Quarterback Running Plays-QB Counter
The QB counter is one of the best quarterback running plays in football. If you have a mobile QB this quarterback running play is a must add. This play is very deceptive and utilizes a down-down- kick out blocking scheme. In my opinion down blocking is the best blocking scheme for youth football. The beautiful aspect of this football play is that the misdirection will make for easier down blocks. With the fake to the left the defenders will begin to slant/pursue that way, taking themselves out of position while losing their leverage.
Here is the QB counter play vs the most common defenses we see every season:
(C): Block any head up defender. If there is no head up defender the center must protect the pulling guard side A-gap. The middle linebacker blitzing through the pulling guard side A-gap can blow this play up (especially if they are timing you snap count). The center must see that and take the blitzing backer. If the center has a zero technique (nose guard head up on him) and the linebacker is blitzing through the pulling guard side-A gap the center must take the blitzing linebacker.
(RG): Block down on zero technique, combo off onto the middle linebacker. If he cannot get onto the middle linebacker the RG must keep his down path and take next defender pursuing to the ball carrier. If the center has to secure the pulling side A-gap the RG must down block and keep on the center and not work onto a linebacker.
(RT): Block any defender in his inside gap. If there is no defender in his inside gap he will get onto a linebacker.
(LG): Pull kick-out end man on the line of scrimmage. This end man on the line of scrimmage can be the defensive end on the LOS or a linebacker that might be at second level depth. Basically the pulling guard will kick out the widest/containment defender. Aiming point is the inside hip of the defender he is kicking out. Head needs to be protecting the hole. The guard needs to explode out and really attack this block. If he doesn’t get out there fast enough the end man on the line of scrimmage might squeeze down and blow up the play.
(LT): Secure inside gap. If there is no inside gap defender, take defender line up over. If there is no inside or over defender the (LT) must release and work to cut off a pursuing defender.
(TE): Get onto a linebacker!
(SE): Stalk block the cornerback. You can also have him run off the cornerback or work to get the middle safety. We will have the (SE) run off because once the CB stops running with the split-end and is peaking at the run action, we will hit our SE on a go route.
(QB): Short lateral step left, faking to the (TB). We do not want the QB to over fake. Over faking will slow the play down. You want the QB to take a quick short lateral step left and then get right behind the pulling guard, looking to cut inside off of his kick-out block.
(TB): Fake taking handoff left, fill pulling guard gap. A good fake needs to be executed.
(WB): Down block on defensive tackle. Block down on first defensive linemen inside of the TE. The (WB) has to take a good angle and cannot clip or lead with his head (keep head up always). The (WB) must adjust his alignment to a distance where he has the easiest angle to down block on the DT. This block is absolutely devastating. The defensive tackle will not even see it coming. This is an excellent way to neutralize those tough defensive tackles and C-gap defenders.
(S): Block down, crossing the face of the defensive end, look to cut off defenders running to the football. You can also have him block the backside defensive end if you are worried about that DE making a play.
This QB counter vs the 44 defense for the most part has the same blocking rules. When faced with double A-gap defenders the (C) must block the backside A-gap defender (backside-opposite of play-side). The (RG) will block down on the play-side A-gap defender. He will not combo onto the middle linebacker like we want him to do vs the 53 defense. The (WB) will crack down on C-gap defensive end. The (LG) will kick-out the outside linebacker.
This counter play vs the 62 defense is blocked almost identical to the QB counter vs the 44 defense. The pulling guard will kick-out the defensive end. The (WB) will block down on the C-gap defender. The (C) will block back-side defensive tackle.
This play vs the 3-5-3 defense is a little tricky. The 3-5-3 will usually have at least of the linebackers blitz. They will usually be stacked behind the defensive linemen, not showing which gap they are going to blitz. It is important that the kids stay with their blocking rules. The one adjust I would make when running this play vs a stacked defense is have the (TE) down block onto the defensive tackle, rather than the (WB). I would recommend having the (WB) secure C-gap first and then block the outside linebacker (S). Many times that (S) linebacker will blitz C-gap and if he does the (WB) can take him. The (WB) really needs to attack this block, he cannot wait.
This QB running play is an excellent play for youth football. It can be a very explosive play. Here are some general coaching tips:
- Center needs to execute a good shotgun snap because if he doesn’t the timing will be off. Consist snaps come with reps. Practice snaps before, during, and after practice. Have multiple kids that can snap.
- Practice pulling explosion, kick-out path, and aiming point with your pulling guards. Have multiple kids that can pull and execute this kick-out block.
- Kick-0ut block- aiming point is the inside hip of the defender. The pulling guard must finish the block. Finish the block means engage and drive the defender out of there!
- Set this play up. Run a play were he actually gives it to the (TB) and have the QB fake. Once the defense doesn’t respect the QB fake then you call this counter. This play will work even if you don’t set it up.
- When the QB fakes make sure he keeps the ball high and tight against his chest. Many times you will see the QB put the ball away from his body to sell and fake and the RB knocks the ball out. It is the running backs job to really sell the fake.