Creating Your Offensive Scheme

Creating your offensive scheme and identity is very important for finding success on the field. Offenses sell tickets! Hell, they even win championships now a days. So how do you create your offensive system for your program? You can always purchase mine for $5 via Patreon. Follow this link here: IMFB Offense 2018 – there’s a playbook, script and cut-ups for you to look through via Patreon.com. 

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Want to listen while you read? Check out the IMFB Coachspeak episode 29 on Offensive Schemes 

Now for the article on how to create and grow your offensive scheme

Meaningful Specific vs Wandering Generalities

Do you want to establish an offense that’s specific in scheme, goals, and methods with a meaningful way to establish it and cultivate the offense? Or would you rather have a general idea of what you’ll dip in and out of? Hopefully meaningful specific is what you’re interested in- here’s how to achieve meaningful specific when it comes to an offense.

Setting Goals

In creating the scheme, I want my goals to be:

  1. Easy to learn/remember so we can play football fast (nemonic devices!)
  2. We’re smarter than the defense- no turnovers, no penalties, we know our assignments. Play smart football like Navy, Army.
  3. Pick on the 5 technique in an even front, or the stand up end/OLB in an odd front
  4. Pick on the flat defender

From there you’ve established how you want to build a scheme because you know who you’re trying to beat and what run plays, and pass combinations will benefit you.


Teaching Your Scheme

Here is how I teach my scheme to my assistant coaches:

  1. Create your playbook and save it in a file that anyone can use, such as PDF
    1. Make sure it has some text, diagrams, and rules
  2. Create a short cut-up film with 2 clips for each play in your base playbook
    1. This should come with a script to follow with explanations of WHY you call what you call and WHY it worked or didn’t work

Here’s how I teach the playbook to the players:

  1. Empower your assistant coaches by having them create position manuals for their groups
  2. Only send out the things you’re installing the next day
    1. ie. Day 1 if I want formations 1 and 2, and runs 1 and 2, pass pro 1 and 3-step game 1, 2 and 3 then that’s all I send playbook pages and cut-ups of.
  3. Quick (never exceed 30 min in a film session) film session before practice to show the cut-ups you’ve already sent out

Establishing Balance

I don’t mean keep a 50/50 run pass balance. I mean keep a balance to how many players have to really know 90-100% of the offensive system.

I put a huge onus on my quarterback and h-back. I put a medium onus on the center and tackles. The outside receivers, tailback, and guards have very little to learn. The H-Back has a hard curriculum as he has to know when to block outside release, inside lead, or back across the formation to kick a defensive end or to wrap up the field and work the second or third level. He’s in the passing game, the run game, and the RPO game depending on the formation and play call!


On the Field

Since I like to go “us versus us” for the first two weeks of spring (ie. our offensive versus our defense, no scout teams) and for all of camp in the fall, our ‘scout cards’ are our own offense. For the first week, I will allow a scout book in the offensive huddle with our plays drawn up and we script a mini scrimmage. That way our guys get used to reading scout cards, but also learn our offense with visuals as well as verbal cues before going kinesthetic with running the actual play call.


How Much is Too Much?

I think there’s no set number to “too much” as it is what your players can retain. If you’re at an established program that has a high football acumen then go ahead and install your offense until they prove they can’t handle any more. I could install a lot at Cornerstone but so much more at Willamina because they had more football experience than many of the CCA players.

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