Wishbone Blocking Scheme by Andrew Ward.pdf

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The Wishbone
The Blocking System
There is nothing more pivotal to an offense than a consistent blocking system.
This system contains four core types of blocking: Conservative blocking, Liberal
blocking, Counter blocking, Zone blocking. In one way or another, all of these kinds
of blocking are related to each other. Each play revolves around a hole, and the type
of blocking used centers around that hole. For instance, we can attack the 6/7 hole in
a variety of ways. We can conservative block and run a power off-tackle (46/47
Power), we can base block and have a guard pull underneath (46/47 Blast), we can
conservative block an option (16/17 G Option), we can liberal block and run several
dives (26/27 Dive) and options (16/17 Veer), we can counter block (46/47, 26/27
Counter) and we can zone block and run a (46/47 Zone) and (16/17 Sprint), etc.
Now, the words after numbers represent certain codes that tell the offense
what kind of blocking will be used. The following is a brief list of the different
meanings of words in regards to the linemen and backfield:
Blast – Linemen execute conservative blocking with backside guard running an inside
Seal. Designated lineman will Release defender on LOS; fullback kicks out.
Buck – Linemen execute liberal blocking. As fullback dives the opposite direction
lead running back will utilize the fullback’s liberal responsibilities.
Counter – Linemen will utilize counter blocking. Backfield will use counter
responsibilities AWAY from the hole.
Dive – Linemen will utilize quick liberal blocking. Called player will dive into the
hole; rest of backfield will flow to the side of the hole called.
G – Linemen will utilize conservative blocking with PS guard kicking out the
FMOTE. Backfield will either run a fullback dive option or the fullback will
get the ball.
Lead – Linemen and backfield will utilize liberal responsibilities.
Power – Linemen and backfield will utilize conservative responsibilities.
Sweep – Linemen and backfield will utilize their respected blocking: responsibilities
depend on type of sweep.
Trap – Linemen will utilize counter responsibilities. Backfield will mirror this TO the
Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com
Veer – Linemen will utilize liberal blocking with the hole man (lineman who’s
number is called) releasing their lineman. Backfield will run Veer
Zone – Linemen and backfield will utilize zone responsibilities.
Coaching Point: The words “Conservative” and “Liberal” aren’t used in play
calling, but “Zone” and “Counter” ae.
Relations to Backfield
It is essential that the players in the backfield and linemen are on the same
page. The word Power calls for all players to utilize Conservative schemes. ‘Bone
Left 45 Power’ would not work if the backfield utilized Liberal responsibilities for a
play that they should be using Conservative responsibilities.
Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com
Conservative responsibilities for the backfield are:
Fullback – block first second level defender inside the gap
Lead back – block first second level defender over to outside gap
Liberal responsibilities for the backfield are:
Fullback – block first unblocked second level defender in hole
Lead back – (3 backs) block outside to inside invert, (2 backs) play as fullback
If the fullback is not involved in the blocking (as in Buck plays) the lead back will
assume the fullback’s Liberal responsibilities. If the lead back is not involved in the
blocking, the fullback will assume Liberal responsibilities. The following diagram
shows how this plays into effect:
The backfield will read the lineman whose hole is the last number in the play. Sense
this is a 42 they will read the right guard. Sense the guard is blocking down they will
run in B gap. If the guard blocked out it would be considered A gap, although
nothing in this case would change.
Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com
Here is another look at the backfield’s blocking responsibilities. They block
according to their responsibilities. In the first diagram, ’44 Lead’, the fullback blocks
the first man over C gap (the one the tackle doesn’t block), the lead back blocks the
invert (whether it be the second or first level). In the second diagram, ’44 Power’, the
fullback takes first inside the C gap, and the lead back the first defender over to
outside the C gap on the second level. If there isn’t a defender over or outside the C
gap on the second level there is most likely a Strong Invert (an 8 tech) on the LOS.
He should be blocked.
Coaching Point: Don’t spend too much time going over who blocks who
against what defenses, ec. Linebackers shift too much for the backfield to keep track,
and keeping track may indeed give the play away. For them to know the basic “fist
man inside the gap” and “fist man over the gap” is raw, but highly effective.
Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com
Types of Blocks
Starting with the linemen, we have a simple down block. This is utilized in
just about every kind of blocking scheme, but it is more prominent in the
Conservative scheme. If blocking down on a head up defender, one should be aware
if the player the defender is on is blocking as well.
The combo block is a big part of the Liberal blocking scheme. The covered
player should take a 45 power step followed by a contact step downfield. His third
step should hook the defender. The uncovered player, if he is combo blocking in,
should aid the covered player and move to the second level backside defender.
Andrew Ward, WCSpartan53@hotmail.com
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