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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Spread Offense GT Counter Play-Action Pass

This is a topic that came up on Coach Huey with another coach asking if anyone had any experience running some play action pass off of the GT (or Guard Tackle) counter action.  The GT counter has become a huge play within the spread especially at the high school level that having a pass off of the action is a great way to slow down a defense from immediately crashing the pull.

This play can be run from a doubles, trips, two back, and multiple other formations with effectiveness from the gun.  The first three drawings are of how you can run the GT Counter from the gun in three of the formations.  I haven't gone into great depth about how to block the running play against the different fronts, since you could block it differently than I would up front with the line.  Again these are just examples to give you an idea on how you can incorporate play action passes using the GT counter action.  The motions I give are pretty generic but they can be adapted to how you call it.

GT Counter Plays
Doubles Yo-Yo 37 Counter

In this formation you can see that we bring a receiver in motion to block the backside end.  I would use a larger receiver like a TE so that they can make this block.  I used Yo Yo to represent the Y going in a motion one way and then coming back to make this block.

Right Trey Halo 36 Counter

This play we have the H coming across to the left, hence the halo and blocking the end.  Again this is setting up the defense using that motion to get them thinking run.

Blue Right 36 Counter

As you can see we run this out of two backs as well with the back that isn't getting the ball crossing in front first to pick up the backside end.  This is where this play can get extremely effective, you have started to pull the defense more into the box which will allow you to get a back out on one on one coverage against a backer or safety.  You should be able to win this more often than not for a big play.

GT Counter Play-Action Pass
Now that we have run the counter play with the motions, you will start to find the defense want to cheat to the side opposite of the motion.  It happens with kids, especially high school kids who see the play and then want to get a jump.  So here are examples of the play run off of these motions and formations.

Doubles Yo Yo 137 Counter Boot

Even though the play goes to the right it is called 137 because the line action is the same as running 37 Counter.  The 100 is added to signify to the players it is the play action pass.  This is a simple yet effective way of not over complicating your team.

As you can see by the draw up, our motion receiver will chip the end then get out into the route.  The QB is going to watch the end and see if he can get outside on a boot or needs to pull up and get rid of the ball now.  The QB should get depth should he choose to roll out, to avoid any chance of that end catching him.  He should take a quick glance at the deep ball and see if it is coming open but the quick shoot route or 10-14 yard crossing route will be the routes most likely coming open.  The deep split route can be the last read if the high safety or safeties are coming up on crosser.  If nothing is open run the ball.   It is important that the line doesn't get too far down field in their play action look.

Right Trey Halo 136 Counter Boot

Same as what happened above the chip and then out into the route is vitally important.  It will help sell the run to the flat defender giving your receiver a chance to get out and run with the ball.

Blue 136 Counter Boot

This formation has been where I have really seen this play hit for big yardage.  The defense has packed more into the box and sold for the run, Usually the back slipping out into the flat is open by at least 10-12 yards, leaving them one on one with a safety to make the tackle.  

Now for a lot of coaches these routes are very similar to the boot routes they run off of the inside zone from the gun.  One of the great things is that your kids don't have to learn a lot of new routes and can still have an effective counter to a defense cheating against your counter play.

And lest you think you can only run the play with two receivers to either side you can still call the play and run it with three receivers to one side as shown here.

Right Trips Ha Ha 137 Counter Boot Flood

So there you go coaches, an idea on how to run some play action passes off of counter action in the spread. Of course this isn't the end all of be all when it comes to pass combos and routes.  I would love to hear from other coaches what their experience has been and ideas on route combos, please leave your comments below.
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