Utilizing a Wing-back in Your Offense:
There are several reasons why you should be utilizing a wing-back in your offense. I have created a list of reasons why you should have a wing-back:
Good seal angle. Having a wing-back will give you excellent blocking angles on the defense. On sweep plays it is important that you are able to get those defensive-ends and outside linebackers blocked (contain players). The wing-back will be able to out flank the contain player and seal him very easily ( as long as the wing-back moves his feet and works to maintain that leverage!).
Creates alignment conflict. A wing-back will create an additional gap for the defense. Many times if you have the wing-back to the tight-end side the defense will not account for that extra gap between the wing-back and the tight-end. When the defense does not account for the wing-back it will leave them outnumbered and out flanked to that side.
Crack/wham blocks. The wing-back flank will give your WB a good angle for a crack block. You can crack down on a defensive-end, linebacker, or even a wide defensive tackle. Crack blocks are very effective in youth football. Many times defenders will not even see the crack blocks coming. Many teams struggle against those wide DTs, not us though. Against those wide DTs we utilize something we call our HAMMER BLOCK.
Double team blocks. The wing-back will also allow you to double team a stingy defensive linemen or linebacker. Usually in youth football the defensive-ends are excellent players that can be difficult to block. For example, say you are competing against a really strong defensive-end and base blocking isn’t working. Take your wing-back & TE and double team the strong DE.
Wing-back lead/fold blocks. Another benefit of having a wing-back is he can become a lead blocker. The wing can lead through the hole and pick up a linebacker. The wing-back can be considered like another fullback. There are several different blocking combinations you can implement.
On our Tackle Over- Belly Play Video you can see how we invert the wing-back and have him block the outside linebacker.
Counter, trap, and reverse threat. If you have an athletic wing-back you come up with ways of getting him the football as well. You can run a wing-back counter, trap, or reverse play to catch the defense off guard. Many times they will not even notice the wing-back coming back on a reverse or counter until it is too late.
Wing-back Reverse Play:
Passing threat. Plays like the post/corner and post/wheel are awesome ways to utilize a wing-back in the passing game. You can have the wing-back do a variety of passing routes. You can have him run an out route, corner route, go route, screen, or a post. The WB can run pretty much any passing route you desire. If your wing-back is athletic you can take advantage of coverage mismatches. Most youth football teams play man to man coverage-so the outside linebacker or safety will have to cover the wing-back. This works out in the offenses favor because linebackers have to play run and then read pass. Come up with a nice pass play to the wing-back off of play-action and watch it go for big yardage. Much like this famous post/corner combination route:
Pass blocking help. Many youth football teams will struggle with pass protection. The main reason is that many teams do not practice it as much as they should. The other reason is that defenses usually have very good defensive-ends that can really get after the QB. When facing a dominate defensive-end you can throw the wing-back over to his side and have him help pass block. You can put the wing-back to the play-side and have him help with the protection. I love to do roll out passes to the wing-back side because the WB will help protect the edge.
Motion. You can have your wing-back go in motion and hand him the football to him on a jet or rocket sweep. You can send the wing in motion to force the defense to adjust. You can motion the wing- across the formation and have him run a pass route. You can motion him to the other side of the formation for extra/lead blocker. The options you have with motion are endless!
Those are our reasons why utilizing a wing-back in your offense makes sense. There are several ways you can attack the defense with a wing-back. They can be used to block, run, or catch the football. The possibilities are endless.
(See Also) Double Wing Offense
(See Also) Shotgun Wing T Playbook