We have two main goals on offense. First, we want to find the leverage point. We define the leverage point as the area we have an advantage on the defense. Second, we want to put as many defenders in conflict as possible. Rather than running a concept from one formation and giving the defense the same look, we want to give them the same concept from several different formations with multiple backfield actions. This is why we like the "power" play so much.
The first way we install the power is as the traditional downhill power play. Our frontside is going to block gap away. The center is going to block back, the backside guard is going to pull through the first window, and the backside tackle is going to dig out the backside B gap to hinge. The offensive line is leaving the frontside End Man on the Line (EMOL) unblocked. When we originally ran power in the 90's, we ran it to a tight end. We blocked down on the frontside, kickout out the end man on the line with the fullback, and wrapped the backside guard for the playside linebacker. Here is an example of the two back power play from pistol.
Below is an illustration of power kicking the first player outside the tackle.
When we adjusted the blocking we had a simple rule for the running back. Our rule for the back was to hit the A gap until you can't. We wanted him to get downhill and stay inside the kickout block. Another variation is the have the QB open away from the play and mesh with the back. This forces the defense to hesitate slightly as they don't know if the point of attack is to the mesh side, or away from the mesh side. We can also offset the back to or away from the side we were running power.
Because we want to keep the EMOL guessing, we can exchange the assignments of the pulling guard and the kickout player. This is a great variation from two and three back sets. In the three back look, the frontside back will block the primary force player. The backside guard will pull and kick out the end man on the line, while the backside back will lead through the window. The quarterback can open to the play, or away from the play.
Another variation of this concept is the power read. The offensive line blocks power. The backs and receivers execute their assignments as if we are calling an outside run. Instead of kicking out the first man outside the tackle, we read him.
Below is an example of the power read play.
If the backside B gap defender is giving the offense a problem, they can make a GUS call, which means guard stay. Because the backside back can replace the puller, the backside guard can now protect the backside B gap. This allows the center and frontside guard to combo the nose.
The next evolution was to add RPO, or Run Pass Options, to the power play. By rule, if we call power, we will have quick game concepts to both sides. We will have a stop route to the single receiver side, and a now screen to the twins side. If the QB has no underneath defender to the single WR side, he can throw the stop route. If he has a two on one to the twins side, he can throw the now screen.
Adding this presnap read helps to protect the run. The defense has to honor our skill guys on the edge. If the defense wants to play press man, we can covert the stop routes to verticals. The QB then reads separation. If we get separation, the QB can pull and throw the vertical. If there is no separation he can give the ball. We can also give the quarterback a red light. That means he will execute the run regardless of what the defense does.
Below is an example of power with quick game concepts attached. The QB sees we have numbers to the twins, and throws the quick.
The great thing about power is that we can build any of our pass concepts into the concept. We can take advantage of anything the defense is doing to disrupt power. For example, if they want to creep a safety into the box, we can read the safety and run a post behind him. If the safety flat foot reads or attacks the box, the QB will pull and throw the post. If the safety bails or slow plays, the QB gives the ball.
Below is an example of power with stop routes to the twins side. The QB is reading the corner. If the corner bails, the QB will pull and throw, reading inside to out. If the corner does anything else, the QB will give the ball.
This barely scratches the surface of the new innovations of the traditional power concept. The power has been a successful concept for many years, and with new variations, it has grown to be one of the most versatile offensive concepts being run.
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