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Offline Jburk

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The youth spread thread
« on: April 17, 2011, 02:16:56 PM »
There's been quite a bit of discussion lately relating to youth spread. I thought I'd start a dedicated thread for this so we could continue to discuss the pro's & cons/in's & out's of spread football concepts in youth ball. As some of you already know, I've been pretty enamored as of late with Big C's youth spread playbook. I like the idea of being able to spread 'em out and still run the ball, while also being able make the swing passes for screens and such. Like I said, my research into youth spread started with Big C's playbook but I've also been looking at Jack Gregory's eagle package, and just recently I bought Tom Lewis's spread single wing DVD (he also threw in his hybrid pistol DVD as well, thanks coach!); both of those were great.

I love the tackle trap concepts from Big C's playbook; the simplicity and versatility make for a pretty good off tackle running series IMHO. I like the idea of kicking out one DE while reading and running away from the other, and depending on formation/motion, you could still hit the point of attack with up to three blockers and the ball carrier. TKO blocking would be the ticket for this I believe. Quite alot of heated discussion has gone on regarding the use of wide gaps as well; personally, I would like to use gaps closer to 10", no more than a foot otherwise TKO blocking would be super tough.

Shortpunter's DVD's also have me pondering the possibilities of using an unbalanced line, how a blocking back could be utilized, and the misdirection of the spin. Motioning a slot from a 2x2 spread to the traditional BB position and running buck lateral was really cool IMHO. His hybrid pistol runs off tackle in a similar manner to the tackle trap that run from Big C's playbook.

Thoughts?





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Offline Jburk

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Re: The youth spread thread
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2011, 02:49:16 PM »
I just finished listening to coach Glenn Harris on the redzone show talk about his spread offense (which Big C's playbook is based on) and his slant 50 defense. Great discussion on why he runs his spread and what it takes to make it click and pop. It was interesting to hear him say that his spread was put together with the idea that his offense would only have about 3-4 real talented players on his O, the rest were average to MPP type players. He says that he didn't get to draft his players and that he got whoever signed up. This was nice to hear, as I'd always heard that his teams were select.

Anyways, I'd like to pose a few questions:

1)If you've had success running a form of spread offense at the youth level (10 & and up), what were the keys to your success? Were you a balanced pass/run team? or were you more run oriented?

2)If you've had success stopping spread at this level, what was it that allowed for this?

3)Does anyone see the benefit of spread single wing system over a more traditional spread O?
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Offline nevadajoe

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Re: The youth spread thread
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2011, 04:41:11 PM »
It would be nice if we were all operating by the same definition of "spread".  Some would argue that simply splitting the receivers out in a 2x2 without widening the O-line splits as well is really not a "spread".  I have seen it discussed on this forum in both manners.

Offline coachJR

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Re: The youth spread thread
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2011, 05:35:43 PM »
It would be nice if we were all operating by the same definition of "spread".  Some would argue that simply splitting the receivers out in a 2x2 without widening the O-line splits as well is really not a "spread".  I have seen it discussed on this forum in both manners.

Wider line splits aren't exclusive to shotgun spread offenses, nor are they an absolute need.  It's just a tactic some spread offenses use.  Generally the ones that are pass heavy, or zone run heavy.
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Coaching HS now.  We run DW from the shotgun spread, and 3-4 Defense.

Offline mahonz

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Re: The youth spread thread
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2011, 05:41:11 PM »
There's been quite a bit of discussion lately relating to youth spread. I thought I'd start a dedicated thread for this so we could continue to discuss the pro's & cons/in's & out's of spread football concepts in youth ball. As some of you already know, I've been pretty enamored as of late with Big C's youth spread playbook. I like the idea of being able to spread 'em out and still run the ball, while also being able make the swing passes for screens and such. Like I said, my research into youth spread started with Big C's playbook but I've also been looking at Jack Gregory's eagle package, and just recently I bought Tom Lewis's spread single wing DVD (he also threw in his hybrid pistol DVD as well, thanks coach!); both of those were great.

I love the tackle trap concepts from Big C's playbook; the simplicity and versatility make for a pretty good off tackle running series IMHO. I like the idea of kicking out one DE while reading and running away from the other, and depending on formation/motion, you could still hit the point of attack with up to three blockers and the ball carrier. TKO blocking would be the ticket for this I believe. Quite alot of heated discussion has gone on regarding the use of wide gaps as well; personally, I would like to use gaps closer to 10", no more than a foot otherwise TKO blocking would be super tough.

Shortpunter's DVD's also have me pondering the possibilities of using an unbalanced line, how a blocking back could be utilized, and the misdirection of the spin. Motioning a slot from a 2x2 spread to the traditional BB position and running buck lateral was really cool IMHO. His hybrid pistol runs off tackle in a similar manner to the tackle trap that run from Big C's playbook.

Thoughts?

J

There are a hundred reasons why it works but there is only one reason why it does not.

Commitment.

You either go into this thing as a pass to set up the run offense or a run to set up the pass offense.

The latter is easiest, the former more difficult regardless of your talent pool.  Balance is impossible until you have a few seasons with the same kids. Just not enough practice time.

I played for a very small private HS back in the early 70’s. They were a basketball powerhouse and football was that other sport. Back then you could declare what division you wanted to play in regardless of the size of enrollment. Obliviously to attract the blue chippers for round ball we played in the 5A division.

I played in two Football State Championships.

Why? Tiger Ellison’s Lonesome polecat.  I played H back and this was well before this term had been coined.

So that stuck with me. The first opportunity I had to run a wide-open pass first offense with youths I went all in. The very first game I will never forget. A 56-0 beat down of an opponent we had never beaten in 4 tries. I had to go before the BOD for running up the score when the reality was every 3rd or 4th pass was a TD and we didn’t have a running game yet. These were 10 year olds and I even remember how hot it was that day.

Thereafter and having made every possible mistake known to football I learned how to run this offensive philosophy without getting the QB killed. In the last 20 years I have probably won 75% of the time with probably 10 different teams and have 6 youth championships with blind draft no tryout non select teams. Matter of fact, after my son went off to HS I got into the habit of taking over existing teams in different stages of disarray. Been doing that the last few years as well with mixed results but on average they do get better on Offense. Just need to figure out a defensive strategy now.  >:(

J…buddy…I have read all the threads and pretty much stop posting anymore because it just does not matter. Coaches will laugh at you and tell you they slaughter every spread team they have played. Im sure this is accurate because we all used to slaughter all of the Pro I offenses that daddy coaches ran after watching Saturday afternoon football as well....still do. Now it’s simply the spreads turn.

I still laugh at the naysayer coaches. They are not as commonplace anymore because so many are intrigued these days but these types just don’t get it and never will until they fully commit and give it a try.

Like anything…go all in and you will see the benefits. Go half a$$ and you will fail.

Coach Mike
Collect moments, not wins.

Offline coachJR

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Re: The youth spread thread
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2011, 05:58:41 PM »
J

There are a hundred reasons why it works but there is only one reason why it does not.

Commitment.

You either go into this thing as a pass to set up the run offense or a run to set up the pass offense.

The latter is easiest, the former more difficult regardless of your talent pool.  Balance is impossible until you have a few seasons with the same kids. Just not enough practice time.

I played for a very small private HS back in the early 70’s. They were a basketball powerhouse and football was that other sport. Back then you could declare what division you wanted to play in regardless of the size of enrollment. Obliviously to attract the blue chippers for round ball we played in the 5A division.

I played in two Football State Championships.

Why? Tiger Ellison’s Lonesome polecat.  I played H back and this was well before this term had been coined.

So that stuck with me. The first opportunity I had to run a wide-open pass first offense with youths I went all in. The very first game I will never forget. A 56-0 beat down of an opponent we had never beaten in 4 tries. I had to go before the BOD for running up the score when the reality was every 3rd or 4th pass was a TD and we didn’t have a running game yet. These were 10 year olds and I even remember how hot it was that day.

Thereafter and having made every possible mistake known to football I learned how to run this offensive philosophy without getting the QB killed. In the last 20 years I have probably won 75% of the time with probably 10 different teams and have 6 youth championships with blind draft no tryout non select teams. Matter of fact, after my son went off to HS I got into the habit of taking over existing teams in different stages of disarray. Been doing that the last few years as well with mixed results but on average they do get better on Offense. Just need to figure out a defensive strategy now.  >:(

J…buddy…I have read all the threads and pretty much stop posting anymore because it just does not matter. Coaches will laugh at you and tell you they slaughter every spread team they have played. Im sure this is accurate because we all used to slaughter all of the Pro I offenses that daddy coaches ran after watching Saturday afternoon football as well....still do. Now it’s simply the spreads turn.

I still laugh at the naysayer coaches. They are not as commonplace anymore because so many are intrigued these days but these types just don’t get it and never will until they fully commit and give it a try.

Like anything…go all in and you will see the benefits. Go half a$$ and you will fail.

Coach Mike

GREAT POST!
"Hindsight is 50/50."

               Patrick Fain Dye

Coaching HS now.  We run DW from the shotgun spread, and 3-4 Defense.

Offline Coach Kyle

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Re: The youth spread thread
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2011, 07:03:44 PM »
I just finished listening to coach Glenn Harris on the redzone show talk about his spread offense (which Big C's playbook is based on) and his slant 50 defense. Great discussion on why he runs his spread and what it takes to make it click and pop. It was interesting to hear him say that his spread was put together with the idea that his offense would only have about 3-4 real talented players on his O, the rest were average to MPP type players. He says that he didn't get to draft his players and that he got whoever signed up. This was nice to hear, as I'd always heard that his teams were select.

Anyways, I'd like to pose a few questions:

1)If you've had success running a form of spread offense at the youth level (10 & and up), what were the keys to your success? Were you a balanced pass/run team? or were you more run oriented?

2)If you've had success stopping spread at this level, what was it that allowed for this?

3)Does anyone see the benefit of spread single wing system over a more traditional spread O?
I've run a little spread passing game, and I think the success we had was based off of several things 1) the inability to defend the pass 2) an amazing QB 3) tall stud receivers.

Offline Jburk

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Re: The youth spread thread
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2011, 11:35:44 PM »
J

There are a hundred reasons why it works but there is only one reason why it does not.

Commitment.

You either go into this thing as a pass to set up the run offense or a run to set up the pass offense.

The latter is easiest, the former more difficult regardless of your talent pool.  Balance is impossible until you have a few seasons with the same kids. Just not enough practice time.

That seems logical, and it's not the first time I've heard that said about many other offensive systems. I think it would be hard to find sucess just "sort of" running any offense. I'm definitely looking to be a run first spread team that sets up the pass.

Quote from: mahonz
I played for a very small private HS back in the early 70’s. They were a basketball powerhouse and football was that other sport. Back then you could declare what division you wanted to play in regardless of the size of enrollment. Obliviously to attract the blue chippers for round ball we played in the 5A division.

I played in two Football State Championships.

Why? Tiger Ellison’s Lonesome polecat.  I played H back and this was well before this term had been coined.

So that stuck with me. The first opportunity I had to run a wide-open pass first offense with youths I went all in. The very first game I will never forget. A 56-0 beat down of an opponent we had never beaten in 4 tries. I had to go before the BOD for running up the score when the reality was every 3rd or 4th pass was a TD and we didn’t have a running game yet. These were 10 year olds and I even remember how hot it was that day.

Thereafter and having made every possible mistake known to football I learned how to run this offensive philosophy without getting the QB killed. In the last 20 years I have probably won 75% of the time with probably 10 different teams and have 6 youth championships with blind draft no tryout non select teams. Matter of fact, after my son went off to HS I got into the habit of taking over existing teams in different stages of disarray. Been doing that the last few years as well with mixed results but on average they do get better on Offense. Just need to figure out a defensive strategy now.  >:(

J…buddy…I have read all the threads and pretty much stop posting anymore because it just does not matter. Coaches will laugh at you and tell you they slaughter every spread team they have played. Im sure this is accurate because we all used to slaughter all of the Pro I offenses that daddy coaches ran after watching Saturday afternoon football as well....still do. Now it’s simply the spreads turn.

I still laugh at the naysayer coaches. They are not as commonplace anymore because so many are intrigued these days but these types just don’t get it and never will until they fully commit and give it a try.

Like anything…go all in and you will see the benefits. Go half a$$ and you will fail.

Coach Mike

Thanks for the advice Mike, I really appreciate it. I can tell you one thing for sure, I'm nothing if not intensive (and slightly obsessive) in my want to make something work, especially when I'm told that it's too difficult to do. The first team I had was an 8-9 year old team that I started out running DW with. What I did was try to implement it when really I only "had the gist of it", and looking back I only knew enough to get myself in trouble. Needless to say we didn't find much success in those first two games and I scrapped the thing and went to a simple power t offense that was only slightly better. After that first season, I knew that I had to know what I needed to know inside and out if I was going to put the kids in a position to have success. Coach Harris said some things along the lines of what you're saying right now in his interview, about commiting to the offense to make it work. But here's the thing, isn't that the case with any offense?

I'm lucky in that I have resources like this forum to ask the right questions from the people who have the experience to help me out. Looking forward to further discussion, thanks again.
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Offline Jburk

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Re: The youth spread thread
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2011, 11:41:01 PM »
It would be nice if we were all operating by the same definition of "spread".  Some would argue that simply splitting the receivers out in a 2x2 without widening the O-line splits as well is really not a "spread".  I have seen it discussed on this forum in both manners.

What I'm talking about is spreading out the slots and receivers and opening up the run, hitting the split receivers for screen passes and maybe some shallow crossing routes. The O line would be in 10"-12" splits. That's the flavor of spread that I'm looking to run.
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Offline Jburk

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Re: The youth spread thread
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2011, 11:50:31 PM »
I've run a little spread passing game, and I think the success we had was based off of several things 1) the inability to defend the pass 2) an amazing QB 3) tall stud receivers.

So did you just spread out for passing only? or did you run from spread as part of an overall system? I'm just curious as to whether this was something you did as a team identity, or if it was just a wrinkle that was ran to take advantage of the situations you mentioned. It was interesting to hear coach Harris talk about how he's ran his spread system with success despite having a QB who couldn't pass the ball exceptionally well.
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Offline Jburk

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Re: The youth spread thread
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2011, 11:54:11 PM »
Wider line splits aren't exclusive to shotgun spread offenses, nor are they an absolute need.  It's just a tactic some spread offenses use.  Generally the ones that are pass heavy, or zone run heavy.

Unless I'm mistaken, coach Gregory runs his eagle package with line splits around 10". Big C has said to me that SAB blocking was what made the difference in his spread, which usually means smaller line splits.
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Offline Coach Kyle

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Re: The youth spread thread
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2011, 06:38:22 AM »
So did you just spread out for passing only? or did you run from spread as part of an overall system? I'm just curious as to whether this was something you did as a team identity, or if it was just a wrinkle that was ran to take advantage of the situations you mentioned. It was interesting to hear coach Harris talk about how he's ran his spread system with success despite having a QB who couldn't pass the ball exceptionally well.
We didn't even have running plays from it. It was just to take advantage of our good QB.

Offline davecisar

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Re: The youth spread thread
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2011, 08:09:06 AM »
We have run a Spread Single WIng since about 2006
When we have a competent thrower and at least 2 reasonably consistent recievers we will run more Spread than base Single Wing sets- it really depends on the kids
The more skill and speed we have- the more spread we run- based soley on talent
Some seasons we are in the Spread Single Wing 35-40% of the time, other seasons, less than 10% of the time
Last season at 5-6 grade we threw for 18 TDs, completed over 60% of our throws, BUT had an unusually high 5 Ints (2 were in desperation mode, 1 before half another at the end of the only game we lost) While those arent huge numbers, we did lead a 40 team age grouping in scoring (league rules forbid you to throw after up by 21 points, in all but 2 league games we were up by 21 in the 2nd quarter, had these rules not been in place we would have easily thrown for 30 TDS))  and we were pretty efficient both running and throwing the ball using not only our base PA game off of base, spin and Jet series stuff, but we used some simple spread concepts like smash, shallow and mesh to get our kids open. We've been doing this for quite awhile- nothing really new.
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Offline Football365

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Re: The youth spread thread
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2011, 08:29:06 AM »
J

There are a hundred reasons why it works but there is only one reason why it does not.

Commitment.

You either go into this thing as a pass to set up the run offense or a run to set up the pass offense.

The latter is easiest, the former more difficult regardless of your talent pool.  Balance is impossible until you have a few seasons with the same kids. Just not enough practice time.

I played for a very small private HS back in the early 70’s. They were a basketball powerhouse and football was that other sport. Back then you could declare what division you wanted to play in regardless of the size of enrollment. Obliviously to attract the blue chippers for round ball we played in the 5A division.

I played in two Football State Championships.

Why? Tiger Ellison’s Lonesome polecat.  I played H back and this was well before this term had been coined.

So that stuck with me. The first opportunity I had to run a wide-open pass first offense with youths I went all in. The very first game I will never forget. A 56-0 beat down of an opponent we had never beaten in 4 tries. I had to go before the BOD for running up the score when the reality was every 3rd or 4th pass was a TD and we didn’t have a running game yet. These were 10 year olds and I even remember how hot it was that day.

Thereafter and having made every possible mistake known to football I learned how to run this offensive philosophy without getting the QB killed. In the last 20 years I have probably won 75% of the time with probably 10 different teams and have 6 youth championships with blind draft no tryout non select teams. Matter of fact, after my son went off to HS I got into the habit of taking over existing teams in different stages of disarray. Been doing that the last few years as well with mixed results but on average they do get better on Offense. Just need to figure out a defensive strategy now.  >:(

J…buddy…I have read all the threads and pretty much stop posting anymore because it just does not matter. Coaches will laugh at you and tell you they slaughter every spread team they have played. Im sure this is accurate because we all used to slaughter all of the Pro I offenses that daddy coaches ran after watching Saturday afternoon football as well....still do. Now it’s simply the spreads turn.

I still laugh at the naysayer coaches. They are not as commonplace anymore because so many are intrigued these days but these types just don’t get it and never will until they fully commit and give it a try.

Like anything…go all in and you will see the benefits. Go half a$$ and you will fail.

Coach Mike


You have to admit though, people who run a certain offense or have run one, certainly know exactly how to stop it or defend much better then those who haven't.

Offline jrk5150

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Re: The youth spread thread
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2011, 09:13:12 AM »

There are a hundred reasons why it works but there is only one reason why it does not.

Commitment.


That's the truth.  Not only do you have to commit to running it, but you also have to commit to a LOT of studying to get it right.  If you want to run the spread come hell or high water, regardless of what talent you get, then man, you better KNOW how to run the damn thing.

I know I came off in the other thread that I was anti-spread.  I'm not - in fact, I dabbled in Big C's offense last year.  And learned the above lesson - can't dabble in it.  You have to get in there, take your lumps, and learn how to do it.  It is a MUCH less forgiving offense than most of the double tight power offenses, until you really figure it out.

What really sucks is that I actually might have had the right group to experiment with it last year, but just couldn't do it because of the size of my team.  I had 4-5 kids that could run and catch, and 2 that could throw a little bit that were also pretty damn good runners - big and strong for our age group.  Perfect backfield and perimeter guys for the spread.  Problem is, my line was shaky and I had too many MPP's to account for on O.  If I could have jettisoned about 5 kids, I probably would have run that O the whole year, and would be able to talk about it in much better terms than just the cautionary ones I have now.

Either just use it as a formation adjustment out of your base O, like Jack and Dave Cisar do, or commit to it 100%.  Don't dabble in it as a "separate" O, meaning don't grab bag out of Big C's playbook, LOL.  Not unless you have superior talent.