With the 6 teams I’ve had running Single Wing over the years, we have seen some very unusual techniques, schemes and strategies used to try and stop our offense. Sometimes at the football clinics I do, one of my “supporters” will mention that they overheard a coach behind them mutter ” all you have to do is do XXX to stop that offense”. Well we have seen about every XXX imaginable as teams study and film us as they get more and more desperate to stop our Offense. Even with these activities, we have averaged nearly 40 points most seasons and ‘mercy ruled” over 80% of our opponnents during that time frame.
Not to be rude, but they just really have not been very effective and in fact some of these techniques have helped us blow open games that could have been much closer had the other team just stuck in its base defense.
One common “technique” is trying to “blow up” the center. they either put their best defender over the center and “punish” him every play (actually hear the opposing coach use this term loudly and consistently). Or they put a linebacker right over the center and ‘blitz’ him into the center every play. The defense thinks that if they can impede the snap they can throw off our timing or create turnovers. This youth football coaching technique has been used by countless teams against us with little to no effect. It seems to be the favorite tactic of youth football coaches with very little or no experience. I rarely see it from the the coaches I would label as “competent”.
This is why it has not worked:
1) The snap is just 2 yards, it’s not a punt or deep “shotgun” snap.
2) Our offensive line blocking rules require the center to get help on nearly any play.
3) We ask very little of our center, no reach blocks, no linebacker assignments etc
4) We have our center practice against this type of technique all the time.
5) With foot to foot splits, penetration is nearly impossible and help is very close by.
How to combat it:
1) Run wedge and blow up this usually “stand up” defensive player.
2) Have the center crab block, just go to his knees every play. You have a stalemate and thats all we need there.
3) Make sure and run plenty of “no plays” or snaps on first sound. Keep them off balance and get lots of free 5 yard penalties.
We like it when teams try to do this as they usually do it with one for their best players. Their best player is being neuturalized every play by one of our worst players, this gives our Single Wing Offense a numbers advantage elsewhere on the football field. When it fails the defense gets very down and loses its confidence in stopping the Single Wing. We all know most youth football players psyches are shot when the “magic bullet” doesn’t work.
To give you some stats; with my last 6 teams we may have had just a handfull go off target and the same can be said for the Single Wing teams that send me film to review. We had just 1 snap over the head and just 2 that ended up as a turnover with those 6 teams. In 2006 we had zero single bad snaps, with the exception of 1 snap I had my center snap it 20 yards back so the other team could score in a game we were leading 38-0. These numbers are far less than any team that has a QB under center. With a QB under center if the snap is flubbed you lose the ball, look no further than last years NFL Super Bowl.
The moral of the story is, don’t get uptight about teams using this tactic, it doesn’t work very well.