Passing

Nerd Football Coach

I’ve got a confession to make. I love stealing formations I see on Saturday and making them my own. It makes me feel like I’m a hip, cool football coach, and that I’m on the cutting edge of the game.

I know,  I need professional help.

But what formation have I stolen and used so much that it is slowly becoming a main part of my offense?

The Spread Bunch Formation.

Why do I love the Spread Bunch Form Formation?

  1. It looks cool as hell.
  2. It makes me seem as if I am on the cutting edge of football.
  3. My players feel badass when they line up in the formation.
  4. I can run every play out of the formation and nothing changes for my guys.
  5. It messes up defensive reads so bad that someone is always wide open.

How We Line Up in the Spread Bunch Formation

Shotgun Spread Bunch Formation

I know I’m not the only one here that uses the Spread Bunch Formation. Every team in America uses some form of it. I know of coaches that use it with a Full Back, Tight-End, and Flanker. And that’s cool.

But that’s not the way I use the Spread Bunch Formation. I use it with our 4 wide receiver set. We place the Y on the ball, the F on the inside, and the R/L on the outside.

Why?

Because everything we do offensively is built around hot, sexy, steamy SPEED. So all we do is tag Bunch to our Trio and BOOM – we have Trio Bunch. Simple enough.

What Plays We Run From the Spread Bunch Formation.

We can run any of our plays out of the Spread Bunch Formation, but I’ve found these three plays are our bread and butter out of the Spread Bunch Formation:

  • Fast Screen
  • Y-Corner
  • 4 Verts

Fast Screen From Spread Bunch Formation

Quick Wide Receiver Screen out of the Spread Bunch Formation

The first play we install in the Spread Bunch Formation is our quick screen to the number one receiver. We install this play first because we’ve found that teams like to play their corner eight yards off and to the outside of the Bunch.

This is freaking stupid because it is giving us a two on one advantage over the defense. But I’m not going to let the defensive coordinators know I think that.

Offensive Line Rules

The offensive line is zone blocking away from the screen. If we are throwing the screen to the right, then the offensive line is zone blocking to the left. And vice versa to the left.

We do this because I’ve found defenses key guards to tailback, and if the guards and tailback are running to the left then the defense will run to the left and nobody will be around to make a play.

I’m brilliant, aren’t I?

Wide Reciever Rules

L: You are running a hitch or slant based on the corner’s leverage.

F: You are going behind the Y and blocking the corner. Attack his outside number. We want to pin the corner inside if we can.

Y: You are blocking the man head up you. He cannot make the tackle. Ever. If he is better than you then your job is to get run over slowly.

R: Open up and show your numbers to the quarterback. Attack the outside number of the F’s after you catch the ball. You are thinking Hash, Number, Sideline. You must get five yards.

Quarterback’s Rules

Catch, turn, and throw a catchable ball to the R. We don’t care what it looks like. We only care about how fast it can get there.

Y-Corner From Spread Bunch Formation

Y-Corner Shotgun Bunch Formation

Everyone knows I love the Y-Corner route. Especially inside the plus twenty-five-yard line. So I’d be stupid not to utilize this play in the Spread Bunch Formation.

(This play is the central thesis of Andrew Coverdale’s treaty the Bunch Attack)

This quick game passing attack can hurt the defense deep and short. Making it the ideal quick game passing play for the Spread Bunch Formation

Offensive Line Rules

You can do a couple of things with the offensive line regarding this play. You could vertical set them, cut block with them, sprint out protection with them, or use play-action with them.

We use the play-action protection with them because I’ve found high school kids will bite on every play-action. Regardless of how shitty the play-action looks. Go figure.

Wide Reciever Rules

L: You are running a hitch or slant based on the corner’s leverage.

Y: You must release outside the man head up you – making sure he opens his hips are runs with you – and running a 10-yard corner route. If you are outside the opponent’s twenty-five-yard line then you will aim for the front pylon. If you are inside the opponent’s twenty-five-yard line then you are aiming for the back pylon.

F: You are releasing straight to the flats. You are expecting the ball by your fifth step. Do not drift up the field. You want WIDTH, not DEPTH.

R: You are hesitating for half a second before running a snag route. Your aiming point is 8-yards deep in the B gap. However, you will sit down in the grass the moment you cross someone’s face or they cross yours.

Quarterback’s Progression

You will first check the backside receiver for the hitch or slant. If there isn’t any color in the grass area then you will catch and throw the hitch or slant. If you can’t throw the hitch or slant – determined pre-snap – then you will go to the Y-Corner side.

You will give a hard play-action fake with the running back, take a quick three-step drop, and go:

  1. Corner Route
  2. Snag Route
  3. Flat Route

Four Verticals From Spread Bunch Formation

Four Verticals Shotgun Bunch Formation

Okay, you’ve hit them with the fast screen. You’ve hit them with the quick game. Now it’s time to flip the defensive coordinator the bird and hit ’em deep.

That’s right. It’s time to go deep a la Mike Leach.

But we run our four vertical play out of the Spread Bunch Formation a little different than most. We run it this way because we found the releases of the wide receivers mess up the defensive reads resulting in someone always popping wide open.

Offensive Line Rules

You can do multiple things with the offensive line just like the Y-Corner play. We like to use play-action. In fact, most of our passing game is based on play-action. It holds the linebackers longer which leads free releases for our wide receivers and easier throwing lanes for our quarterbacks.

Wide Receiver Rules

L: You will run a fifteen-yard comeback since you are the single receiver. Make sure you open up towards the quarterback when you come back down your stem.

Y: You are releasing at the inside shoulder of the man head up you. Your aiming point is eighteen-yards deep on the opposite hash. Expect the ball thrown on a ‘piss rope’ once you clear the dropping linebackers.

F: You are releasing outside to the numbers. You will scrape the skin off the R’s butt. You are the first read, so expect the ball the moment you get to the bottom of the numbers.

R: You are releasing up the near hash. You must stay on this hash and not waver. Give the quarterback room to throw you open.

Quarterback’s Progression

You will give a good hard play-action fake to the running back, take a quick three-step drop then:

  1. Numbers – F Receiver
  2. Near Hash – R Receiver
  3. Far Hash – Y Receiver
  4. Comeback – L Receiver

Conclusion

There you have it. Our Top Three plays out of the Spread Bunch Formation. Please leave a comment if you do something different from the Spread Bunch Formation. You know I love to hear and learn from you guys.

Please sign up down below for a free eBook on the One-Back Power RPO and Three Must-Have Drills for the Air Raid.

Until next time coaches, let’s continue to Master the Spread, Score Points, and Have Fun!

 

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Sprint Out Football Concept

Rolling Out is the Original Run Pass Option.

I used to be the biggest critic of Sprint Out Passing Concepts. I believe that to be a spread team you had to drop back and throw Y-Cross, Mesh, Shallow, and Four Verticals. Otherwise, you didn’t deserve to be called a of Spread Team.

That was before I had a quarterback who could run like a gazelle, had a cannon for an arm, yet couldn’t go through his progressions if his mother’s life depended on it.

So I was faced with a choice. Do I beat my head against the wall by forcing him to learn the progressions of my favorite routes, or do I let him sprint out and throw his favorite routes?

The choice was easy.

I know what you are thinking. No crap it’s an easy choice Coach McKie. Get off your high horse and put that kid in a position to be successful.

You’re absolutely right. I was on my high horse, and I thought I was better than every other coach in America because I could get this kid to read progressions.

I’m still picking the crow feathers out of my teeth.

I decided to pick three simple Sprint Out Passing Concepts that will allow my player – and my offense – to become successful. I want to share those three with you now.

Sprint Out Passing Concept Number 1 – Smash

Smash Route Ran as a Sprint Out Passing Concept

Smash Sprint Out Passing Concept

This is the first Sprint Out we install. It’s a simple 2 x 2 Sprint Out Passing Concept that gets one of our fastest guys in space. Here are the rules for the wide receivers.

Note: Every Sprint Out Passing Concept in our offense has a front side and a back side. The back side routes are always the same. This helps us go faster.

Wide Receiver Rules for our Smash Sprint Out Passing Concept

R – You are going to mandatory release outside the corner and push hard for six yards. You are trying to get that corner to turn his back and run with you. At six yards you will snap it off and sit down.

Y – You are going to release outside the defender that is head up to inside of you. You will push your route 12 yards and attack the inside hip of the safety. You are doing this because you want him to turn his back to the sidelines. Once you get to your yard mark you will break your route to the front pylon – unless we are inside the 20-yard line then the route angle is to the back pylon – looking for the ball over your inside shoulder.

F – You are sprinting to the far upright. You are doing this because you are the ‘Oh Shit’ for the quarterback if he takes off running.

L – You are taking five hard steps up the field and then sitting down. Occupy your defender. If he makes a play then you aren’t doing your job.

Quarterback’s Read on the Smash Sprint Out Passing Concept

Quarterback is reading Y to R to F to run.

Why do I like to look deep first? Because I think every play should be a touchdown play. So our mentality on our Sprint Out Passing Concept is Touchdown, First Down, Check Down, Get Down.

What can I say? I love to score points

Sprint Out Passing Concept Number 2 – Flood

Y-Sail Ran as a Sprint Out Passing Concept

Flood Sprint Out Passing Concept

This is the second Sprint Out Passing Concept we install. It’s a simple flood concept that looks similar to the Air Raid Y-Sail.

Wide Receiver Rules for our Flood Sprint Out Passing Concept

R – You are taking a mandatory outside release vertical. You are trying to beat him deep. On your seventh step, you will whip your head around and look for the quarterback. Do not be surprised if he throws a ‘Paint Ball’ at your head.

F – You are running a 15-yard out. If there is a guy head up/slightly inside of you then you will release outside. Do not release inside because the defender can jam you up and disrupt the timing of the route.

Y – You are taking a jab step to the inside before SPRINTING towards the flat. You will get no deeper than 2 yards in the flat. If you drift then you will allow the defense to cover you and the F receiver with one defender. That is not cool.

L – You are SPRINTING to the opposite upright. You are the ‘Oh Shit’ for the quarterback if he decides to run the ball.

Quarterback’s Read on the Flood Sprint Out Passing Concept

Same thing as before. Quarterback you are looking for Touchdown, First Down, Check Down, Get Down.

So the progression is R to F to Y to L.

Sprint Out Passing Concept Number 3 – Curl

Curl Flat Ran as a Sprint Out Passing Concept

Curl Sprint Out Passing Concept

This is the last Sprint Out Passing Concept we install. This Sprint Out Passing Concept is the counter to the Flood Sprint Out Passing Concept. We like to run this route when that corner is bailing.

This Sprint Out Passing Concept is also a great play to get your R/L involved in the offense.

Wide Receiver Rules for our Curl Sprint Out Passing Concept

R – You are SPRINTING for fifteen yards. Once you hit fifteen yards then you will beat the drum and throttle down. Do not come back down your stem. You do not have the option of finding grass because we don’t want you to get inside the quarterback’s field of vision. Show your hands so the quarterback knows when to throw it.

F – You are running a wheel route. You are trying to beat the corner over the R receiver. You do not have the option of stopping if you can’t beat him. Your job is to take that corner all the way to the parking lot.

Y – You are taking a jab step to the inside before SPRINTING towards the flat. You will get no deeper than 2 yards in the flat. If you drift then you will allow the defense to cover you and the F receiver with one defender. That is not cool.

L – You are SPRINTING to the opposite upright. You are the ‘Oh Shit’ for the quarterback if he decides to run the ball.

Quarterback’s Read on the Curl Sprint Out Passing Concept

Nothing changes philosophically for the quarterback. He is still thinking Touchdown, First Down, Check Down, Get Down.

So the progression for our Curl Sprint Out Passing Concept is F to R to Y to L.

That’s Our Sprint Out Passing Game

If you do anything different then please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you all because this is something I want to expand on. I think the Sprint Out Passing Game is something most coaches don’t want to work on because it isn’t something they don’t see on Saturday.

But I believe it can give you the edge you need in order to be successful on Friday.

Until next week Coaches, let’s continue to Master the Spread, Score Points, and Have Fun.

 

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Middle School teams want to install the Air Raid offense, yet don’t know where to start. Well, in today’s video I go over what two-drop back passing concepts I would install if I was installing the Air Raid Offense at a Middle School

I would install the Shallow Cross concept as my drop back passing game in the Middle School Air Raid. I feel like this is a simple passing concept that any middle school quarterback can execute and be successful at.

The Shallow Cross concept is also difficult for the defense to defend because middle schoolers aren’t used to having wide receivers cross their face and not react to it. The crossing action of the Shallow Cross concept should open up the dig route.

This concept will make the Middle School Air Raid deadly, and lay the foundation for the offense to be successful once the players reach high school.

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Every offense has its signature play. The Flexbone offense has the Veer. The Wing-T has the Buck Sweep. The Run and Shoot as Go. What’s the Air Raid’s signature play? Y-Cross? Nope. Y-Stick? Nope. The Air Raid’s signature play is the Mesh Concept.

Don’t know what the Air Raid Mesh Concept is? Why? Have you been living under a rock for the past 20 years?

I’m kidding. I bet you have seen the Air Raid Mesh Concept ran before even if you don’t know what the Air Raid Mesh Concept is.

Air Raid Mesh 2 x 2

Air Raid Mesh Concept Ran From Standard 2 x 2 Set

This is standard way teams run the Air Raid Mesh Concept. I’ll walk you through the wide receiver’s routes.

Wide Receiver’s Routes on the Air Raid Mesh Concept Out of 2 x 2

R – You are running a 6 step out route. Do not break down and chop your feet on the out route. You will use a speed cut for this route.

Y – You are setting the depth of the Mesh. You should run this route no deeper than 6 yards. If you happen to run it under 6 yards then you are okay. Once you pass the center you will look to see whether the defense is in man or in zone. If the defense is in zone then you will settle up in the first open grass area. If the defense is in man then you will turn upfield slightly and keep running.

F – You are running a three-yard flat route. If you think you can get 10 yards then you will give a “BALL” call. If you do not get 10 yards when you give the “BALL” call then you will come out of the game.

L – You are setting the Mesh with the Y receiver. You will locate him coming out of your route and go UNDER him. You will get so close to the Y receiver that your shoulder pads will rub together. You will never, EVER, go over the top of the Y receiver. Your job is to make the Mesh happen and to make the Y receiver right. After you Mesh with the Y receiver you will look to see whether the defense is in man or in zone. If the defense is in zone then you will settle up in the first open grass area. If the defense is in man then you will turn upfield slightly and keep running.

TB – You are running a shoot route. You want to get out to the flats as fast as possible.

Quarterback’s Progression in the Air Raid Mesh Concept

The quarterback is going R to TB to L to Y to F. So it is Out, Flat, First Mesh, Second Mesh, Backside Flat.

That’s pretty easy, right?

 

Air Raid Mesh Concept From a 3 x 1 Formation

Air Raid Mesh Concept Ran From Trips

Air Raid Mesh Concept Ran From 3 x 1

Wide Receiver’s Routes on the Air Raid Mesh Concept Out of 3 x 1

R – You are running a 6 step out route. Do not break down and chop your feet on the out route. You will use a speed cut for this route.

Y – You are setting the depth of the Mesh. You should run this route no deeper than 6 yards. If you happen to run it under 6 yards then you are okay. But if you run it deeper than 6 then we will have a problem. Once you pass the center you will look to see whether the defense is in man or in zone. If the defense is in zone then you will settle up in the first open grass area. If the defense is in man then you will turn upfield slightly and keep running.

F – You are running a shoot route. You want to get to the sideline as fast as possible. On your third step you will whip your head around and look for the ball. You are the HOT if the defense brings a blitz from the three receiver side.

L – You are setting the Mesh with the Y receiver. You will locate him coming out of your route and go UNDER him. You will get so close to the Y receiver that your shoulder pads will rub together. You will never, EVER, go over the top of the Y receiver. Your job is to make the Mesh happen and to make the Y receiver right. After you Mesh with the Y receiver you will look to see whether the defense is in man or in zone. If the defense is in zone then you will settle up in the first open grass area. If the defense is in man then you will turn upfield slightly and keep running.

TB – You are running an arrow route. If you think you can get 10 yards then you will give a “BALL” call. If you do not get 10 yards when you give a “BALL” call then you will come out of the game.

Quarterback’s Progression in the Air Raid Mesh Concept

The quarterback is going R to F to L to Y to TB. So it is Out, Flat, First Mesh, Second Mesh, Backside Flat.

Notice How the Air Raid Mesh Concept Reads Are The Same For the Quarterback?

That’s what makes this route so freaking dangerous. Once the quarterback gets the progression – Out, Flat, First Mesh, Second Mesh, Back Side Flat – then you can run this concept from any formation with any motion you can think of.

The Air Raid Mesh Concept is only limited to your imagination. So go ahead, imagine the record books at your school falling because that’s what will happen once you install this incredible concept.

Caution for Those Who Want To Run the Air Raid Mesh Concept

You will need to rep the Air Raid Mesh Concept every day. That’s the golden rule that Hal Mumme gave when he talked about running the Air Raid Mesh Concept. Hal Mumme devotes five minutes a day drilling the play.

So if you want to become successful at this play, and light up the scoreboard as well as the record books, then you will have to spend five minutes a day drilling the play.

That doesn’t sound that bad, right?

Until next time coaches, let’s continue to Master the Spread, Score Points, and Have Fun!

 

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