Quarterback Sneak: Four Downs Makes It Critical

By FirstDown PlayBook on Oct 16, 2023
Never Lose Your Work

The quarterback sneak has always been an under appreciated play, especially when it comes to fans. However, even coaches can be dismissive of its importance, which is a huge mistake. With coaches electing to go for it on fourth down more than ever, this has to be one of the most important plays in any football coach’s playbook.

Anyone who watched the Tennessee vs Texas A&M game Saturday saw this on full display. Texas A&M was faced with a fourth down and inches near mid field in the second quarter. They probably assumed that Tennessee would play two A gap defenders or even a solid look with a zero nose and two B gap defenders.

Do You Lob Your Installs To Your Group or GRAB Their Attention?

As you will see in the video below, A&M elected to hand the ball off. One of their offensive linemen stepped on the quarterback’s foot and he went down. Possession Tennessee. The announcers wondered aloud why Texas A&M had not called a sneak, and in hindsight, they were probably correct. Tennessee had lined up in a defense with both A gaps essentially open, providing a pretty easy quarterback sneak look.

What you can never predict is what front is the defense going to play and also are they going to stunt into the A gaps on the snap. However, when you get the look the Volunteers gave the Aggies, you like your odds of getting an inch or two to keep the chains moving.

Our intent today is not to bust anyone’s chops. You can go see that on Twitter if you want. Our goal is to refer you to what we consider sound quarterback sneak blocking rules. This will give you the confidence to call it when you need it.

The Philly “Tush Push” Takes More Work Than You Might Think

The Philadelphia Eagles have proven that with their “Tush Push” you can get a first down against just about any defensive look. However; his takes more work than you might imagine or have time for in high school football. We want to give you a simple rule that involves your QB, Center and two Guards.

The look we give you today is, in our opinion, a tougher look than Tennessee gave A&M. If both A gaps are open, we firmly believe the Center and Quarterback can get this done. The question we have for you is, how are you going to block this play vs this front and where is your quarterback sneak going to hit?

Which direction are you going to run the sneak? Are you going to run it to the shade or the 3 technique?

It can be very tempting as a play caller to design your quarterback sneak to hit the open A gap. However, you must always take into account that the defense is most likely going to pinch or stunt inside. That Guard who you are running behind has to block a pinching 3 technique one on one, which is hard.

Pushing the ball right behind the double team is normally your best bet. The one thing to take into consideration is if both A gaps are covered, which is likely. In the event you get this, then we would run behind our best (away from their) best personnel.

Before we sign off for today, we understand that some defenses may fill very gap and have a zero nose in this situation. We still stand by giving your Center and Quarterback a direction to sneak and then slide outside to find the first double team. Or of course…you could perfect the Philly Tush Push…

New York Jets Nate Hackett