Utilizing the Power Blocking Scheme
The Power play and scheme is a play run at every level of football. The power play is also a very adaptable play and is an easy way to outnumber the defense at the point of attack.
The four variations of power I will focus on for this post are the following:
- 2 Back power
- QB Power
- Dash Read
- Speed Option
#1. The 2 Back Power
The Basic 2-Back Power play looks like this:
The 2 back power play shown above is run strong side against a “4-3 over” front. The power play is great against the 4-3, but is also very good against all defenses to the strong and weak sides. That is why you see the play run by so many teams at all levels.
In the case above, you have double team with the front side guard and the front side tackle at the point of attack. Whenever we double team, we teach our guys the “4 hands, 4 Eyes” rule. This rule implies that both the guard and the Tackle have their 4 hands on the down guy being double teamed, but also have their 4 eyes on the linebacker.
4 Hands, 4 Eyes Rule
- Utilizing this rule, if the backer tries to run through the A Gap, the Guard will come off the double team and take him. The tackle will continue on the down guy.
- If the backer tries to scrape over the top, the Tackle will come off the double team and take him while the Guard continues blocking the down linemen. This is why getting hip to hip on the double team is so important.
- Coaching point – This is why getting hip to hip is so important on the double team. It not only makes the double team difficult to split, but it also allows the guard to seal the down guy to the inside in the case of an LB scraping overtop.
The Tight End has a clean track to seal off Middle Line Backer, but will take the first guy to cross his path on the way to the MLB. For example, if Sam Line Backer fills hard and gets into the TE’s path, the TE will go ahead and wash him down and the pulling guard will get the MLB once he pulls through the hole.
The Back side guard is pulling play side around the double team with his eyes inside looking for the linebacker. He pulls with his eyes inside and up field looking to come as tight to the double teams as possible to prevent a width seam.
The Back side tackle "seals to center" looking for anybody trying to run through the b-gap to the a-gap.
When running the 2 back power, you have the ability to hold a backside End or backside #3 by reading him with the QB. If the backside end, “closes and chases, the QB will pull and replace” where he left and get what he can get. You must be careful with this because teams will play games with the backside end and linebacker and change who is responsible for the QB pull. Coaches can figure this out by film study or during the game, have the coach in the box focus on this when the play is being run.
The main focus of the power scheme is the End Man on the Line of Scrimmage (EMLOS) or 1st man outside the T/TE that we want to kick out or read. He will be the focal point for the power variations in this post. In the two back set above, the EMLOS will be kicked out by the front side running back. Depending upon your personnel, this can be a nightmare if you have a smallish back trying to block a stud DE. There are ways to alter the blocking scheme for this, but for the sake of this discussion our back can block the DE.
Another issue with 2 backs, is the defense can put another guy in the box or the strong safety can fill fast and hard while reading the TE block. To combat this, we prefer to run power out of our single back spread formations with our QB. We have admittedly not run much power out or Max (2 Back) set.
#2. The QB Power
If you have a QB that can run, QB power is a very effective way to spread the defense while still running a power offense. QB run plays give you 2 backs that can run the ball while keeping the defense spread out. The diagram below is out of our Tight End Trips formation.
The great part of running the QB is the blocking scheme stays the same, but you are able to get another blocker on the safety at the point of attack. That could be the difference between a 4 yard gain and a touchdown. All of the coaching points are the same as the 2 back power, but you are running out of a single back formation.
The Video is a combination of mostly QB power, a 2 back power (Wing motion) and a juke screen off power action. A couple QB power plays are more like old school Power I with a wing kicking, guard pulling and the RB leading through.
Please be aware that sound may be present in the video.
#3. The Dash Play
The Dash play is the inverted veer play while utilizing the power blocking scheme.
As you can see in the diagram, the power blocking scheme is the same all the way to the point of the kick out block. With Dash, the QB will read the EMLOS instead of kicking him out. The read for the QB is very simple:
- If the DE closes hard and flat down the LOS, GIVE the ball to the RB on the sweep play. The RB’s path is designated by the green line above. We want him running wide and up the sideline.
- If the DE sits or takes the sweep, the QB will pull the ball and follow the back side guard leading onto the LB.
In order to ensure a good read, we teach the QB to take a shuffle step with the ball in the belly of the RB to extend the time of the mesh point. When in doubt, the QB gives the ball.
The video below shows the Dash play several times with both QB give and QB keep based upon the read.
Please be aware that sound may be present in the video.
#4. The Speed Option
The speed option play is normal speed option while utilizing the power blocking scheme.
As you can see in the diagram, the power blocking scheme is the same all the way to the point of the kick out block. With Speed Option, the QB will attack and read the EMLOS instead of kicking him out. The read for the QB is very simple:
- If the DE attacks the QB, he will pitch the ball to the RB in good pitch relationship.
- If the DE sits or attacks the pitch man, the QB will secure the ball and follow the back side guard leading onto the LB. When in doubt, the QB keeps the ball.
In order to ensure a good read, we teach the QB to attack right outside the Double team so it forces the DE to make a decision fast. We prefer to run speed option with the power scheme, but we have not run much speed option the past few years.
The power scheme is a great scheme that we like to use in order to pick on the DE as much as possible. We run many schemes that include blocking down and kicking out the EMLOS. Because of this, defenses like to close the DE real hard on our down blocks. These power scheme variations allow for us to attack the defense and make the DE wrong, but keep things simple for our offensive lineman so they can stay physical and comfortable.
I hope you enjoyed reading.
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