I was tinkering with a formation the other day that many probably think is pretty gimmicky (which if you read an earlier post means nothing to me). It is a spread formation which puts stress on the defense horizontally and vertically. With this formation though, I think you have to have a QB who is a runner (at least an option guy, doesn’t have to be a burner). You probably going what formation by now. The formation I am playing around with is a Quads Empty Set.
Now you have to understand some basics of the offense I am looking at using this formation with. First off, the QB is an RB with a decent and great head. In reality he is the featured ball carrier. Secondly there are no true TE’s/FB’s/H’s within this formation. Y is the closest thing to a TE, but he is a receiving TE. The W is more of a scat back than a 3rd or 4th WR. The A is the TB.
The base scheme is a shotgun veer offense/zone offense, with a lot of motion. We will have the triple option, the speed option, inside and outside zone, fly-sweep, counter, and some sort of inside trap (primarily as a counter with the fly). Passing wise there will be simpler route combinations with high percentage throws (hitches, curls, slants) and to feature the QB’s skill set, mostly will be play-action pass and sprint out.
My thoughts with this formation is that it allows the offense I just described to do a few things to a defense. 1st it will probably confuse the hell out some high school defenders. I understand all the DC’s out there are going, “we do not have to change our rules or coverages or assignments,” But think about it for second from the perspective of the average high school defender, that formation looks different, and different confuses. So while the safety is supposed to have his eyes on the QB’s eyes, he is probably (at least early on) going to let at least one eye drift to those 4 WR’s to his right. 2nd, the formation is going to put stress on the defense using the basic spread principles of making them cover sideline to sideline. 3rd we are forcing the defense to make some decisions. Decisions??? Again many are saying right now we bump are LBs over and cover the wide side/Quad side. Normal spread yes, but when you have a kid at QB who is the primary ball carrier you now have to make some choices. DO you cover everyone up on the Quads side, protect against the pass/run to formation strength or DO you keep at least 6 in the box, because the QB is a threat as a runner.
He are some of our base plays run from the Quads set.
I would assume, that if the defense was running a 4-3, this would probably be their alignment versus the formaiton:
So let’s look at what we could do hear. My intial thought is lets go to the where we could have them outnumbered. Since we are an option team, bring either the A or W in motion and run speed option weak. We will use the zone to rules (see previous post) and read the 1st defender headup to outside of the PST.
You could also run a Fly to the weakside (need speed in my opinion).
A great compliment off the Fly is the QB run in between the tackles either with simply running inside zone or running the inside trap, after faking the fly.
So you have 4 runs through this formation. You also have your pass threats. You have the most obvious 2 in spread. 1st throw to the uncovered (sidenote: this should be a automatic, you run spread, you have to committ to throwing to any receiver who is ever uncovered). 2nd throw the good ole bubble. The key to the bubble to me is the throw and the reciever believing he can beat everyone to the edge (because he can, he has the leverage).
You of course can put any flood combination into this set, you run your verticals. A smash combination. But here are two I really like. 1st I want to take advantage of the stack players (Y & X) trying to confuse coverage roles. The type of pass you have here can be drop back or sprint out. Remember I like sprint out because I like to keep the QB run threat always in the defense’s head. Here the X is running a corner, while the Y is running the out.
The other pass combination is this one. Again trying to take advantage of the stack look as well as high-lowing coverage. The image may be a little confusing with the stack, the Y is running a 5-yard hitch, the X is running the out.
The other alternative to this formation is dependent upon if (really when) they roll their coverage. If they roll over to the quads and the corner softens up on the split end side or single wide receiver side you now have a potential matchup in your favor. Something I stole from Tony Demeo was his flash concept. Where the single WR, was typically the best and truest WR. If the corner softened up the QB would then catch and throw now to that wide receiver, ideally getting at least 4 yards. You could run the quick hitch or even a up-n-down route. The up-n-down route meaning the WR burst off the LOS for 1 step, then swoops back down catches and gets upfield. Either way it turns into 1-on-1.
When the tightens, you also have the potential to a fade, or peek back-side on a pass play. Now of course this all assuming you like your match up with that corner.
The Quads set could be something that has a lot of potential. It gives the opponent something unique to look at and prepare, and if you are running something like I discussed it gives some advantages to the offense.