Youth Football Spread Offense?
Before we get started with today’s blog about defending a youth football spread offense, please allow us to point something out. The video below is as relevant as ever, but the FirstDown PlayBook website has come a million miles since we created that video. However, the coaching advice, once again, remains spot on when it comes to defending a youth football spread offense. All of the youth football help we describe in this blog still exists in FirstDown PlayBook. It is just in a newer and better format.
Here at FirstDown PlayBook, we love the spread offense. We were a part of running this offense more than any other during our three decades of coaching. We have enjoyed seeing it expand over the years to concepts like the zone read and more recently, the RPO game. Having said all of this, one thing we know about the spread offense is that it is predicated on the offense’s ability to throw the ball. If you cannot throw the ball there is absolutely no reason for the defense to spread out with you.
This is why we are more than a little skeptical about a nine or ten year old’s ability to force a defense to spread out. Ley’s face it. Your youth football quarterback runs the ball better than they throw it. In fact, your running back runs the ball better than your quarterback throws it.
Most coaches know this when they run a youth football spread offense. Here is what else they know. They are betting on a youth football defensive coach will trying to defend everything, regardless of how likely it is to happen. They are counting on you having the deep pass defended every bit as much as you do the QB run. Never mind the fact that the quarterback can’t throw the ball that far.
This is why most youth football spread offenses spend most of the game running the football with the quarterback or running back. Once the youth football defense spreads out there are not enough defenders playing the run. Sure, the defense is sound…on paper. It may even look like the defense you saw on TV that week. For a youth football defense though, it is just a bad strategy.
Before you watch this video and learn more about defending a youth football offense, let us make this point. Here at FirstDown PlayBook we think youth football should be about the fundamentals. We think it’s about the tools that are the building blocks of the game. This is why we make this point every year. Once you spread the youth football offense out, you have a lot of kids becoming spectators.
Instead of learning how to block and mastering some of the needed skills to become a sound football player, your son or daughter is lining up as a receiver. A receiver who is never going to catch a pass. Why? Because the quarterback cannot throw the ball out there.
The youth football defense suffers too. Instead of learning how to get off blocks and tackle, they are covering a receiver who isn’t going to get the ball anyway. The defense essentially spends the entire game trying to chase the quarterback or running back down after they break free on a run play.