting the snap running right to the back of the center and actually pushing on his back with the ball side shoulder with a pretty good shoulder lean. He must STAY IN THE WEDGE until it breaks up. That means not going around either end or looking for an off tackle bubble. Stay in the wedge and keep your legs pumping, knees high, and moving forward, until it breaks up, then sprint to daylight. Stay inside; don’t run parallel, it either breaks right up the gut or at a very slight angle. Often the daylight does not appear until 10-15 yards downfield, stay in the wedge until you see the daylight, stay patient until then, just staying low and pushing forward. When feeling pressure, both hands over ball.
  • We stress to our ball carriers, if they do not stay in the wedge, they don’t carry the ball. Natural inclination is to break it outside or look for the hole. In the wedge there is no hole, it opens up downfield.
  • If you have a fake, you must carry it out convincingly, if not you don’t play. We have to threaten the perimeter with the fakes to keep the ends and linebackers honest as well as the defensive backs. We have found that carrying out faking actions based on our base defense and better misdirection plays doubles our yardage gained per play running the wedge.
  • In the past if we ran the wedge on GO (first sound) we had the WB’s hinge block so they could make the EMLOS take a deeper path into the backfield instead of pinching. The rule on the HINGE is he pivots on his outside foot and gets his inside foot up and allows no one to get inside they must go around the outside. This allows the runner to get upfield in the wedge as the perimeter defenders go deep and around the hinges.
  • Now on GO (first sound) we will fake Buck action to split the defense into thirds as we do with our Counter action that we run on HIT (Motion). By forcing the defense to split into thirds it isolates the interior defense which is better then hinge blocking.

Key Points of the Wedge

  • As soon as they fit they move up field. It should be one instant movement. Slide and up field.
  • The ball carrier must get into the pocket of the Guard-Center-Guard and get his ball shoulder into the center’s back and drive and feel. As soon as the wedge slows are cracks he must get in a open seam (daylight) and get up field (explode up field). This is what makes the Wedge a home run hitter.
  • If the wedge slows or breaks apart all the blockers must target a defender and block him. Like an explosion of blockers with the runner breaking through.

What Can Stop the Wedge

  • Wedge is not forming fast enough or moving to slow allowing the perimeter defenders to bring down the runner from behind.
  • Center (point of the wedge) is not firing off causing the wedge to falter and not form. (this is key problem and must be recognized quickly).
  • Wedge is being submarined or cut by a NT or A gap defenders. Wedge must maintain high knees and run over, stomp, punish the defense for doing this. You must be patient and diligent and let the wedge wear out the interior defenders.
  • Errant whistle by the officiating staff. You must let the officiating know that your running a highly deceptive offense built on misdirection and to hold their whistle until they know the runner is down.

Be Prepared

  • If the wedge slows run wedge sweep or QB bootleg as a change up to force the defense to defend the entire field.
  • Pass the ball with wedge action behind the defense as they suck in to stop it.
  • You must attack the defense at the perimeter and behind when they stack up.

Troubleshooting the Wedge

  • You must stress the little thing for the wedge to be effective.
  • Every blocker except the point (Center) must work to not engage any defender but instead engage the next man inside and seal the wedge while going upfield.
  • They must lock their inside shoulder to the outside ribcage to stop penetration as they form and move up field.
  • If the wedge stops it is dead. It must move forward and when it slows or breaks up it must explode up field in a burst.
  • The runner must stay small in the wedge and explode up field if day light shows


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