Adding Helmets with 3 Back Offense


For me the idea of using 3 Backs in the backfield started about 5 years ago watching a Green Bay Packers game.  They were using 2 fullbacks or a TE and a fullback along with the tailback in the backfield.  They were running typical zone plays with the fullbacks iso blocking LBS or kicking the edge on their zone plays.  As a spread team I started running into problems when my opponents would load the box and play zero coverage to my 10 personnel sets.  I got to a point where I conceded the run game vs. these looks and tried to throw the ball every down.  The two big problems i ran into were 1)I felt like the defense was dictating what I did and 2)Their cats were better than my cats so they completely shut down my passing game.  I did not want to incorporate Tight Ends into my offense because I had a hard time finding good ones every year at a public high school.

So after getting beat one night 21-0 I decided that I was going to add a 3 Back set into my offense to help equal out the numbers in the box vs those defenses.  What i stumbled across was a great short yardage offense that not only helped me on offense but also helped my defense defend hardball running plays.  We turned it into an up tempo package, added play action and waggles, and it is now one of my most called running plays every year.  The fact that the tailback is in the pistol gives us the ability to run the blast play and our waggles to either side at any time.  The set became so good for us we added two more versions of 3 back sets using the same personnel, made them up tempo formations, and now have the ability to jump into 3 different 3 back sets very quickly without changing the personnel on the field.  Let's take a look at the simple blast play from this set.

We are going to use a down gap scheme with the front side fullback kicking the DE, and the backside fullback pulling and wrapping for the PILB vs 7 man boxes.  It is actually a power scheme without using your backside guard as a puller.  This allows us to account for 7 defenders in the box while using a very simple gap scheme that should help avoid penetration in the backfield and be solid vs. stunts and blitzes.  If you get 8 man fronts you can put the backside fullback on the play side olb or force player to account for him.

Always remember that a good offense should have plays that protect your plays.  Off the same run action we can use waggles to move the pocket, slow down the safeties, and give us 1 on 1 match ups on the outside to help convert 1st downs.  Make sure your QB'S understand to get depth away from the LOS after fakes to buy time for the comeback and the drag routes, but also to get separation from any front side unblocked edge pressure.

The next thing we added was a play action pass to take "SHOTS" down the field.  This also helped slow down the invert of the safeties if the defense was playing quarters or robber concepts with the safeties.  We run a post on the front side while running post corner on the backside.  It is an 8 man protection so it is a very safe play that can account for pressure and keep the QB on his feet to make plays.  If the defense is 2 High and slamming safeties down we will look for the post route, if they are 1 High we will take the 1 on 1 match up with the post corner route.

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