Accelerator Technique Introduction

Accelerator Technique Introduction

How you can install the Accelerator Technique to get results on game day!

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At Widener, we have been working on a concept that has drawn attention coast to coast and internationally, The Accelerator Technique.

The In-box is Full…

Recently, I loaded a video of a couple plays we used in a game and my in-box has been flooded with requests from high school to major college coaches.

Accelerator Technique Game Day Video!

Accelerator Technique Introduction

Accelerator Technique Introduction

It's amazing to me that years ago, at Emporia State when we were experimenting with our version of the Jet Sweep series it took years for that concept to spread. Now, we can do it in a few days and help coaches in the United States, Canada, Germany, Japan and other countries.

At Widener, we run the Triple Shoot Offense and in our first year executing this system we ranked at the top of our conference in total offense, passing offense as well as plays per game. Even if you don’t run our system you can benefit from the Accelerator Technique.

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Accelerator Technique Unveiled!

Here is our latest experimentation with the Jet Sweep concept. In these two plays, notice our inside receiver coming from 15 yards deep so he can accelerate faster to the edge. Our research shows a full second or more faster (From the Tackle to the hand-off) than without the Accelerator Technique.

When we hit it this fast, it draws considerable attention from the defense and sets up our counter play… Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: Do not try this without knowledge of installation or your results may be disastrous. (It has taken us 2 months to work out the details of this concept … there is more to this than what the naked eye sees.)

If you are interested in the details of installation, please sign up for e-mail alerts below …

 

Jet Sweep Approach Yields Results in New Jersey!

Jet Sweep Approach Yields Results in New Jersey!

Case Study: Butler Bulldogs, NJ

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The Butler Bulldogs have been running the Triple Shoot Offense since 1992. The program is one of the most storied in New Jersey football history. Butler is a small town where football is a passion. The coaches and players have been diligent in preparing for success on a regular basis. Recently, there had been a departure from Butler’s winning ways on the gridiron. Head Coach, Jason Luciani has led a renewed enthusiasm for getting back to their Triple Shoot roots and executing the offense with precision. This process was spearheaded with the hiring of new offensive coordinator Mark Mickens.

Getting Back To Their Roots

Coach Mickens had been involved with the Triple Shoot Offense since those early years when hall of fame Head Coach Bob Jones switched from the I-formation and garnered multiple state championships as a result. Mark Mickens was now entrusted to get the Bulldogs back to their winning ways on the offensive side of the ball. A few weeks ago, Coach Mickens saw my blog posts on optimizing your offense with a Jet Sweep approach. That day, he printed copies of the articles and showed them to his staff. After reviewing the materials, they knew that this was a solution to turning around their fortunes.

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Coach Mark Mickens: Offensive Coordinator of the Butler Bulldogs (NJ)

“The details, emphasis and videos in those articles inspired us to get back to what we were capable of accomplishing on game day.”

After reading this material, the coaching staff realized they had to make some adjustments to utilizing a jet sweep approach as a key to victory. Here’re the three steps they took next …

  1. They studied the information as a staff and committed to using the exact formula in those blog posts.
  2. They inspired their players with some vintage video of legendary Butler players running the offense.
  3. They told their players about Brian Shay and how he finished his career as college football’s all-time leading rusher running the same plays they were running.

When you commit to this offense and you do it with precision; you don’t need to do anything else.

Dan Castiglia #7 (Photo courtesy of Deanna Polons)

The Bulldogs Get To Work

With two speedy inside receivers (Dan Castiglia and Sean Mefford), the Bulldogs offense got the attention of opposing defenses with the Jet Sweep. In fact, Coach Mickens called the “Pop Out” play 19 times in their most recent overtime victory over Morris Catholic.

Now teams were focusing on the Jet Sweep… It was time to Divide & Conquer!

A tough, physical offensive line coached by Dan Arabia (former Butler player) led the way using Accordion splits.

"The Accordion splits gave our offensive linemen the confidence to go out and knock our opponent off the line of scrimmage with double teams."

A Freshman Superback takes advantage of the opportunity!

Sean Centanaro, the Butler Superback took advantage of what the defense gave him on that night versus Madison in a thrilling high-scoring victory. He rushed for 254 yards and 2 touchdowns & was named Northern New Jersey player of the week for that performance.

When Coach Mickens was asked about the explosiveness of this Jet Sweep series, he simply stated –  “This series primarily adjusts to the weakness of the defense… If you get it right, you can’t stop it!”

Sean Centanaro #4 (Photo courtesy of Deanna Polons)

The Results Were Nothing Short of Amazing

In the last 3 weeks the Bulldogs were able to win each game with the following outcomes:

Butler 42 Madison 41
Butler 48 Morristown-Beard 0
Butler 14 Morris Catholic 7

I applaud the Butler Bulldogs for taking immediate action and using a proven recipe for success. How could you take advantage of the same information to utilizing a Jet Sweep approach and spice up your offense to get results on game day?

For more resources to utilizing a Jet Sweep Approach: CLICK HERE

Here’s the video of some of their highlights…

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What Bill Walsh taught me about Installing Jet Sweep Play Passes

What Bill Walsh taught me about Installing Jet Sweep Play Passes

The Advice that Changed My Offense

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In 1997, I learned how to develop expert play passes from Bill Walsh, the Hall of Fame coach of the San Francisco 49ers. In fact, I give him credit for the key insights to installing jet sweep play passes in my offense. We were having dinner at Del Frisco’s steakhouse in Dallas, Texas and I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions. One question I asked him was, “What is the single best tool to take advantage of a disciplined defense?” His answer was the play pass.

Meeting the Genius

Coach Walsh had just retired from the 49ers and he was a big fan of American Football Quarterly (Today it’s called, American Football Monthly).  Through dialogue with my publisher, Barry Terranova (pictured above with Bill Walsh) we were able to hire him as Senior Editor and technical adviser. What then ensued for me was access to one of the brightest minds in American football history. He was gracious in answering so many questions about the game. From running an organization to creating an offensive system and the insight, what he shared completely changed the way I thought about being a football coach.

To say that Coach Walsh was a student of the game, is to put it mildly – he was a consummate professor. Coach Walsh was an encyclopedia of football knowledge. He had studied and developed systems of organization that were second to none. He was notorious for being very inquisitive and asking great questions. If you haven’t read his seminal book, Finding the Winning Edge, I highly recommend it as must-read material.

Our conversation at Del Frisco’s led me to make a trip to the west coast to gain insights on developing a tool to take advantage of disciplined defenses.

What follows is an organized compilation of my notes from a weekend with Bill Walsh.

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Play Pass Insights From Bill Walsh

Coach Walsh felt confident that the play pass is the one sound football play that does everything possible to contradict the fundamental principles of defense. In fact, this concept was a must for any type of offense. From the Wishbone to the Run & Shoot to the Air Raid, it really didn’t matter as long as you coached the details and had a system to develop your play passes.

Eight Reasons Why the Play Pass works!

  1. It’s the single best way to break an opposing defense that’s playing “fired-up” football.
  2. It can distort defensive continuity because of how it takes advantage of the key reads of critical defenders.
  3. The pass rush is compromised and significantly slowed down to make the rest of your offense more effective.
  4. Linebackers are forced out of position or negated completely.
  5. Defensive Backs lose their relationship with receivers.
  6. When a defense is concerned about the play pass, this adds to the effectiveness of your run game.
  7. Inexperienced defenders are easily isolated since they are prone to be fooled.
  8. Zone blitz concepts are best attacked by faking at the dropping linemen.

"The defense has a difficult time accounting for the play pass in terms of both preparation and actual game execution."

I also learned that to develop this concept, it was imperative that I base the play pass off my best run or run plays in my offense. In doing so, it was critical that I kept the following in mind…

10 Essential Elements of the Play Pass

  1. Must appear as close to the primary running play as possible.
  2. Line blocking at the point of attack must simulate run blocking.
  3. Running backs must follow the same path as they do on the respective play while deliberately holding the fake through the line of scrimmage.
  4. Quarterback’s mechanics must simulate those of the basic run play.
  5. The design of the play should be directed at a particular defender.
  6. The most successful and most often used running play is the logical action from which to play pass.
  7. Ball handling and faking should be practiced daily.
  8. Specific periods should be established during a regular week for team execution. For example, a 10 play period on Thursday for a Saturday game.
  9. Short yardage and goal line situations call for aggressive blocking below the pad level of the defensive line.
  10. The faking back and the quarterback must know which defender they are going after and fool that man. There is a significant difference in fooling a linebacker as opposed to a cornerback.

Here is one paramount concept I was able to glean from Coach Walsh!

He told me that he would drill the play pass in the following manner…

The offensive unit would face the video camera and execute plays at full speed. He would do this starting with a skeleton group of the Center, Quarterback and skill players. On the first and second repetition, the Quarterback hands off the ball. The third play is executed with a fake of the action. During this time, the second unit will watch this skeleton group facing them on the defensive side (10 yards back) to watch specifically what their position is doing. It’s important to force your players to execute these plays exactly the same so that they appear almost identical.

But, what exactly are the players looking for in this simulation?

The players are viewing the simulation looking for things like… the QB’s arm action as he hands off the ball… where the QB is looking… the pad level of the Running Back and location of his arms. These must all be replicated with an exactness which will force the defense to hesitate momentarily and that’s all the time an offense needs to strike with a play pass.

Bill Walsh

Importance of the Offensive line.

Obviously the line blocking at the point of attack must simulate the run. It is also crucial that the linemen block aggressively to the side of the defense that is being attacked.

An interesting note on faking out a Cornerback. The Running Back’s shoulders to the side where you are faking are critical so that the Corner buys the fake and the Quarterback can naturally hide the ball from that defender.

One of the critical breakdowns in the play pass is that blockers pull up short and leave space between them and the men they are supposed to be blocking. Everyone can see it which negates the effectiveness of the fake.

Once the offensive unit gets into a short yardage or 3rd and two or less situation the game changes for play pass execution. The faking of the players should be more intense in this situation. You may ask that the Running Back dive into the ground a yard or two past the line of scrimmage. A more aggressive approach would be to have your Running Back dive over the top of the linemen.

One final note regarding the selection of which play to run the play pass.

The fake draw is most readily utilized because linemen can employ basic drop back pass protection. And, because the draw play is one where the action is delayed the fake draw can hold linebackers longer. So, it doesn’t always have to be your best run play if you have a draw play in your package.

Installing Jet Sweep Play Passes in my Offense

It was time for me to get to work and install what I had learned on the West Coast.

What play would I base my first play pass off of from my offense? The Pop Out!

Which defender would we be focusing on fooling? The Free Safety!

What routes would best fool this defender? A backside Switch or a frontside Wheel… Hmmm

We went on to practice our scheme in the exact fashion that Coach Walsh had recommended and here’re two concepts with corresponding video we drew up for the Triple Shoot Offense

Wheel Play Pass
Switch Play Pass

Questions & Answers

When should you throw a play pass?

Coach Walsh told me it is best executed between the 30-yard lines when the opposing team is in their base defensive mode and you can anticipate those defenses that you’ve seen in your scouting preparation.

What’s the biggest potential obstacle to a successful play pass?

Play passing concedes the ability to deal effectively with wide stunts and some blitzes. This is why you are looking to execute your play passes versus a base defense.

What’s your best run play and how can you utilize what I’ve learned from Bill Walsh to take advantage of a disciplined defense?

For more resources to utilizing a Jet Sweep Approach: CLICK HERE

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How do you install your play passes? Do you utilize the play pass enough (or too much) in your offense?

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Blending the Jet Sweep and Georgia Southern’s Hambone

Blending the Jet Sweep and Georgia Southern’s Hambone

Result: College Football's All-Time Leading Rusher

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I know this, no Offense in American football history has rushed for more yards up the middle while featuring a single back and utilizing a jet sweep approach with influences from Georgia Southern’s Hambone. In fact, at Emporia State (1995-1998) Brian Shay rushed for 6,958 yards in his career benefiting from this approach of attacking the defense. He finished as the all-time leading rusher in college football history.

Here’re a few clips featuring Brian Shay…

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As you might notice, many of Shay’s runs were between the Tackles, set up by the Pop Out motion. Now, let’s get to the details of how we were able to take advantage of this approach.

How the Pop Out Stretched Opposing Defenses

"When you bring a receiver across in high-speed motion, he will get the attention of a defense."

We noticed that there only three ways they can soundly adjust to the Pop Out.

  1. Bumping Linebackers.
  2. Rolling the Secondary.
  3. Running across the formation.

Take a look at how defenses primarily adjust to Jet Sweep motion…

More importantly, if we ride the Pop Out before handing off to the Superback, we cause a moment of indecision for defenders. This takes time and precision to work correctly. Ultimately, this action caused us to create what Tony DeMeo now calls “Smart Splits.” In my 4 seasons coaching at Emporia State, I enjoyed creating a friendship with one of the finest offensive minds in the game, Coach DeMeo.

How the Hambone Helped me Create Accordion Splits to Open up Interior Running Lanes

I created what we call our accordion splits based on studying the Georgia Southern Hambone.

Coach DeMeo & I After One of Our Rivalry Games

The Hambone did not go nearly as extreme with it’s splits as the Triple Shoot. However, I give credit to the concept of adjusting splits based on the Hambone as well as other option offensive attacks.

Here’s how accordion splits work…

Reduce the A & Expand the B.

What we mean by this is that our linemen would determine whether we had an A-gap or B-gap player to the direction that we were running the Pop Out. If we noticed an A-gap player, the Guard would reduce his split and the Tackle would expand. If we saw a B-gap player, the Guard would expand his split and the Tackle would reduce. Note: We would use the same accordion split principles for the backside of the dive and Pop Out play.

Because our linemen were in a 2-point stance, they were able to shift, thus creating the illusion of an accordion. Guards were able to adjust from “toe to toe” with the Center or widen up to 5 feet. Tackles could expand from “toe to toe” with the Guard or expand up to 8 feet. Much of our accordion concept would depend on the athleticism of each lineman and his ability to handle a linebacker attacking the line of scrimmage. This also gave us the ability to adjust if we were over-matched from a personnel standpoint.

In 1999, in my first game as offensive coordinator at Wyoming we played the University of Tennessee in Knoxville… To say we were out-manned would be an understatement. Take a look at some of our Dive & Jet Sweeps versus John Chavis’ defense.

Once the accordion splits were installed, we worked on our double team blocks with the Center & Guard as well as the Guard & Tackle. The idea of the double team was to put 600 pounds with two offensive linemen on a 300-pound defender and get enough movement to push him back to linebacker level. We coached the linemen to stay on the double team block as long as possible before coming off on the linebacker.

The 2 base ways we blocked the dive:

If we had a play-side A-gap defender, the Center & Guard would double team him to the backside linebacker. The play side Tackle would then veer block down on the front-side linebacker from his wide split. Notice that the 5-technique also had to deal with a potential jet sweep before he could come down on the dive play. The Superback handled running past the down block of the double team and breaking any arm tackle attempted from the 5-technique (We also had the ability to run the Pop Out with veer blocking as a variation). The Superback was also told that if a defender crossed his face he would bend the play to the backside.

If we had a play-side B-gap defender, the Guard & Tackle would double team him to the front-side linebacker. On the backside, the Center & Guard would double team to the backside linebacker while the backside Tackle handled reading the man over the slot receiver that was jetting across the formation. If that defender covering the slot receiver came into the box, he would go “heavy through” his defender up to seal off the bumping linebacker. If the defender ran across, the Tackle would stay on his man and wall him off.

Dive Play to A-gap Player.
Dive Play to B-gap Player.

In the case, that we had both an A & B-gap player we “licked our chops” and expected a big play. (More on this in a later post…) Notice what happened when North Dakota State was silly enough to play 7 in the box versus the dive play!

"Emporia State's 23-21 win in 1998 was NDSU's only home-opener loss in 22 years of football at the Fargodome."

NDSU’s only home-opener loss in 22 years of football at the Fargodome.

 

Divide & Conquer… The Superback Position Comes of Age

Brian Shay Comes of Age! (Emporia State Sports Information)

The final ingredient of our recipe in the Triple Shoot Offense for dive play success was also borrowed from the Hambone. These were the variable tracks we used for the Superback depending on the alignment of the defensive front.

  1. With an A-gap player, he ran a “wide” track from the inside heel of the play-side Guard.
  2. With a B-gap player, he ran a “tight” track, up the spine of the center.
  3. On all Pop Out plays, the Superback would also run a “wide” track.

What we noticed was that by blocking the dive play with accordion splits, this became a variable adjusting play for the Superback to run quickly to daylight. The more reps the back gets at seeing how various fronts adjust to the dive, the better he could make his decision on the field.”

Weird Science in the Canadian Football League

In 2009, I had one of the most enjoyable seasons of my coaching career. The Canadian Football League re-energized me and expanded my view of what was possible with the offense.

"The endless possibilities of multiple players in motion was a creative opportunity in Winnipeg."

In training camp, I started experimenting with our 2-backs running downhill (waggle) and the jet sweep coming across the formation. Then we had sweeps coming from all different directions complimenting the backfield waggle. (I’ll write more on this for our coaching friends up North in a later post.) In the meanwhile, here is the result of this play versus the British Columbia Lions….

On that evening in Vancouver, here was the tale of the tape:

  1. Fred Reid ran for 260 yards on 26 carries.
  2. Yvenson Bernard ran for 112 yards on 11 carries.
  3. Blue Bomber club rushing record (393 yards)!

For more resources to utilizing a Jet Sweep Approach: CLICK HERE

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How can you utilize accordion splits in your offense to optimize your ability to run or throw the football?

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