Wishbone Blocking Scheme by Andrew Ward | Gridiron Football | Football Codes

18 The Blocking System There is nothing more pivotal to an offense than a consistent blocking system.

This system contains four core types of blocking: Conservative blocking, Liberal blocking, Counter blocking, Zone blocking. In one way or another, all of these kinds of blocking are related to each other. Each play revolves around a hole, and the type of blocking used centers around that hole. For instance, we can attack the 6/7 hole in a variety of ways. We can conservative block and run a power off-tackle (46/47 Power), we can base block and have a guard pull underneath (46/47 Blast), we can conservative block an option (16/17 G Option), we can liberal block and run several dives (26/27 Dive) and options (16/17 Veer), we can counter block (46/47, 26/27 Counter) and we can zone block and run a (46/47 Zone) and (16/17 Sprint), etc. Now, the words after numbers represent certain codes that tell the offense what kind of blocking will be used. The following is a brief list of the different meanings of words in regards to the linemen and backfield: Blast – Linemen execute conservative blocking with backside guard running an inside Seal. Designated lineman will Release defender on LOS; fullback kicks out. Buck – Linemen execute liberal blocking. As fullback dives the opposite direction lead running back will utilize the fullback’s liberal responsibilities. Counter – Linemen will utilize counter blocking. Backfield will use counter responsibilities AWAY from the hole. Dive – Linemen will utilize quick liberal blocking. Called player will dive into the hole; rest of backfield will flow to the side of the hole called. G – Linemen will utilize conservative blocking with PS guard kicking out the FMOTE. Backfield will either run a fullback dive option or the fullback will get the ball. Lead – Linemen and backfield will utilize liberal responsibilities. Power – Linemen and backfield will utilize conservative responsibilities. Sweep – Linemen and backfield will utilize their respected blocking: responsibilities depend on type of sweep. Trap – Linemen will utilize counter responsibilities. Backfield will mirror this TO the hole.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

19 Veer – Linemen will utilize liberal blocking with the hole man (lineman who’s number is called) releasing their lineman. Backfield will run Veer responsibilities. Zone – Linemen and backfield will utilize zone responsibilities.

Coaching Point: The words “Conservative” and “Liberal” aren’t used in play calling, but “Zone” and “Counter” are.
Relations to Backfield It is essential that the players in the backfield and linemen are on the same page. The word Power calls for all players to utilize Conservative schemes. ‘Bone Left 45 Power’ would not work if the backfield utilized Liberal responsibilities for a play that they should be using Conservative responsibilities.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

20 Conservative responsibilities for the backfield are: Fullback – block first second level defender inside the gap Lead back – block first second level defender over to outside gap Liberal responsibilities for the backfield are: Fullback – block first unblocked second level defender in hole Lead back – (3 backs) block outside to inside invert, (2 backs) play as fullback If the fullback is not involved in the blocking (as in Buck plays) the lead back will assume the fullback’s Liberal responsibilities. If the lead back is not involved in the blocking, the fullback will assume Liberal responsibilities. The following diagram shows how this plays into effect:

The backfield will read the lineman whose hole is the last number in the play. Sense this is a 42 they will read the right guard. Sense the guard is blocking down they will run in B gap. If the guard blocked out it would be considered A gap, although nothing in this case would change.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

21 Here is another look at the backfield’s blocking responsibilities. They block according to their responsibilities. In the first diagram, ’44 Lead’, the fullback blocks the first man over C gap (the one the tackle doesn’t block), the lead back blocks the invert (whether it be the second or first level). In the second diagram, ’44 Power’, the fullback takes first inside the C gap, and the lead back the first defender over to outside the C gap on the second level. If there isn’t a defender over or outside the C gap on the second level there is most likely a Strong Invert (an 8 tech) on the LOS. He should be blocked.

Coaching Point: Don’t spend too much time going over who blocks who against what defenses, etc. Linebackers shift too much for the backfield to keep track, and keeping track may indeed give the play away. For them to know the basic “first man inside the gap” and “first man over the gap” is raw, but highly effective.
Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

22 Types of Blocks Starting with the linemen, we have a simple down block. This is utilized in just about every kind of blocking scheme, but it is more prominent in the Conservative scheme. If blocking down on a head up defender, one should be aware if the player the defender is on is blocking as well.

The combo block is a big part of the Liberal blocking scheme. The covered player should take a 45 power step followed by a contact step downfield. His third step should hook the defender. The uncovered player, if he is combo blocking in, should aid the covered player and move to the second level backside defender.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

23 The reach block is a lot like the Combo block in that we are trying to hook a covered player. The difference is that the covered player will take a lateral step play side and hook his defender. Penetration is unacceptable. ‘Zone Reaching’ is staying along the LOS, double teaming a lineman with both hands and with both eyes on the linebacker. The lineman should only block the linebacker when he attacks the LOS.

The stretch block is used primarily with Zone schemes. It is a tough, but not impossible block to make. Uncovered players take a quick bucket step (4 or 8 o’clock) and proceed to the covered man’s defender. If he is unsuccessful he should reach downfield inside or, if possible, outside the covered man – who we want to go second level.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

24 Here are examples of blocking in two Counter plays:

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

25 There are words that describe blocks that the tight end and lead back carry out. Most of these blocks are used in option plays. Whereas all can be called in the huddle, some are automatic depending on the defense. Those exceptions will be demonstrated with the play. The following is a diagram of the blocks specified for the lead back and tight end/tight slot. When sky blocking, make sure second level is secure first before going to the safety.

Stack and Fix Calls Stack is called when both of the PS designated hole lineman’s gaps (or those PS linemen inside him) are covered. Fix is called when a lineman has two people to block. When he calls “stack” or “fix” it instructs the lineman outside him to block down while he blocks his regular assignments. The man who called stack will do his regular assignment. A Center is considered PS, he won’t block down for a BS Guard.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

26 Rows 1, 3, and 5 are play side right. Rows 2 and 4 are play side left.

2/3 Conservative Assignments
BS End – Down block BS Tackle – Down block BS Guard – Down block Center – Base man in PS Guard – Base man PS Tackle – Base man out PS End – Base man out

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

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4/5 Conservative Assignments
BS End – Down block BS Tackle – Down block BS Guard – Down block Center – Down block PS Guard – Base man in PS Tackle – Base man PS End – Base man out

Notes: 4A is a ‘Cross’ block by the PS Tackle and Guard. On the split-end side the tackle has two people to block and he is the hole man so he calls ‘Out’.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

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6/7 Conservative Assignments
BS End – Down block BS Tackle – Down block BS Guard – Down block Center – Down block PS Guard – Down block PS Tackle – Base man in PS End – Base man

Note: Because of its uniqueness, the 6/7 Hole can differ very much in the kinds of things that the tight end does. On ‘46/47 Power’ he will base his man, on ‘46/47 Off-tackle’ and ‘46/47 Blast’ he will Release if no 4 or 5, and on ‘36/37 G’ he will block down, releasing the man on him.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

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2/3 Blast Assignments
BS End – Scoop BS Tackle – Base Scoop BS Guard – Inside Seal Center – Max PS Guard – Block down on 0, 1, or 2i. Release a 2, 3, or 4i. PS Tackle – Base man out. Release if PS Guard calls B gap. PS End – Base man out

Note: If the hole man (in this case the Guard) letting go of the down lineman has a man head up and outside shade he should block the head up player.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

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4/5 Blast Assignments
BS End – Scoop BS Tackle – Base Scoop BS Guard – Inside Seal Center – Max PS Guard – Block down PS Tackle – Block down on 2, 3 or 4i. Release a 4, 5, or 7. PS End – Base man out. Release to invert if PS Tackle calls C gap.

Note: If the hole man (in this case the Tackle) letting go of the down lineman has a man head up and outside shade he should block the head up player.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

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6/7 Blast Assignments
BS End – Scoop BS Tackle – Base Scoop BS Guard – Inside Seal Center – Max PS Guard – Block down PS Tackle – Block down PS End – Block down on 4, 5 or 7.

Release a 6 or 9

Notes: In diagram 3A the tight end makes an outside release to the invert. This is not a standard release, but it can be done against a basic 44 defense. If the hole man (in this case the tight end) letting go of the down lineman has a man head up and outside shade he should block the head up player.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

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8/9 Blast Sweep Assignments
BS End – Scoop BS Tackle – Base Scoop BS Guard – Inside Seal Center – Max PS Guard – Block down on 0, 1 or 2i. If none then pull, block first inside PS Tackle – Block down on 2, 3 or 4i. If none then pull, block first inside PS End – Block down PS Wing - Block down on 6 or 9. Release head up or outside shade.

Note: If the hole man (in this case the wing) letting go of the down lineman has a man head up and outside shade he should block the head up player.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

33

6/7 G Assignments
BS End – Reach BS Tackle – Reach BS Guard – Reach Center – Reach PS Guard – Pull, kick out man on TE PS Tackle – Block down PS End – Block down, let man on go

Note: The tight end does not have to block down on a 7. Essentially he will be making a Sax block to the middle linebacker.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

34

2/3 Liberal Assignments
BS End – Reach BS Tackle – Reach BS Guard – Reach Center – Combo in PS Guard – Combo man PS Tackle – Combo out PS End – Base man out

Note: The lineman with Combo man responsibilities will essentially base a man on him.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

35

4/5 Liberal Assignments
BS End – Reach BS Tackle – Reach BS Guard – Reach Center – Reach PS Guard – Combo in PS Tackle – Combo man PS End – Combo out

Notes: Remember, if the man inside you calls stack, block down. The exception is the center, who won’t block down.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

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8/9 Lead Sweep Assignments
BS End – Reach BS Tackle – Reach BS Guard – Pull to 2nd level PS, block inside. Reach on Center’s ‘Stack'. Center – Reach on LOS, block down BS. PS Guard – Reach if covered; if uncovered pull and block first inside PS Tackle – Reach if covered; if uncovered pull and block first inside PS End – Reach (PS Wing) – Combo man

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

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8/9 Buck Sweep Assignments
BS End – Reach BS Tackle – Reach BS Guard – Pull to 2nd level PS, block inside. Reach on Center’s ‘Stack'. Center – Reach on LOS, block down BS. PS Guard – Reach if covered; if uncovered pull and block first outside PS Tackle – Reach if covered; if uncovered pull and block first outside PS End – Reach (PS Wing) – Combo man

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

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2/3 Dive Assignments
BS End – Cut off BS Tackle – Cut off BS Guard – Cut off Center – Quick Combo in PS Guard – Quick Combo man PS Tackle – Quick Combo out, if 2 or 3 Release for inside backer. PS End – Release

Notes: There is a ‘Stack’ call, but instead of the outside man blocking down he will combo with the man who called ‘Stack’. This means the BS man must effectively reach his man without combo help from the man who called ‘Stack’. The designated hole man will not call ‘Stack’, only those linemen inside him will.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

39

4/5 Dive Assignments
BS End – Cut off BS Tackle – Cut off BS Guard – Cut off Center – Cut off PS Guard – Quick Combo in PS Tackle – Quick Combo man PS End – Quick Combo out and Release for inside backer if a 4 or 5.

Notes: Remember, the Dive scheme is very much like the Liberal scheme, except that everyone backside of the hole is more aggressive in their cut off blocking.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

40

6/7 Dive Assignments
BS End – Cut off BS Tackle – Cut off BS Guard – Cut off Center – Cut off PS Guard – Cut off PS Tackle – Quick Combo in PS End – Quick Combo man

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

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0/1 Counter Assignments
BS End – Scoop BS Tackle – Trap BS Guard – Max Center – Block down, let 0 and PS 1 tech go. PS Guard – Sax PS Tackle – Release PS End – Release

Note: If the hole man (in this case the Center) letting go of the down lineman has a man head up and outside shade he should block the head up player.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

42

2/3 Counter Assignments
BS End – Scoop BS Tackle – Scoop BS Guard – Trap Center – Max PS Guard – Down block, let 2 and 3 techs go. PS Tackle – Sax PS End – Release

Note: If the hole man (in this case the Guard) letting go of the down lineman has a man head up and outside shade he should block the head up player.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

43

4/5 Counter Assignments
BS End – Scoop BS Tackle – Scoop BS Guard – Trap Center – Max PS Guard – Down block PS Tackle – Down block, let 4 and 5 techs go. PS End – Sax. Toad block if there is a 4 or 5.

Note: If the hole man (in this case the tackle) letting go of the down lineman has a man head up and outside shade he should block the head up player.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

44

6/7 Counter Assignments
BS End – Cut off BS Tackle – Seal BS Guard – Trap Center – Max PS Guard – Down block PS Tackle – Down block PS End – Down block, let 6 and 9 techs go.

Note: If the hole man (in this case the tight end) letting go of the down lineman has a man head up and outside shade he should block the head up player.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

45

8/9 Counter Assignments
BS End – Cut off BS Tackle – Cut off BS Guard – Stretch Center – Stretch Cut off on LOS PS Guard – Pull, block first inside PS Tackle – Pull, block first outside PS End – Reach

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

46

0/1 Zone Assignments
BS End – Cut off BS Tackle – Cut off BS Guard – Stretch Center – Zone Reach, Stretch a 0 Tech PS Guard – Zone Reach PS Tackle – Zone Reach PS End – Sky

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

47

2/3 Zone Assignments
BS End – Reach BS Tackle – Reach BS Guard – Reach Center – Zone Combo in PS Guard – Zone Combo man PS Tackle – Zone Combo out, shed to backer PS End – Sky

Notes: Zone Combo is blocked the same as a Combo block, only in that the uncovered lineman works back to his zone instead of backside. The only ‘Stack’ call that matters is the one from the hole man.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

48

4/5 Zone Assignments
BS End – Zone Reach BS Tackle – Zone Reach BS Guard – Zone Reach Center – Zone Reach PS Guard – Zone Reach PS Tackle – Zone Reach PS End – Zone Reach

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

49

6/7 Zone Assignments
BS End – Stretch BS Tackle – Stretch BS Guard – Stretch Center – Stretch PS Guard – Stretch PS Tackle – Zone Reach PS End – Zone Reach

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

50

8/9 Zone Assignments
BS End – Stretch BS Tackle – Stretch BS Guard – Stretch Center – Stretch PS Guard – Stretch PS Tackle – Stretch PS End – Zone Reach

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

51

2/3 Veer
BS End – Base Reach BS Tackle – Base Reach BS Guard – Reach Center – Combo in PS Guard – Combo 0 and 1, Down on 2i, Release 2 and 3. PS Tackle – Combo out, Release inside if no 2 or 3. PS End – Base man out; Fold on 7 and 6 if Tackle is uncovered.

Note: Sense the Guard and Tackle share B gap, the person releasing depends on the defense. If A gap is filled then the Tackle will release. If the B gap is filled then the Guard will release.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

52

4/5 Veer
BS End – Reach BS Tackle – Reach BS Guard – Reach Center – Reach PS Guard – Combo in PS Tackle – Combo 2 and 3, Down on 4i, Release 4 and 5 PS End – Corner: Stalk. Tight end: If no 4 or 5: Release. If there is a 4 or 5, block inside invert to safety.

Notes: Stack is called during the Veer series. The Center and BS Guard will Combo backside. Tight end will Release when ‘Goal Line’ is called. He will also arc to weak invert to inside invert if there are 3 LOS defenders from the tackle outward.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

53

6/7 Veer
BS End – Reach BS Tackle – Reach BS Guard – Reach Center – Reach PS Guard – Reach PS Tackle – Combo in PS End – Combo 4 and 5, Down on 7, Release 6 and 9.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

54

4/5 Triple Assignments
BS End – Reach BS Tackle – Reach BS Guard – Even: Reach. Odd: defense Stretch. Center – Even: Reach. Odd: defense Stretch. PS Guard – Even: Combo in. Odd: Loop to PS Backer PS Tackle – Even: Combo 2 and 3, Down on 4i, Release 4 and 5. Odd: Loop PS End – Same rules as 4/5 Veer. If Loop is called, Loop to inside invert to
safety.

Notes: In all of column B we have the Loop scheme in progress against the Odd fronts. The Loop vs. the 1 Tech Odd defense is hard to do but it can work. The best way to do it is to have the Center take the 1 tech and the BS Guard pull underneath. The Quarterback will call “Odd” or “Even”.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

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8/9 Sooner Assignments
BS End – Reach BS Tackle – Reach BS Guard – Stretch Center – Zone Reach PS Guard – Even: Reach man on. Odd: Stretch to 4 or 5 tech. PS Tackle – Even: Reach man on or downfield. Odd: Zone reach. side and Even: Cautious Sky block. PS End – Even: Cautious sky, help 4 or 5. Odd: Cautious sky.

Split end

Notes: The offensive line must know if the defense is in an Odd or Even front. It is Even when the play side guard is covered. Split end side tackle will make a cautious sky block if it is an Even front.

Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com

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