Spread Wing T Counter Vs Mugged Linebackers

By FirstDown PlayBook on Mar 13, 2024
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If there was ever an exhibit A of why gap schemes are important for almost any offensive run game, mugged linebackers might be at the top. Today we want to take this Spread Wing T Counter run and use it as our example.

All football coaches know that the Wing T offense is predicated on gap schemes and misdirection football. This Spread Wing T Counter is a good example of both. As you can see below, the play begins with the snap to the quarterback.

The quarterback executes the handoff to the running back on an underneath handoff. The F running back travels to the strong side of the formation just as it was a buck sweep run play. Your running back instead hands the ball off to the wing coming back the other direction on the Spread Wing T Counter.

A lot of ball handling, timing and misdirection right? Welcome to the world of Wing T football. When you have this much going on in the backfield it would be expected that some defensive coordinators’ answer might be penetration. This is why the gap scheme principles are so important for the offensive line.

Football Is Not Played With A Remote. It’s Often Played Through a Facemask In a 3 Point Stance

Good offensive line coaches know that the game is not played with a remote in your hand. It is played through the facemask of a player in a three point stance who is often exhausted, with sweat in their eyes. For this reason, gap scheme rules are critical.

There are several ways to communicate this gap scheme blocking. However, the important part is that your play side blockers understand that they block anything that shows in their gap. If a linebacker runs through that gap from depth, the center, guard or tackle needs to block that linebacker.

Spread Wing T Counter vs Mugged Linebackers

Conversely, if the linebacker mugs up in an inside gap prior to snap, the same thing must happen. Normally your offensive line will communicate this with a “Mug” call. Here’s the thing about mugged linebackers though. They can back out on the snap of the ball too. This is why an offensive linemen has to rely on his gap scheme rules and work first level to second level if this happens.

As you click on this diagram to see how we block this Spread Wing T Counter vs mugged linebackers you will a lot of things going on. Remember this. The defense is trying simplify the game by stopping the misdirection before it happens. If you block this correctly, the defense now has no second level defense. We all know that is a very bad thing for the defense.

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