“I fear not the man who knows 10,000 kicks. I fear the man who has practiced 1 kick 10,000 times!” -Bruce Lee-
Roy Jones Jr, Rocky Marciano, Joe “Brown Bomber” Lewis, and Floyd Mayweather. What do they all have in common? Other than being phenomenal fighters, they all are known for the straight right hand. you know its coming, its their best and most frequently used punch. They throw it all the time, and they land it. Why? Lets look at wrestling and Olympian and NCAA champion Jon Smith. The low single is coming, no doubles, no ankle picks, no throws. Just the low single, and guess what? He is going to get it and take his opponent down.
These legendary athletes were never hard to scout. Every fan in the stands or watching from home knows exactly what is coming. The problem is, its coming from all types of angles. All types of looks. All types of different scenarios. It must be defended at all times. The opponent must be sound against it in all aspects of his game plan!
The point that I am trying to make here is that all of the greats find what they are good at, believe in it and rep it thousands of times! How does this apply to football you might ask; well I as you this, HOW DOES IT NOT?! I can tell you now, that when I am scouting a team that we will play, I never get nervous when I see a plethora of different blocking schemes. More often than not they are mediocre at all of them and if you stop one, one time they illogically jump to another scheme. Want to know what makes me nervous? When I scout a team and they run 2 or 3 plays, and they run them over, and over, and over. They have PhD.’s in those plays. They come from all different formations, from multiple looks. What makes it worse is if their number 2 or number 3 plays look just like number 1! That is a nightmare!
I’m sure all of you can think of somebody you play that is like this. Some real life examples I can give are Bishop Moore in Orlando, FL and Gold Beach in Gold Beach, OR. It is no secret the speed sweep is coming when you play Bishop Moore. You are going to have to stop it. Not once, twice or three times; but all night long. You will have to stop it and be sound against it from multiple formations, looks and set ups. Its coming, and its coming frequently. In Gold Beach you better be ready for the veer! Its coming, right at you. You may stop it, but guess what? It is coming again, and again, and again. To quote the head coach for Gold Beach @kdawgswift “You better buckle up peckerwood, because we are gunna run it till you bleed to death!” (still one of my favorite quotes of all time lol)
So, what constitutes a good number 1 play? Your number 1 play should meet these criteria in order to be considered as your go to play:
- Must be able to run it out of any formation
- Must be able to run it out of any personnel group
- Must stress the defense in multiple facets (assignments, techniques, alignment)
- Must be gap sound against all defensive fronts
- Must have a companion play that constraints the number 1 play while looking the same
- Must run it religiously
Here are my top recommendations for number 1 plays in no particular order, beneath each play I provided example(s) of good companion plays:
- Jet Sweep
- belly, inside zone, GTO, trap
- Wide Zone
- dive, inside zone, GTO, keeper, load and speed option
- Power O
- jet sweep, power read, GTO
- jet sweep, GTO
- mid line, trap, GTO
- Mid Line
- veer, trap, GTO
- Inside Zone
- wide zone, keeper, GTO
- jet sweep, toss, buck sweep, GTO
DISCLAIMER: GTO is in there a lot. Everyone should be able to run some counter…. BUT; counter is a set up play, not a play you live and die by. Many a teams have learned this the hard way…
This article follows along the lines of two of my previous articles “Whats Your System” and “A Systemic Attack”. KISS is my general coaching philosophy, and most teams that adopt this approach tend to experience success. By doing this are you going to go win a state title??? Well, if you do please give me all the credit! All joking aside, I can say this: If you simplify, results get better, period. Subscribe to my email list to be notified when ever a new article is published and follow me on twitter here @thecoachvogt.