Randy Blankenship is the highly successful high school football coach at Aptos High in California. I dropped into his talk about Belly Sweep, Belly Sweep Naked, and practice planning.
If you need a refresher on this play, check out my article on blocking ISO / Belly sweep.
Coach Blankenship’s terminology is a bit different than what I’m used to - he calls Belly Sweep “2nd Man”, and I honestly don’t know the origin of that. Here’s a summary of rules and guidance he conveyed:
- The FB rule is to walk around the QB, then run through the hole.
- The HB blocks the first guy outside the tackle
- WR goes out 5 yards, then digs in to crack the LB
- The QB turns and rides all the way until his shoulders are square with the line of scrimmage.
When you run this play, inspect the backside of the play to see if defenders are staying home or chasing. If they are chasing, then run…
Belly Sweep Naked
This is a naked QB boot off the Belly Sweep, so it will be a very slow developing play. Here are the rules:
- Offensive line blocks this the same as Belly Sweep
- FB footwork is the same as Belly Sweep
- The TE drive blocks for a full 3 seconds, then releases to the flat.
- The WR/SE runs behind the corner, whatever his depth started at (e.g., if CB was at 10 yards, run out to 15 yards)
- HB runs at the OLB like he’s blocking for Belly Sweep, then runs inside of near hash
- The QB must make a good belly fake to the FB, then a good proximity fake to the WB.
Randy had some interesting approaches to his weekly practices.
- No Saturday, holiday, or practices right after a big game.
- Coach every play, coach details, coach finishing the play
- Tell them what you want, show them, then hold them accountable
- Monday – 20 minutes run offense, 30 minutes special teams, 30 minutes defense, 30 minutes offense
- Tuesday – This is a physical work day, buck sweep and boot drill, sled with speed.
- Wednesday – Coach Blankenship does night practices on Wednesday, says it is routinely the best practice of the week. They run at a crisp tempo.
- Thursday – Keep them loose, run 1st 20 plays of the script for Friday night.
He will let players have half a sandwich, protein bar, etc. during the middle of practice.
Some tempo / game time notes he shared:
- They huddle at 7 yards in the first half, 5 yards in the second half. This keeps the defense more unsteady as it looks like the tempo quickens.
- They want to snap the ball in under 4 seconds from break to snap.
- They try to run three plays as fast as possible - their record is 28 seconds.
- They assign a specific coach to be the “tempo” or “get off” coach.
- They run no more than 12 plays in a row during practice, starting with 4 plays in a row, then 6, 8, 10, etc.
I only made it to about 40 minutes of his talk but enjoyed seeing the Belly Sweep Naked ideas and the film he showed. It looks very easy to install and would be fun for the kids - could be a back breaker if Belly and Belly Sweep are a big part of your offense (it is a staple in my playbook).