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run the ball with 8 or 9 in the box

run the ball with 8 or 9 in the box

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Published by Michael Schearer

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Published by: Michael Schearer on Nov 16, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Whether it has been in a formal clinic

or on a napkin in a restaurant, I have learned most of what I know about football from others. The exchange of ideas between coaches is one of the traditions that makes our profession so rewarding. I want to thank those coaches who have so generously shared their knowledge with me, and I also want to thank John Lyons and theAFCA Summer Manual committee for the opportunity to share some game plan thoughts with you.

At the Division III level, personnel often dictates our offensive and defensive philosophies. This past season, we had a senior offensive line and an exceptional tal- ent at tailback; therefore the run game would be the key to our offensive success.

This was no secret to our opponents, and we continually played against defen- sive schemes that were designed to take our tailback out of the game. Left with few offensive weapons, we were forced to find ways to get him the ball. The strategy proved successful as our team won a share of the league\u2019s title, and our tailback won the league\u2019s offensive MVP honor and broke the team\u2019s career and season rush- ing records.

The biggest challenge to our run game was the eight-man front, with the free safe- ty inverting at times to create a nine-man front.

We attacked this defense by using three base game plan components:1. The run play;2. The formation; and3. A scheme designed to control the extra man (the free safety).

The Run Play

The run play we used was our power play (42/48). We favored this play because of the matchups, the blocking angles and a double- team at the point of attack. Our rules for the play allowed us to run the play to both the out- side technique defensive tackle (three tech- nique) and the inside technique defensive tackle (2I technique). We preferred to run this play to the 2I technique.

Frontside Tight End:Down block. With
\u201csolid\u201d call double the 6I technique with the
Frontside Tackle:Versus a 3 technique

double with the guard. Versus a 2I tech- nique make \u201csolid\u201d call and double with the tight end. In both cases, eyeball the frontside inside linebacker for the run through.

Frontside Guard: Versus three tech-
nique double with the tackle. Versus a 2I
reach drive defensive tackle.
Center:If the backside guard is cov-

ered by a 2I technique, zone block with the backside guard to the backside line- backer. If the backside guard is covered by a three technique, zone cut the back- side linebacker.

Backside Guard:Versus a 2I zone

block with the center to the backside backer. Versus a three technique, zone cut defensive tackle.

Backside Ta c k l e :Pull. Look to get
through to line of scrimmage outside the
tight end and block the frontside linebacker.
Backside Tight End:Zone cut man on.
H back:Block outside linebacker inside
Flanker:Stalk No. 1
Tailback:Counter step. Get in hip pock-
et of puller and read his block.
Quarterback:Reverse pivot. Hand off
to tailback. Fake bootleg.

There are some important coaching points. The tight end and tackle want to tighten their split shoe to shoe when they are double-teaming. The pulling tackle should keep his shoulders parallel to the line of scrimmage and be ready to block the frontside linebacker. The linebacker often gets caught up in the wash and the tackle may be blocking a secondary player. The frontside tackle must keep his shoul- ders parallel to the line of scrimmage on his double team to protect his inside gap from the stunting linebacker.

The Formation
We start in our \u201cQueen\u201d set (Diagram 3).
AFCA Sum m er M anual
2 0 0 1
Bob Ritter
Head Coach
Middlebury College
Middlebury, Vt.
Run the Ball With Eight
(or Nine) in the Box
Diagr am 1
Diagr am 2

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