Little Known “Trick” for Your Offensive Line Scheme

Written by Dave on May 6th, 2007

Did you know you can have 10 players on the line of scrimmage?
Many youth football coaches do not know this, they mistakenly think you can only have 7 players on the line of scrimmage. The rules state you must have at LEAST 7 players on the line of scrimmage, you can have more than that if you like.

How do you use this misconception that most coaches have and use it to your teams advantage?


Don Markham set a National High School Scoring record of 880 points in a 14 game season at Bloomington High School in California, using an offense that often had 8 or 9 players on the line of scrimmage.

Conway Springs High School in Kansas, a real Single Wing powerhouse uses 9 or 10 players on the line of scrimmage for its “Great Wall of China” series.

I have on occasion used 8 players on the line of scrimmage to create strong-side advantages for my youth teams. When we want this alignment, we would just move our wingback to stand foot to foot with our right end. We call this our “on” adjustment.

Here is how and why I would do it:

You have a strong-side defensive end that you want to widen his alignment by one body. This would make this defenders distance to the off-tackle hole that much farther to travel.

You have a linebacker sitting in the off-tackle hole and you want easier access to him for your wingbacks block and possible a better angle for the block. Instead of having your wingback go around the defensive end to the linebacker in the traditional path, the wingback would now be set inside the defensive end with a clear path to the linebacker.

You have a strong wingback and you want to block out on the defensive end with him, a variation of our �tunnel� call.

You want a larger pre-snap off-tackle hole due to the fact the defensive tackle will most likely line up on your right tackle like he is used to, rather than moving out one gap to what would most likely be his proper alignment.

It creates bubbles in the defensive line.

It makes you wedge easier to run if the defense widens to a proper alignment, with bigger gaps between defensive down linemen.

This is an advanced technique to use, but in my mind a very simple one to put in as the season progresses for teams that are doing well.

If you really wanted to widen that defensive end you could add the “nasty split”.
(moving your right end out about 1-3 feet from your power-tackle) to the equation, if the defensive end widened, you would have a huge off-tackle hole to start with pre-snap. If the defensive end did not widen, he would be very easy to block for a sweep play.

These are advanced techniques that you can play around with as you go through your season, or not use them at all. My personal teams have used these nuances in just 2 of our seasons. Remember that coaching youth football successfully is more than just having the right football plays or even calling them at the right time, it means making small adjustments throughout the season to maximze your teams potential.

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