We all know that the game of football is won at the line of scrimmage. When you control the line of scrimmage you control the game. I think we’ll all agree, the most difficult position to coach is the offensive line. There is nothing more demoralizing for a coach than getting dominated on the line of scrimmage. However, there are some great plays that can be utilized if you have a weak offensive line.
5 Great Plays for Weak Offensive Lines
- Jet & Rocket Sweep
- Unbalanced Formations
Jet & Rocket Sweep
If you follow Youth Football Online you know how big of an endorser we are of the Jet and Rocket Sweep. In my opinion, Jet Sweep is the best play for youth football. It allows you to get your athletes the ball in space quickly. It also only requires you to block 2-3 defenders to get big time yardage. If you struggle upfront the Jet Sweep is a great way to take pressure off of your offensive line. What’s great about Jet Sweep is that any inside penetration won’t stop the play. So if you can’t get those defensive linemen blocked, that’s fine, just run Jet Sweep. Jet Sweep will make any defenders inside the box a non-factor.
Rocket Sweep is a play that I run when I coach kids 10 years and older. I won’t install Rocket with the younger kids because of the required outside pitch. The Rocket pitch is something that the younger kids tend to struggle with. Rocket Sweep is a great play that will stretch the defense out horizontally. Much like Jet Sweep, you’ll only have to block 2-3 defenders to gain big time yardage. Rocket Sweep will get your athletes the ball outside even faster. Any defender inside the box do not need to be accounted for to gain big time yardage! The Jet and Rocket Sweep will force the defense to stretch horizontally, which will open up the inside run game.
(See Also) Rocket Sweep Series in Youth Football
The Wedge is a play we love to run off of our Jet Sweep. We will always wedge the center, we don’t wedge a particular defender. This applies more so against double A-gap defender defenses. When we are facing a team with a NT, then we will wedge the nose. The wedge generates a lot of force and can lead to a huge play. When you have 4-5 offensive linemen driving it will serve like a plow and just push everything off to the side (in this case defensive linemen!). You will be able to get a lot of force generated even with small or weak offensive linemen. Wedge is a play we will always run, regardless of how good our O-line is. With that said, if you have a weak offensive line, the Wedge is a play that you need in your playbook. In my opinion, Wedge is a top 3 play for youth football. In addition, for a defense to stop the Wedge, they will need to commit defenders to stopping it. This will then open up off-tackle and outside attack plays.
(See Also) The Wedge Play for Youth Football
Unbalanced Formation Plays
We are an offense that utilizes unbalanced formations frequently. Unbalanced formations will create an extra gap for the defense to account for. It will also give your offensive linemen several blocking options since you have an extra blocker to that side. You can utilize double teams on disruptive defensive linemen. You can utilize down and kick-out blocks as well. The extra gap will create will create natural running lanes and seams in the defense. When you stretch the field horizontally, you will create natural running lanes for your running backs and give them space to adjust their path so that they can avoid penetrating defensive linemen. I love going unbalanced and running Jet Sweep, Wedge, Power, and ISO.
(See Also) Pistol Unbalanced Formation Play Series
The Belly is a play that we run off of Rocket Sweep action. The Belly play is a perfect marriage with Rocket Sweep. When defenses widen in an effort to defend the Rocket Sweep, they open themselves up for Belly. Belly hits fast and it hits underneath the motion. The Rocket Sweep action will influence defenders to widen which creates an inside seam for your fullback. Belly is great because it utilizes down blocks and a kick-out at the point of attack. Down blocking is great because it gives your offensive linemen excellent blocking angles on the defenders. Think about it, defensive linemen have their heads turned looking at the football, so they won’t even see the down block coming. Down blocking is a great way that smaller offensive linemen can actually get some movement on superior defensive linemen. Down blocking is a great answer for weaker and smaller offensive lines.
Double Wing Super Power
The Double Wing Formation Super Power is one of the best plays in youth football. The Super Power will give you double teams and kick-out at the point of attack. Some coaches will even down block and kick-out on the Super Power as well. Utilizing double teams will help get those big defensive linemen moved. Sometimes you’ll play against studs at the DT position and you may have to double team them. The Super Power Utilize zero line splits so this will allow for the kids really lock hip to hip and engage in that double team. The traditional Power is a play that can also be utilized with small offensive linemen.
Single Wing Power
Another top youth football play is the Single Wing Power Play! The Single Wing is a great because it utilizes an unbalanced formation. The Power utilizes double teams and/or down blocks with a kick-out at the point of attack. The Single Wing unbalanced formation will create an extra gap for the defense to account for and it will create some running seams for the ball carrier. The Single Wing Power is a direct snap to the ball carrier, which eliminates the handoff, ultimately giving you an extra blocker at the point of attack. I’d like to mention that the Single Wing Power play is easy to install and it’s a great play to base your entire offense around.