Monday, June 6, 2011

Adding an "avalanche" to your offense

With the clinic season now finished, two topics have sparked this article. The first is going fast…Oregon fast. Some coaches may find it hard to grasp that their team can go that fast. It is already being done at the high school level.  The second is combining two plays in one COMBO concept. This was first introduced to me by Coach Emendorfer at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He combined Inside Zone with Bubble. The decision to run or pass was a presnap read by the quarterback. Some teams have made it into a postsnap read by the Quarterback.
There a few ways to go fast. The coach calls the plays from the sideline in rapid fire 2 minute offense style. Or the coach develops a set number of plays that the offense runs in a specific order.
As you start the process, there are a few suggestions
1. Keep the formation the same or simple. This helps the players from running all over the place and worried getting set before the snap. More than two players moving will slow pace. If you want to move players then keep the movement from the backfield to #3 WR spot.
2. Use quick plays. 3 step passes and zone runs will cut down on the amount of thinking by the QB and Oline. If you choose to include a 5 or 7 step pass concept or a counter run, make sure the play is later in the set…when the defense is winded.
      3. Have a BOXER or KNUTE ROCKNE thought process. Boxers will use a combination of different punches to keep his opponent off balance, then when the opponent is fatigued…the knockout punch delivers the final blow.  Knute Rockne delivered a classic speech that can be applied. We’re going hit em INSIDE, OUTSIDE, when we get em on the run we gonna KEEP them on the run…

You should attack the defense in different areas.

The offense becomes unstoppable force that AKA an “avalanche”. Avalanche can be the term that signals the start of set of plays or the start of the INDY tempo. Be creative with the terms…
A few years ago, I coached a sophomore team and used “ATTACK, ATTACK” to start the INDY tempo. I only used four plays: VEER, SPRINT OUT FLOOD, QB SNEAK and FREEZE/NO PLAY. This past year, I used one pass concept (CURL FLAT) with some minor tweaks to score quickly at the end of a JV game. These two examples show that this tempo can be run at lower levels with limited practice time. This means that it can easily be used at any varsity program.
When you start developing your play groups, be aware of the most important factor: your offensive line. You want to make sure to keep them both physically and mentally fresh. Of course extra conditioning is the answer!  WRONG! Make sure to have the TEMPO built into practice. Emphasize parts of practice that will allow quick tempo. One clinic nugget is to tell the lineman, during a long gain, to jog to the ball. We may have the mindset to tell the big boys to SPRINT to the BALL, GET THERE! But by telling them to jog to the ball, it converses energy and adds a mental edge. As the defense is sprinting and pursuing, the Oline are jogging to the ball and thinking, “look at those stupid defensive lineman, wasting all their energy…I got something for them on the next play!” Make sure to remember, as the defense gets tired, some plays will be less effective. Avoid interior screens and draw plays. When the defense gets fatigued then the rush will slow down. Thai will make those plays infective at that time.
A couple of ideas for play sets.
1. Best quick pass (outside pass)
2. Draw (inside run)
3.  Zone Boot pass (movement pass)
4.    FREEZE/ NO PLAY NOTE: why do some teams still use ALASKA as the code for FREEZE?
Be creative!

1. Bubble (perimeter screen)
2.  RB Slip Screen (slow screen)
3.  Tunnel Screen (perimeter screen)

1. SPEED OPTION (perimeter run)
2. COUNTER (inside run)
3. POWER (inside run)

Okay, so power and counter involve pulling lineman…use this early when your big boys are ready. Or run your best run play that may involve pulling or trapping. If you don’t score after three plays then when running the ball go to a simple scheme like zone or iso.

Next, you can experiment with a COMBO play. The two that I will begin with are meshing Inside Zone and Bubble Screen then Outside Zone/Stretch with Quick Screen.  The quickness of Inside Zone compliments the quickness of Bubble Screen. The QB’s presnap read should be the Outside Linebacker and the Free Safety. Can they make the play on the Bubble? The QB read during the play is the Defensive End. Can he tackle the RB? The QB has the option to run, but really is looking more to GIVE or THROW.

The Gun Stretch play can be a good compliment to the Quick Screen. The Lateral movement of the Runningback gets the defense moving laterally, which creates more space for the WR running the Quick Screen. The QB’s presnap read will be the leverage of the secondary and the backside Linebacker. The QB’s read during the play is the Linebackers in the box. If they Flow…I Throw.

The final combo play is pairing JET sweep with Jailbreak screen. A Team in California runs this concept with great results. The QB’s presnap read would be if the defense has rolled to the field or runs with the jet motion. 

And If even lower levels can run at a FAST pace...Here is clips of my old team running fast pace from 2006.

Bloom vs Crete Monee 2006 from John Maurek on Vimeo.

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