Tag Archives: Coaching Offense

Youth Football Defensive Player Analysis

I’ve been writing a Spread Offense book over the last several months, The Wildcat Multi Spread Offense; A Youth Football Running Spread Playbook.  During my research I keep thinking about how to attack the outside and Spread the Defenses, since the Sweep and Sweep Option Pass are the main plays in the original TCU Spread playbook by Coach Dutch Meyer.

I started drawing up Defenses and looked over my defense the 62 Multi 8 Youth Football Defense and started analyzing where youth football coaches hide their weakest talent and put their stud defensive players.  I then started asking other youth football coaches and the chart below is what I developed to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of a typical youth football defense.  And yes, this is somewhat biased to a more recreational youth football league vs Select league.  But, I do find running left is very successful with most pee wee football Offenses; Select or Rec.

Yes, I understand better and more experienced little league youth football coaches will adjust to your offense via their scouting report, but you will be surprised how many teams will not adjust via scouting report or during the actual game.  Don’t say NO before you try it.  I win a ton of games running left and attacking weaker areas.

Youth Football Defense Player Review

So what I found is that pee wee defenses are usually manned by mostly stud defensive players at the inside linebacker positions and defensive ends / OLBs.  On the chart above you can see these players in Red.  One of the linebackers might be just average and or definitely weaker than the other ILB, so I have one in Yellow.  These linebacker type player positions are usually the best tacklers on the team. You must find a way to block these studs or run away from them and or use misdirection to catch them over pursuing which they will do at younger ages.  These guys usually want to hit on each play so misdirection works on them more than average.

I personally like my DTs to be studs since many teams love to run off-tackle plays so these big tackles are usually pretty good players.  I personally like to find big basketball players for DTs.  I have one Red and one Yellow in the chart above.  Many youth football coaching books suggest putting weaker players in the A Gaps.  So you will see many teams put their Minimum Play Players / MPPs in the A Gaps, especially early in the game to get their plays out of the way.  I also do this a lot but try to always have one good player there too.   For this example I have two weak players there that are Green which I find most teams will do in the first and third quarters.

The defensive backs can be a bit tricky.  Many times the 2 cornerbacks will be weak since you have Stud OLBs/DEs playing contain.  The CBs are just out there for a backup contain man hoping to scare the RB to the inside.  I really do not block most youth football cornerbacks and tell my running backs you must beat the CBs.  Every now and then you will find a stud CB and that can be a tougher game.  Many teams will also hide a MPP or weaker player at Safety so there is little threat there.  Most younger teams do not pass so sometimes this player turns into a Rover / Monster Defender but many times still below average talent.  So in the chart above I made 2 DBs Green and one Yellow.

So many times on a youth football defense, especially in rec,  you will get 4 studs and 3  or 4 average players and 3 or 4 weak players if not more.  Many times coaches will stack the right side of the offense and or the wide side of the field with their top players.  You can use this to your advantage.  Many times we find the left side is weaker or possibly the short boundary side depending on the team’s defensive philosophy.

Here is a video I published on Youtube that goes over more in depth info for common youth football defenses like the 62 Wide Tackle, 5-3, 70 Diamond and Gap 8 Defense.

I hope this Defensive player position analysis will help your Offense get more first downs, score more TDs and ultimately more wins.  Let me know what you see regarding youth football Defenses.  I would love to hear your feedback.  Please use comment field below.

Remember, Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!

Coach Parker
Keller, Texas



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Filed under Offense, Youth Coaching

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.

Coach Parker
Fort Worth, TX



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Filed under Book Reviews, Offense