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2 “Power Read” (Inverted Veer) Run Plays That Add Flexibility To Any Gap-Scheme

By Shea Monroe, Head Football Coach, Westbrook Christian School, Rainbow City, Ala.

After 9 years as an offensive assistant coach and offensive coordinator, I’m currently entering my first year as head football coach at Westbrook Christian School, which is a 2A enrollment-class school located in Rainbow City, Ala.

To say I have some big shoes to fill is an understatement. First and foremost, as a 28-year old first-time head coach, it’s humbling to know that the coach I’m replacing not only happens to be a great man (Tony Osborne) and a guy who is considered a coaching legend, but he also just happens to be the winningest coach in the school’s history.

An Offensive Philosophy – That Fits YOU!

For the past 20 years, Westbrook Christian has been an Air Raid Offense team that operated exclusively from the shotgun. While my offensively philosophy is not completely different, after some careful analysis, my staff and I will be implementing a few noticeable differences – mainly due to our emphasis on running the football.

Our offense follows these basic principles:

  • Be A Physical Offense.
  • Commit Less Than 12 Turnovers for the Season.
  • Average 4-Yards Per Rush.
  • Be Efficient In Throwing the Football.
  • Utilize Multiple Formations & Motions, While Not Sacrificing Execution.
    (In other words, always ask yourself “if the juice is worth the squeeze” when it comes to using multiple formations, shifts and motions.)

Gap-Scheme Variations

I have always believed in the power of a gap-scheme running game, because, quite frankly, it’s pretty hard to mess up concepts such as “wash-down and kick-out” – plus, it allows us to achieve our mission of being a physical style of offense.

Additionally, however, we’ve learned over the years that a gap scheme also provides an offense with terrific flexibility – based upon what it can do off base plays.

We are currently experimenting with a scheme that is a variation off a successful Power Read – sometimes also referred to as an “Inverted Veer” – running play that I’ve used in the past.

This successful running play is called either “Auburn” (when it’s run to the right side of the formation) or named “Alabama” (when run to the left side).

Auburn (To The Right)

DIAGRAM 1: Auburn (To The Right) / Alabama (To The Left).

Diagram 1 shows the play run to the ride side of the formation, therefore making it an example of what we’ll call “Auburn.”

The Blocking Rules and Player Assignments for this play are exactly the same for either “Auburn” (when run right) or “Alabama” (when run to the left) and they are as follows…

Backside OT: Gap Hinge.

Backside OG: Pulls and hugs double-team. This player is responsible for the play-side linebacker.

Center: Head-up to the backside.

Play-Side OG: Inside, head-up to the LB.

Play-Side OT: Inside, head-up to the LB.

Halfback: Runs an arc route toward the Alley Defender.

Fullback: Runs over the QB’s toes. It is critical that he STAY FLAT while doing so. The QB is responsible for the mesh.

Quarterback: Reads the first defender to the outside of the play-side OT (the outside, play-side linebacker labeled as “B” in Diagram 1). The QB takes two shuffle-steps, looks at his read defender and the read defender’s reaction dictates one of two options:

  • QB Option 1: If the defender sits or comes straight up field, the QB pulls the ball down and cuts hard up field, following the pulling guard.
  • QB Option 2: If the defender closes space or crashes down, the QB hands the ball off to the fullback (F) running toward the perimeter.

Auburn/Alabama Tagged “SPECIAL”

The experimental aspect of this time-tested running play comes via the use of a simple tag word: “Special.”

When “Special” is called as a tag with either “Auburn” (to the right side) or “Alabama” (to the left side) it simply tells the offense that the defensive player serving as the “read defender” key is now a second-level defender.

DIAGRAM 2: Auburn Special (To The Right) / Alabama Special (To The Left).

In the scenario shown in Diagram 2, that second-level defender read happens to the Play-Side, Inside Linebacker. The play is also being run to the right side of the formation, and therefore, the play call would now be tagged as “Auburn Special.”

The most-beautiful aspect of tagging this play as “Special” is that it is hardly changes anything for anyone (blocking-scheme-wise or assignment-wise). The only difference is that the QB must read and make his decisions based off the actions of the play-side, inside linebacker.

(As a coach, I am all about combining simplicity with excellent execution.)

The Blocking Rules and Player Assignments for both “Auburn Special” and “Alabama Special” are as follows:

Backside OT: Gap hinge.

Backside OG: Pulls and executes a kick-out block the “End man on the Line” (EMOL).

Center: Head-up to the backside.

Play-Side OG: Blocks inside to the NT, and head up to the backside LB.

Play-Side OT: Blocks inside to the DT, and head up to the LB.

Halfback: Runs an arc route to the Alley Defender.

Fullback: Runs over the QB’s toes. It is critical that he STAY FLAT while doing so. The QB is responsible for the mesh.

Quarterback: Reads the Play-Side, Inside Linebacker. The QB takes three shuffle steps, looks at his read defender (play-side, inside LB labeled as “B” in Diagram 2) and, based on the read defender’s actions, the QB must decide upon one of two options:

  • QB Option 1: If the defender sits or comes straight up field, the QB hands the ball off to the Fullback (F) and carries out his fake inside.
  • QB Option 2: If the defender flies over the top, the QB pulls the ball in, and cuts hard up field and toward the open space where the second-level read defender has vacated. (In Diagram 2, the space vacated by the inside, play-side LB.)

Shea Monroe took over as head football coach and offensive coordinator at Westbrook Christian School (Ala.) in 2016. An assistant coach for nine full seasons, Monroe also served as offensive coordinator/QB Coach/RB coach at Lincoln High School (Ala.) from 2013 to 2015. 

Follow Shea Monroe on Twitter: @Coach_Monroe3

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