Roger Holmes is the head coach at Dublin High School in Georgia, USA. He has 40 years of experience with the Wing-T and originally learned the offense under Coach Herschel Moore of Cumberland University. This is the second of two articles and focuses on his approach to the Wing-T belly series.
First, a couple of quotes from Roger. He was quite the entertaining speaker.
We tip a lot of shit. But we run a lot of shit.
Coach Holmes don’t call any bad plays! The reality is, can you execute?
Quick Aside – Down Play
Coach Holmes did talk about the Down play, but not much. He gave his basic rules, then went right into his weak-side belly series. Here are his rules for Down, which he calls “Belly G”:
- TE – down block
- PST – down block
- PSG – trap technique
- C, BSG, BST – scoop, starting with a reach step to play-side
- WB – straight to linebacker
- FB – lead with his play-side foot, aiming 1st at the inside heel of the TE, then on 3rd step square up to line of scrimmage. He must know that the WB is blocking the LB as this will influence his path.
Belly Ride, aka Weak-side Belly XB
Roger says you need to have a “draw play” mentality with this play. It is not a fast hitting play and looks similar to an inside zone. His rules and tips:
- The play-side guard should cut split to no more than 1 foot from the center. He is reading the first down lineman playside.
- FB should have his heels at 5 yards, so about 1 yard deeper than usual.
- The HB stays even with the FB.
- QB reverse pivots to the midline, 2nd step is 45 degrees to about 7 o’clock (if 12 is straight ahead to the defense). Then the QB should stop, sit down, and ride. Don’t force the FB into his hole. Only the arms ride.
- The HB takes a 6″ jab step to the outside, 45 degrees towards the defense. His eyes should be on the first down lineman, and his job will be to ISO the 1st play-side LB.
- If he starts in the wing position, he will shuffle inside two steps, staying parallel to the LOS.
- The FB reads the first play-side defensive lineman and makes his cut off of him
- The FB first step is 6 inches laterally with his play-side foot, 2nd step is a crossover that gains ground slightly, followed by a third step to get his shoulders square. At this point he should be directly behind the HB
The play-side guard has a few call choices:
- If he is uncovered he will make a “GM” call
- The guard pulls to kick out
- The play-side tackle base blocks, trying to get inside. If the DT slants inside hard, the tackle can wash him down toward the center.
- Sometimes teams will slant to the motion (if the WB is motioning toward the split end side) – FB may need to cut back towards center if this happens.
- If the PSG has a 2 or 3 technique he used to make a “G” call, though he no longer does this for the ride play. I’m including it for completeness, but also because he uses this for belly sweep.
- The PSG pulls to kick out
- The PST blocks down on the 2 or 3 tech
- C base blocks or blocks back on a nose
- I believe the HB will need to read the PST block. If the DT is blocked down, then his path will be through the hole between the down block and the kick out.
- If the guard is covered or shaded, Roger now likes to make the “M” call, also known as “Slam”.
- He will tighten the split between the C and PSG.
- The C and PSG will combo block the first DL play-side. Goal is for the guard to work around this block and get to the Mike.
- Against a 3-tech, this will turn into a reach combo block. If the 3-tech beats it by working outside, the HB and FB must cut back.
- They are essentially reading the 3-tech in this case.
- Against a 3–3 stack, he will make an “M Combo” call. He doesn’t like to run inside vs. a 3–3, but feels that it is necessary to establish the rest of the series.
- The PSG and PST will do a scoop / fold block on the combo.
- The C will attempt to base block the N. If he slants strong, then he can just block down on him. If he slants weak, he will try to base and hold but may need to block back.
- The HB must read the nose on this play and work off his slant and the C block, then work to block the Mike backer.
He blocks the ride sweep (belly sweep) using the G call. His rules are:
- The QB puts the “ball in, ball out”. Coach Holmes prefers a quicker belly ride.
- There’s no motion on this play.
- The HB takes first 2 steps into the LOS at the B gap, then bubbles outside for the linebacker.
- The ball carrier (wingback) goes through the heels of the FB, no deeper.
- He does not pull guards on the ride sweep.