Utilizing the Hammer Package for short yardage makes a statement. This is a personnel group and formation that declares you are going to run the ball and there is nothing that the defense can do to stop you. The key to the Hammer Package is to have the right personnel to fit the roles and make the defense attempt to defend the whole width of the field.
In order for the Hammer Package to have success your offense must accept and acknowledge the personality that comes out when this formation comes on to the field. When you bring your Hammer personnel into the game it doesn’t matter if everyone in the stadium knows you are running the ball. You will get the ball across the Goal Line or First Down line with your strength.
When picking personnel for the Hammer Package you want to get your best players on the field. This is the time when you bring over some of your defensive linemen and linebackers who can deliver a blow. By giving them a limited job they can use their athletic ability to do their job. You should use your best short yardage running back at Quarterback. Your wide receiver should be your most dynamic runner who can run a jet sweep and beat everyone to the edge.
The Power Play is the Heart of the Hammer package. On Power you will have the wide receiver come in jet motion across the Quarterbacks face. This will force the defense to honor the threat of a dynamic athlete and make them pursue him to the outside. The Quarterback will ride this fake and then run power right behind his two H-Backs. On the offensive line everyone will be blocking down away from the play call. There will not be a pulling linemen on this play. This will make sure that no defensive linemen is able to shoot the gap and run the play down from the backside. The H-Back on the call side will be responsible for blocking the end man on the line of scrimmage. He must come tight to the line of scrimmage and get inside leverage on him, make good contact and run his feet to move the defender out. The H Back who is opposite of the play call will come tight to the line and look to block any defender who may have gotten through the down blocks. If the line has created a wall and not let any defenders through he will block the first defender in the hole.
The Counter play is the perfect answer for when the linebackers are flowing over the top to get to the Quarterback. The beauty of this play is that nothing changes for the offensive line. They will still be blocking down away from the play call. The only difference is that the call will be going to the opposite side so they will be blocking the opposite direction. The jobs for the two H Backs don’t change, they just swap responsibilities. Again the H Back to the play call will kick out the end man on the line of scrimmage and the H back away from the play call will take any defensive penetration. To make things easier on your players you can actually swap their alignment so that only one player need to learn the kick out block and the other one can focus on the clean up/lead block.
The last play in this package is for when the defense stops honoring the outside threat of the Jet Sweep. Here the Quarterback will hand the ball off to the player running the jet motion and he will beat all of the defenders to the edge. There are two ways to block this play depending on the discipline of the team you are facing. If you are going against a team that’s defenders respond to down blocks by stepping down then you can have your line block away from the Jet Sweep and have your H Backs lead the jet sweep around the edge. These down blocks will take the defenders down and leave your H Backs blocking the Cornerback and Safety.
If you are going against a team that is not very disciplined in responding to down blocks, you can have your line work to reach block the end. This gives your jet sweep man a more stable protection but can also cause the defensive linemen to run with the blocks and try to get outside leverage.
(See Also) Single Wing Formation- Jet Sweep