Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Eating My Words!

Posted by admin January - 26 - 2016 - Tuesday

About two years ago, I commented to a coach on the message board on (my favorite source for Del. Wing T information!) that I did not see the need for a “bunch” of formations. What purpose did they serve? Would using a number of formations create just as much “clutter” in your playbook as well as in your mind when trying to call a play during the game? Do you have someone in the box who can really “see” what you want him to see; i.e., how is the defense attempting to adjust to your different formations? What advantage do they give you? As you can see, all of my comments came from a pretty negative perspective.

Wellllllllllll…. I learned something this past season. After running the Delaware Wing T for 27 years, I was still discovering things about this amaaaaaazing system of offense! The biggest thing I learned is that you CAN run various formations (I prefer to call them “packages”) and they WILL cause problems for the defense— trying to adjust. However, I need to add that I think that our varying tempo’s that we ran our different packages from was a KEY part of the advantage we gained over the defenses, too. Let me explain.

First, TEMPO. Remember 4-5 years ago when everybody’s hair was on fire about Oregon’s high speed offense?! “Nobody will EVER catch up with them! They just move too fast!” Well, funny how it’s just not that big an issue anymore. I think the reason is that defenses have learned to “play fast” too. When you have ONE SPEED that you have to prepare for, I think that’s a lot easier to defend. I always use the baseball batter/pitcher analogy: If a pitcher throws nothing but “heat”— sooner or later, batters are going to sit on that fastball! However, if you have a pitcher who changes speeds, the batter never gets settled in at the plate. It’s the same reason that I like changing the tempo on offense. Huddle (regular); “Sugar” huddle near the LOS; no huddle and then “NASCAR” high speed no huddle.

We found that by changing tempo’s, we could get into various UN-balanced formations without the defense having time to recognize what we were doing. For instance, our SE never huddled! I’d signal to him which side to align on and he’d head over while watching for the play signal which followed. The other 10 broke the huddle and headed to the line. In 4 different games, they didn’t even “see” the SE out there!!! We were so surprised that we never effectively communicated to the QB what to do if the SE was uncovered! Good coaching, right??!!

Then, our PACKAGES. We ran a base, under center Wing T; a shotgun version of the same “base” package” with a Tailback at the controls… a la “Wildcat” look; an unbalanced single wing package which we ran from the line with no huddle and went “fast”; and a couple of spread shotgun looks which were also NO huddle. We changed the speed in our Spread Shotgun packages depending on the time in the game— faster if we needed a “hurry up” offense. We stayed in “base” if things were going well but could go to any of the other packages at any time… anywhere on the field. In our state championship game, we scored from all 4 different packages. We played a well-coached, undefeated team that had shut down most everybody they played. We were up 24-6 at halftime and finished them off in the second half by scoring 14 more!

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