Spread Offense – Spread Formation Football Book Review

Spread Formation Football Book Review

TCu Spread Book

Spread Offense Book - Dutch MeyerI just finished reading maybe the best Spread Offense book; Spread Formation Football by Coach LR “Dutch Meyer published in 1952.  Coach Meyer was the Head football coach at TCU in the 30s, 40’s and 50’s.  He and his staff created the original Spread Offense used today.  You can read his bio to the right.

The Spread Formation Football book outlines why the Spread Offense works and how it was effective for TCU.  Coach Dutch reviews the two base Spread formations; Basic and Normal.  Basic is a double to one side and trips to the other.  Normal moves the FB below the TB and looks like a traditional Double Double Spread.  What is interesting about this first form of Spread is that what we think of a Quarterback was really the Tailback.  The first Spread formations were what we call in the modern era Wildcat since a “true modern” QB is not used in this early variation of the Spread Offense.

Spread Formations from TCU Spread

Spread Formation Football Coach Meyer TCU

The TCU Spread Offense was a running offense but with equal parts of passing.  “The spread tailback must be a passer. As observed before, the threat of the overhead attack must be constant if the Spread attack is to operate effectively.” writes Coach Dutch in his section on the Tailback position.  The TCU Spread evolved from the wide Double Wing Offense into the Triple Wing into a passing triple and double wing.  The TCU Spread was not an Air Raid but lays the foundation for the upcoming passing revolution in modern football.

I have run variations of the Spread Formation a few youth football seasons over the last 24 seasons, when I had the right talent and skills to do it successfully.  I’ve run a Wide Double Wing in the Spin / Double Wing variation I call Speed and the Beast Jumbo is a overloaded Triple Wing Spread formation.  These Spread like formations have been effective for my youth football Offenses when I had tier 1 Speed at TB and or Wings and a very good shotgun Center.  I was not able to run Spread effectively without Speed and a great consistent Center.

In the book, Coach Meyer talks about the player profiles needed to effectively operate his TCU Spread.  First, the Tailback (Modern QB) must be rugged, fast, intelligent and a good passer.  He says the TB is the “soul” off the Offense.  Basically the TB is a stud because he  wants the TB to be a “natural runner” and a passer.  So you need a Sammy Baugh / Dak Prescott in your backfield to run the Spread effectively.  And I tend to agree.  Your QB / TB position must be a tier 1 stud to really run the Spread Offense.  He must pass and run like a man child if you want to run the Spread in youth football and for that matter in HS.

Spread Offense - TCU Spread Book

I was surprised to find out his Guards must be top linemen with serious speed to pull outside for sweeps.  “On them will depend the success or failure of almost every operation” say Coach Dutch.  He says he wants Guards that can MOVE and THINK.  Speed over strength in the Guard positions.

The FB must also be a pretty good runner for the Spread to work.  The FB is going to carry the short yardage plays.  Your Center must be a stud because sometimes he will pull.  His snaps must be perfect and know how to long snap, medium snap and short snap to the FB either Left or Right.  The Slots or Wings can be average but must be good receivers.  Tackles are basically regular tackles and the Ends must be able to block in the open field and catch the football.

The book goes over many run and passing plays from the TCU Spread against a 5 or 6 man front, which is great for youth football coaches since youth football coaches will see these fronts.  He also reviews the umbrella secondaries common for the TCU Spread at the time.

I loved the theory and strategy of the Spread Formation Football book  I think it outlines exactly what I have been saying you need to run the Spread effectively.  You must have a passing threat  to run the Spread effectively.  Just lining up in the Spread does not mean you have a passing threat.  I’ve watched a ton of youth, middle and high school football games, and the teams should never run a Spread formation the whole game since they did not have a stud QB, great pulling guard, stud FB or anyone that could catch.  There was no passing threat, so those offenses were shut down immediately by Defenses that did not respect the Spread.  I have also faced stud Spread QBs and receivers that shredded me and others for an entire season.  I have also shredded teams with my Spread when I had the talent.

Like Coach Meyer says in his final chapter, “The Spread Formation is no panacea. Football is still football and the team with the best and most skillful manpower will still have the advantage no matter what style of attack is used. As we say in the Southwest, you will have to “have the hosses” to win the race.”

If you are interested in the Spread Offense or trying to defend against the Spread Offense I recommend this book.  I enjoyed the book and the theory of the TCU Spread.  I will be using some of the info both on Defense and Offense.  The book is a little pricey since its out of publication.  I found mine on Amazon for $95.  Spread Formation Football by Coach Dutch Meyer, 1952.

Here’s a winning Extra Point from last Spring.  Enjoy

If you have read the book or run the Spread, I would love to hear your thought below in the comments.

Remember to Play for Fun and Winning is Funner.

Thanks,
Coach Parker
Fort Worth, TX

 

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Playing Multiple Sports but not During Same Season

Arvada Pirates Youth Football Team

Arvada Pirates 2006

I am so surprised each season, when parents come up to our coaching staff and explain why their child will not make practice for half the season and miss some games because they are playing another sport which overlaps with our Football season. The parent will let us know that when they signed up their child they were taking a chance and knew this might happen but want us to help them work through the issue as their child misses more than one third practices and games to focus on another Sport. This is the last thing a coach of any Sport wants to hear; “My child will miss practice.” We hate hearing that sentence come out of any parent’s mouth. Your child learns how to play the Sport during Practice not during the game.

I am a big believer in playing multiple sports if the seasons do not overlap by more than a few weeks as one sport winds down their season. I played Football for 10 years as a young athlete and multiple other sports like Baseball, Swimming, Basketball and Racquetball during Pee Wee, Middle School and High School. I know my Football coaches were not very happy with me when I played Basketball my Freshman year in HS during the football off-season but my 40-time improved the next season. My 40 time really improved as I started to play Tournament Racquetball while in High School. In College, I wound up playing Racquetball and Handball for Club Teams.

Most student athletes will not play professional sports. So, making a 10-year-old, only play Baseball or Soccer for 12 months is a little overkill. Plus, there have been so many arm injuries lately that I am not sold on year-round Baseball. I am not trying to give Baseball a bad rap, but playing any sport 12 months out of the year is too much in my opinion. Yes, I coach Football in the Fall and Spring, but I do not get mad at players that want to play Basketball and Baseball in those traditional seasons and Football in the Fall. As a matter of fact, I think it’s good for them to play multiple sports.

I also think young athletes should try multiple sports to see what they like best not just what their parents like. My youngest son took off a football season when he was 9 to play Select Soccer. After that season, he decided to focus on Football even after I tried to get him to continue to play Soccer in the Football off-seasons. He loved Football more and wanted to stick with Football. He now runs Cross Country in High School after playing Football and Weight Lifting his Freshman year.

What is frustrating to Coaches and myself about our players participating in multiple sports are players that play multiple sports at the same time during a season. I completely agree that young athletes should play multiple sports but not one or two sports during the same season especially if one or both sports is a Select sport which requires massive amount of practice and travel time. Playing two Sports during the same season is unfair to both teams. A player cannot focus on two sports and give 110% to each. It just doesn’t work that way.

When a parent signs up their child to play two sports during the same season, you are hurting both Teams not just your child. Your decision to play two sports has effected about 30 to 40 other children not just your child. Parents need to understand that being selfish does not work in Team sports. Team sports require Teamwork and missing practices and games does not benefit the Team only your child.

I agree playing multiple sports is a great way to have fun and cross train. I did it and my two sons did it. Just do not play two or more sports in the same season and expect your child to play more than a few plays on my Teams if they consistently miss practices and games. If the Team cannot count on you as a teammate then you are not part of the Team.

How do you feel about this subject? Would love to hear from Coaches and Parents.

Remember to Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!

Thanks
Coach Parker
Fort Worth, Texas
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Beast Offense Plays – The Base 8 – Best Beast Plays

Here are my Beast Offense Base 8 Plays from my Power Wing Beast Offense Playbook for Youth Football. ages 5-12.  The Base 8 plays are my best Beast Offense plays.  These 8 Beast formation plays should be part of any Beast Offense playbook for pee wee football players.  These 8 power plays have been part of my offensive package since 1994.

All of these plays are from actual game or scrimmage footage of youth football teams that  I coached from 2010 through 2017 at KYA Football in Keller, TX. KYA Football is a very strong rec league in North Texas.  The team ages are 8U through 12U.  Enjoy the videos of the Beast in action.  Beware of the Beast.

Beast Tank

The Beast Tank Power play is the foundational play to the Beast Offense and is 1 play of my “Go To 2” plays that I run with any youth football team no matter what offense we are running that season.  When I need a “for sure” 2 to 3 yards I turn to the Beast Tank.  I am very seldom let down by the Beast Tank play.  This is a great short yardage power play.  Even if you run a traditional single wing UBSW the Beast Power play is a great addition to that offensive scheme.  And if you are a Wedge guy, then you should love the Beast Tank since it really is a flying wedge either right or left.  Check out one of the best youth football plays and my favorite pee wee football plays of all time, The Beast Tank.

 

Beast Wedge “Honey Badger”

The Beast Wedge play is another great play from the Beast formation.  It is the second play in my “Go To 2” plays that I run with any pee wee football team offense.  The Beast Tank and the Beast Wedge are complimentary series plays and should be run in a series combination.  The Beast Wedge will demoralize a little league defensive front.  Plus, when you add in the fake Mouse Sweep a little misdirection is added into the very aggressive power play.

 

Beast Grenade

The Beast Grenade play is another complimentary play to the Beast Tank play.  The Tank play is run just over or off the offensive tackles and the Grenade play is run over the Guards similar to a QB sneak.  Many times, Defenses will over shift to defend the Tank play and the Grenade play is wide open either strong side or weak side.  I like to have my Beast Backs pre-snap read the Grenade hole, to see if they need to cut early on a Beast Tank play.

 

Beast TE Pop Pass “Popeye”

The Beast TE Pop Pass or Beast Popeye is the main passing play from the Beast Offense Base 8 Plays in the Power Wing Beast Offense.  The play looks like a Beast Tank play but the Beast Back takes a one or 2 step drop and throws to the backside TE.  This plays work very nicely in a series of plays to suck up the Defense on power run plays and them hit them with this quick pop pass to the TE in the flats.

 

Beast Wide “Worm So Long” Sweep

The Beast Wide Sweep or Worm So Long is the main Sweep play from the Beast Offense. The blocking backs or sniffer backs move out into 3 power wing alignments and block the Defensive perimeter players allowing the Beast Back to Sweep wider than the Tank hole.  Many times the defensive coordinators do not even notice the blocking backs shifting wide and stay tight to defend the Tank play.

 

Beast Gut Counter “Worm Corky”

The Beast Wide Gut Counter or Worm Corky is the main counter play in the Base 8 Beast Offense plays from the PWBO playbook.  You can also run this play from the Beast Tight formation or Beast Corky.  I use this play to keep the backside Defense honest.  You either hit big or just for a couple of yards.  I run this play about 1 out of every 10 or 15 Beast plays to test the backside Defense, just in case they are asleep.

 

Beast Jumbo Sweep Option Pass

The Beast Jumbo Sweep Option Pass is an advanced play in the Base 8 Beast Offense plays from the PWBO playbook.  The Beast Back should sweep and look for a pass but really looking to back off Defenders for the Sweep run.  Most of the time the Defenders will defend the Trips receivers and if the Beast Back can beat contain then they have a nice Sweep rush.  This Jumbo Sweep is made for a “true” Speedster TB, so if you have one then this play works great.

 

Beast Jumbo Stretch Sweep “Jumbo Stretch”

The last of the Beast Offense Base 8 plays in the PWBO playbook is the Beast Jumbo Stretch Sweep.  The Jumbo Stretch play is a tight sweep play right at the strong side tight end and first blocking back.  The Beast Back will read those two players and not cut out wider than the second blocking back.  This is an inside Sweep play vs a wide to the sideline Sweep.  Many times a natural seam will open up at Stretch Sweep lane.  The plays work well with the Sweep Option Pass play, Trips Passes and the QB Draw up the Gut.

 

This is a quick preview of the The Base 8 Beast Offense plays in my Power Wing Beast Offense Playbook.  If you like what you see check out all the videos on my YouTube Channel or purchase my book here.

Let me know what you think of my Base 8 Beast Plays from my Power Wing Beast Offense Playbook.

Remember, Play for Fun, and Winning is Funner!

~ Coach Parker

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Coaching Youth Football to Lose and Why?

Coaching Youth FootballOver the last 10 years, I have coached three different youth football teams through the 7U to 12U age divisions.  During those many Spring and Fall football tackle seasons, our teams consistently beat a few teams that we played each season as our team aged.  I always think about why our Teams won versus other teams in our Division.  This morning was no exception, since I am planning to begin coaching another 7U/8U team this Fall 2017.  I started writing down the team names we played over the years and why I thought we beat these teams season to season.  Here is a summary of what I thought about this morning….

Why Teams Lost Summary

  1. Son played QB; “Daddy Ball”
  2. Shotgun snaps inconsistent or QB / Center Exchange
  3. Too many pass plays and low completion rate
  4. Play calling strategy; did not run best plays, wanted to be too fancy or pass
  5. Did not focus on Blocking
  6. Defense was a reading Defense, and did not attack Offense

Yes, my two sons have played quarterback over the years but if I had a better QB, my sons played other positions.  As a Coach, you must be able to play the best player at a position, not start your son or someone you like better due to parent politics or a pre-season promise.  You must do what is best for the team, not what is best for you and your family.

Each season, I see so many teams force a shotgun snap because they want to run the Spread or Pistol offense.  If your Center cannot shotgun snap 14/15 times consistently then you will turn over the football at least twice during the football game.  These turnovers will lose games.  I see it in youth football and at the Junior High and High School levels.  You can run these offenses under Center, maybe not as effective but more effective than fumbling the QB / Center exchange.  This area of offense must be focused on and practice at every practice.  Even I get lazy and lose focus on this QB Center exchange and then it bites me in the bootocky.

Look if your team cannot complete more than 50% of your passes then do not focus on the offensive passing game. If you want to focus on your passing game, then play 7on7 and practice there.  But forcing the passing game to learn how to pass for a whole season while you consistently lose more than half your games is no fun for you, your players, parents and fans.  Sorry but many youth football QBs will not start as high school QBs. Running the football at the youth level will increase your chances to win games.  But hey, if you have the legit passing QB, receiver, blocking etc than pass the crap out of the football.  Out of my 20+ season coaching youth football, I’ve seen more teams win by running than passing.

Many coaches, want to over complicate youth football offenses.  I know I do sometimes.  Remember to keep it simple.  Do not force an offense on your talent. Let the Talent tell you what they can do.   If you’re trying to run a fancy offense and getting penalties every series or unable to shotgun snap then maybe that offense is not working for your talent.  If your offense play calling strategy is all over the place and you keep calling pass plays that do not work or Jet Sweeps that are losing big yards, or throwing 2 interceptions a game, maybe you should run that Stud TB down the 5 or 6 hole behind your super large offensive tackle and maybe move to an unbalanced line and just run it down everyone’s throat.  The stats say your averaging 5 yards a carry on that play.  I don’t know how many times, I’ve looked over at my Co-Head coach and said thank god they keep passing and not running #20 down our throats.  But hey, keep passing from a shotgun formation and turning the football over on interceptions, downs or bad snaps and give me the win.  I’ll take it.

It took me a few years to learn to really focus on blocking.  Many youth football coaches focus on the running backs and just tell the lineman just block any man in front of you.  Yes, you can win doing that if you have really good running backs.  But if you do not have tier 1 running backs then you need to learn to block.  You might have a pretty good passing QB, but if you cannot protect him from my 6 very determined pass rushers then it will be a very long day.  If your guards are not blocking the inside gap and letting my A gappers crush your QB then it’s hard to hand off.  Your linemen will usually be 50% or more of your players on your football team.  Coach them up on blocking fundamentals to be the reason you’re the best offense in the league.  Your players and parents will be happy you focused on all players not just your top 5 running backs.

Defense wins Championships.  I see too many coaches running a 5-3 or 4-4 split defense or even running a 6-2 defense but with reading linebackers and reading defensive ends on the edges in tight to the formation with the Corner Backs set back in a cover three with the Free Safety and losing a ton of games.  I see too many “reading” linebacker centric defenses get stomped on by heavy running offenses.  If most of your youth football defensive players are linebackers and defensive backs reading plays then most experienced offensive coordinators will shred your defense for 4 to 5 yards a carry each play.  It has been my experience that youth football players do not read offensive keys, players, plays, formations very well.  These defensive players will wait for the running back to hit them and not attack the offensive player on his key move from the backfield.  Youth football defenses must attack.  I use a 5-3 defense or 5-2 Monster as my pass defense in youth football not my main run defense.  If you have legit linebackers that attack then maybe you can run a successful linebacker centric defense at the youth football level.  Make sure to scout opposing offenses and focus on Defense.  Offense is pretty and wins a few games, but your Defense will get you to the playoffs and maybe a chance in the big show.

I know my opinions are a little brash, but this has been my experience over the last 20+ seasons coaching youth football in Texas and Colorado.  Let me know your thoughts.  I would love to hear your opinions.

Below is why I thought we beat each team consistently over the years…..

Team 1

  1. Coach played his son at QB, who was not a QB
  2. Too many pass plays and low completion rate
  3. Offense was too easy to Defend, not enough variety
  4. Players not assigned to proper positions
  5. Shotgun snaps inconsistent

Team 2

  1. Ran same play that did not work too many times a game
  2. Coach played his son at QB
  3. Too many pass plays and low completion rate
  4. Did not focus on blocking
  5. Did not adjust Defense to Offensive alignments

Team 3

  1. Coach played his son at QB
  2. Ran wrong offense based on team talent
  3. Shotgun snaps inconsistent
  4. Too many pass plays and low completion rate
  5. Offensive play calling strategy suspect

Team 4

  1. Did not Draft/Recruit well; Poor Planning
  2. Switch Offense week to Week
  3. Switched Players around week to week
  4. Did not listen to other Coaches trying to help
  5. Shotgun snaps inconsistent

Team 5

  1. Promised players positions on Team; QB
  2. Did not play better players at QB
  3. Recruited players they liked vs best players
  4. Did not put players in proper positions
  5. Offensive play calling strategy suspect

Team 6

  1. Over complicated offensive shifts pre-snap
  2. Good motivator but lacked tactical focus
  3. Shotgun snaps inconsistent
  4. Did not run best plays, wanted to be too fancy
  5. Did not adjust Defense to counter Offense alignments

Team 7

  1. Ran too many LBs and did not attack on Defense
  2. Relied on only 1 main RB
  3. Did not focus on blocking
  4. Too many coaches / voices
  5. Easy Offense to Defend

Team 8

  1. Coach played his son at QB
  2. Too many pass plays and low completion rate
  3. Did not run his stud RB more
  4. Defense did not attack Offense
  5. Offensive play calling strategy suspect

I hope this will help you understand the dynamics of winning and losing youth football games.

Thanks
Coach Parker
Fort Worth, Texas

 

 

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