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Thread: X an O Tutorials

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    SA Affiliate - Sports Jabber Deb's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Northeast Ohio

    X an O Tutorials

    a good friend of mine writes these for us at CP and wanted to share them with you....I have learned a ton......I can honestly say I know what a passing tree is just wanted to share
    (thanks to Coach Bartel)

    X an O Tutorial

    X's and O's : Offensive Positions/ Personnel

    Before we begin I just want to make clear that not ALL offenses have the same names for their positions. They all vary in terminology and have differences. One offense might call the running back a T while others call him an A. One offense might label the slot an F while others label him with a B in diagrams. These are all minimal variances but they all have the same basic premise. They all have the same number of players on the field and are all labeled the same in every set. Based on personell (people in the game) their alignment will change a little bit, but they are still labeled the same. Just a little advice that Deb can vouch for...TAKE NOTES! It really helps you retain this stuff. With that said lets get to the positions I want you to know:

    LG- Left Guard
    RG- Right Guard
    LT- Left Tackle
    RT- Right Tackle
    Y- Tight End
    F- Fullback/ Slot
    A- Tailback
    X- Split End
    Z- Flanker
    QB- Quarterback

    Also, you need to understand personell packages. They are very easy. All you need to know is two digits. The first one tells you how many running backs there are in the package and the second tells you how many tight ends are in the package. So, if I said that "10" personell is in the game that would mean that there is 1 running back on the field and 0 tight ends. There is always a Quarterback and 5 offensive linemen in the game and you can only have 11 on the field at a time. many receivers are there in 10 personell? That's right. Four. There are only 10 personell packages possible. They are:

    empty (any package with no running backs)

    Regardless of what set or what personell it is these positions DO NOT CHANGE. So if the offense has 21 (2 backs/ 1 Tight End)
    personell in the game the set may look like this:
    I FORMATION (21):
    For you Cowboy fans these are the people who are in the game with 21 personell on the field:
    C-Gurode, LG-Kosier, RG-Davis, LT-Adams, RT-Columbo, Y-Witten, QB-Romo, X-Owens, Z-Glenn, F- Polite, A-Jones.

    Now lets take a look at a set out of 11 personell.
    King Rip (11):
    here is who is in the game in 11:
    C-Gurode, LG-Kosier, RG-Davis, LT-Adams, RT-Columbo, Y-Witten, QB-Romo, X-Owens, F-Crayton, Z-Glenn, A-Jones.

    How about one out of 12:
    ACE (12):
    in the game in 12 personell:
    C-Gurode, LG-Kosier, RG-Davis, LT-Adams, RT-Columbo, Y-Witten, QB-Romo, F-Fasano, X- Owens, Z-Glenn, A-Jones.
    Here is a popular set that Dallas used last year that a lot of people thought was empty personell:
    here is who is in the game:
    C-Gurode, LG-Kosier, RG-Davis, LT-Adams, RT-Columbo, Y-Witten, QB-Romo, X-Owens, F-Crayton, Z-Glenn, A-Barber.
    *remember, personell refers to WHO THEY ARE not WHERE THEY PLAY. Just because a back is lined up way out by a receiver that does not change the fact that he is still a back. This is not empty personell. It IS an empty formation, but the personell is 11. Know the difference.
    In "empty" personell the set above would have these players in it:
    C-Gurode, LG-Kosier, RG-Davis, LT-Adams, RT-Columbo, Y-Witten, QB-Romo, X-Owens, F-Crayton, Z-Glenn, A-Hurd.

    **another reminder is in any set/formation you must have at least 7 men on the line of scrimmage. Of these 7 on the line, only the end men on the line of scrimmage are eligible to catch a pass. All of the ones off the line of scrimmage can catch a pass.

    Alright that is it for this week. Study this stuff, ask questions, take notes. There are no dumb questions so if you are unclear on anything just ask. I will be glad to help.

    X's & O's Offense Part 2
    Week 2 Tutorial: Offensive Plays

    This week is the second part of our three week focus on offense. We have already talked about personell packages, rules of alignment, and formations. Now you all have a solid foundation that we can begin to build on. Now we are going to get into plays. There are literally hundreds of plays that have been run in this game over the years. I have going to talk about a dozen (6 running and6 passing) that nearly every football team in the country runs in one way or another. This will allow you all to be able to recognize and identify these simple but very effective plays when you see them on gameday.

    Before we get into the specific plays, you need to be able to know where holes for the running game are designated, and be able to identify the passing tree for outside and inside receivers. So, lets talk about the holes and how they are numbered first.

    Running game diagram:
    In this diagram, the Tight Ends are not labeled as either Y or F. For the purposes of this task, we are not concerned with if they are playing Y or F. The TEs are just there to provide landmarks for how a back identifies a hole. All diagrams are drawn from the perspective of the running back. The holes are numbered as even numbers to the right and odd numbers to the left.See here:


    Running plays are always called shorter than passing plays. Where you might hear somebody say "32 dive" for a running play, you might hear the same person say "Mustang 835 Smash A stay" for a passing play. More input has to be communicated when a pass is called so a helpful hint when you are watching a game is to get a feel for how long it takes the offense to get out of the huddle. If they are not in there very long it is probably a running play. If they are in there longer it is a pass.

    Also, run direction is always stated in the last digit of the call. So if I said "25 counter" the play would be run toward the 5 hole (the outside hip of the Left Tackle). Again, run direction is stated in the last digit of the call. If the play call is a single digit like 0-6, it is ALWAYS a draw. I will explain what a draw is a little bit later in the tutorial. For now, just know the holes, where they are, and how they are numbered. OBTW, the "0" hole is right over the Center's alignment if that was not apparent.

    Now we talk about the passing tree for outside receivers (receivers furthest away from the ball to the right or left):

    for inside receivers (slots/ Tight Ends):

    The 6 running plays are these:
    1) ISO- Is called an iso because it is designed to isolate the playside inside linebacker. The Offensive Linemen are to create a hole to wherever it is called (usually 1/2 or 3/4 hole). They are not to engage the Linebacker that is isolated and free to run into the hole. This Linebacker is to be blocked by a lead blocker from the backfield. Either a Tight End sent in motion (usually the F when two tight end in the game) or a fullback. The A takes the ball, while running directly at the hole, from the QB and runs to daylight off of the lead blocker's block on the isolated Linebacker.

    2) Lead- Is an inside running play (usually to the 3/4 or5/6 hole) that is a lot like the ISO. The only difference is that the playside inside Linebacker is blocked by a lineman and it can be run with or without a lead blocker.
    Trap- Is an inside running play designed to use the aggression of the Dlinemen against them and create large holes inside. The Playside Guard will bypass the Defensive Lineman closest to him and block the first defender to his inside. The other Guard pulls around and blocks the Dlineman that the other Guard di not block. He is able to clear this defender out of the intended path of the back because he is hitting him from the side and the defender cannot counter the impact. The A takes the ball while running toward the hole and runs off of the pulling Guards block.

    4) Stretch or Zone- This play has virtually replaced the sweep over the past ten years. It is designed to get all of the Olinmen stepping with the same foot in the same direction. The A takes the handoff from the QB heading to a spot 1 yard outside the hip of the last blocker on the line. He reads this block and is allowed to run inside of it or outside of it.

    5) Counter- Designed to induce the defense to flow one way and then redirect and run the other. The entire Oline steps at a 45 degree angle and then pulls a Guard or Tackle around the other way to kick out the DE or OLB to that side. Usually run to the 5/6 hole. The A takes a jab step to enduce flow one way then takes the ball to the called.

    6) Draw- Designed to show the defense pass and then run the ball inside. The Olinemen back up act like they are going into a pass protection set when the ball is snapped. Then they run upfield and block their assignement as they would on a lead play. The QB shows pass and then hands the ball off to the A inside who runs to the called hole to daylight.

    And the 6 route combos are these:
    You have already seen the various routes in the passing trees for backs, tight ends, and receivers. Here are some one word combos used to tell two receivers on the same side of the ball what to do.

    1) Smash- The outside receiver runs a hitch (0) and the inside receiver runs a corner (7)

    2) Arrow- The outside receiver runs a slant (2) and the inside runs a quick out (1)

    3) Switch- The outside receiver runs a seam route. From his alignment he runs at a 45 degree angle inside to the nearest hash and then turns vertically upfield. The inside receiver runs at a 45 degree angle outside toward the sideline and turn vertically upfield.

    4) Read- Outside runs a dig (4) and the inside receiver runs a corner (7).

    5) Eagle- Outside runs a post (8) and the inside runs a banana route. From his alignment he runs up the field and then gradually bends toward the sideline at 8 yards. When drawn, it looks like a banana.

    6) Hammer- Outside runs a curl(6) and the inside runs an out (3).
    Last edited by Deb; 07-17-2007 at 04:07 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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