Best Youth Football Play – Beast Right Tank

We finally made it to my favorite and best youth football play since I started coaching youth football  in 1994; Beast Right Tank.  In my rookie coaching season with Plano Sports Authority just north of Dallas, I bought a Apple Macintosh football simulation game and started using it to formulate plays.  I knew from my youth football days that the youth game is mostly running the football for both offenses and defenses.  I think the game was called Playmaker football and it had several single wing type formations and I happened on what I called Loud Rowdy Monkey for Left, Right and Middle alignments of this weird power football offensive formation.   In 2008 while reading about the double wing formation,  I came across a paper by Jack Gregory.  Coach Gregory calls the formation, the Beast, which sounds tougher and meaner than a Monkey so I now call it Beast too.  From what I can tell in my research, Yale ran the Beast formation in the early 1900’s.

Beast Right Tank Single Wing Formation

Beast Right Tank

I know you are looking at this mess and thinking NO WAY is this football.  I know I know, but it is not today’s football but it is early football.  And most importantly it WORKS at the youth football level and if you search on YoutTube you can find a few HS in California running the Beast.  So before you blow off the Beast make sure you read on because if you like the Wedge play then this is just a flying wedge trap to one side of the Center.  This play also uses the principle of putting more players at the point of attack than the defense can handle.  It is just Pure Power Football.  Plus it is very simple for everyone to understand which is a big deal with 7 year olds.  Look, not every youth football coach has studs and can run a Spread or have a few Peyton Mannings to run our offense.  Congrats if you are a coach that has always had studs. When I moved to Denver, I was given a team of undrafted players just thrown together by the league.  If I wanted to coach in the league had to take this team, so I did, and the Beast formation got us to the playoffs.  Don’t blow it off before you try it.  You may need those 2 yards some day.  :)

I have run the Beast formation as my only offensive formation for two seasons, and both seasons made it to the play offs.  So it does work.  I now run the Beast as one of my power formations.  We usually run one or more of the following along with the Beast ; I, Split, Spin or Double Wing formations.  I believe in at least two formations in a youth offense, so the Beast works great as our power formation in most situations.

The play is all about the blocking.  The play is all about the blocking.  The play is all about the blocking.  Yes, I said it three times.  It is not about your running backs although that is a big plus.  But you must block for this play to work.  The formation starts with an overloaded offensive line to the right.  They all angle block left and try to drive their players into the LBs.  If they have a tough defensive line you can Severe Angle block if you need to.  Your offensive lineman must try to keep their shoulders together to stay close similar to maybe a flying wedge.  There can be no leakage playside otherwise the play dies. If defensive players start submarining the formation,  have your offensive lineman use their arms like fork lift arms and stop the penetration then lay on them if unable to move the defensive player out.  Because the QB is running right off the o-lineman hips, you cannot allow penetration.

Your running backs are lined up directly behind the tackles and tight end. I usually have our QB run the ball or my full back.  So if the QB runs the ball the order of backs on second line are FB, WB, TB.  See above play diagram.   The RBs actually put their hands on the top hip of the lineman to give them a nice push to the left at the snap.  They do not push hard nor do the push the lineman straight but a little to the left as the running backs step right.  The RBs do not step straight but to the right.  The TB or last back in the second line just turns to his right and blocks the DE setting up the contain box.  If the DE tries to shoot the gap the TB must pick that up.  A pre-read by the TB will help him see the DE’s intentions.  The WB and FB angle block to the right riding the offensive line hips basically setting up a flying trap on CB and LB as they reach the second level of the defense.  The FB should look inside for his block and WB to the outside.  Once again, the RBs should make a pre-read and anticipate who they will block.  As you can see this play is all about blocking.  If you cannot block well this play will not work.  If your team just relies on your RBs to make all the plays and your players do not learn how to block then this play will not work.

The QB usually snaps the ball on a quick count not to let the defense get set.  Not giving time so the defense can adjust is a big deal.  Your players must hurry to the line and get set so the QB can snap the ball.  We practice the huddle break.  We really do not want the defense over shifting their line into gaps and subbing every gap.  We want the defense confused and moving around.  IMPORTANT POINT…. Your QB will not open deep or eve a little bit but down the line.  He must stay close to the hips of your offensive lineman.  His closeness to the o-line prevents any loss greater than one yard on this play.  If you are losing major yardage on this play your QB is running the play too deep.  The QB should feel his inside forearm slide over the butts over the lineman until he sees daylight to turn up between the FB and WB blocks and ride the wave to the numbers and finally to the end zone.  One last thing on the QB run.  Sometimes, the defense stacks the gaps over the running backs and leaves a big hole over the playside gaurd.  Many times there will be two holes on this play; the hole over the playside guard and at the outside tackles butt.  Make sure you QB is looking for the early hole because the defense will sometimes sell out to the outside hole and the inside hole is wide open.  We scored a 99 yard game winning TD hitting the early hole in one of our playoff games a few years ago.  Our opponent blitz the tackle hole and the QB saw the early hole open and sprinted 99 yards to the goal line.

I know many of you think this formation will not work.  But when I start running this formation in youth football leagues the next season I will have one or two of my opponents start running the Beast.  That is a great compliment and reference to the success of the formation.  The Beast is just a simple Single Wing variation.  We do not run the Beast as our main formation anymore but as one of our power formations.  I like to run the Beast when I need two yards or to run out the clock.  It eats up a ton of time on the clock.

And yes, I am biased about the Beast.  I started coaching youth football using the Loud Rowdy Monkey Beast so I love the formation just like many of you love the Spread.  But, beware of the Beast when it shows up on your grid iron, do not take it lightly or enjoy losing.  :)

Please let me know what you think about the Beast.  I wrote the article today because a coach emailed me about his playoff success using the Beast, and he wanted me to breakdown the Beast this week.  Thanks for that Coach John!

Play for Fun and Winning is Funner.

Have a great Spring Football Season,
Coach Parker
Keller, Texas / DFW / Fort Worth, TX



Filed under Offense

19 responses to “Best Youth Football Play – Beast Right Tank

  1. Bob Arrigo

    Coach. We ran this play twice today The first time gaining 30 yds and the 2nd for 50 yds and a TD! Thanks for showing how this play works!

  2. Mike Blackmun

    Love it! The very first time our team ran this play it went 80 yds. for a TD. The kids love the play and want me to call ” The Beast” every down.

  3. Anthony

    This is a great play. I never ran it but I had to play a team in the county championship and this play was the only reason they were in the championship. We beat them but they scored 3 touchdowns on us with this play. We hadn’t given up but 2 touchdowns all year.

  4. leeotiswithtwoees

    Playmaker Football! I was a teenager on my friend’s Mac playing that game all night! Love the idea of this play at the youth level. I’m a defensive coordinator and best case scenario, I call a time out to have a chance to scheme against it. Worst case, they score 6 almost automatically if blocked correctly.

  5. Coach J

    At first I was very skeptical, but this formation was literally the difference maker for us.

    In our 8 and 9 year-old division, we entered our year-end tournament as the second best team, having lost to the number one seeded team twice in the season by a wide margin. They were simply a more physical, faster team.

    We needed an offensive scheme that was 1) quick hitting (even our T-formation plays were taking too long to develop, shutting them down with their better, faster players) and 2) easy to learn in a short timeframe. The beast was perfect.

    In the championship game, we averaged 4 yards per play and held the ball for almost an entire quarter. Our QB was able to hit the early hole often and the occasional outside run for yardage. When the defense adjusted to match up our overload, we ran successful counters with the FB in the opposite direction, which forced them readjust to a more balanced look and gave us an advantage on the overloaded side.

    After running the ball exclusively for 3 quarters, we had our TB run a streak while the QB opened normally by taking two steps play-side and then dropped back for a pass. Wide open – game-winning TD.

    Thanks again. This formation with its simple blocking scheme is a great youth football offering.

    • Kerry Richard

      we use this play every year and works great every time, only difference is we move one guy out to split receiver and have him go in motion and crack the end and the other backs go right around him.

  6. Dave Foreman

    Looks good! I am a great believer in power plays, especially at the younger levels, and the offset formation is also difficult for a younger team to adjust to on the field. My only question is an uncovered backside defensive end running down the play from behind. Especially if the QB has to delay step for the blockers. I do like the play action pass companion play

    • If there is a really good backside DE then you may get caught by him sometimes. We run this all the time and the backside DE usually is not an issue. Especially if you have your EMOL on the backside GOO (GAP on Outside) block. The EMOL might be able to hit him just enough. Plus the play is more like a wedge so if the RB is hesitant or goes too deep then there is an issue. Your RB really needs to get into the seem then break. The back is not really reading anything, he is pounding the ball.

      • Chris Stevenson

        If you want a fun trick play off this formation for the defensive end who likes to chase, let me know. We ran Gap Smash — what you call Beast — formation a few years ago with much success. Our play, which was drawn up by our assistant, pretty much scored every single time. We just called it Trick Play.

  7. zach

    Installed rhe beast after week 1..about a month 6 quarters using It we are up 70-0.. (I say 6 quarters because one team quit at halftime)..not using exclusively but we run it in a no huddle frequently.we are only utilizing four plays..but have scored within the four play rotation every time we’ve called assitants were skeptical when I installed it..some were upset believing that I was adding too much for the kids (10-11 yearolds)..the kids love it..and the coaches are hailing me a genius..I remind them that everything we do I stole from someone else.

  8. Jon

    Why not focus on formations that are actually used in high school and college and then spend time teaching kids technique? I get it…youth teams struggle with the pass, thus the defense loads up the box, and linemen can’t pull yet to give you the extra blocking, so we stock-pile everyone to one side. Makes sense, but it seems like we are scheming for pee wee football wins rather than teaching kids how to play the game. Any thoughts?

    • azibuck

      I know the question was posed months ago, but I’ll answer anyway for anyone reading later. To quote from the article, “The play is all about the blocking.” What is football? Blocking and tackling. By the time the kids are high school age, they’re 1, not playing anymore, 2, playing a different position, 3, prepared to play a physical game by playing ANY youth offense/defense. By the logic of “prepare for real football in high school”, youth programs should be running 4-3 or 4-2-5 defenses. Which is a silly, losing proposition. Youth coaches should coach their team, not prepare their kids to play high school ball. You can easily run counters, a reverse, and pass from this offense. We did. I proposed this offense to our coach for our developmental (minimum play) players. Like some other responses, our kids LOVED the Beast and always wanted to run it. Our starters that ran the spread loved seeing it. Our goal was a first down in 4 plays. You don’t need studs. Our kids who ordinarily got stuck getting buried on the interior D line for 5 plays, or worse, were decoy WR that basically didn’t even “play”, got to experience success. Have fun. Worry about high school when they’re in the last year of middle school, and only then.

      • Thank you. Could not have said it better myself. Youth football is not High School football. To be honest, some HS football teams run the Beast as a power package and do quite well. I think one CA HS team comes out in Beast and then adjusts into a Spread offense if the defense brings 8 or more into the box. Not a bad strategy. Thanks again, Coach Parker

  9. Josh

    I started running this about 5 years ago. I now have approximately 25-30 plays I run out of the “beast” formation

  10. ThreePeat

    We run a similar version to this, but add the RG pulling, nobody can defend it.

  11. This is a good play as long as the other team is coaching for just youth football. We have several teams that run simular overload offensive and all I do is convert my 425 into a 4:3 stack drop my safety as a force and play man.. Shut it down immediately! or they go for 2 and three yard gains…. what I don’t like about this play is that the rest of the team doesn’t really learn anything coaches use this play as a crutch to win and when the other kids get to the other level they don’t know anything about blocking gaps, hitting specific whole numbers, running routes etc. Guys we’re coaching for a reason to teach and if you only have four guys on the team who are experiencing glory and the rest are just warm bodies to block that’s not coaching and you’re doing your team a great injustice.

    • Coach, you are assuming a lot about me and my offense. I doubt you read my blog in detail. Over the last 10 seasons or so, I run a multi formation offense with about 4 formations and about 50 base plays, so about 100 plays right left in total. Much more advanced and better plays than my local middle school or high school. Many of my former players say my teams are better coached than their middle schools. We teach a ton to technique and football IQ info.

      I run a Power I, Beast / Single Sing, Double Wing and a Jet Spread formation called the Spin from an article in American Football Monthly in 2006. I uses wrist coaches and a no huddle nick name play calling schemes to call plays from the sidelines. If you have read the blog you see I teach a hole numbering position naming system using t-shirts that I developed for 2nd graders many years ago and my backs are numbered 1-4. I use 8 different blocking calls depending on the defensive sets and adjust blocking as needed with line calls from my Centers.

      I appreciate your comments but this play is all about blocking at the point of attack. This is more than a four player play. This is about 10 players doing their job blocking so the running back and run into the end zone. I actually would love to see a college team pull this out after running 4 spread plays in a row and watch the defensive coordinator freak out and calla time out to adjust. Many coaches really do not understand the play or football, so yes I am sure you can shut it down. I’d like for you to shut down my Beast Tank play out of a 4-3 stack. I can shut most plays down if I have time to shift into a defense for that play. We run the play within our normal offense so defenses have a hard time knowing when we pull it out. Yes, some of my opponents know how to shut it down and that’s when we run another play or the wedge or counter from the same formation from an audible call or the backside jump pass. But I am sure you know we can do that already and will be prepared for that too.

      So, please do not assume I use this play as a crutch. I use this play to ram my team’s will down your team’s throat. While your working on the Spread with a QB who will probably never play QB in HS or College, your Center is snapping the ball over your QBs head, and your receivers are dropping every ball and your line does not know how to Zone block because its really too difficult for most youth football players, and the your backs do not know how to read the Zone holes and cut backs lanes, my Beast offensive line and running backs will be running for 3 to 5 yards a carry eating up the clock and scoring on 12 and 14 play drives while you wrestle with how tired your defense has become. And in the 4th quarter please get ready for more.

      I think maybe you need to study the game some more. The Beast is a Single Wing play from Yale in the early 1920’s. It is football when football was real football.

      Again, I appreciate the feedback but you know what they say about assumers…..

      Thanks Again,
      Coach Parker

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