Bootleg/Waggle Variations

Adding Bootlegs and Waggles to Your Offense

Today we are going to talk about Bootlegs and Waggles in various formations.  A bootleg or waggle is a play where the QB will roll outside the pocket away from the original direction of the play.  It is designed to be misdirection that slows down the defenses flow to the football.  You can choose to pull a lineman in front of your QB or allow your QB to boot "naked" with no protection.  We choose to use naked boots because it protects the misdirection of the play.  You can use several variations of routes on your boots and waggles but for simplicity sake we will use the same route combinations.

One thing that is very important for an offense of any level is to use the strengths of your QB.  If your QB is not very tall but is a good athlete, moving the pocket can help him see the passing concepts he may not be able to see from the pocket.  Let's face it, we are not always going to get a 6'3 QB in High School or Middle School.  Putting a QB on the perimeter puts a lot of stress on a defense.  He becomes an immediate threat to run which makes defenders want to come out of their pass drop responsibilities.  Defensive coverages that are zone orientated usually have specific drops for their players based on the coverage concept.  When you use a bootleg or waggle you are forcing the defense to adjust those drops because the QB has left the pocket.  This can create some holes in the defense if they are not discipline.  You can also affect the pass rush lanes and mindset of the defensive line since containing the QB will become a huge concern now.  Finding out what your QB is good at and playing to his strengths will be a huge asset for an offense.

Run Boots From Any Offense
The last thing we will discuss is the ability to vary your boots regardless of your offensive scheme.  You can run bootlegs or waggles from any offensive scheme.  Plays that are not scheme specific provide variety for the offense.  I am going to show you today bootlegs off of quick game passing, 3 back power offenses, flex bone offenses, and spread jet sweep offenses.  You can be very creative with boots and waggles and incorporate them into any offense.  Keep in mind the nature of the boot or waggle is to provide misdirection.  We want these plays to come off of full flow in the opposite direction.  This is a sure fire way to slow down the reaction and pursuit of the defense.  Always keep in mind on offense you want plays that protect your plays.  If we are a big jet sweep team we will want to incorporate some things that go opposite the jet sweep and keep the defense honest so they cannot overplay the motion and the jet.  I will also show you a boot or waggle off of the quick passing game which provides a packaged play mentality and helps your QB make good decisions and not force throws into bad looks.  You want your offense to have diversity and the ability to answer problems created by the defense.

Hopefully you can add some of these boots and waggles to your offensive system.  Be creative in your offense.  Whatever it is you run it is very easy to incorporate boots or waggles into your playbook.  Get your QB moving and give him some easy throws to help boost his confidence.  When your QB knows you are trying to keep him safe and you are giving him easy throws to complete he will play with more confidence because he trusts you.  Get your QB to buy in to play action fakes and the ability to "sell" the run game and work these mechanics into his practice routine.



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