How to Stop the Single Wing Offense

Written by Dave on May 27th, 2007

We have yet to be stopped very well, but there have been a team or two that slowed us down in a way most youth football coaches wouldn’t think of.

To answer this, all I can do is relate my direct experience. We have played teams over the last 6 seasons with every imaginable defense and stunt you could dream up in your wildest mad scientist lab. We are always the most filmed, most researched, most talked about team in the leagues we play in. It’s probably because of how different the offense is and how many points we put up each week.

We have even played the same team with the same group of coaches 3 years in a row. They put up a different defense and different set of stunts each year and we still came out on top each time, so the newness factor for our success may not be all what it’s cracked up to be.


Our parents have overheard opponent scouting coaches just throwing up their hands and saying “No way we can stop this I don’t even know where the ball is. There are other youth football coaches that have been very confident and said “All we have to do is X and we will shut them down”.”X ” may stop one play but it doesn’t stop the entire offense or the adjustments detailed in the book. Some of the comments of the smug expert defensive coaches have been darn right funny and those are usually the teams we score 3 TDs on in the first quarter.

I have no problem with opposing coaches scouting us. I take it as a huge compliment that they think so highly of us that they would spend time studying our football team. I�m very friendly and joke around with these guys, I really appreciate their effort to understand our football plays and system.

There has not been a single type of defense or tactic that consistently gave our youth football team problems. There have been a few defenses that we love to see. we run through these like butter:

4-4
GAM
10-1
5-2 Monster

We do well against the others too, but the above youth football defenses perform particularly poorly against the Single Wing Offense. We also found that teams that stunt and stem a bunch are vulnerable to big plays and often get behind early and never recover.

The few teams that have given us problems do so in an area you wouldn’t think would have much to do with stopping the Single Wing, it is the opponent’s offense. When we play teams that can get a few first downs every possession and keep our offense off the field, we can struggle. In 2006 we lost a playoff game in overtime to a team that always got 1-3 first downs on every one of their possessions. They also got an extra possession due to very good special teams play. Their coaches did an excellent job of eating up the clock and keeping us off the field. They stayed in a base responsibility defense and varied from it very rarely if at all.

The teams that gambled on offense and went 3 and out played right into our hands, we got the ball early and often and scored early and often. Same for the teams that got out of their base defense and threw a bunch of blitzes and stunts our way. The defensive kids were playing out of position, got burned and lost confidence in the “scheme” and ended up playing tentatively.

Is the Single Wing Offense the �silver bullet� for youth football? In of itself probably not, but add to it proper practice priorities, solid defense and special teams play and it’s a knockout combination.

Here is a poll that answers the question: What is the defense you like least to see as a Youth Single Wing coach? It was answered from a group of 41 experienced Youth Single Wing football coaches.

Wide Tackle Six
6 votes (15%)
5-3
5 votes (12%)
4-4
7 votes (17%)
4-6
2 votes (5%)
GAM
4 votes (10%)
10-1
2 votes (5%)
7 Diamond
1 votes (2%)
5-2 Monster
2 votes (5%)
3-3-5
7 votes (17%)
4-3
1 votes (2%)
3-4
1 votes (2%)
Other
3 votes (7%)

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