Simple Packaged Concepts For Up Tempo Teams

Lightning Fast Play Calls

 There is a difference between No Huddle "Check With Me" teams and No Huddle "Up Tempo" teams.  If you are a check with me team then you may operate using a no huddle system of communication but your concern is getting the best play called vs. a certain defensive look.  If you are an up tempo team then your concern is running plays as fast as possible and eliminating multiple calls and substitutions from the defense.

As an offense, staying on schedule with your down and distance goals is a huge concern.  When you are calling plays in an up tempo fashion and not getting a great look at the defensive alignment, packaged plays with multiple options for the QB can help save your job.  Now to say we have no idea what the defense is in would be a lie because we studied game film all week.  Our film study will help us generate an idea of how the defense will handle certain formations and what their pressure tendencies are.  It will also help us determine where they like to bring pressure from.

Guys like Chip Kelly and Rich Rodriguez are famous for their high octane spread up tempo offenses.  What people do not realize is their pace of play involves a lot of QB options and choices depending on how the defense decides to defend them.  You would be crazy to think they are just calling plays off the top of their heads and hoping they work.  They are actually spending a ton of time with their QBS, helping them get the offense in good situations pre and post snap.  Peyton Manning is the best QB at the line of scrimmage pre snap in my opinion.  He almost always gets the offense in a good situation once he recognizes the defense.  With up tempo teams the QBS job is getting the offense in a good situation post snap as well.

Packaged plays are a great way to get your offense in good situations and play off the reaction of certain defenders we label as conflicted.  These plays can consist of 2 to 3 and sometimes 4 different options for the QB.  It is not like you are creating new schemes or magical bullets, you are just combining your concepts that have already been installed to maximize your efficiency.   Today we are going to take a look at some of these concepts.

The first one we will look at is a 3 Man Scat on one side with a slow screen on the opposite side.  The 3 Man Scat is already part of our offense.  By tagging it with a slow screen we can put ourselves in advantageous situations by reading a conflicted defenders reaction to put us in what we think is a great situation. This way we can call the concept as quickly as possible while still having the ability to react to different looks or reactions from the defense.

The second one we will look at is a quick game route on one side with a waggle concept on the other side.  When calling quick game as an up tempo team there are times where you may get a coverage that takes away the route you called.  Without having to worry about converting routes and getting the QB and WR on the same page, we can build a waggle concept on the back side to put us in a better situation.

Looking for Answers

Remember this does not become the automatic way to score 50 points a game.  It still comes down to blocking and tackling.  You have to execute if you want to be effective.  What we are trying to do is come up with answers as an up tempo offense to handle different schemes and reactions from the defense.  Keep in mind in this style of play we often will not get a look at the defense before calling a play.  Packaged plays help us try and avoid negative plays and get into good situations post snap since we are not doing it pre snap.


QB Counter Game


Today's game of football is starting to trend toward athletic more dynamic athletes at the QB position.  The ability of the QB to be an effective runner and thrower is forcing defenses to change how they want to defend an offense now.  Not only is there the read option game, but you now have 10 personnel sets essentially becoming 20 personnel sets because the QB is a very efficient runner sometimes acting as another tailback.  This gives you the ability to spread the defense while still attacking it with hard, downhill 2 back style runs.

Today we will talk about the QB Counter as a misdirection play to compliment and protect your fast flow outside runs.  One of the most important things to remember as an offensive play caller is you must have plays that protect your plays. If you are a team that likes to run jet or fly sweep types of plays with flat motion, you will need plays off of this action that help slow the defense down.  One of the first things a defense will do to stop the jet action is roll a safety down to the motion side to gain an extra player with leverage on the jet sweep.  You must be able to attack the areas of the defense that are vulnerable when this occurs.  Misdirection or counter plays help slow the defense down by making them honor the runs or throws away from the motion.  By doing this you are protecting your fast flow plays by slowing the defense's reaction down.  Play action passes, screens, and bootlegs are also effective ways to keep the defense honest.  A good offense must slow down the reaction time of the defense and cause doubt in their mind.  The best defense's are generally aggressive in nature with players that fly around and play very fast.

The QB Counter for me was always a predetermined, called run that we would not read.  I wanted plays in my offense that let me dictate who has the ball.  The Read portion of the QB Run game can be extremely effective, but a well coached defense can dictate to you who the ball carrier is.  The scheme is very easy to teach because it follows simple gap down rules.  About 85% of our run game involves gap schemes which makes it a lot easier to have carry over in your run game.  The counter scheme is almost identical to the power scheme because you have gap down play side rules with a player responsible for kicking a C gap player out, and a player responsible for wrapping on an inside LB.  The misdirection is provided by adding a jet sweep or outside zone player that will carry out a fake away from the counter that holds the defense longer giving your lineman the angles needed to win on their leverage side.  

I made sure to include a read scheme in the video for those of you who want your counter game to be part of your option game or packaged plays as well.  The counter play can be drawn up from several formations with several motions to "dress it up" and make it harder to defend.  Make sure you block first level players first as the key to any good offense is avoiding negative plays.  I hope you can add this play to your offensive arsenal to drive defense's crazy and help you move the chains.