Coaching Football: Part 3 - Offense

Although points can be earned on special teams and defense, it is the job of the offense to light up the scoreboard. Scoring can occasionally be simple, but sometimes it can be a struggle. If you're offense is not producing, consider implementing these strategies.

Multiple Formations

Defenses adjust to the alignment of the offensive set on a regular basis. Offenses that want to keep defenses confused and out of position can change the formation while keeping the same play. For example, a traditional I formation can be standard for running a 22 Lead. The fullback and tight end bring the linebackers closer to the line of scrimmage and in the box. If the formation was changed to ace or single back, the linebacker has to be replaced with a defensive back or shifted to the outside to cover the potential pass. The same play can also be run out of a basic shotgun package. The difference from the gun and ace would be the quarterback would receive the snap about five yards off the ball and the running back would be to the left or right as opposed to directly behind the quarterback.

Run-Pass Switch

Defenses can often predict what type of play is going to be run based on down and distance and the formation. One way to keep your offense unpredictable and effective is to run the ball out of passing formations and pass the ball out of run sets. For example, going to a spread offense will indicate to the defense that the offense will likely pass the ball. Instead of throwing, run the ball after the snap on a quick ride dive.

Another way to throw the defense off is to do the opposite call depending on down and distance. For example, passing the ball in a second or third and short will catch the defense off guard. It is not recommended to do this often because the defense will catch on or you may complicate an easy situation by over thinking.

Snap Count and Audibles

Changing the snap count frequently slows down the defense so that they cannot get a jump on the snap. Practice using different snap counts with your team before competition so that you all are not the ones that suffer from a false start.

Being able to audible is an advanced form of play calling that requires a high football I.Q. from your players. Basically, the quarterback will recognize that the defense is aligned perfectly to stop the play, so the play is changed to yield better results. Another reason to audible can be to take advantage of a mismatch or highlight a defensive error pre-snap.

Offenses do not have to be too complex in order to be successful. As a coach, you can implement these strategies one by one depending on how quickly your team can catch on. When your play calling can be varied, you give the offense more opportunities to be successful by constantly putting points on the scoreboard.

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