5 Effective Ways to use the H-back in the Run Game | Spread Offense

5 Effective Ways to use the H-back in the Run Game

There are several different ways an offense can utilize the H-back. The H-back will give you several different run, blocking, and passing options. The H-back will also create alignment conflict for the defense. More and more Spread teams are utilizing an H-back. Here are 5 effective ways to use the H-back in the run game.

5 Effective Ways to Use the H-back in the Run Game

Lead 

C: Base backside defensive tackle.

RG: Pull, kick-out defensive (long trap). Aiming point is the inside hip of the defensive end he is kicking out.

RT: Fill pulling guard gap, work onto linebacker.

LG: Block down on the defensive tackle.

LT: Work onto middle linebacker. You can have the LT double team the defensive tackle with the LG.

Y: Step down, replace tackle.

H: Lead through the hole, look to block linebacker. 

X: Stalk or runoff the cornerback.

Z: Stalk or runoff the cornerback.

T: Take handoff, look to cut off of the H’s lead block. Aiming point is inside of the guard’s kick-out.

1: Catch snap, hand to the (T), carry out fake.

There are several different formations you can have the H lead block out of. You can have him come across the formation (as the play diagram shows above) or you can put him play-side and just have him lead. I personally like having him come across then lead through the hole because defenses will usually shift or adjust defenders to the H back side.

Kick-out 

C: Block defense tackle.

RG: Block defensive tackle.

RT: Block down on defensive tackle, work onto linebacker.

LG: Pull, lead through the hole.

LT: Replace pulling guard. Block down.

H: Kick-out defensive end. Aiming point for this kick-out is the inside hip of the defender.

L: Stalk block the cornerback.

R: Block closest defender to threaten the bubble screen. You can have the R just runoff or stalk block the cornerback.

Z: Fake bubble screen.

T: Take handoff, cut inside of the H’s kick-out block.

1: Catch snap, hand to the T, carry out fake.

This is your basic power concept, where your fullback or in this case, your H kick-outs the edge defender and the backside guard leads through. The H should cheat his split up and inside which will create an easier blocking angle. It’s very important that the H is able to gut the defensive end out. The aiming point is the inside hip of the defender he is kicking out. He must gain inside leverage and really gut and drive the defender out. He cannot allow the DE to squeeze or cross his face to the inside.

Wham 

C: Work onto linebacker or block backside defensive tackle.

RG: Work onto linebacker.

RT: Block defensive tackle.

Y: Work onto linebacker.

LG: Block defensive tackle.

LT: Block defensive end.

H: Wham first defensive linemen inside the RT. It will usually be the N. 

Z: Motion across, fake jet sweep. This will force the DE to expand and it will draw eyes.

X: Stalk block or runoff cornerback.

T: Take handoff, aiming point is the outside foot of the RG. Look to cut outside of the H’s wham block.

1: Take snap, hand to the T. The QB needs to make sure he whips his head around so he doesn’t collide with the T.

You can also Wham a disruptive defense tackle. Utilizing the H-back will give you excellent blocking angles which will allow you to get a tough d-linemen washed or even kicked out. You can Wham pretty much any defensive linemen. It’s easy to teach and a must have in all playbooks that utilize an H-back.

Related Content: Coaching the H-back in the Spread Offense 

Trap

 

C: Block defensive tackle.

RG: Work onto linebacker.

RT: Base block the defensive end.

LG: Work right onto middle linebacker.

LT: Base defensive end out. Make sure he knows not to block the defensive tackle because that is who we are trapping.

Z: Fake bubble screen.

Y: Stalk block cornerback or runoff.

X: Stalk block cornerback or runoff.

H: Trap first defensive linemen past the center. Aiming point is the inside hip of the defender he is kicking out. It’s important that he drives through his block. 

T: Take handoff, right up the mid-line. The point of attack can change based on the defensive front you are seeing.

1: Catch snap, hand to the T. The QB just catches the snap and hands to the T coming right inside, no steps, catch the snap open up and hand off to the T.

This is a basic trap play, but with the H pulling across and kicking out, rather than the backside guard pulling and trapping  (very similar to the Wham play).  This is a great way to run trap when you don’t want to pull offensive linemen. This is drawn up as a short trap but you can also have the H execute a long trap. On a Long Trap he is kicking out the DE, on short Trap he is kicking out the DT.

Related Content: Ways you can Utilize a Wing-back in Your Offense 

ISO

C: Block defensive tackle or a head up nose guard.

RG: work onto linebacker, unless he is covered by a defender.

RT: Base block defensive tackle.

LG: Work onto linebacker, unless he is covered by a head up defender.

Y: Base block defensive end out.

H: Insert for outside backer (ISO outside backer). 

X: Stalk or runoff the cornerback.

Z: Come in motion, fake jet sweep. This will influence the DE to expand.

T: Take handoff, aiming point is outside foot of the RT. It is the QB’s job to get the T the football out at the point of attack. The T should never come to the QB for the handoff.

1: Take snap, hand to the T at the point of attack. It’s the QB’s job to get the T the ball in the backfield and at the point of attack.

The ISO play is one of the best plays that you can run with a H-back.  I drew up this play with a tight-end (Y) but it can very well can be executed out of a true spread formation. The ISO play is easy to block and the jet sweep action will influence defenders to widen, as well as capture some eyes (defenders looking at motion).

(See Also) Spread Offense Playbook for Youth Football 

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