1. Sports
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Counter Sweep Requires Precision and Power

Quick ‘Read and React’ by Running Back Results in Big Gains


Counter Sweep

I-Formation Counter Sweep

Sean McCormick

Combine the brute force of the power sweep with the deception of misdirection and you have the counter sweep play

Misdirection the Difference

There are subtle differences to set the counter sweep apart from the power version, and it begins and ends with the backfield misdirection.

Tailback - The first movement is three quick steps toward the weak side tackle area. He counters back to receive the handoff.

Quarterback - Opening to the weak side, he will hand off and continue to fake a bootleg away from the play.

Play Side Down Blocks

The tight end, tackle, guard, and center all step to the inside to down block (forming a wall of blockers).

Weak Side Guard

The guard will pull play side. He is responsible for the end man on the line of scrimmage (LOS). If the defender crosses the LOS, the guard will 'kick out' block him to the outside. If on the line, the guard will log onto the defender and keep him to the inside.

Weak Side Tackle

The tackle must add more depth when pulling play side. He will read the guard's block. If it is a kick out, the tackle cuts inside the guard to block a second level defender. If the guard blocks to the inside, the tackle continues around the play side end to lead the sweep.

Read Guard, Follow Tackle

After securing the hand off, the tailback must read the guard's block. The tailback must be patient and allow the pulling tackle to lead him inside or outside.

Coaching Points

  • Make sure the quarterback carries out his bootleg fake completely. This will help to delay the pursuit of the defense to the play side.
  • Watch the weak side defensive linemen. If they immediately follow the pulling offensive linemen, have the quarterback keep the ball and run a bootleg.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.