Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

Critique of a Single Wing Team- Youth Football Team

A football coaching buddy of mine sent me some film to take a look at. I can’t do this for everyone but his guy is a super guy and a great supporter so I took a look at it and had a few pointers. I’m always humbled that anyone would even bother to want to know what I think of their teams, but here goes:

Youth Football Analysis Report Prepared for:

First Impressions:
Your team seems to be made up of kids that are interested in playing and do not shy away from contact. Nearly every player on offense looks like they want to play. You have a number of kids that seem reasonably sized and reasonably athletic, especially your TB and #10 has potential as well. From a personnel standpoint you have above average size with, with about average athleticism. You have good pop at RG. We all have to hide our weak players somewhere and your weakness is evident in your LG and LE. You certainly could get better play out of your WBs.

Your conceptual strengths are that they want to play,( especially #25) we cant say that about every team we see. You have done a very nice job of getting your football team to line up properly and in the right stances and spacing. The only problem I saw was with your wingback, he is too wide and deep, we like them at a distance they can reach out and touch the RE, without falling over him. That really hurts your wedge play as he can not get any kind of push to your PT there. On the other hand there is a lot of work to do with blown assignments and technique as we see with many young teams and first year single wing teams. The good news is it is all correctable and you have the kids to do it with.

But there are a number of mistakes I see on both games. Let�s just go play by play then go over the play-calling.

16 Power: Nice job of calling it a bunch in game 2, but too late. The key here is the kick-out block of the DE with your 3 back. Quite often he gets a bit mixed up because either the RE or the WB decide to block the DE, that creates a huge logjam. I�m not talking about when you call nasty/tunnel here. He is making good contact but most of the time he has his head on the outside instead of inside. He needs to maintain contact and drive him out of the hole. He needs to take a peek at who he is to block, he seems a bit uncertain. Another problem is your 2 back, nearly every time he runs outside the kick-out to get to the corner or he just dances around in the hole and creates a logjam. The corner can step inside of that every time and make the tackle. Fortunately, for you guys both teams had their corners out so wide it made no difference most of the time.

Your WB has to have more umph, if the DE is aligned wide he does not have to go around the DE to get to the LB. He started doing some of that later. We call this �under� if he can�t recognize it, just yell out �under� and this tells him to go inside the DE to get to the LB. A few times he even blocked the DE which threw your 3 back off. Don�t be afraid to run this every play for 7-8 plays in a row. Nothing requires you to run your entire playbook. Make them over adjust and become unsound, then hit em for the home run.

How to solve it:
We run POWER HOUR ( a Steve Calande term) where we run nothing but power for about 30-40 minutes, Just with the backs put out cones where the OL would be then put dads with shields at DE, LB and corner. Make sure everyone is going full speed, makes contact low with head on the correct side and drives until you hear whistle. Your TB needs to run it faster up in there instead of reading it so much ( got better in game 2), which he will feel more comfortable with once the blocking gets corrected. Once you are in a rhythm start adjusting the dads, ask your WB to read the DE and block under, Crash the DE and have your BB have to make a quick block,. Send the DE boxing and have your BB take him deeper. REQUIRE your 2 back to run inside the BB and get to the corner. The more bodies in there the better. We like to put a chaser behind the TB or even your FB ( he�s getting out slow) and release him with just enough lead for the TB so that the TB has to run 100% all out to avoid getting tackled by the chaser. You made yardage on the play but you will kill teams with this with the kids you have if they run it correctly.

With the line you need a better double team by your PT and RE, they were just neutralizing the DT, not getting him to the second level. We do lots of large bag double team drills with these two as partners hip to hip driving dad and the big dummy 10 yard to the LB level.

The key here is in the first football game they pinched in real tight and starting the DE as a rush end , he was crashing every play. He was a real stud. That is the time for the regular 18 sweep. They won�t pinch down again if you hit them with that. You did an unusual thing with the nasty/tunnel and blocked down on him, that was a very good coaching move. Well done!

18 Sweep- The reason your 18 Sweep play doesn�t work as well as you would like is your perimeter blocking is very poor here, you had 2-3 guys trying to block the DE and he was creating a logjam. Again I would take a backup TB/FB/BB and make him your WB for these occasions if you have one. Your FB was not going wide or deep enough and the DE was blowing up the play. The BB and RG go outside the seal block of the WB and look linebacker. This should have been a very good play for you. As you do open field tackling drills, do open field blocking drills where the FB has to get to the defender in space and make a block, your 2 back didn�t do that. Against that second team they had the corners out very wide and lots of speed, so maybe not the best choice against them.

43 Reverse football play is Very good ball handling here. However your BB is not always kicking out here. The problem here was that the LE blocked the DE out so the BB didn�t know who to block and it opened a gap weak side.. One kid messing this play up: your LG he is either standing in the hole or getting in the way same for your LE. I would just make sure they just crab block to the inside and stay out of the way , they did more harm than good on this play and a number of others, ( mine aren�t very good either). Again practice this like your 16 power with bags etc and make sure your BB kicks out and sticks with his blocks, no pancaking. We like to have our RT crab block this. I would not pull your PT, he isn�t a very strong player.

31 trap plays didn�t work for a number of reasons. Again I would just have your LG crab block here and stay out of the way. On another your LE didn�t block the LB he blocked the guy we were to trap so the RG got all jammed up. Both times as you know the BB didn�t wait and got out in front of the guard and right into the unblocked soon to be trapped DT.
Again make sure your LG crab blocks and gets out of the way and your BB sits very low for a count before he runs. He cant run ahead of the RG pull. On one of the two I saw the RG didn�t pull at all.

Wedge plays: The wedge play probably fooled a lot of people after the first game. On a positive note your offensive backs run it up in there and dont try and run it outside. You guys got so much yardage out of it, you probably thought you would be able to run it all day, but even in the first game it was not a real good wedge. Common problem for us all.

Wedge didn�t look very good for a number of reasons, Several parts of your wedge looked good, some not so good. Easiest problems to correct is your WB is way too deep he needs to be in tight so he can explode off the ball and push the PT, he NEVER did this once. I really liked your Buck Wedge fakes, worked very well in pulling defenders wide, nice touch , don�t see that much. Your BB needs to push aggressively on the center. He is bogging things up such that your FB can�t get his hand where it needs to be on the back of the RG. The BB has to help move the pile forward, he wasn�t doing that, The BIGGEST problem is your PT and RT, neither is stepping inside correctly and in fact the PT blocks out or the man in front of him quite often leaving a gaping hole. This may be because your RG is going so fast, he needs to slow down so the RT and PT can get into the wedge. Again your LE often either blocks the man over him instead of getting in the wedge (once even blocked a man to his outside) or he moves laterally and does not get his shoulder into the ribcage of the center. Your RT and PT need some more of the first step drills like in the book so they are leaving on the �G� of go they are coming out of their stances too late.

I would stick to the wedge drill progression and make sure and do the quick fit and freeze a bunch, where you call the snap count and have them freeze after the fit It will get better. Hugh Wyatt suggests going wedge fits with eyes closed so the kids are required to go shoulder to rib cage or fall down. We like to have a coach with a shield pushing on the RG after the fit and have them push him. We then have dads with shield try and come in and have the linemen come off the guys to their inside fit and block the defender like your LG wants to do, they cant do that the only person they block is the their own guy.

I would also run wedge drills where dads with shields come in and attack the wedge, trying to get your RT and PT and others to come off the guy to their inside and take the coach. Don�t let the players come off the ribcages of their own players they aren�t to come off and block any defender, just their own guy.

That second team looked like they would be wedge meat, but they were very tough little guys. They did a nice job of staying low, If the wedge isn�t working look to the edge and the 16 power was there.

Mouse plays: We have gone to leading the 16 with the FB on the LB every time. I think this is going to be a very good series for you but again run the 22 wedge off of it too along with the 32 wedge. They will be looking for your TB and the WB will take care of the other flank once you run reverse once.

18 Sweep pass play: The WB has to run right at the LB to draw the corner inside, your WB ran a straight corner. He runs at the LB , he�s wide open, by 10+ yards. Biggest problem: Your FB not only didn�t block the DE on either play, he ran downfield and took defenders right to the ball. You can run this play, but I wouldn�t against the speed of the second team.

Obviously, you guys have seen most of these mistakes. The kids you have can run this and you should have a nice little team if they progress each week. Get your kick-outs down and your 2 back running in the right direction and your 16 power is good for 5 all day long as long as you get reasonable production out of your WB.
Get great at the regular 18 sweep you are going to need it when they squeeze down the 16, it will be there along with the 43 and 18 sweep pass which I think you can run fairly well. Only area that needs a lot of work is the wedge.
If you are a having a real big problem with your LG and LE, lots of leakage there. I would teach them to crab block every play to the inside. That way they need to remember just 2 things, wedge block and crab block.

I would also teach all the offensive inemen to crab block and have your center get proficient at it as well and practice it after he snaps to your backs when he is working with them.
Your onside kicks were great. I would train your front line on the receiving team not to raise their hands or jump to get any balls. On defense I would always put your more disciplined kids on the wide side. I love watching #25 but he gets sucked inside every time.

You fakes looked good for the most part, with the exception of #25 he watches and claps, very enthusiastic LOL.

We are running some wedge out of our �double� formation. If we are running weakside we are running 43 and 31 but if we know we can run 47 we make sure and run it out of double so the BB can pin the DE to that side to the inside.

All in all I think you guys have done a great job so far, Some tweaking here and there.

Warmest Regards,

Dave Cisar

This has been another post into Dave Cisar’s Winning Youth Football Site
Copyright 2007 Cisar Mangement Services

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