Monday, February 10, 2014

Power, The Most Versatile Concept in Football!

Perhaps the most versatile play in football is the power play. With one blocking scheme the offense can give the defense a multitude of different looks.

I have two main goals on offense. First, I want to find the leverage point. We define the leverage point as the area we have an advantage on the defense. Second, I 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, I want to give them the same concept from several different formations with multiple backfield actions. This is why I like the "power" play so much.

The first way I 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.

To account for the EMOL, we have multiple variations of the power. First, we can use a player in the backfield to kick him out. Second, we can use the H back to kick him out. Third, we can use a backside player to kick him out. Fourth, we can kick him with the pulling guard and let the back lead up through the first window. And finally, we can read the end man on the line.

Here is an example of the traditional 2 back power play from the pistol.

Defensive ends and outside linebackers tend to be the best players on the defense. Because of this, we want to be able to put them in conflict to slow them down. If they know that when they get a down block they will get a kickout block, the will be able to anticipate the kickout and box or spill the player based on the defensive call. However, if the defender doesn't know who is kicking him, or if he is being read, or if he is going to be cracked, he is going to hesitate. It is through this hesitation that we gain a tremendous advantage.

Another variation of the 2 back power is the using an H back to kick out the end man on the line. The H can be a frontside or a backside player. In the example below, the H back is aligned to the backside of the play. If the defense were to set their front away from the H, the offense could bring the play back to the side the H is aligned.

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. 

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 to combine the veer and the power. This is a great frontside read concept from the 3 back pistol. Instead of blocking the EMOL, the QB will read him. The EMOL is used to squeezing the down block and finding the kick out player. In this read concept, the EMOL is not going to get blocked. This forces him to have to decide whether to play the dive back, or the quarterback. If the EMOL plays the dive, the QB will pull the ball and get replace the EMOL. If the EMOL slow plays or comes upfield, the QB will give the ball. 

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. 

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. 

For these and many, many more concepts of the power and power read, check out my DVD on the power and power read from Coaches Choice. It will give you dozens of ways to put the defense in conflict while getting your best athletes the football in open space! The DVD covers multiple ways to run the power and power read from the pistol and gun! I take you through the mechanics and schematics of of the frontside and backside power read from three backs empty! This DVD will help you score more points!

I also have two books on the pistol offense, 101 Pistol Option Plays, and 101 Pistol Run Plays!


  1. On the combination Veer/Power, do you have the backside F read the DE too? Meaning, if the DE squeezes, the F continues on around and if the DE runs upfield, he leads up in the hole for the back. I think this is some of what SF is doing with Kapernick. I love the play, but we haven't gotten into that yet.

  2. Yes, if the read key comes upfield, the blocking back works inside of him. If the read key squeezes, the back works outside of him. This is a great way to handle gap exchanges.

  3. Do you ever put the Y away from the strength and motion him towards it and snap the ball when he is over the PSG? What are your coaching points for it to the Y if you do?

  4. Yes. We would put him in full speed motion, and have him shuffle as he clears the guard. We have used him as the kickout player and to arc to the alley player. I have also motioned him away from the point of attack to do the same thing. You can also motion him and snap ball when he his at the hip of the DE if you want to down block with him, but we typically don't do that. I tell the Y to stay square with his feet under his hips. If he is going to kick out we tell him to hug the down block working to the inside jersey number of the man he is kicking. If he is going to arc to the alley player we tell him to stay square and take the inside away first.