The mandate of an offensive attack is to dictate that the opponent defends the entire dimensions of the field. Over the next few posts I will provide a basis for the spread attack providing variations for you to consider and implement into your current scheme. Formationing, motion, personnel, blocking schemes in protection and the run game, and launch point differentials will be explored.
There is no question that the Hal Mumme/Mike Leach scheme has become extremely trendy and the Rich Rodriguez tailoring of the zone read option to Manny Matsakis and his tripleshoot have changed the way we think about offensive football, to name a few.
Exploring variations of the spread to fit your personnel is paramount. Simply deploying a scheme that works for someone else does not necessarily translate into success for your squad without the proper skill sets of your players.
When putting together your approach, a reason for it must be considered. Remember that a system should appear complicated enough in conflict to the defense but is easily implemented as a solid base attack to build from. Ask yourself and your staff, “why use a spread attack”?
I am going to provide a bit of a differing approach than that of the aforementioned coaches yet there are definitely similarities in all our philosophical approaches. The biggest of course that we all spread the field and push the clock but I’m going to provide you with a few things to consider to modify what these highly successful coaches have been able to accomplish. The key to remember is that at the collegiate and professional levels, you can recruit to your system. As a high school coach you will not always have the luxury of having the players to fit those schemes precisely. My hope is to give you something to modify the scheme so that your kids have an opportunity to experience success and that is what coaching is ultimately all about.
For a run and pass offense to complement one another, they should operate from the same offensive sets. Formations must force the defense to cover the width of the field without sacrificing the run game and that is why I used a two back/three wide receiver grouping (four wides in the CFL) so often to provide a direct conflict to the defensive thinking.
The three wide receiver set dictates a philosophy that widens the windows in coverage schemes while reducing opportunities for the defense to put eight in the box. By spreading the formation it allows for full expression of the route combination forcing the defenders to expand in coverage across the field while providing the quarterback with a distinct view of the patterns and the coverage.
Two back sets are required to truly effectively run the football. It provides a solid inside zone scheme allowing for the “downhill” attack of the defensive front as compared to the slower developing lateral run schemes. Two backs strengthen the flank attack with lead blockers and extenuate the play action pass attack as every run has an accompanying pass. Two backs will also create personnel mismatches in the pass game as motion will remove defenders from the box placing them in open space where they are less comfortable and continuing to provide a run threat with a ball carrier other than the quarterback still in the backfield. The use of a hybrid fullback/tight end or “H” back is what we looked for to compliment the featured tailback motioning out to create new flanks or staying in the box as a run blocker and occasional carrier. Part of the package included two true tailbacks which provided conflict in the double screen concept and in the broom sweep from the slot, to name a few variations.