Head Coach Cal McCombs, I would like to thank Scott Boone and the A F C A Summer Manual Committee for the oppor- tunity to contribute this article. It is a privi- lege to represent our offensive staff: Wi l l McCombs (offensive line), Jack Baker (run- ningbacks), and Latrell Scott (wide receivers). They believe in our offense and do a tremen- dous job in teaching it to our players.
I would also like to recognize a mentor to many of us in the coaching profession, Coach Red Faught, who introduced me to this package. Red is a true innovator of our game and has forgotten more than I will ever know. Thanks, Red!
Balance is an important element of any o ffense. In today\u2019s football, it is extremely dif- ficult to line up and be exclusive in any phase of the game. In this article we hope to pre- sent a simple package that is designed to complement any offense, especially the spread. Having flexibility built into the system enables you to address the situation at hand and increase productivity. Going \u201cunbal- anced\u201d gives us balance.
The thinking behind our unbalanced package at VMI is centered around our base o ffense. We spend the majority of our time in variations of double slot (Diagram 1).
This look has proven productive in the running and passing game while in the open field. However, our base package is limited when confronted with short yardage, red zone and backed-up situa- tions. Our Eagle Package addresses these situations without completely abandoning our base package. A true tight end at the I- AA level is a commodity.
An athletic big guy who can run, usually ends up on the defensive side of the ball. By using the tackle over feature, we can create a tight end effect with our base per- sonnel. This look is created by taking our left tackle to the right side (offensive tack- le), bringing the wide receiver (X) inside and backing the slot (W) to four yards
(Diagram 2). By doing so, we create a set with several strengths:1 . Power running game to the strong side.2 . A short corner on the weak side.3 . Maximum protection in the passing game.
Defenses react in several different ways to this unconventional set. They first have to identify the strength and determine whether to defend the formation or the field. Other adjustments usually include a combination of four solutions depending on their base:1. Rock down a safety to the strong side.2. Take a linebacker over.3. Slide the front strong.4. Walk a linebacker up. Regardless of what adjustments are made, we have already given the defense something new to prepare for each week. As a result, opponents have to be ready to defend it, thus using up their valuable prac- tice time.
While in our Eagle set, we want to run plays that attack the interior, off tackle and flank of the defense. Option plays are attractive as a result of defensive adjust- ments that may have redefined option responsibilities. Power plays to the strong side have merit. Zone plays that capture the short corner are usually good. Play- action passes and the trips passing game are a natural fit with this menu.
If the defense has used an adjustment to defend the formation, we will try to attack the short corner with our inside and outside zone. These plays are set up by Y coming in full-speed motion through the heels of the S. The quarterback is responsible for timing up the cadence and getting the ball to Y. The tight end, W, S, and offensive line are in a full-zone scheme to the left. We want to run wide on this play, the more field the better. Speed is the key (Diagram 3). Now that we have given the defense a con- tain issue, we will start the rim motion again
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