Wing T Offense- Rocket Sweep

Wing T Offense- Rocket Sweep  

The Wing T Offense-Rocket Sweep Play is an excellent football play because it allows your athletes to get the ball outside in space.  Rocket sweep is an immediate threat to the perimeter of the defense.  Once the defense commits or over shifts to the rocket motion, they will open them up for counter and inside hitting plays. Running the Wing T Offense- rocket sweep to a really good athlete will take this play to an entire new level.  Another great aspect of this play is that you only have to get 3 defenders blocked to gain big yardage.

We run this youth football play out of an unbalanced formation, at least for the most part.  We will bring the Tight-end over to the rocket sweep side. This play is called Heavy Right 38 Rocket.  Heavy means that we are unbalanced to the right. The tight-end is line up to the right, rather than opposite of the split-end.  Many teams will not even notice or adjust to an unbalanced line properly. Unbalanced formations in youth football are underrated and  underutilized.

Wing T Offense- Rocket Sweep Formation

This formation features two wing backs (3) & (4) , one to each side.  The QB (1) is under center, with the full back (2) off set to the right side.  Our split-end (WR) is wide right, with the tight-end (TE) lined up to the right also.  There will obviously be two guards (G), two tackles (T) and one center (C ).

Another great aspect of this play is that you only have to get 3 defenders blocked to gain big yardage.  Why I love the wing t formation for this youth football play is because we are able to use our wing backs to seal the defensive ends or contain players.  The wing back has an excellent angle on the OLB or DE, it will allow them to seal their block, while working their hips around to secure outside leverage.   The off-set full back (2) will be able to lead block for the wing that is receiving the rocket pitch.

Snap Count:

The motion player needs to go in full speed motion on the first sound of the QB. The motion timing can vary, it will depend on what snap count you use.  The motion player cannot go or lean forward until the ball is snapped. The aiming point of the motion player is right behind the fullback’s (2) butt. The motion player must run parallel to the line of scrimmage. You do not want the rocket motion player to belly too far back into the backfield. The ball should be snapped when the motion player is directly behind the QB. The running back cannot slow up and wait for the pitch.  Also, this play should be executed on a faster snap count. The longer you take to run the play the more time the defense has to recognize and adjust to the unbalanced formation.

Wing T Offense- Rocket Sweep Play Diagram

Wing T Offense- Rocket Sweep

Wing T Offense-Rocket sweep motion timing and Pitch:

Again, the motion player should be behind the QB when the ball is snapped.  We want this pitch outside by the tight-end (TE).  The whole point of this play is to get the ball outside quickly to the running back.  The QB must make sure he gives a straight toss right to the running back. The ball cannot float or be under thrown.  The motion timing and pitch should be practiced every single day.

Coaching Tip, the ball should be pitched to the RB around his jersey number level. The QB will need to square up to his target, he cannot throw around his feet. He must move his feet, getting his shoulders and hips squared up to his target.  He must follow through to his target and look where he is pitching. Also, the QB must open up to the motion side running back. This will allow the running back to gain more speed and get further outside. The turn will also generate some momentum for the QB’s pitch.  Practice the snap count, motion, and rocket toss every single practice.

Wing T Offense- Rocket Sweep Video Footage

Seal Block:

The blocking wing back must work his feet and hips around to hold outside leverage. The wing back cannot allow the defender (it will usually be the DE or OLB) to cross their outside shoulder. If the player beats the seal block outside, he can blow up or slow down the rocket sweep. Coaches, you must work seal blocking every single practice. If any of the wing backs are there early before practice, have them practice sealing.  The wing back that is responsible for the seal block can cheat his split out a little bit to create a better angle for himself.

Stalk Block:

The split-end must line up really wide to take the corner out of the play.   We have our split-ends (WR) line up 3 yards away from the side lines.  Most youth football teams will play man to man coverage so the cornerback will follow the (WR) out wide.  If the corner is playing real hard man to man, then you can run the cornerback off. When running off the corner make sure the Split-end does an outside release so the corner turns  with his back to the formation. If the corner back has his head inside looking the WR must release when the ball is snapped and secure inside leverage and stalk block. We tell our split-ends to take inside leverage steps and to get a nice base and get their hands inside on the corner and do not allow the CB inside.

Once you beat the defense with rocket sweep a couple of times the corners will cheat in and the outside linebacker or defensive end (contain player) will start to cheat out a little.  Once that happens, we will run heavy right 38 rocket “Charley”. Charley will tell the split-end to crack the outside line backer or defensive end (this depends on the defense).  On a “Charley” call the WR cracks and the fullback (2) will block out the cornerback.  This is an excellent wrinkle which will help this play work even when the defense is trying to stop it.  Also, make sure your SE does not clip the defender when crack blocking. Very importantly,  make sure he does not lead with his head, always want to hit with shoulder pads and keep the head up!  If the defense is rolling the safety up to the motion side, the split-end must crack the safety in the alley ( not many youth teams will do that, but just in case).

Wing T Offense- Rocket Sweep Crack Block “Charley”

Rocket Sweep Crack BlockOffensive Line:

The offensive line will step play-side and look to cut off defenders pursuing to the football.  The best thing about this play is that you only have to block 2-3 defenders to get good yardage.  The center must base block any defender over him ( one on one).  The tight-end (TE) will release for the inside linebacker flowing to the football.  The good thing about bringing the TE over is that if you are facing a good DE you can double team him with the sealing wing back and the tight-end. If the TE has a defender in the c-gap he must block him.

Wing T Offense- Rocket Sweep is an excellent play that will allow your athletes work with the ball in space. You do not have to get a lot of people blocked to have success with this play.  If you get 2-3 defenders blocked on the edge, you will gain yardage.  We scored 4 times on rocket sweep alone this year.  But, this play needs to get a lot of practice reps.


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