Author Topic: Mega Splits is passing the test.  (Read 75672 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mahonz

  • Administrator
  • Kryptonite
  • Posts: 24270
  • Total likes: 2545
  • No Wimps
  • Coaching: 8 & Under
  • Defense: 3-5-3
  • Offense: Wing T
  • Title: Head Coach
Mega Splits is passing the test.
« on: October 13, 2014, 12:02:27 PM »
The last two weeks have been the real tell for us vs two high quality opponents.

Two weeks ago we played a mammoth team and we blocked very well because we were able to influence them. If a defender wants to go left...we push them left....right...we push them right. We never open holes. The holes are are created by the Defense. We run to monuments.

This past week we played a VERY active and well coached 30 front. This D is BRUTAL to block because most every play requires OLM to climb quickly. Plus with all that activity it seems like they have 14 players on the field at times.  The kids did very well with this. What made all these LB'rs better targets is they couldn't spike. We owned them when it came to angles because we are playing so wide.

What is really encouraging is we don't lose yards. We might not be able to get first downs every drive but we are not going backwards at all. This has taken a ton of work with the OL and TE's. Now the RB's are really beginning to see it. Last season we were foot to foot and had a lot of negative yards in probably half the games. Now if something breaks down really fast there is some room to recover.

Great learning experience for me as well. During the Spring season we experimented weekly with formations and play designs...the Fall has been all about techniques and identifying ( different players Spring / Fall ). We even went a bit bigger with the B and C Gaps this past week and will push things out once more this week. Bigger is better is what I am discovering especially the C gaps. We play two TE's about 50%...one TE 100% of the time. I need to push the D alignment to the breaking point without being irresponsible.  We are 100% under center except in Beast. 

I spent a decade teaching zone principles. The decade before that all GAP schemes. NOTHING even comes close to what I am seeing now. Its 100% man and my team is TINY compared to most opponents so that hasn't hurt us because we really aren't moving defenders. Im pretty shocked really. You dont need double teams.....you need more space. Something I thought I'd never believe.

One of our OLM's father mentioned to me after the last game that his son mentioned that he feels less tired after a game this season. He thinks it is due to our blocking scheme. That I didnt expect but it makes sense....they spend less energy influencing rather than moving Defenders.

Anyway....its different. Thanks Michael.  :)
What is beautiful, lives forever.

Offline Jburk

  • Silver
  • Posts: 1193
  • Total likes: 9
  • Speed + Technique = POWER
  • Coaching: 14 & Under
  • Defense: Other
  • Offense: Single Wing
  • Title: Head Coach
Re: Mega Splits is passing the test.
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2014, 01:33:46 PM »
Very cool, and nice to hear. We've been a SW team all year, and with that comes double teams, many hats at the point of attack, and all of the things that Micheal likes to poke fun at.  ;D

However, I did indulge my curiosity on a couple of occasions, and experimented with mega splits in the DC Run & Shoot. The mega splits definitely worked when we ran our VERY mobile QB between the guards. Like you said, the defense creates the holes, not the O-Line. It was really something to see; blew me away, really. I don't think a coach can really truly buy into it until it's seen on the grass, though.

Still not sure if I'm ready to go with a one back mega split offense yet as I've started to develop a deep love affair with SW football, but I'll attest to the fact that it does work as long as long as the coaching staff sells out on the scheme, believes in it, and has an O-line coach who's dedicated to only the O-line and willing to coach his ass off.

The sword is more important than the shield.

Offline mahonz

  • Administrator
  • Kryptonite
  • Posts: 24270
  • Total likes: 2545
  • No Wimps
  • Coaching: 8 & Under
  • Defense: 3-5-3
  • Offense: Wing T
  • Title: Head Coach
Re: Mega Splits is passing the test.
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2014, 02:36:37 PM »
J

It is different for sure. We use a lot of double TE sets but the formation is about 12 yards wide with 10 year olds. That is creating a lot of natural space.

It does require backs that can properly play in that space though. Its much like a good zone RB or a DW WB. Last week was game 6 of the Regular Season and we used yet another setup of Backs trying to find the right combo. I think we are there now. They all must be really good blockers as well. Fortunately we are VERY deep at these positions. 

What is interesting is everything is now north and south. The only "sweeps" we have are student body left or right QB keeps. These plays work surprisingly well too.

That is a good thing in our Division. Every team has some great speed so perimeter plays are kinda hit and miss. Plus our counters are deadly....and they hit the A gaps for the most part so they are not these long drawn out type plays at all. They are right now plays. We have a few counters that even hit the same side of the formation as the base play.

Like I said....it is different. Been a real learning experience. The O is 100% our own design. Should get easier next season for sure. Lots of discoveries the past 8 months.
What is beautiful, lives forever.

Offline Dimson

  • Platinum
  • Posts: 7533
  • Total likes: 504
  • Coaching: 14 & Under
  • Defense: Killer Bee
  • Offense: Spread Formation
  • Title: Coordinator
Re: Mega Splits is passing the test.
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2014, 03:27:05 PM »
Mahonz, do you think these splits could work with 8U?

Offline mahonz

  • Administrator
  • Kryptonite
  • Posts: 24270
  • Total likes: 2545
  • No Wimps
  • Coaching: 8 & Under
  • Defense: 3-5-3
  • Offense: Wing T
  • Title: Head Coach
Re: Mega Splits is passing the test.
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2014, 03:33:44 PM »
Mahonz, do you think these splits could work with 8U?
D

Ask Robwithlow....he is doing it with the really little dudes in 8 man.

Its certainly age dependent and formation specific. I cant really do what Michael is doing per say because we are under center.
What is beautiful, lives forever.

Offline Dimson

  • Platinum
  • Posts: 7533
  • Total likes: 504
  • Coaching: 14 & Under
  • Defense: Killer Bee
  • Offense: Spread Formation
  • Title: Coordinator
Re: Mega Splits is passing the test.
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2014, 03:39:15 PM »
D

Ask Robwithlow....he is doing it with the really little dudes in 8 man.

Its certainly age dependent and formation specific. I cant really do what Michael is doing per say because we are under center.
Next year I am looking at being the OC for our 8U team. And we will be UC almost certainly and that is why I was asking. Because I know you run wide splits with smaller guys.

Offline Coach Kyle

  • Gold
  • Posts: 4799
  • Total likes: 163
  • Coaching: 12 & Under
  • Defense: 5-3
  • Offense: Wing T
  • Title: Assistant
Re: Mega Splits is passing the test.
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2014, 04:00:05 PM »
VIDEO!

Offline mahonz

  • Administrator
  • Kryptonite
  • Posts: 24270
  • Total likes: 2545
  • No Wimps
  • Coaching: 8 & Under
  • Defense: 3-5-3
  • Offense: Wing T
  • Title: Head Coach
Re: Mega Splits is passing the test.
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2014, 04:07:14 PM »
VIDEO!

K

I will put some stuff together at the end of the season.
What is beautiful, lives forever.

Offline Coach Kyle

  • Gold
  • Posts: 4799
  • Total likes: 163
  • Coaching: 12 & Under
  • Defense: 5-3
  • Offense: Wing T
  • Title: Assistant
Re: Mega Splits is passing the test.
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2014, 04:10:57 PM »
K

I will put some stuff together at the end of the season.
Yay!  :D

Maybe some day I'll even run it lol

Offline coachkev

  • Silver
  • Posts: 1261
  • Total likes: 17
  • Coaching: 12 & Under
  • Defense: Undecided
  • Offense: Undecided
  • Title: Other
Re: Mega Splits is passing the test.
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2014, 04:18:00 PM »
The last two weeks have been the real tell for us vs two high quality opponents.

Two weeks ago we played a mammoth team and we blocked very well because we were able to influence them. If a defender wants to go left...we push them left....right...we push them right. We never open holes. The holes are are created by the Defense. We run to monuments.

This past week we played a VERY active and well coached 30 front. This D is BRUTAL to block because most every play requires OLM to climb quickly. Plus with all that activity it seems like they have 14 players on the field at times.  The kids did very well with this. What made all these LB'rs better targets is they couldn't spike. We owned them when it came to angles because we are playing so wide.

What is really encouraging is we don't lose yards. We might not be able to get first downs every drive but we are not going backwards at all. This has taken a ton of work with the OL and TE's. Now the RB's are really beginning to see it. Last season we were foot to foot and had a lot of negative yards in probably half the games. Now if something breaks down really fast there is some room to recover.

Great learning experience for me as well. During the Spring season we experimented weekly with formations and play designs...the Fall has been all about techniques and identifying ( different players Spring / Fall ). We even went a bit bigger with the B and C Gaps this past week and will push things out once more this week. Bigger is better is what I am discovering especially the C gaps. We play two TE's about 50%...one TE 100% of the time. I need to push the D alignment to the breaking point without being irresponsible.  We are 100% under center except in Beast. 

I spent a decade teaching zone principles. The decade before that all GAP schemes. NOTHING even comes close to what I am seeing now. Its 100% man and my team is TINY compared to most opponents so that hasn't hurt us because we really aren't moving defenders. Im pretty shocked really. You dont need double teams.....you need more space. Something I thought I'd never believe.

One of our OLM's father mentioned to me after the last game that his son mentioned that he feels less tired after a game this season. He thinks it is due to our blocking scheme. That I didnt expect but it makes sense....they spend less energy influencing rather than moving Defenders.

Anyway....its different. Thanks Michael.  :)

Mahonz - how wide are your splits?  How do you handle defenders who align in the gaps?

Offline mahonz

  • Administrator
  • Kryptonite
  • Posts: 24270
  • Total likes: 2545
  • No Wimps
  • Coaching: 8 & Under
  • Defense: 3-5-3
  • Offense: Wing T
  • Title: Head Coach
Re: Mega Splits is passing the test.
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2014, 05:08:38 PM »
Mahonz - how wide are your splits?  How do you handle defenders who align in the gaps?

K

Well....we started out with everyone touching fingertips which equaled about 30 inches. Then I had the TE's move to 4 feet. Then I had the OT's go finger tips plus a foot. Now we have the OG's going finger tips plus a foot and the OTs and TE's at 4 feet. Now I will move the TE's to 5 feet.

The issues. Kids have little concept of eyeballing space so I really have to stay on them in the games. The OG's like to cheat in especially our ROG. They no longer stick their arms out to measure. Our RB's align off the OG's and OT's so the more the OL moves the more they move. The OL now at least trusts their splits so them cheating is now going away.

First game of the Spring Season we used a normal DOWN SET HIT cadence. REALLY dumb! The LB'rs could now easily anticipate the snap count and shoot a gap from depth. Now we go on HIT or what equates to first sound. The QB can now go quick....medium or slow and the D does not know when this is happening because of all the "chatter" going on.

So I had to master a count system for them that never included any what ifs. That actually took some doing and why we play a 6 or 7 man blocking surface all the time. Then we had to dial in the rules for the RB's so that it married up with the OL. Mostly the backs all play in-between the TE's and have specific rules per their alignment.

These are a few examples of some of the discoveries we have had troubleshoot.  We also had to make it youth friendly when we pass block as well. Michael had a really cool idea for that this season that seems to work well. If you just line up and block a man....you are probably doomed. There is a very specific plan and it requires some fast thinking. That became a challenge. So what we graduated too was huddling up the TE's and Backs only leaving the OLM on the LOS. We tried huddling all of them and we tried going 100% check with me. Both pushed the play clock to the limits because we call all of the plays at the LOS via codes.....kinda.

So now we call a base play in the huddle that is always to one back....or a play action pass. Then at the LOS we adjust per the Defense. It could be the played called in the huddle....a minor adjustment to the play called in the huddle or something completely different.  The OLM do not know the play called in the huddle except that its a run or a pass via code words when everyone is lined up. That has really helped them out a TON. Now they just identify their man and block that man period while they are on the LOS waiting for their buddies. It has amped up their aggression 10 fold.  If their man realigns then that means the entire OL is re identifying. What that really means more times than not is a LB'r they were about to climb to is now right in front of them on the LOS.

Chasing was an issue....that has stopped weeks ago. Overloading by covering the OG and the C and then walking a LB'r up into the A is simply picked up by a RB....or gives the QB the automatic QB sneak call to the opposite A Gap. This has happened more than any other overload to date and we gain about 10 yards when this happens so they stop trying to overload. Only the QB knows he is doing this and he is really good at it.

We get tested early by some of these stunts and then it stops pretty much.

If an OLB walks up into the C gap....that is the TE's man anyway. If an ILB walks up into the B gap that is the OG's man anyway....for example and of course per the front.

We also have VERY quick hitter plays that we can call on the LOS to the bubble that overloads by the D create. If the D is doing that then they are giving up something else.  I stand behind the D and simply yell out YES to the HC play caller so he knows...run counter NOW because they are overloading the POA and giving us a bubble. Or I will yell out the audible. So we can get ourselves out of trouble more times than not. Sometimes the D gets it right....sometimes we get it right. It still all boils down to the RB's vision since they are not hitting holes. 


What is beautiful, lives forever.

Offline mahonz

  • Administrator
  • Kryptonite
  • Posts: 24270
  • Total likes: 2545
  • No Wimps
  • Coaching: 8 & Under
  • Defense: 3-5-3
  • Offense: Wing T
  • Title: Head Coach
Re: Mega Splits is passing the test.
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2015, 02:24:09 AM »
Gents

I have tried just about everything as far as blocking rules are concerned...twice....just to make sure I didn't miss anything the first time. I've also run just about every Offensive system over the last 3 decades to include a lot of mixing and matching.

Gap Rules.....works great if you run to the TE or Ghost TE every single flipping play. Run to the A Gap?.....brains explode. Now you need GOD, GOO, GOL, GOOD, GOBLITY, GOOP...blah blah blah blah. If I cant keep track of it...how is a 10 year old going to?

On Rules...long been replaced by Gap Rules but still the same issues only worse.

SAB. Must long pull. TKO. Must long pull. TRAP. Must medium pull. CROSS. Must mini pull. About 10 years ago I went back and watched the film I had of my teams. Every single blessed play. We pulled a lot....sometimes up to 3 players. My conclusion? Unless you pull to kick out an edge defender, pulling is one GINORMOUS waste of time with youths. They really and truly just get in the way. Ask yourself this...how much pulling do you really see in the NFL? The World's best vs the World's best hardly ever pull. It must not be necessary. Right? Well....unless you are by far the best in your Division as far as talent how are you going to pull and make it work vs the best talent in your Division? You cant. Period.

Zone. Now at least you dont have all this GAP IN THIS and GAP OVER THAT crap going on but Zone is wrought with issues too when it comes to kiddie ball. You cant shuffle OLM. If any of the 5 OLM gets behind the play blows up. Fat Freddies MUST play DL. Zone Purist will convince you to COUNT STATIC DEFENDERS. Sure. Who coaches against defenders that dont move or move so slow they can be counted and then stay true off the Zone Rotation? Not me.  Then there is the fact Zone was invented for the College / Pro levels. So unless you play against College or Pro fronts in your Division, you will end up in a man scheme quite often. But its a step in the right direction because by virtue of how you practice, you are creating better blockers faster every season. No one will ever convince me otherwise because I've seen it with my own two eyes all too often. Its pretty shocking really.

Wedge. Every team needs a wedge. No arguments there.

One thing I never really did unless you maybe count pass pro.... is straight up BOB block ( Big on Big ). My guy vs your guy right here one on one. Long considered a really dumb idea in my mind until Michael got into my head....and then my Sons head.   :P But not entirely at first. We had to buck the system before we could fully trust the system. Its just how my Son and I roll. It vets stuff out.

Its been over a year since we began the journey so now I feel comfortable sharing. My Team is better off because of BOB and Mega Splits.

Initially in 2013 we just put in the wide splits for our Pass Pro and only in our Empty formation after my initial talks with Michael who ran wide splits in 2013 as his base. Noticeable improvement so we decided to give it a go in a base Offense. But I had to fiddle and over think things first. So in the Spring League I started out teaching Point Zone or what the Option Purists refer to as Wedge Blocking. I studied up on it since it was proven and quickly realized that I had just married Gap Rules with Zone principles. Holy crap…..no way was I going down this path. So I started in on a count system with Michaels help and went pure BOB rules. Thru trials and errors I learned how to plug the backs into the mix but the Spring Season ended before I was finished experimenting.

The experiment continued once the Fall Season kicked off and by game 4 or so it was beginning to gel. We got off to a bit of a rough start but finished strong in a VERY tough Division.
 
Some things that really struck me that I didn’t anticipate.

Now by virtue of how we practice I created better blockers even faster than when I coached Zone all those years. BIG TIME.   

All OLM are fully interchangeable. Since they either run block or pass block it is what it is regardless if you are play C, G or T. We used 5 different Centers this Season. Not because we couldn’t find one but rather we could shuffle talent per our Scout and get better one on one matchups. The QB had ZERO issues with this since we use the end over end snap.

Initially we huddled. Then we didn’t huddle. Then we muddle huddled. I found that muddle huddling helped the OLM get their counts straight since they stayed on the LOS while the backs and receivers did a quick huddle calling a base run play and formation. Since they only cared about the play being a run or a pass and didn’t care where the POA was they were better off staying on the LOS. 

Blitzing was the WORST thing a Defense could do to us because now whoever’s man that blitzing LB’rs was per the count now became 10 times easier to block especially if they played close to or on the LOS.

So as we progressed I went back to my old ISO roots and everything clicked. The reason ISO worked so well is because of the wide splits. In a Zone scheme a lead block is not smart. He just takes away the RB’s vision. In a Gap scheme they clog the hole. In a pull scheme a lead muddies everything. In a BOB scheme with wide splits it is the ticket.

The hardest part is teaching blockers to get to the second level. Thru drilling and reps this comes along pretty well. The easiest part is the actual man blocking vs DLM. Michaels 3 cone drill is invaluable for this. Since we have no hole number system if the DLM want to go right….push him right….left then push him left….2 Gap then sumo him. The path of the RB’s is all predicated off monuments and since the OLM are split so far apart, each OLM and TE is a called monument. BUT if the play call is for the TB to run off the LOT, for example then he is allowed to bend it inside or outside per the LOT’s block. Most of our middle run game was out of a Power I formation and we used two FB types to block for our stellar TB. Most of our perimeter plays were ran out of a trips formation. Counter were always pretty good plays because the counter back rarely had to travel very far to find space. What REALLY surprised us was how quick everything hits even with a rather deep TB.

Play calling is simple. We called a base play and formation in the muddle huddle the looked for bubbles and mis matches once they lined up. Via codes we ran the play called or changed the running play or audibled to a pass play. Our passing game stunk this past season and it had nothing to do with the blocking. We will get it fixed next year. It REALLY hurt us last year.

Im not selling anyone on anything here. Just putting it out there. This philosophy will work with just about any Offense. Attached is a PPT that explains the count system for the OLM and TE’s vs the various fronts with some “what If “ slides. The Backs were used to run ISO and block edge defenders when necessary....and to run fakes which we kinda drifted away from.  We just started playing it straight up and dropped the smoke and mirrors. Might gravitate back to that in the future.
 
The Pictures are from a couple of scrimmage games we played in the pre-season. It’s the only time we can film from behind so you can visualize the space created and how easy the counts were. The Video is a few plays of our bread and butter stuff. Some games we were more vertical….other games more horizontal. Came down to how the D played us.

We also ran Beast with wide splits last season but not all that much. We were intent on getting the base all worked out but I will say EVERYTHING Beast works better with wide splits. Since Beast is a gun snap we did compress down the A Gap splits to help assure quality snaps.  The other video is a neat little Beast play we liked to compliment Blast….a no pull trap to the short side that worked well all season. Same count system except the short side G would skip his count and climb to the nearest threat.

Our kids got pretty darn good at blocking downfield…all of them. 

Finally, since I beat up all the other blocking schemes I have to find something wrong with BOB rules with wide splits. Your Sphincter Phactor will be absolutely redlining at first….no question.  It comes off as probably the dumbest thing you could ever do at the youth level when in fact it’s absolutely genius. Had a few Dad’s laughing at us early on. I didn’t take it personal at all…I was laughing at myself at times too.  8)

Let me know if you have any questions. I will in turn refer you directly over to Michael.  :P





http://youtu.be/_exqwvMtDOU

http://youtu.be/WKATeR-ZnTI
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 11:35:05 AM by mahonz »
What is beautiful, lives forever.

Offline Coach_O

  • Gold
  • Posts: 2659
  • Total likes: 26
    • Helmet Decals
  • Coaching: 14 & Under
  • Defense: 46
  • Offense: Single Wing
  • Title: Coordinator
Re: Mega Splits is passing the test.
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2015, 03:13:13 AM »
This is cool man, it makes sense when you really think about it.

I'm going through a crazy time. The dw guy that would preach zero splits double tight smash mouth is actually working hard to run a spread with splits. Why? Cus just back than when it was crazy to use this weird dw offense. No everyone on my schedule is dw. So being different is what has helped me. Here I go again,  spread in youth ball where it's dumb to do.

Offline BigD

  • Copper
  • Posts: 243
  • Total likes: 85
  • One Team One Fight
  • Coaching: 9 & Under
  • Defense: Other
  • Offense: Other
  • Title: Head Coach
Re: Mega Splits is passing the test.
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2015, 03:23:11 AM »
I'm adding that beast trap!  You should do another coaches-clinic on the beast covering the wide splits and blocking!!! 

Offline mahonz

  • Administrator
  • Kryptonite
  • Posts: 24270
  • Total likes: 2545
  • No Wimps
  • Coaching: 8 & Under
  • Defense: 3-5-3
  • Offense: Wing T
  • Title: Head Coach
Re: Mega Splits is passing the test.
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2015, 11:46:11 AM »
This is cool man, it makes sense when you really think about it.

I'm going through a crazy time. The dw guy that would preach zero splits double tight smash mouth is actually working hard to run a spread with splits. Why? Cus just back than when it was crazy to use this weird dw offense. No everyone on my schedule is dw. So being different is what has helped me. Here I go again,  spread in youth ball where it's dumb to do.

R

I found the DTDW incredibly difficult to trouble shoot. I found this particular wide splits madness incredibility easy to trouble shoot. Since everything is so wide you can see bubbles real easy so run AT THEM....or just shuffle a couple of OLM to get better match ups. Far less moving pieces parts so much much easier to teach...and drill.
What is beautiful, lives forever.