4 Keys to Running a Balanced Offense

6 Dec

by Joe Daniel

Most coaches want to have balance in their offense. In order to have balance though, a coach needs to define what balance is for his offense.

Balance is not a 50-50 split of runs and passes. Most coaches think of that when they think of a balanced offense. In fact, balance is when the opponent has the threat of you running or passing in any given situation.

To bring balance to your offense, you only need to follow these guidelines:

1. Self Scouting: Each week you need to take film to see what your opponent will see. You may think you’re pretty sneaky, but chances are you have some pretty strong tendencies if you are not self scouting.

Hopefully you have video analysis software like Hudl and this will not take long. Tag last week’s game, then run a report on the last two or three games to see your tendencies in every situation.

Pay attention to down & distance, field position and hash placement when you are self scouting your offensive playcalling. If you have strong tendencies anywhere, plan to break them this week.

2. Balance what you practice. Some coaches want to work what they are good at, while others only focus on the problem areas. Make sure you work whatever you need to work to ensure you have balance in your attack.

You have your 7 on 7 and 9 on 7 periods, are you really balanced? In team offense playcalling do you have balance? What about your individual periods?

Look at what the Offensive Line is working on each day. This gives you a good idea of how balanced your offense is.

3. Use plays that compliment what you do best. If you are a run heavy team, you should achieve balance with play action passes, not 7 step drops and double move routes.

Passing teams should achieve balance with screens and draws to keep the defense off balance.

4. Be series oriented, but don’t work off a script.

Scripts have their place. You may script the first 10 plays to see how they will react to various formations and plays. But soon you’ll want to work off that information. You should have a plan for what to run based on what the defense gives you.

This is where series, not script, comes in. If the defense has decided to give you the edge all night in favor of stopping your ISO play, take it!

If they take away the pass by giving your spread attack a 4-1 box, be able to run. That is true balance.

Take what the defense gives you. If your team is one-dimensional you will have trouble. But if you have balance, your team can overcome anything by taking advantage of the defense’s weaknesses.

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