by Robert McAdams
EDITORS NOTE: This is the last of a series of five articles, graciously contributed to us by Coach and Self-Published Author Robert McAdams. The articles are actual excerpts from his books that he prepared especially for us, and we’re pleased that we have been able to introduce our readers to Coach McAdams ideas and his work. We encourage those with further interest in one or more of the articles to Click here to visit Coach McAdams web site to learn more about the books he offers.
The Double Wing Power & Counter Running Game
This is the base play of the Double Wing. It is the play that convinced Hugh Wyatt that this offense was for him. It is the base play of the offense that caused landslide victories for Don Markham en-route to his national scoring record in Bloomington, CA. This play is the one that forces the defense to bend, change, and react. Without this play, the other plays have problems developing.
The different coaches who use the Double Wing Offense block this play differently. Most coaches are either Wyatt (mentored) or Markham/Valloton (mentored). The base rules are Gap/On/Down (M/V) or Gap/On/Area (W) regardless. I think there are pros and cons of either blocking call, but I opt for the Gap/On/Down call.
This play features the Gap/On/Down (double) for the entire play-side line with multiple (G-T) pullers and TE shoeshine on the back-side. The center always has a “momma” rule (man-on, man-away) block. The fullback runs a “banana” route to kick out the defensive end, and the wingback seals the linebacker. The back-side wingback motions either deep (shuffle) or flat (sprint). The quarterback either pivots all the way into the hole while pitching the ball en-route to the corner block, or he opens to flat motion and hands en-route to bootleg fake. The 5-2 defense is the base blocking call. In other words, against a 5-2, we shouldn’t need a blocking check call.
There are a few assignment changes that happen when problem defenses occur. One problem defense is the 4-4. With prior blocking rules, the 7-tech (inside shade of TE) would get man-blocked down by the TE, and the wingback would go to linebacker. I’ve seen this as a serious weakness due to 7-tech’s that could build a wall shallow and then attack inside leg of puller or fullback. This causes a serious dilemma. My current head coach tried to fix this by doubling the 7-tech with our TE and tackle, but this left a small guard to man a large 2-tech (head up on guard). Obviously, that was not a very good deal for us. By making the “window” (wing down) call you force the 7-tech to get moved while forcing the 2-tech out of there also with 2 play-side double teams.
Click here to read the rest of this article in PDF format
This article is an excerpt from the book, The Double Wing Football Offense: How to Consistently Move the Chains & Score without Superior Athletes and/or Size, by Robert McAdams.
Coach McAdams has played football at the Junior High, High School, Amateur-Marine Corps, and College levels. He graduated from the Marine Corps Boot Camp where he played for the runner up 1st Marine Regiment Bulldogs in 1996 and later coached the 1st Marines to an All-Pendleton Championship over the 2-time defending Champion 11th Marines, finished his duty in the Marine Corps Infantry.
During his college years, he played Division III football, competed in Olympic Weightlifting, and researched strength and power training. He has played on a Championship Team in the Marine Corps as a Linebacker and Fullback and coached 7 different football teams, including a number of Championship Teams. Coach McAdams is very familiar with “unorthodox” offensive and defensive strategies from extensive research and experience. He has been a head coach, coordinated both sides of the ball, and heavily researched how to compete without great athletes.
In addition to his football coaching experience, Coach McAdams has 15 years of experience in weight training . He competed in Olympic weightlifting in the 85k, 94k, and 105k weight classes over his 5 year career and was invited to the 2004 Olympic Trials for weightlifting.
Coach McAdams has a Masters degree in Kinesiology from Midwestern State University where he served as an intern coach and competitive weightlifter for the Wichita Falls Weightlifting Club – a perennial power in the Olympic weightlifting world. His Masters thesis covered the topic of strength and power training for optimal results.
Click here to visit Coach McAdams web site at www.robertwmcadams.com
The Double Wing Offense
The double wing offense is an offense that features two tight-ends, two wing backs, one fullback, and a QB in the backfield. This offense utilizes zero line splits. This will allow the offensive line to execute double team and down blocks on the defense very easily. Utilizing zero line splits also reduce the distance the pulling linemen have to run when they are lead blocking or kicking out a defender. The double wing offense is a power offense that really gets numbers (blockers) to the point of attack. This offense also has a very good play-action passing game.
Benefits of zero line splits:
- Wedge blocking friendly.
- Able to pick up blitzes, slants, & stunts easily.
- Pulling and kick-out block friendly formation.
- Brings the defense in and makes the defense commit defenders into the box- which opens up the play-action passing game.
- Easier to pass block.
- Less distance a pulling lineman has to travel to execute his lead or kick-out block.
- The offensive linemen are a little farther back so that defensive linemen can’t cut them down. It also allows them to pull without getting caught up in the mix.
Most teams implement either a double team and/or down blocking scheme. Down blocking has all the offensive linemen block down on defenders inside of them. In the down blocking scheme, there is a pulling linemen or fullback that will kick-out the end man on the line of scrimmage. Many double wing offenses will utilize double team blocking at the point of attack as well. Teams tend to use the double team blocking scheme more so on their power series. We play a very good double wing team every year and they apply the down blocking scheme and the double team scheme.
The double wing offense is easy to implement. It is an effective offense in youth football. The wedge play is very difficult to stop. To execute this offense you will need offensive linemen that can pull. Many double wing offenses will have their backside guard and tackle pull, which means you will need 4 kids on the field that can pull. In addition- you will also need to teach the back-up linemen how & when to pull. The double wing coaches that pull both linemen tell me that they have every single player on their team practice pulling (makes sense).
Here is a standard double wing formation (there are other formations that the double wing offense can be executed out of):
The power play out of the double wing offense is the staple mark of this offense. This play will flood the point of attack with blockers and will utilize double teams at the point of attack.
Power Play (double team):
This football play features double teams at the point of attack. The play-side defensive tackle and nose guard will get double teamed. The play-side defensive end will be kicked out by the fullback. The back-side guard & tackle will pull. The PS guard will pull and look to get onto the middle linebacker. The guard’s pull path will always be right off the center and PS guard’s double team block. The pulling guard must always look to block inside to outside (pick up any A-B blitzes). The pulling tackle will lead block through the hole. The pulling path will be right off the tackle and TE’s double team block.
The QB will open up to the motion side and give a quick pitch to the wing back going in motion. After the QB pitches the ball he can turn and lead block. You can have the QB carry out a fake if you don’t want him blocking. The WB will go in a 3 step backwards motion and will receive a quick pitch and get downhill behind the double teams. The motion player cannot go or lean forward until the ball is snapped.
Here is a double wing offense video:
Power Play (down blocking):
The power play out of the double wing offense can also utilize a down blocking scheme. Down blocking will allow the offense to take advantage of blocking angles. Down blocking rules are as followed: Gap- Down- Backer. If you are having problems with a C-gap defensive end you can have your PS WB down block on him. We call that our “Hammer” block.
If the defenses are keying your fullback you can have the pulling guard kick-out the defensive end and just have the FB fake trap and fill back-side A-gap. Many times defenses will say well, lets follow the fullback, he will take us to the ball. When you have the full back fake trap, it will definitely hold that middle linebacker. This is an excellent key breaker.
This video is an excellent example of the down blocking scheme being executed beautifully. You can clearly see the down blocks and the kick-out block.
This counter play is a very explosive play. Once the power gets going defenses will adjust to the motion side. Once the defense starts committing to stopping the power, the counter play will gut the defense for big yardage. Many times you will see these counters go for big time yardage. The QB opens up to the motion side, gets depth into the back and executes an inside hand-off to the WB. It is the vital that the WB in motion fakes like he is getting the ball. This diagram features the down blocking scheme, but you can use double teams at the point of attack as well. Even though this is a counter play (counter action in the backfield), it is essentially a power play.
The Double Wing Offense Pros:
- Easy to implement.
- Real Ground and pound- multiple blockers at the point of attack.
- Very good deception.
- Excellent play action passing plays.
- Dominating wedge play.
- Dominating power play.
- Utilizes wing backs to create alignment conflicts for the defense.
Double Wing Offense Cons:
- Pulling OL will take you to the play. Key guards. Use cross keys on the wing backs.
- There aren’t many youth football coaches that implement key breakers.
- Need multiple kids that can pull.
- Compressed formation- if you are competing against an opposing defense that dominates the line of scrimmage you are in troubles.
- Limits the number of formations that could be implemented. But, I am sure double wing coaches will disagree. We do face a double wing team that tries to spread us out.
Want more plays? Here you go: Youth Football Plays
The Double Wing Offense in Youth Football
The double wing offense is an excellent offense for youth football. It is a ground and pound offense that offers very good deception. The power, counter, wedge, and play action passing plays are very explosive.
Coach Jeff Hemhauser