Jet/Fly handoff in front or behind the QB?

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When I first sat down with our coaches & players in the spring of 2010 to decide whether we were going to run Wing T out of shotgun or pistol, we decided to run our Jet/Fly motion (Liz or Rip in my terminology) for the following reasons:

  • Make it look like Buck Sweep (26 G.O.)
    • The slight difference was that on Buck Sweep, the TB goes first down the midline and the wing/half back comes behind the QB getting ball at 4 yards.
    • On Liz or Rip motion, the wing/half back will go behind QB first, still getting ball at 4 yards.  The TB fake up the midline is second
  • Keep QB footwork same as when he is under center
    • If running Jet Right (Liz 28-O in my terminology), the QB pivots on his right foot 180 degrees with back to the defense and ball hidden in his belly.
    • The handoff takes place at a depth of 4 yards behind the right guard.
    • This timing and footwork is exactly the same as when we are under center (we still run some plays from under center)
  • Hide the ball since back was still to the defense
    • The tradeoff  of being in Pistol are
      1. Easier QB Reads both pre & post snap.  Reading LB drops, safety rotations, & blitzes easier now that back is not to the defense.
      2. Longer ride-decide time: We read OLB on Belly/Down, 3-tech on Midline, and 5-tech on Veer.  QB has longer time to make his give/keep reads.
      3. Expanded Passing Game: More types of perimeter screens and downfield passing concepts can be ran with QB starting 3 yards behind LOS and facing the defense.
      4. versus easier for defense to see the ball:  This is the downside.  It is harder to hide the ball with QB not turning his back to the defense
    • So we figured that we would turn the QB’s back to the defense on the Buck (G.O. family) and Jet (Liz/Rip) plays.  At the time we still wanted some hidden ball plays left in the offense.

While all those thoughts are sound, I am convinced now that the handoff should be in front of the QB.

  • QB can read over pursuing ILB, keeping the ball and running up the middle behind TB lead block
    • We pull our playside Guard on Liz 28-O and Rip 47-O.
    • While the guard does get in front of the Jet Sweeper as a blocker, the primary reason is to get the ILB to chase him
      • If the playside ILB chases the pulling guard, the QB keeps the ball, following the backside G and TB lead blocks
      • We will also pull both our guards opposite the sweep motion.  We call this Liz 28 Guards Away
      • We will pull the LG to the left sideline and the RG towards the right sideline and run the TB right up the middle.  We call this Liz 30 Guards Opposite
      • We will pull the RG to the right as lead blocker for the Sweeper, but give to the TB up the middle on a guard trap.  This is Liz 32 G Sucker
  • QB can read the playside End, keeping the ball and running off tackle inside the over pursuing End.
    • If we reach block all our linemen, the playside Tackle leaves the End alone, climbing to second level.
    • if the End flattens down the sideline to chase the Jet Sweeper (Left Wing in Liz motion), the QB tucks it and follows the RT block into the 4/6 hole area.

All of these plays are described in great detail on my NO HUDDLE & POST SNAP READS DVD.  I also re-did all of our PISTOL WING T DVDs and they are being released in Feb 2015.  The new PISTOL WING T RUN GAME, which replaced the old 20 CORE RUN PLAYS DVD, has these plays in great detail, including a ton of gamefilm.

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About Me

Coach Stewart has coached football for 27 years, winning championships with 6th graders, 8th graders, high school freshman, and high school varsity. He coached 9 years at the youth and freshman level, always serving as head coach. After completing his college at age of 28 he has coached 21 years at the varsity level, 13 as the varsity head coach.

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