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Monday, April 3, 2017

Using The Offset Up H-Back Formation In Your Offense

This is a formation that I find myself liking more and more as I study the game. I think it's seen an increase in offenses because of it's versatility. It adds another formation the defense has to prepare for while it fits into your current run or pass game. This will be a three post series covering first formation, run game, and finally the pass game. It will not be completely comprehensive, but it will give you ideas on how to use the formation in your current offense.  

Why The Offset Up H-Back Formation?

1. These formations can work with the type of players you have on a year to year basis. Do you not have a good blocking back but instead a couple really good TE's? These formations allows you to adapt to the players you have, and keep the plays you want to run.    

2. It puts pressure on defensive alignment.  Diagram 1 below shows how a 4-2-5 defense will typically align to an attached TE. Other defensive fronts usually do something similar to account for the extra gap created by the offense.

Diagram 1


In Diagram 2, because the TE is now off the ball, the defense will align to the tackle. The extra gap created by the TE is not technically there anymore. The wing can run a wham block to the left or can lead on a zone read play. Because the wing is tighter to the line his block is flatter and harder for an end or defensive player to see.

Diagram 2

   
The offset up formation blends the benefit of having that wing player with having a second back in the backfield. It's tougher for the defensive player to see the offensive player tight to the line at the snap because he will be hidden by the offensive linemen.

To give you an idea of what I mean, the next three images will show the view from the Mike and Will of a 4-2-5 defense vs a split back gun formation, wing gun formation, and the offset up formation.

Standard Split Back Gun Formation


In this first image the Mike and Will backers can see all three players in the offensive backfield. Because of this, after reading run or pass, they are able to react to the backfield actions accordingly. Any wham block by one of the backs is easier to be seen because he has to come at an angle.

Wing Gun Formation

 

In the second image the Mike sees the wing with his peripheral vision, while the Will can't see him at all. As I mentioned before the wham block will be flatter, but because the wing is outside the tackles, it will take him longer which can be the difference between making the block and not.

Offset Up Gun Formation


Same as above, the Mike sees the H-back, and the Will can't. The H-back is tight to the line like the wing, yet also in the backfield like a second back. Because of this alignment he is closer to any wham block he will make, yet still able to lead out to the defense's left if needs be.

Now that I've explained they why, let's take a look at four offset up H-back formations.

Formations

Here are the four formations that make up this offensive package for me. You don't have to use my names, you can name them whatever fits in your system.


I have given the two formations with 11 or 20 personnel smaller cat names like Cheetah or Puma. The formations with 21 or 12 personnel I have given bigger cat names. I didn't use Lion because that could be a part of many team's line protections and want to avoid confusion. You will also notice that the Y stays on the same side as the H-Back and I move the Z around to a slot position. In my offensive system that keeps it simple for me, but for you it may be different.

For my system the starting point of the H-back alignment is splitting the guard and tackle with being a yard and half to two yards behind the line. This allows him to avoid tangling legs with the guard or tackle if they pull. If the player isn't as confident or needs to based on the play he can cheat a half step to the right or left. 

Conclusion

I want to make it clear that even though I have drawn these up as being in the shotgun, these formations can work if you are under center or in a pistol offensive scheme.

I do hope that this post has made you think about the possibility of a few things with regards to your offense. If it did, then make sure to check out the post on the run game from the offset up H-Back formation which you can find here.

Let me know what you think down in the comments below Or share with any other coaches you think may like this content. Thanks for checking it out.

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