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Overdue Season Adjustments Make Large Differences in Youth Football

Each year I do a thorough analysis of my teams and the system via in-depth film study. This year it was a further study than ever before before and I started doing it even before our season ended. I actually was in the process of putting together the 2007 Season DVD. We added subtitles to every single snap of each game so you can see what football plays and defensive calls are in place before the play begins. I'm also adding music commentary to emphasise the key points to look for on each snap. As the season progressed, we found a number of groups would send their defensive tackles to their knees, "diving" our wedge play if they felt our linemen were wedge blocking. Exactly what this did was create a pile that caused it to be a little more difficult to wedge.

We also found that if the linebackers saw a wedge forming, they would quickly come up to fill the middle and the protective ends would curl around the wedge and try to drag the ball provider down from behind. Our initial response was to have our offensive linemen just keep their knees up and trample over the defensive lineman, the defensive endzone video linemen rarely like using this diving method the whole game and may hardly ever stick to it for long. We were still getting good yardage on our wedge, although not quite what we had gotten previously. Of course for those teams that would dive every play, we simply ran lots of off-tackle, sweeps, counters, dollar wedges and passes and just ran wild. In fact this season we averaged comparable number of details per game (35) with our age 10-11 team as we did the previous year and we were much smaller this season. But for those teams that would wait to "feel" the wedge before scuba diving, we had a different plan waiting for them.

Overdue this season there were extra a football play that was really simply a slight modification of two soccer plays we already run. The 16 Power, our tailback power play off-tackle run to the strong side and 22 our Wedge, a fullback sand iron to the Right Guard. While nether of these is the "sexiest" of football plays, together they averaged almost 9 years per carry this season. The particular new hybrid play strike so quick and was so open, it appeared as if our tailback was shot out of a canon.

This is exactly what we did:

In case you've ever seen those Power T teams run the ball, it is an amazing offense. Much like the Single Wing, it is real tough to choose up the ball and they hit the queue very quickly out of a compressed formation with 3 backs attacking 3 different parts of attack. On the base play, the fullback attacks the playside dive or trap hole, the backside halfback attacks the playside off-tackle hole and the quarterback attacks the playside sweep area. The quarterback either gives to the fullback, backside halfback or keeps it on a sweep. Everything is so compressed and it also strikes so quick, you have no clue who has the football. To add to this mess, all the ballcarriers and pretend ballcarriers use a "layered" handoff method to hide the golf ball and carry their reproductions out 20 + yards. When I watch these High School teams play on my DVD player, I have to slower everything down frame by frame to see who the heck has the darn football, I kind of like that especially in youth football..

We chose to incorporate many of these concepts into a single football play we would use late in our 2007 youth football season. We would make "double dive" concept from the Power T teams and adapt it to our youth football playbook. We all would run our off-tackle play to our tailback away of our base established, but use wedge blocking and a fake to our fullback to pull the defense in.

It had been simple to put in, our linemen wedge clogged, something we learned in the first week of practice and use on a number of our existing football plays. Our own backfield would run our base 16 Power (tailback off tackle strong) with the exception being that our fullback would bogus a 22 wedge run (wedge run at our right guard). The blocking back would execute his normal kickout block of the playside defensive end and the wingback would do his normal seal off of the near linebacker like these were all used to doing on the 16 power.

There was no need for a pulling guard, as the linebackers were already arriving up hard when they saw any wedge creating and would get lost in the wash. Typically the tailback would run off-tackle to the strong side, inside the blocking shells kickout block and then just outside the wingbacks seal block, just like the 16 Power we usually run. Both our Fullback and Tailback would carry the ball or fake with both over arms completely over the golf ball, or their stomachs (if faking) and were bent at the waist more than usual. Since this was a blend of 2 football plays we already run, it was a little while until all of 1 minute to setup, it stole zero time from our regular football practice schedule.

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