Conflicting Defenders

We are starting to see more and more packaged plays on all levels of football including the NFL.  These are plays that are 2 or 3 plays built into 1, with the potential of the ball going to 3 or 4 different players on the same play.  They usually involve some sort of run combined with a shorter pass or screen.  Sometimes they can be 2 running theories combined into 1 play like a jet sweep with a power play.  The theory is very simple,  let the offense get the ball into the right players hands based on how the defense wants to defend you.  This type of play calling hopefully keeps the offense out of "bad" plays while limiting the number of checks or audibles the QB needs to make.

Usually during these types of plays there is a certain defender the offense wants to put into a "conflicted" position.  Based off of that defenders alignment or reaction, the QB will decide what to do with the ball.  This tied in with up tempo football has really started to give the offense a slight advantage while forcing defensive coaches to come up with a set of answers. This newer style of play calling has made its way to the NFL which really leads you to believe there must be some real strong validity to it.

Today I am going to focus on putting the conflict on the defensive end, and having ways to coordinate your attack based on his reaction to certain blocking schemes.  The first thing you want to look at is how the defensive end reacts to down blocks.  You can package an outside run with an inside run and take advantage of how the defensive coordinator teaches his defensive end to play these down blocks.  If the ends you are facing are squeeze or block down step down players then you can get the ball to the perimeter off of down blocks because that end will squeeze inside.  By combining an outside run with an inside run you can really put your QB in a great situation because he can let the end react however he wants and still put us in a good situation.  By using more "sweep" type runs you can effectively get the end sealed by giving him a down block to squeeze and then blocking him further inside with a fullback.

Conversely, if you are playing ends that are up the field players then you want to have runs that go underneath them and allow your players to kick them out instead of sealing them.  You are now effectively putting your offensive players in a position to be successful by giving them blocks you know are easier to make based on the reaction or educated response of the defense.  Another way to package plays that create conflict would be combining a quick pass with a draw play.  Now you can focus on a "conflicted" LB and see if he drops to play the pass or sits in the box for the running game.

All in all this newer type of offense with extremely fast tempo and packaged plays is creating a lot of points on the scoreboard.  It is very easy to do and can be done at any level.  Always remember to be multiple yet simplistic ensuring your kids can know their assignments and execute them at full speed.