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Ferris State Power Read/Jet

Read Concepts
By Dan Rohn, QB Coach/Run Game Coordinator
Steve Annese, Slot Receivers Coach
Sam Parker, Offensive Line Coach
Ferris State University (MI)

As part of our spread option offense at Ferris State, we employ 10 and 11 personnel
sets to spread a defense from sideline to sideline in order to create room for our
quarterback to make reads and get the ball to athletes in open spaces. This
includes a heavy dose of the quarterback carrying the ball himself. This type of
offense allows us to make the most of our blocking resources by reading a hat at
the point of attack instead of having to block him.

In our time at Ferris State, there have been a number of concepts that have been
incredibly good for us and our offensive output but there are a couple that stand
above the rest. If implemented correctly, we believe these concepts can be the
difference between making a run at a playoff spot and struggling to find the
offensive efficiency that every team desires. In this article, I am going to break down
a couple of plays that have become staples of our run game and, in turn, our
success at Ferris State University.

The Power Read concept employs a hybrid of a traditional power scheme and a read option
scheme and uses the mixture of schemes to gain an advantage with a tailback perimeter run or
a quarterback downhill run into open space.
On the read side of the play, the offensive tackle releases to the backside linebacker chipping
the 3 technique (if there is one) on his way in a technique that we call a bang release. The play
side guard blocks man on; this could mean blocking a B gap player or an A gap player and
leveraging him whichever way he needs to in order to create movement. The center is blocking
back for our pulling guard. The backside guard is pulling and horning for the play side
linebacker. His job is to horn through the available gap created by the play side guard and is on
to the linebacker similar to what he would do on traditional power o. The backside tackle is
sealing the inside gap and if he feels on pressure inside he will then attack the backside end to
make sure there is no back side pursuit.

The running back should line up with his heals on the quarterbacks toes and the middle of his
body on the outside leg of the guard. On the snap of the ball he is running laterally across the
quarterbacks face and forming a good pocket for meshing with the quarterback. Once the ball is
in the mesh the running back with form a soft seal on the ball while waiting for the quarterback
to make his read. Once he has the ball or the quarterback has chosen to pull the ball (either
way) the running back will give a little bit of ground while running a hoop and getting to the
perimeter as fast as possible.

On the perimeter the slot and outside receivers are attacking the man over them or
the most dangerous man in terms of making the play on the perimeter tailback run.
This is important as their job is to create space on the perimeter as that is where the
focus of the defense will be.

The quarterbacks job, once the ball is snapped, is to stab the ball into the pocket of
the running back and initiate a good mesh. As the running back crosses his face,
his eyes should be locked on the defensive end to the play side. He will take about
2 and a half shuffle steps as he reads the defensive ends movements and
determines what to do with the ball. If the defensive end squeezes as he is
released, then the quarterback will give the ball to the running back. If the end runs
to the running back to make the play on the perimeter, then the quarterback will pull
the ball and keep it vertically behind his pulling guard. When in doubt, if the end
cannot make the play on the running back, then the ball should be given to the
running back and worked to the perimeter.

When power read is executed correctly, the defense has a huge burden to stop the
perimeter run and still not give up the big play on a downhill run. It is an easy
enough concept to execute that the burden is on the defense rather than the offense
and that is where you want to be as an offense.

Teaching the Combo Block:

The objective of the block is for the guard and tackle to work on a 45-degree angle
to the backside LB of our Power scheme. It is the guard's job to stall the impact of
the DT, and the tackle's job is to create movement.

The guard must be square, and base up the DT. 3 steps into the ground before
contact staying square to the defender. The guard must stop the force of the DT by
having his hands on the breast plate with eyes inside. It is crucial that the guard
have eyes for any run through. It is not his job to create movement. It is his job to
control the A Gap, and stall the movement of the DT.

The tackle must have his eyes on his inside gap which has the DT in it. He must be
forceful with his steps in order to bring a strike to the defender's hip. His aiming
point is the hip with both hands. He must create enough force to move the defender
to the second level. The tackle must step with his near foot, and take at least 3
steps before contact.

Once both offensive lineman have struck the defender, and are hip to hip, they
can create drive. Movement works on a 45 degree path to the backside backer.
The goal should be to create as much movement before sliding off to block the
backside backer. The two offensive lineman work together making sure the
block is secured before sliding off.

If the backside backer slips underneath, the guard will collect him, because it is
a run thru his gap. If the backer goes over top, the tackle will slide off opening
the shoulder of the DT for the guard to take over the block positioning his body
to replace the tackle.

The drills we use to achieve this are the DBL Team Strain, Foot Fire, and
Impact. Each drill brings an element of this tandem block.

DBL Team Strain:

Guard and tackle will lock up with a defender in a fitted position. This simulates
the "fit" position of the block, and the aiming points for both offensive lineman.
The two offensive lineman must be hip to hip in a good blocking position. Guard
has hands on the breast plate, and the tackle has his hands on the hip. Their
legs will intersect as they get into the position. Behind the defender, is another
defender trying to brace the combo block. The two defenders must sink to
simulate dead weight on impact making it as difficult as possible for the two
offensive lineman to create a push. On the whistle, the two offensive lineman
drive the two defenders as long as the coach requires. 5-7 seconds or 5 yards
is the recommended duration.

Foot Fire:

This drill is as simple as it sounds. Create a distance, or time, and challenge

the offensive lineman to get as many steps in as possible. This can be done
moving down the boards, or in a stand still position for time. The objective is not
only to get as many steps in as possible, but to do it maintaining solid pad level
and perfect body positioning. Big chest, sink the hips, and knees within the
frame are the key points.


Legendary coach Buck Nystrom delivered this drill to us when discussing the
challenges of simulating the actual impact, and jolt of a block without risking
injury. Set up an offensive lineman a yard and a half away from a defender
holding a bag. On the whistle, the offensive lineman fires into the defender with
full on aggression, and strike. The objective is to roll the hips through the bag,
and defender without pause. The focus is not on hand placement, or steps
before contact. The focus is on the strike, pad level, and base. We will also do a
DBL Team Impact drill, which is just adding another offensive lineman to strike
the bag/sled with the same focus.

Teaching the Skip Pull:

It is the puller's objective to get around the other offensive linemen blocks with
as little interference, and as fast as possible. The best way to do this is the skip
pull. The skip pull allows for depth off the ball working the offensive lineman
away from any interference in his pull while allowing for him to stay square to
work vertically through the hole.

More coaches that I've run into have asked how to teach the skip pull more than
any other block at the high school level. The reason being that it is contrary to
what offensive lineman are taught, which is never to cross your feet. It is easy to
over coach this block, but trying to be as precise as possible, but the best way
is to drill it with simple focuses.

Skip Pull Drill:

Set up 3 agile bags side by side with a cone placed a yard outside both sides.
Having a cone based on both sides will allow you to switch the drill both ways
easily. The offensive lineman places his body parallel with the bags right to the
side with his heels a few inches from the bottom of the agile depending on the
skill level of the athlete. On the whistle, the offensive lineman must burst back
out of his stance to get depth in order to get around the bags to the other side
within the cone. Popping back to get depth, staying square around the bags, the
crossover step will occur naturally. If it does not, the athlete must start in the
depth position and work the steps to the other side of the bags out of a two
point stance.

Once the offensive lineman has dropped his steps back, crosses over, keeping
his shoulder squared, it's important that he pull through the hole tight to the
agiles within the cone. It's important to have eyes inside to work outside. Work
the athlete to spring through the hole in order to be prepared for the destruction
that is needed to create a surge in actual game play. Once the athlete has
become comfortable in his pull, the adjustment to this drill is to add a defender
to move out from behind the agile bags, and have the offensive lineman sink his
hips, and deliver a strike and drive.

The key points for all gap scheme blocking: eyes on your gap, block whatever
comes into your gap, and at all costs handle the first level.

Jet Read (Diagram 2)

For the quarterback, the mesh with the slot should feel about the same as the mesh
with the running back. His only difference is trying to time his cadence with the slot
in motion. The ball should be snapped around the time that the slot getting to the
tackle box. This should allow him to throttle his speed a little bit to make the mesh
as similar as possible to the running backs on power read. Once the quarterback
has initiated a mesh my stabbing the ball into the pocket of the slot receiver (same
pocket and process as power read) then his read becomes the same. If the end
squeezes upon release by the tackle, then the quarterback should give the ball to
the slot whole will carry it on the perimeter similar to jet sweep. If the end is up field
trying to tackle the slot receiver, then the quarterback will pull the ball and follow
the horning guards block.
The biggest difference between power read and jet read is that the offense now has
the running back as an extra hat on the perimeter to block with. The running back is
responsible for a scraping linebacker or the next man available as he climbs
vertically on the perimeter. It is imperative that the running back takes off full speed
on the snap of the ball so that he can get out in front of the slot in time to make a
block out ahead of there the slot receiver is carrying the ball.
Just like power read, when jet read is executed well it is an incredibly difficult play to
defend and these two plays can keep the defense guessing as to how they should
be defending the offense.

Blocking Scheme Adjustments for Power and Jet Read:

There are a couple of blocking scheme adjustments that we make against certain
fronts when we are looking to best block power and jet read against odd front teams
or against a bear look. These adjustments allow us to run our schemes against a
multitude of defenses.

The first adjustment that we have had to make most often is changing how we would block
power and jet read up front against the bear or TNT look. Many teams have a short yardage
package that consists of a bear front so we often have to adapt when these teams try to throw a
curve ball at us. Against the bear front, instead of releasing the play side tackle to the second
level, he is now blocking down on the B gap player. Likewise, the play side guard will block down
on the nose tackle. The center will still block back for our pulling guard. The backside guard will
still pull and horn through blocking the first linebacker in his cylinder. This is most likely the only
linebacker remaining in the box by the time he starts to climb. The backside tackle is still sealing
the inside gap and then attacking man on. Everything stays the same for everyone in the
backfield and it shouldnt be an adjustment by the defense that hurts the function of the play.

Regular Odd Front (Diagram 4):

Against on odd front we have a number of adjustments that allow is to give our offensive line the
best possible blocking angles on the d-line and on the second level. On the play side our
offensive tackle is now arc releasing the defensive end and working up to either the stack backer
or the 20 backer (depending on their LB alignments). The play side guard is working with the
center to double the nose to the backside backer. The backside guard is still pulling and horning
for the play side linebacker or the first linebacker in his cylinder. The backside tackle is still
sealing his inside gap and then blocking back to man on. Again, there are no adjustments out of
the offensive backfield which continues to make the play easy to run in an incredibly consistent

Pressure Adjustments for Power and Jet Read:

In order to deal with pressure adjustments when running these plays we need to be incredibly
conscious of what pressure we may be getting in any circumstance in which we are running
power and jet read. Recognizing where pressure might come from and knowing how to adjust to
that pressure are key in the ability to beat the pressure for big plays.

The first key to dealing with pressure is understanding that if a defense is bringing c gap
pressure into your call then the end who is normally lined up on or outside the offensive tackle
will be playing b gap control. This is an important thing to discern because as the play side
offensive tackle goes to release inside he will run into the end who is now playing the b gap.
This is okay as he can now wash the end down and we can read the new man who is outside of
the tackle.

It is key to understand that this play is never designed to read a b gap player so as a
quarterback if you feel edge pressure you can expect to read the guy coming off of the edge
once the defensive end slants the b gap.

This same principle holds true for dealing with the twist game. Now if the outside linebacker
decides to come into the b gap while the end plays contain then the tackle should collect him as
he tracks to release to the backer. This allows the quarterback to still read the c gap player and
potentially have a pull read for a big play.

Power read and jet read, just like traditional power are gap schemes; therefore, the offense is
attempting to control and clear gaps rather than relying on blocking a specific man. This allows
the scheme to be incredibly flexible in terms of running it against multiple fronts, stunts, and


Power read and jet read are plays that can be implemented at almost any level of football and
they provide a great way for a spread attack to become immediately explosive in the run game.
At Ferris we have had great success at the NCAA Division 2 level with these simple option
football concepts. We continue to keep defenses on their toes and continue to rely heavily on
power read and jet read as main staples of our rushing attack.

Implementing these concepts can allow for an explosive offense in every aspect of play, from
complimentary rushing plays to a complimentary passing attack, this is the basis for the Ferris
State spread option attack that has ranked among the very best in college football in terms of
productivity; and these principles of offense will continue to shape the way the game is played at
virtually every level of football.