5 Wide

Using the over formations with all 5 eligible receivers to gain the numbers advantage.  

The Passing Game. 

By: Andrew C. Brown 

In the first article of this series I discussed how to gain the numbers advantage in the running game with all five eligible receivers to the same side.  In this article I want to discuss how to use five receivers to the same side to gain an advantage in the passing game. 

In the below play, the X Screen is a great call for when the opposing team realizes that Y is in-eligible and start lining up to DBs or LBs to stop the QB runs addressed in the previous article.  Remember that as the X catches the ball behind the line of scrimmage the linemen and receivers blocking downfield are blocking legally.  The key block is the S and LT combo on the inside DB; the secondary key block is the Y and LG on the inside LB/DB.  If these two blocks happen X should be able to bust for a huge gain. 

The second play is designed to isolate the two inside DBs/LBs in the box area and the inside most LB/DB on the outside edge lined up over Z or Y.  Due to the type of formation we have to assume that the defense is playing loose man with the two inside LBs/DBs coming hard on the run and then dropping into shallow zone.  Thus Z should have the attention of three DBs/LBs and X and R should have the attention of the outside corner and DB assigned to R.  If the high safety does indeed play no one deeper than him S should be wide open or at a minimum have about a 3-yard cushion between him and his DB.  Yes the reads go from Right to left back to left but if executed right it should not be a problem.   

The third play is the basic slant pass.  Yes, it is a staple of every teams’ playbook.  However, look at the alignment of the DBs/LBs.  See the huge gap available for a perfectly timed, beautifully executed slant pass to Z.  Even if the inside most outside LB/DB jumps the route you still have space to hit the R coming hard.  If you keep executing this eventually several DBs/LBs will  be jumping hard and you can then call a tag with S to run a wheel route-which, if the LBs and DBs keep jumping, will be wide open.   

The last “normal” passing play I want to talk about is the Play Action of the Q Inside Zone.  As the two inside DBs/LBs keep coming harder and hard to stop the zone run, the mid crosses of the Z and S will be wide open, with more than likely S being left alone or in a huge gap area.  This is somewhat akin to the old Tim Tebow PA plays from when he was at Florida.   

Let’s change gears now and discuss some trick plays from the passing game.  The first is the tackle eligible play…. I know, I know….the NFHS has supposedly banned this play at the high school level; however it is my understanding some states still allow this.  If you are lucky enough to be able to run this play, I believe it will catch your opponent’s off guard.  It is a basic delay out route.  QB can fake the S-screen to the left, turn and hit RT in the flat for a big game.  Note that the QB may be exposed to the backside DE coming hard so you may want to just run a quick flat/out route if you are concerned about him being hit.   

The second trick play/sleeper play is a lateral play to Y.  The four “eligible” receivers run what I like to call a scatter route-basically where they’re all going deep clearing out the LBs and DBs.  Most high school players will forget that you can run a lateral like this so most likely Y will be uncovered quite a bit.  Note that this play is probably best run from under center (and all plays described in this article can be run from under center and to keep the defense honest should b at times.  Y drops as usual as though he’s blocking and at 5-7 yds, turns in and looks for the snap.  Q needs to read the inside Z deep angle/slant route; as long as the Dbs and LBs are clearing out he hits Y; if the defense is smart and keeps his guy on the Y, hit Z.  However this is unlikely at the high school level as humans are creatures of habit and eventually the LB/DB assigned to Y will start bailing and dropping to help other team mates in coverage.   

The final play that I would like to discuss in this article is a tackle eligible lateral.  Even if you’re in a state where the tackle eligible is illegal you can still run this one.  It is a simple under center snap, the QB runs left while the linemen drop hard and aggressively; QB MUST STAY within five yards of line of scrimmage; when he gets to or just outside tackle box turn and look for RT at 6-7 yds and laterally throw the ball.  The right guard will drop to five yds and peel right; when he hears go from RT turn up field lead blocking.  QB may be pressured quickly so I drop Y as a second lateral option (or first depending on your trust of your RT’s hands) and Z as an outlet along with X coming across on a slant.   

In conclusion if you utilize the five eligible receiver sets to the same side effectively you should tear up your opponent’s defenses quite a bit.  While I don’t believe this system and package of plays are necessarily gimmick plays, you might want to consider running them as third and short, fourth and short and/or where you feel the defense is completely asleep and you want to catch them off guard.   

It should be noted that only using this formation for passing plays or only for the running plays will be counter-intuitive as the system relies on executing both so you get the advantages you need and want to WIN WIN WIN!!!!! 

Coach Brown can be reached at:  

andrew@andrewbrownspeaking.com or https://andrewbrownspeaking.com/ 

Playbooks by Coach Brown can be found on amazon; Coach Brown is also available for motivational/inspirational speaking opportunities for your team/organization.