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The Jet Sweep - Part 4- More Strategies to Attack the Defense

One of the most important things for the jet sweep offensive coaches to remember is that the defense must align correctly to all of the offensive formations used. A misalignment could put the defense short on numbers to one side and a jet in that direction could be a huge play. Unbalanced formations, trips sets, empty sets, shifts, and motions cause alignment issues as does fast tempo.

In addition to alignment, the defense must also defend the plays and passes. The Jet sweep, the inside zone read, the counters plays and option plays require discipline by the defenders. That is just the run game. When you consider all of the play action passes, RPOs, and other passing concepts that the offense would include, the defense has many things to prepare for against a jet sweep team.

Here are some other strategies that can be used.

A simple shift of the running back can create confusion for the defense. Part of playing defense is recognizing formations and what plays might be run to each side. Much of this involves which side the RB is set toward. The thinking process speeds up with the shift of the runner.

In this play, the offense aligns in a King Bunch trips set, overloading the defense. A QB option play, QB Sweep, Sprint pass to the trips are all possible if the defense is not properly aligned. The shift of the back creates enough numbers to make "Jet" a real possibility. Yet the offense can run a play or pass that is not even associated with jet. But the threat of the jet is always a problem for the defense, especially if the offense has a playmaker to hand the ball to on the sweep.

Here the offense shifts the running back as before, but also shifts one of the receiver from one side to the other. If both shift to the right or left it is easier for the defense to at least realize that the strength just went from one side to the other. But here the receiver and back shift in opposite directions and go from a 2x2 with a right set to trips with a left HB.

Here the running back shifts to form an empty set. Empty sets can be problems for the defense, particularly if the QB is a strong runner and adequate passer. In the first diagram, the back shifts out of a 2x2 set to form trips to the right. In the next diagram, the back shifts out of a 1x3 set to form a twin away from the trips. In both diagrams, the exact same speed sweep is run out of what eventually becomes the same set. One of the advantages of shifting the back is that he may now become a jet back. This is important as he will usually be the best runner on the field.

In this diagram, the offense shifts a tight end/wing set and shifts from left to right. Originally, the set was an unbalanced formation, leaving only a guard/tackle "nub" on the right. The back shifts from right to left, meaning that the offense has three shifters at one time and goes from an unbalanced set to more of a balanced formation. This appears as a chaotic situation to the defenders. In addition, when the back shifts he goes from an normal alignment to a wide alignment, allowing him to run speed himself to the right or lead block or release on a pass effectively. The tight end set also adds alignment issues for the defense as some defenders are coached to align to the tight end side or to shift the defense to the tight end side. Teams that play man pass coverage must also move with the men they are covering.

In the above diagrams, the offense aligns in another end over formation. In this one, the playcaller has the numbers to run jet sweep to either side of the formation. This is another set where the jet could be called at the line of scrimmage depending upon the defensive adjustment to the trips. One of the best items about running multiple formations, motions, etc. is that the blocking schemes and execution of the play stay the same.

In the next session, we will look at some of the complimentary run plays in the jet sweep offense to prevent the defense from committing too many defenders to the jet sweep play.


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