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Author Topic: Wedge or Jailbreak  (Read 1452 times)

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Offline rajo67

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Wedge or Jailbreak
« on: December 21, 2016, 02:09:24 PM »
Next season I'll be coaching 8U, and I'm expecting our o-line to be very small again next year.  That is not to take anything away from them, as they are great kids, very quick, and very aggressive. 

This past season, we struggled moving the ball our first 3 games as we were completely overwhelmed by the size of the other team's defensive linemen.  Our average offensive lineman was 55 lbs, and our opponents avg defensive linemen was typically over 90 lbs (one kid was 200).  After the third game, we spent an entire offensive practice crab blocking (and a defensive practice on the bear crawl progression) and we won every game.

Moving forward, assuming we'll be small and quick again, would we be better off using Jailbreak instead of SPW/breakout wedge?  Team's are not allowed to align inside the A gaps or on the Center, and my QB is a tremendous athlete. 

Or, have people experienced success running wedge with small, quick offensive lines, and it's worth it for us to invest the time?

Offline DumCoach

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Re: Wedge or Jailbreak
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2016, 07:51:34 PM »
Most 8U players at 90 pounds will have slow "get off" but you can check this by the weight of the linebackers behind them.  If everybody has 90 pound linebackers you just might be in a league of big, fast kids.  But, if the LB's are more like 75-80 pounds, those big boys on the line are probably slow.  Perhaps very slow.

Assuming they are slow, your rules allow you to increase your guard line splits which force the DG's to move out with them.  If the guards step upfield through the "A" gaps, the defending DG should instinctively either slant to "B" or just stop and let the guard go by and the get a faceful of running back.  I would try and keep the splits down to maybe 8" as the opposing DC is probably on the field and may learn to spot when your splits widen and recognize what's coming and maybe do something.

Otherwise, by your league rules I would say you could run "jailbreak" at least four times a game and likely gain 40 yards at least once.  You want to be certain it's not your only play.  You could have both guards crab the DG's while QB takes the snap with his right foot back and then hands off on "30 Quick".

I hope you're running "47 Speed" against that wall of beef.  :)

As far as "QB Wedge" that play will probably work too as a "3rd and 1" play where you either get the one yard and the first down or the QB pops out of "C" gap and takes it to the house.  I always ran QB wedge on "3rd and 2" because my line could get 3 yards pretty consistently on wedge.  You may not be able to do that and just get the one.  You would know better than me.  Anyway, that's why I said "3rd and 1".

With a good QB I would run both plays.  "QB Wedge" looks a lot like "47 Speed" and, running both, could be deadly.  Throw in the SE reverse off "47 Speed" and those 90 pounders should finish every play one foot from where they started, just standing and watching.  "Maxi 33 Quick Trap" should also smoke a 90 pound DT.  Did you ever try "23 Cross" or "24 Cross"?  That's another way to take out big and slow.
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Offline CoachBrian

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Re: Wedge or Jailbreak
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2016, 09:53:50 PM »

With a good QB I would run both plays.  "QB Wedge" looks a lot like "47 Speed" and, running both, could be deadly.  Throw in the SE reverse off "47 Speed" and those 90 pounders should finish every play one foot from where they started, just standing and watching.

I would offer 47 Speed Fake Reverse as well.  I've actually had much more success with fake reverse than the actual reverse.  As soon as the SE starts moving back to the reverse position everyone on the defense and their sideline is yelling "REVERSE!".........and then the WB fakes it and takes off.

Offline DREagle

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Re: Wedge or Jailbreak
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2016, 11:53:21 AM »
We were the smallest team in our division the year that we won the championship with the DCWT. We were pretty fast though and 47 speed (and flip 48 speed) was big for us.  Simply the threat of it opened up everything else.  25 power and 33 quick in particular work really well when the DE starts cheating wide to try to shut down 47 speed. We only used jailbreak against 4 man fronts which we didn't see that often. 

Offline rajo67

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Re: Wedge or Jailbreak
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2016, 01:51:10 PM »
Thank you all.  This is a lot of great advice, and as always, it is greatly appreciated.

It seems like the answer to this question stems from the larger question of who will we be as an offense next season.  Tentatively speaking, here is the current ground rules, facts, and assumptions I'm tracking:

*Our players will be 8 years old next season

*As stated previously, I expect us to be smaller (but quicker) on the line on both sides of the ball.  They may not be big boys, but they're tough and all have great body control (most of them wrestle).

*I want to keep the number of cues by position to 4 on top of learning the base action to both sides.

*Our 1B is the best player on our team, and possibly in the league.  Not just his athleticism, but his attitude.  We implement Cisar's Foundations Program, and this player embodies those principals better than anyone.  Oh, and he has a great arm.  He was also one of our safeties on the KB.

*Our 2B is the same way.  Maybe not as athletic, but he's more of a vocal leader whereas our 1B is more humble.  He was one of our OLBs in KB.

*My 4B has tremendous hands.  He's also very athletic and was my other Safety in the KB.

*Opposing DCs on the more talented teams in our league do not do a very good job of handling formations


So, given all of that, here's what I had been thinking: 

*I'd like to begin by mastering 23/25 and 24/26 to force the defense into a 6 man box.  After installing 23/25 and 24/26, I wanted to start adding cues and over calls.  I see Cross having tremendous potential, especially since DTs have to play head up on the Gs and Ts.  I'd rather have my athletic linemen hitting big slow DTs from the side than straight up.  Also, with the threat of a down block, crab block, or drive block, I think we can keep the DTs guessing and cause them to hesitate.  With the athleticism of my 1B, I think the Lead cue could be big for us.  As the season progresses, I'd like to build to plays like Right Kick 23 Counter.

*After installing those two plays, I'd like to follow with 38 Option and 47 Option.  I purchased the Option DVD, and the drills you use make me think I can do this at 8U.  Am I wrong in that assumption?  Also, if I'm running 47 Option, does it make sense to also run 47 Speed at 8U?  Put another way, is the cost of adding and spending time teaching more cues worth the added benefit? 

*The next play I'd follow with is Pass Right.  At a minimum, I know we can become proficient with Pass Right 2 Open.  I think we can also get 1 and 3 Open to work for us.  My concern is I may be overloading my 1B, and I run the risk of our offense taking a big hit if he gets hurt.  I wonder if I'd be better off using 47 Speed and 38 Power Toss and using the Lead cue to keep my 1B involved in the running game.

*After that I was looking to bring in misdirection.  In addition to Right Kick 23 Counter, I'm thinking Right 65 Kick (which was huge for us last season), and Left 56 Sweep. 

*That still leaves the question, "how do I attack the A gaps?", and that brings me full circle to the Jailbreak vs Wedge (and/or 30 Quick). 

As always, I welcome any feedback.


Offline DumCoach

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Re: Wedge or Jailbreak
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2016, 04:55:40 PM »
If you're asking what I would do regarding "47 Speed" versus "47 Option", your biggest bang for your buck is "47 Speed".  Dallas is using that play to get to the Super Bowl. 

Your QB will be able to learn "47 Option".  He should be able to perform the pitch part of the play in three hours.  In the same three hours you can install "47 Speed", "56 Reverse", "SE Throw to QB", and "47 Speed" with a fake handoff to the SE and probably more plays.

I averaged 8 yards per carry with "option".  I averaged 35 with "speed". 

"Option" causes a reaction by the opposing coaching staff.  "Speed" causes a lack of reaction by their players.  To them, all that razzle-dazzle is happening at the speed of light. 

I would focus on the above "47 Speed" plays, teach "47 Option" but not actually run it until the playoffs or even wait until the following season.  This allows you a long time to install "47/38 Option" allowing you to donate just a few minutes a night to them.  When you finally do unveil it, it will come as a great shock.

I would focus on these two added formations:

Backs Over:  WB is left, HB is right.  Calls are "26 Power", "34 Quick" , "33 Cross", and "35".     

SE Over: SE in front of WB.  "48 Screen", "Quick Slant" to both, "24" and "38 Power Option".  But the real advantage of this formation is that it screws up their bringing the left corner up to play "47 Speed".  They're defending left when you're running right.  To solve this problem, they usually have to move the left corner over to the right to even up the numbers.  Now you run "SE Over 47 Speed" and burn their butts big time. 
"Football is for the kids - But let's win anyway."

Offline DREagle

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Re: Wedge or Jailbreak
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2016, 11:21:11 AM »
20 midline is a great way to attack the middle provided you see 5 man fronts (won't work if you have 2 A gap defenders).  The defense never figures out where the blockers are coming from. The midline block is a pretty quick install. I'm looking at going to a base zone scheme next season but I don't see us getting away from midline.

Offline rajo67

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Re: Wedge or Jailbreak
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2016, 11:24:20 AM »
If you're asking what I would do regarding "47 Speed" versus "47 Option", your biggest bang for your buck is "47 Speed".  Dallas is using that play to get to the Super Bowl. 

Your QB will be able to learn "47 Option".  He should be able to perform the pitch part of the play in three hours.  In the same three hours you can install "47 Speed", "56 Reverse", "SE Throw to QB", and "47 Speed" with a fake handoff to the SE and probably more plays.

I averaged 8 yards per carry with "option".  I averaged 35 with "speed". 

"Option" causes a reaction by the opposing coaching staff.  "Speed" causes a lack of reaction by their players.  To them, all that razzle-dazzle is happening at the speed of light. 

I would focus on the above "47 Speed" plays, teach "47 Option" but not actually run it until the playoffs or even wait until the following season.  This allows you a long time to install "47/38 Option" allowing you to donate just a few minutes a night to them.  When you finally do unveil it, it will come as a great shock.

I would focus on these two added formations:

Backs Over:  WB is left, HB is right.  Calls are "26 Power", "34 Quick" , "33 Cross", and "35".     

SE Over: SE in front of WB.  "48 Screen", "Quick Slant" to both, "24" and "38 Power Option".  But the real advantage of this formation is that it screws up their bringing the left corner up to play "47 Speed".  They're defending left when you're running right.  To solve this problem, they usually have to move the left corner over to the right to even up the numbers.  Now you run "SE Over 47 Speed" and burn their butts big time.

Awesome, thanks Coach.  Remind me to renew at a higher subscription next time  :)


20 midline is a great way to attack the middle provided you see 5 man fronts (won't work if you have 2 A gap defenders).  The defense never figures out where the blockers are coming from. The midline block is a pretty quick install. I'm looking at going to a base zone scheme next season but I don't see us getting away from midline.

Thank you as well.  Would you still run this against 6 man fronts where there are no defenders in the A-gaps?  Our league rules don't allow players inside the Guards unless the ball is within the 5 yard line.  Was thinking of putting this in, but I wasn't sure if it would create a log jam. 

Offline DREagle

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Re: Wedge or Jailbreak
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2016, 11:44:08 AM »
If they are heads up on your guards and shooting hard in to the A gaps (which I would expect people to do with a rule like this) then midline will be a challenge.  The reason it works so well against 5 man fronts is that the DT's are usually lined up in a 3 or 4 tech which gives the guards a nice angle block.  With a rule like yours, wedge should be pretty effective IMO.

Offline rajo67

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Re: Wedge or Jailbreak
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2016, 03:34:38 PM »
If they are heads up on your guards and shooting hard in to the A gaps (which I would expect people to do with a rule like this) then midline will be a challenge.  The reason it works so well against 5 man fronts is that the DT's are usually lined up in a 3 or 4 tech which gives the guards a nice angle block.

Yeah, that's consistent with what I was seeing last year.  Thanks Coach.