Grambling T ig er s’ Vertical Stretch Offense

n behalf of the Grambling State University Football Program, we would like to thank the American Football Coaches Association for a chance to expound on our rich history and elaborate on our vertical stretch passing game. The Grambling Tigers’ offensive style of football was developed in accordance with, and is a reflection of, our head coach Doug Williams’ personality. The offense was designed as an aggressive, up-tempo, attacking style that continuously applies pressure to the defense. It has been a process that has unquestionably worked for the nationally ranked Tigers at Grambling State. In 2002, our sophomore quarterback, Bruce Eugene, passed for 4,500 yards and 43 touchdowns. Also, our wide receiver Tramon Douglas had 92 receptions for 1,700 yards and 18 touchdowns. Two other receivers had more than 900 yards. With all this success, we have shattered most of the school records. The Grambling vertical stretch offense is ranked No. 1 in total offense in the country. Traditionally, Grambling has been known for having outstanding skill players. Our offensive passing philosophy is geared simply toward taking what the defense gives us and attack them in an aggressive manner through motion and multiple formations. Our philosophy is based on the following factors: • Up tempo practices. • Attack and control field position. • Multiple formations and use of motion. • Keep protection and blocking schemes the same. • Control tempo of game (no huddle). • Keep it simple. Our motion game is designed to dictate to the defense the kind of adjustment that must be made prior to our pre-snap read. Most of the teams in our league prefer running with the motion, as opposed to inverting. This creates a man-type situation, which allows us to obtain the match-up we want from the defense. Ultimately, we really want to stretch the defense to open up the running game. We also teach our players to think in terms of being on a basketball court. Traditionally, basketball teams that run the motion offense rely heavily on spacing. The most important term in our system is spacing. We look to occupy each quadrant or location on the field. By maintaining

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proper spacing on the field, it creates tremendous pressure on the defense, ultimately causing the defense to profoundly cover the entire field. Practice Time Our practices are designed in a fashion that reflect our style of play. With multiple offenses, you can do many different things. However, I believe you must practice exactly what you will be implementing on game day. Our practices are broken down in different phases of the game. We open practice every day by going through a variety of formations to rehearse the different packages or personnel groups that will be used in the different situations during the game. This is considered our team take-off period. Our next period is called “The Tiger Drill.” Our quarterbacks and skill players work on timing and touch for the vertical long ball game. The next several periods are individual and group, where we work on position specific techniques, different pass patterns, combinations and special plays. During our inside run period, we practice full speed without tackling or putting anyone on the ground. Since we throw the football about 60 percent of the time, our pass skelly period is designed to accommodate all game situations (red zone, third down, etc.). During team periods, we coach on the move and do not repeat incorrect plays since they are already repeated on the call sheet. Further, corrections are made in our meetings (individual or team). We conclude practice with our two-minute drill for conditioning. No-Huddle Offense We run the no-huddle offense for the sole purpose of changing the tempo of the game and also to limit substitutions by the defense. Although we are in a “no-huddle mode,” this does not mean we are in a hurry-up state. There are other advantages to the no-huddle offense. Most of the time, the defense will show the front and coverage earlier than the team that huddles. This allows our quarterback to get an earlier presnap read that enables him to make checks and audibles at the line of scrimmage. Formation We use multiple formations to manipulate the defense into lining up a certain way. We also use motion and shifts to create mismatches. This gives our quarterback an edge on determining the defense

alignments. These situations mean that the defense will have a more difficult time preparing and using various fronts and coverage combinations. Newton once said, “For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.” By using multiple formations, it allows us to make the necessary adjustments and obtain the match-ups that will provide us a greater chance of success. Keep it Simple We have designed a system that our student-athletes can easily adapt to and execute. We teach our players to learn the formations based on their specific locations. To eliminate mistakes, we try to keep all our runs, blocking pass protections and pass patterns the same in all formations. This mindset allows the players to react instead of constantly thinking about their current assignments. Vertical Stretch Against Cover 2 When we attack Cover 2 with our vertical game, we are looking to stretch the

coverage by having the proper spacing and alignment. The wide receivers must release outside on the take-off route to force the safeties off the hash. The tight end will release up the seam and the slot receiver will release outside up the seam. The slot receiver will also make a decision to bend the route inside, based on the play of the safety. The quarterback must read the safety down the middle of the field. The kind of protection we are using is the “Big on Big” scheme, with the remaining runningback blocking the strong side linebacker.

Vertical Stretch Against Cover 3 When we attack Cover 3 with our vertical game, we are looking to stretch the coverage by having the proper spacing and alignment. The wide receivers must release outside on the take-off route to force the safeties off the hash. The tight end will release up the seam. The slot receiver will release outside up the seam. The quarterback must read the safety down the middle of the field. The kind of protection we are using is the “Big on Big” scheme, with the remaining runningback blocking the strong side linebacker.

Diagram 1: Vertical Stretch Against Cover 2

Diagram 2: Vertical Stretch Against Cover 3

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