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Implementing the New Age Wing-TBefore I start I would like you to understand that this style of offense is not textbook wing-t. This offense is one that utilizes the philosophy and attributes of the wing-t, while making itself fit into almost any offensive package. The package I use for my offense is more of a wing-t format, but as you will see, it is versatile enough to fit into your existing offense. I call it a wing-t offense because it utilizes the threat of a wing back in the running and passing series. I use the wing back in all of my formations except in the stacked I backfield. You don’t have to use a man on the wing in all of your sets, but as long as you have sets with the wing it give you the threat of an extra ball carrier, an extra blocker on the line-making the line or linebackers adjust their alignment, and as an extra pass receiver. The offense also utilizes the multiple points of attack in the play series, but not in the traditional way it is used with the wing-t. The offense is also flexible enough to run different styles of offenses out of a wing-t set. There are important points that must be done in setting up this style of offense. The first is the most important, simplify! Make everything you do in your offense as simple to run, call, (number series numbers, formations and motion calls), and to understand by your staff and players, while making the offense look complex and complicated to your opponent. The easier it is for your staff and players to grasp and run, the faster the team will understand the offense and not have to think about where to line up, or how to set up a play; and will make the team grasp the philosophy of how the offense works faster. My formations have been made to be very simple, and with motion calls, I can line up in even more types of variations of formations. I always have one WR and one TE. The TE is always to the strong call and the WR is always to the opposite side of the TE. The QB is always under center, and the FB is always directly three yards behind the QB. The HB and the WB are the only players who line up in different spots for formations and are the only people who go in motion. My WB is always on the wing or in the backfield, never split out of the box. I can motion him to a slot or flanker position, saving me an extra formation call-thus keeping things simple. Here are examples of my formations; there are no names because I believe you should always use your terminology so things are simpler for your organizational standards: Out of these formations, I can motion into wing-I, I pro, I slot, stacked I, power I, wing-t, two back pro, two back slot, broken bone, full house T, wing trips, tight wing trips, weak wing pro (one back), and strong wing slot (one back). As you can see, I have put these seven formations into a package that can run all these styles of offense just by motion.This brings me to the next point, diversity in your offense. I have geared this offense for a high school level, (even though it can be run at a college level), where the type of athletic talent on a team changes from year to year. With the large array of offensive styles I can run, I can adapt my offensive attack to fit the type of athletes I have. I have 90 run plays and 50 pass plays. There are more run plays than pass plays in my offense because I can run the HB Iso out of the I to 6 different holes, thus giving me a choice of where to attack a defense’s weak spots. I don’t throw all 140 plays at the players. I have play series, (I will explain in future articles), that have between 3-8 plays, (all though you can have two plays like the HB Iso, then the HB counter). It’s the most important play series that I throw at the players and add new ones when they are needed to attack a team’s specific defense. Or I can run the same backfield movement for my HB counter off of four different types of plays. To keep this simple for my players to understand, I have developed this numbering system: 000 Two Minute100 FB Trap200 FB Off tackle300 FB Blast (HB Lead)400 FB Sweep500 HB/WB Slam (Iso)/ Blast (FB Lead-just like HB Lead)600 HB/WB Pitch (no lead blocker out of the backfield)/ Sweep700 HB/WB Off tackle800 HB/WB Avalanche (two lead blocks out of the backfield in the same hole)900 WB Ace Sweep (WB motion behind G, QB turns and hands it off) 00 Two Minute10 Direct Handoff-Playside20 Reverse Pivot-Handoff with back to Playside30 Open Playside Pitch40 Fake 30 Handoff-Bring down to a 10 Handoff50 Passing Series (Bootlegs)60 Passing Series (Drop Back 3 & 5 Step)70 Passing Series (Flood & Screens)80 Passing Series (Play Action)90 Passing Series (Play Action)01-09 On Run Plays-Designates the Hole01-09 On Pass Plays-Designates the Play Number in the Passing Series01-09 On 2 Minute-Designates the Play Number in 2 Minute Package
This numbering system allows me to designate the type of play being called, the type of handoff/passing series being used, and the hole/play in the passing series that will be run in a easy to understand, simple format that allows me to have diversity in the plays in the offense. The 100 series calls were set up with plays I use frequently in the offense, and that set-up other plays such as counter, bootleg, screen or play action. If I have a drop back pass play that doesn’t need a play number, (100 series), to set it up, I will call 06- and whatever play out of my 60 series game I want. Another big advantage in using a numbering system like this is that the 2-minute plays have a name of 1 or 4 or 9. This makes it very simple to send in to the QB during the fast paced 2-minute drill, and simple in incorporate into your audible system for the QB to call the play at the line. Now you can run a wide diversity of plays in your play series that stem from one play in a simple to call format, while making your opponent have to game plan for a huge assortment of ways you can attack. The diversity point of the offense also goes into play calling. Like the wing-t, this is a run based offense, with the majority of the passing game being play action, (also screens and bootlegs). I try to pick on curtain players, mostly LB’s, and take the decision making process about where to go and what you read out of the coach’s hands and into the players’. The more the defensive players have to think, the slower they will be to reach their assignments. The running game makes the LB’s look for the run, which is what most backfield keys for linebackers is made to do. By using the play action effectively, you will make the LB’s come up to the run responsibilities, and that’s when the use of RB’s in the pass patterns will hurt a defense. I will go indepth into the way my offense combines the running and passing game in latter articles. I knew I wanted to be an offensive coordinator, but I was playing with all sorts of different offenses. I was talking to my high school coach Ron Sidenquist about this and he said something I live by as a coach, and will never forget. He told me, “Find something you know best and hang your hat on it.” I thought about it and knew I was a wing-t man in my heart. The last point for using this style of wing-t is, do what you do best. You can incorporate these points into your offense, or incorporate parts of your offense into the offense that I am showing you. As long as you have a wing in your sets somewhere, (at least 50%) and a fullback that lines up directly behind the QB, you can run many of your own existing sets in this style of offense. If you already run the wing-t, or even if you run a different style of offense like the wishbone or run-and-shoot; you can implement the new age wing-t to your offence. I may always have one WR and one TE, but that doesn’t mean you have to. There are no more revolutionary discoveries in football anymore. The game has evolved to a point that any “never been seen before things” a coach comes up has already been done. So how does football continue to evolve and grow? We have begun to start thinking as other coaches do. In the past, the double wing coach thought about the double wing while the wishbone coach thought about the wishbone. Now, coaches have started to look at what other coaches are doing to find a way to advance their own brand of football. The double wing coach saw that by implementing a wishbone running game, he now made defenses prepare for the option and the counter off of the option, forcing defenses to play disciplined football in order to beat him. The wishbone coach saw that the two wings of the double wing were just extensions of his HB’s and he could now have four threat receivers around the line of scrimmage instead of two, forcing defenses to defend both the run and the pass evenly. Because of the way coaches are combining offensive styles, the wingbone was invented. This offense is the culmination of that thinking. I have taken a wide diversity of offenses and put them into a wing-t/wing-I format that is simple to run. In the next article I will go in-depth in how the running game works and how to set up your play series.
Rick Allison & John Stanton.
Copyright © 1996 [The Zone]. All rights reserved.
Implementing the New Age Wing-T
Play Series and the Running Game
In this section we will look at how to put together the play series and look at how the running game is set up. The play series is used to put together a group plays that start with the same motion. The best example of a classic wing-t play series is how the FB trap sets up the HB buck sweep, and that sets up the QB roll out. Here is a three play play series, and then pass plays can be build off of those three plays.
The basic concept is to find a direct attacking play like a trap, iso, sweep, ext., and build off of that. The first play will establish your main point of attack, the second step is to attack the back side. Adding some form of a counter now makes the defense have to defend both the main point of attack and the backside not allowing the linebackers to over pursue. The third step can be a number of different types of plays: QB roll out, play action pass, bootleg, screen pass, ext.
By keeping a linebacker assigned to defend the backside, you lessen the amount of possible tacklers in the area you are attacking. When the counter is used limitly, the backside linebacker will look for the main attacking play because that is what he has been seeing. By making the linebacker have to think about where to go for a second can give your blockers the needed time to get into their blocking angles and complete the blocking assignments or will allow your backs to release free into their passing routes.
In my offense the option play series is the most important play series. It forces the opponent to prepare for the option, while the offense is not an option offense at heart. The option works with the multiple points of attack theory that the new age wing-t revolves around, (I will go in-depth about in the next article). I will use the option play series to demonstrate the basic set up of a play series:
(Picture 1 & Caption 1)
(Picture 2 & Caption 2)
(Picture 3 & Caption 3)
Here is the option series. As you can see I use the 100 series number for classifying this play series, (refer to numbering system in article 1). The whole play series starts with the attacking play the FB trap. The ball carrier and the type of play is listed at the end of the number classification. Now just how the numbering system works will begin to make more sense. The option it self forces opposing coaches to make concrete rules for their defense to follow in order to defend it. This allows you to take advantage of the opposing team's rules that have been established so they can stop the option when more play series are added that puts their responsibilities. This also will create reads that do not work for all play series that the other team must establish, once again making the players have to think too much to follow all of their assignments.
The first play is the FB trap, this gives you a fast action play that attacks the core of the defense. The FB trap is a fast play that can be run by only blocking a couple of men, and can be highly effective. The center of the defense can be the best place to attack, keeping the other team's responsibilities in check. The FB trap takes up the middle of the field and forces a linebacker to assign himself to that area, making one less linebacker be able to attack you on outside plays.
Now the QB option gives you a play to attack the flanks of the defense. Most of the option teams will give the QB the option to give to the dive man, keep the ball, or pitch it on an option play. The QB option play forces the defense to defend two men on the flanks But this option play series is not a true triple option. You can call the FB trap play or call the option play.
This allows you to decide where you want to attack the defense. By having the FB trap and the QB option as two different play calls, you give the appearance that you run a triple option, while you can decide if the flanks or the middle of the defense is the best area to attack. This also allows you to spend less time in practice to work on a triple option, just the read the QB makes when he goes around the end, (if you read the end, or block the end and read the outside backer it doesn't matter, do what you do best). Since the true triple option is so time consuming in practice, this allows you to work on the option while still having the proper time to practice the other parts of the offense.
The third play is a backside counter with the wing. This now forces the backside linebacker to play the backside. The counter play is only used a couple of times a game. When the play is used at key times, the backside linebacker will start to flow to the playside flow and forget about his responsibility for the counter and over pursue into the backfield and create a bigger hole at the line of scrimmage.
With this play series you now have forced the defense to play under a set of rules that must be followed to stop this play series. When you implement other play serieses, the rules become too many and too confusing for other coaches to give simple reads and responsibilities to their players. This goes back to my theory of, making your offense look complicated to your opponents and make it hard to give simple keys to their players.
I also use a FB screen play to add an extra passing threat to this play series:
Pic 4, Caption 4
This play shows the option, making the defense flow to the flank while the blockers set up a lane for the FB to run when he receives the pass. Over pursuit by a defense will make this play very hard to stop.
OTHER OPTION PLAY SERIES
I also incorporate the option play into other base attacking plays. I use the HB iso and the HB lead to set up the option:
Pic 5, Capt. 5 Pic 6, Capt 6 Pic 7, Capt 7 Pic 8, Capt 8
These play series ad an extra eliminate in attacking the base point of attack. I think this is used best when the option play sets up the base play. You make it appear that you're attacking the middle, when you really attack the flank, then when you give the ball to the base play ball carrier, it takes advantage of any over pursuit to the flanks and creates a bigger running lane. These plays also create reads difficulty for the defense in the HB iso and HB lead play series, because now they have to defend the flanks at any time too.
Once you have found your play that attacks the area you want, figure out a way to counter it. In a one back set, having the back jab step then run toward the counter hole is the best way to counter, or you can use the wing back on a misdirection play. With a two back set, using the FB on the primary play as lead blocker or a ball carrier, then the HB can be used to be the ball carrier to the counter side. The same can be used with a three back set.
Screen plays work very well, you can use the same miss direction as described for two back sets but have the counter back be the one who goes out for the pass. A screen play can also be used with a one back set. The best way to do so is to run a play action to the back from your primary play, then have the back and the linemen release outside to the flow of the primary play and set up for the pass. This can be used best with defenses that are blitzing heavily, cause they will focus on the QB when they see the QB still with the ball. A good way to set this up so the defense doesn't key the back too much is to use a very obvious fake handoff that the defense can see, so they change their key to the QB. Regular play action plays are as open as your imagination.. This is just a scratch on the surface of what you can do to set up your play series.
PLAY SERIES FOR OTHER FORMS OF OFFENSE
This style of play organization is not limited to the wing-t. I will show how this can be used for the power I and the run and shoot.
pic 9, capt 9 pic 10, cap 10 pic 11, cap 11
The first play here is a very basic attacking play for this offense. The counter is good because the ball carrier from the first play is still heading to the main point of attack. The power pass also uses the second FB in the pass route. By looking for the short route, the TE will eventually become open when the safety decides he's going to bite up.
pic 12, cap 12 pic 13, capt 13 pic 14, cap 14
Here is the run and shoot, where the FB off tackle is used to set up the play series. The counter does not use much miss direction, but is quick to run and will pause the defense long enough to establish your blocking assignments. The play action pass is just a simple example, but you can use anything for a play action pass.
You can see that I don't state you must follow these ideas for how to set up the plays, but the most important rule to follow is to establish different areas to attack with the plays in your play series, making the defense have to defend many areas from one look at the snap of the ball. I always stress do what you know and I am sure you can imagine how some of your plays would work together in a formula like this one. The main keys to follow are:
1. First play should be a direct attacking play that does not waste time developing.
2. Second play should be some form of a running counter to the backside of the first play.
3. Make sure that the plays attack as many different areas of the defense as possible to make the defense of the other team have to deal with too many responsibilities, and like I stated in the first article, you take the decision making out of the hands of the coaches and into the players.
In the next article I will go over the passing game and completing the philosophy of attacking the defense through this offense and how the run plays set up mismatches in the passing game.