Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

Getting Caught From Behind On the Off-Tackle Play

If this is happening to your team, start out by making sure your tailback is running straight at the off-tackle hole rather than looping out then hitting the hole. It has to be a straight line at full speed. Quite often even your fastest running backs have a hard time accelerating to the off-tackle hole. Often it is clogged as you will have a bunch of bodies flying to that point of attack. The hole often doesn’t clear until the very instant the tailback arrives, sometimes (rarely) it doesn’t open at all. The tailback has to be trained to hit the hole at full speed.

There are a number of cures:


Train the tailback to hit the hole faster using this: The 16 power �chaser� drill where you have a backfield set up with coaches with blocking shields at the point of attack, one at defensive end, for the blocking back to kick out. One at linebacker for the wingback to block inside and one at corner for the fullback to block outside. Always look for correct head placement and acceleration on contact from these blockers.

Last, add your “chaser”, he is a good and quick tackler that you station just behind the tailback. Have a coach holding on to the “chasers” waist. Once the center snaps the ball, give the tailback just the smallest of leads, then release the “chaser” to make the tackle. If the tailback is not running in an “all out” sprint he will be tackled. Release the chaser at a variety of timing points until you are at the point where the tailback can barely escape if he is running at a full sprint.

This will improve this play immensely. If you still have problems from the backside, definitely time to run a reverse or trap play to keep that player home. As a last resort, the �cross� call that sends the fullback to the backside to level the defensive end, will often stop this tactic.


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

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