Each week Coach Bass brings his 30 years of NFL coaching experience to USA Football. Email Coach Bass your question.
Art sent the following question:
First of all, I would like to say that I have a lot of respect for you and that you are an excellent coach. I have two questions about offenses. What is your favorite offense? And if we are a small team in a big division with very big kids, do you think that the Wing-T will work for us?
The Wing-T would be an excellent choice in my estimation. Using the Wing-T gives you the opportunity to create indecision for the defensive players. The Wing-T allows you to attack every hole and use your team quickness rather than bulk in your blocking scheme.
I like the formation because it creates the opportunity for all of your backs to become a ball carrier. You can run the fullback up inside, the halfback inside or off tackle and wide to the wingback.
The QB can run the option to the side of the wing and have the threat of the bootleg to the other side after the halfback fakes to the wingback side.
Using short motion, the wing can come back to the center of the formation to run a sweep or option to the split end side of the formation.
Up front, your blockers can start using drive man blocking schemes, achieve angles or double teams with short or long trap blocking, or use combination blocking versus stack defenses while keeping your backfield action constant.
Play action and bootleg passing can both be used successfully, especially throwing to the split end, halfback, wing back and tight end. Good inside running and then faking the run, will really help in keeping the linebackers close to the line of scrimmage and opening up the medium zones - 10 to 12 yards deep - for completions.
You may want to have two or three pass patterns (hitch, slant and hook) that you can run after shifting your wing out to a flanker position and at the same time shifting your halfback out to a slot position on the split end side of the formation. Make sure your QB checks both players and allows them to shift and be set before the ball is snapped.
By shifting out, you force the defense to cover the entire field and it does not give the defense as much time to react and make adjustments as they might have if you lined up in this formation right out of the huddle. It also provides you with a better chance of dropping back and completing a pass on a definite passing situation.
This can be something you can work into and add to your offense as the year goes along once your team has learned and perfected your base offense. Quick passing also negates any type of blitz package that the defense might try to use to pressure your quarterback.
Any passing attack needs to be based on the total team's ability to protect, the quarterback's accuracy in throwing the ball and the receivers' skill in catching the ball. If anyone of these areas is lacking, then it is best to really concentrate your practice time and feature your running game.
Start out with a base offense, remembering that you double the plays and practice time needed to perfect the plays and teach the techniques, when you set your alignment from a right to a left formation. Add plays when you see that your base offense is being run with few if any errors in assignments or techniques.
Good luck and have a great season.
Coach Tom Bass
Coach Tom Bass, the technical writer and advisor for USA Football, is a 30-year NFL coach who has also authored several books, including "Play Football the NFL Way" - the first "how to" book ever authorized and published by the NFL. Coach Bass is happy to personally autograph his books to you. Book ordering information can be found at http://www.coachbass.com/.