Blair Hubbard’s “Faster Than The Fly” Gun Rocket

This article is taken from extensive notes by Donnie Bruchhaus, a friend and football coach from Louisiana. We’ve been meeting up at the past few National Wing-T Clinics and he graciously shared his notes with me.

Blair Hubbard is the head football coach at Broomfield High in Colorado. He has published quite a few materials on his offense, including Faster Than the Fly.

Coach Hubbard likes Rocket sweep better than Fly sweep (Jet) because he can get to the edge faster. According to him it takes 1.8 seconds to get to the edge in Jet and 1.4 in Rocket. Rocket creates serious Edge Conflict for the defense, and he loves running it against teams that blitz a lot.

His base formation is TE/WB to one side, SE/WB to the other, QB in normal GUN alignment with offset back (tailback) to his right or left. His fullback is called a Tailback, because no kid wants to be called fullback anymore :-). He likes to have two vertical threats to the backside. A sample formation would be:

  • Double SE’s
  • Double Slots
  • TB would be on left side between SE and Slot
  • No backs, only QB.
  • TB comes in Rocket motion leaving the SE and Slot on backside

This allows for a fake Rocket and raise up to throw vertical to backside. The Slot is usually the open receiver.

He uses a ‘2 handed basketball chest pass’ to get the ball from QB to ball carrier, with the QB opening to the direction that the ball is going and chest pass it to the back without reversing out.

Rocket is great on the goal line, and he tells the ball carrier that it is a “race to the front pylon”.

Play Calling System

He numbers his linemen from left to right; LTE (5), LT (3), LG (1), C (he didn’t give him a #), RG (2), RT (4), RTE (6). His play calling system is a 3 digit number.

Example: 136 Power

  • 1st # is the lineman who is pulling (LG)
  • 3 is the ballcarrier (LHB)
  • 6 is the hole (Off Tackle Right)
  • Power is the scheme.

Another example: 221 Trap

  • RG pulling
  • TB carrying
  • 1 hole
  • Trap scheme

He has wristbands with the plays on them and rules for who they block per play. So all the lineman has to do is know the called play and his job is on the wristband. Their cadence is “Down – Set – GO!” On “GO!” the motion starts, then it is “Down – Set – Hut!”, with the snap on Hut. He gets defenses to jump offsides frequently on the first “GO!”

The 238 Rocket Play

238 Rocket is the play that they like the most:

  • RG pulling
  • LHB carrying
  • Wide right is the hole
  • Rocket scheme.

The Center and right side will block wide right for Rocket, but the left side will all pull to the wide left with a screen pass set (like a jailbreak screen left). So, you have linemen pulling in both directions. Coach Hubbard says this screws with the defense and breaks key reading.

Tips for Split End Blocking

  • Where your toes are pointing is where you’ll go
  • Sink hips
  • Have a wide base
  • Drive
  • He will sometimes crack outside backers with SE

Tips for Slot Blocking

  • “Flat and Fast” is coaching point he tells them
  • 1st man outside of you
  • Fight for outside shoulder

Tips for TB Blocking

  • Eyes outside then pick up ‘trash’ inside
  • In other words, block outside first if no one there turn inside and ‘clean up’

How to Legally Cut Block a Player on the Perimeter

  • Start high
  • Take your inside fist and shoot across your chest
  • Then, slide and fall down… It takes him down and frustrates defender
  • This really slows defenders down
  • Go to this when it’s a last resort; when you just can’t reach him

Ball Carrier Path

The ball carrier is aiming for the heels of the QB. He tells the ball carrier that if you cut it back inside to avoid a defender try to get back outside to open grass. There shouldn’t be anybody out there

Remember how he calls the pulling lineman with a number? When he tags a Spanish Number to the play, that lineman will pull in the opposite direction for a false pull. He also uses “Gorilla” as a code word for both guards to false pull.

Building off Edge Conflict

Coach Hubbard uses simple rules for creating edge conflict. When teams are compressed inside, he will run Rocket. When teams become outside heavy or race to the edge, he will run inside. The basic idea, of course, is to run where the defense is not.

He has a few off-tackle complements to Rocket:

  • Down
    • 126 DOWN (note: he pulls the backside guard to kick the DE)
    • They don’t block ‘overhang’ player (SS), Rocket motion should take care of him
    • ADJUSTMENT: “Texas” if C gap is open they’ll block out with TE and pulling guard will wrap to LB
    • If DE is squeezing hard, the OG will ‘log’ him and not kick
    • When running to Opposite side of TE (weakside) they’ll pull OG and TE (“our Counter”)
  • Power
    • Can run QB Power, as well
    • B/S OG wraps while TB blocks P/S DE
    • Tell OG to ‘scrape paint’ when coming through (Tight)
    • Wing runs rocket motion then cuts his pattern up and receives hand-off through off tackle hole
  • Speed Option
    • Pitch man is same guy as the Rocket. Only, the QB runs speed option with him
    • QB technique: ‘sit in a chair’ is the analogy of the pitch.
    • Also, he should ‘feather’ back as he is pitching; to NOT get ‘killed’

Working to the inside once you have created edge conflict, Coach Hubbard has the following to run on the inside:

  • Trap
    • TB or QB can carry
    • B/S OG is your trapper and will use a coaching point called: “Heel-Line and Climb”
    • Rocket motion with B/S wing but TB steps inside to receive hand-off and follow OG back to the side you came from
    • On QB trap, he will step as pitching Rocket, let OG cross then follow OG
    • If defense is in ‘A’ gap then call “LONG” and they’ll trap further out, maybe a 5 tech
    • “Trap Lead” – QB is ball carrier and TB is lead blocker
  • Gut
    • Gut is a trap to backside. In other words, they motion to the right and run trap to the left, as an example
    • They will use a ‘flat’ motion on this, as well
  • Counter
    • If you see Cover 0 and they run with motion = hit them with misdirection and screens
    • Run Rocket motion one way and run counter with the backside wing coming back following OG and OT, aka Counter Trey
    • TB and WB still go as if running rocket
    • Can run it out of ‘empty’

Coach Hubbard likes to save his QB run game for 3rd and 4th quarter, as much as possible. Keeps them from adjusting, too much. They tend to forget about QB by then.