Monday, January 1, 2018

Part Two of: 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. We are a power run offense despite being based in the gun. We want to be physical and have the mentality that we are going to run the football and create explosive plays. We want to manipulate space and force the defense to have to have to defend the entire field. This helps to open up the box.

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.

A couple of years later we decided to make an adjustment and change who we kicked out. To marry all of our different looks on power, we began to kick out the first defender outside the offensive tackle. Defensive ends and outside linebackers tend to be dominating players on 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.

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. 

Here is an example of Power kicking the C gap player.

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. 

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!

In January of 2016 I published a couple of iBooks that have been read by coaches at all levels of football. The first is on Installing RPO's into any offense, that will give you a systematic approach to installing RPO's. Here is a link to the iBooks version: The ibooks version includes explanations, diagrams, and video clips on multiple RPO Concepts. It will give you a simple process for implementing them into your offense. It is less than $15!
If you don't have an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you can order the paperback on Amazon. It is just $12!

I also wrote a book on Tempo. It will greatly help you build a multiple tempo system with simple communication that will allow your kids to play with confidence. It also had over an hour of video clips! You can order the ibooks version here:

Order the Amazon Kindle version here:

One of the keys to our success was tremendous preparation!The key to  preparation was our outstanding group of documents we used for all three phases. If you are looking for fully editable and customizable documents that you can tailor to your program, I have made mine available. 

Here is a link to my offensive game planning documents:
It includes everything from a scouting report template, to practice plans, to a two-sided color call sheet, and more! Each of the nine documents are fully editable and customizable! Order today for under $15 and download them tonight!

Here is a link to the defensive game planning documents. It includes 12 fully editable and customizable documents.

And finally, I put together a special teams resource. This has everything you need, included drill tape, practice tape, and game footage. It includes teaching presentations and scouting forms just for special teams!


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