If you watch any spread offenses in college football chances are you have seen them use a Wing or what is often referred to as a “H-Back”. The wing is best described as a hybrid TE/Full back in the spread offense. When aligned in a wing position the H-back can full zone with any zone blocking scheme (see below) and run routes just as a TE would, but what makes the wing unique is the different attachments they can execute on any given play. Below I will go through 6 different attachments which are arc, kick, iso, wham, shoot and pop.
Arc is a type of block executed by the wing. It is named such because the wing will “arc” around the read man on any given run play and lead block for the QB if he pulls the ball. On zone runs the arc block can start from either side of the formation (see below), the same can not be performed on gap scheme runs because pulling lineman are in the way. Therefore, on gap scheme runs the arc must start on the same side as the read.
Arc from the same side as read:
Arc from the opposite side of the read:
Power read with arc:
Counter read with arc:
A kick block is another type of block that can be performed by the wing. It is named such because the wing has the task of “kicking out” the EMOL. Kick blocks always occur from across the formation. As mentioned in my previous article on 2nd level reads, adding a kick block allows the box to be locked and the read can be moved to the 2nd level.
Iso is a scheme that isolates the wing on an inside LB. In order to run zone iso the BST has to lock on to the defensive end. The wing will insert like a fullback and lead up on the line backer. It is important to note if you run any scheme which requires a lock on the backside and if there is a 3 tech lineman on the same side the BSG also has to lock on (see below). Running zone iso is another way to lock the box using a wing attachment and enable 2nd level reads.
Zone Iso same side:
Baylor Bears Run Zone ISO with a speed out from the slot. QB throws the speed out as the slot is uncovered
Zone Iso across formation:
Zone Iso against a backside 3 tech:
The wham block is similar to the kick block but instead of blocking the EMOL the wing will block the 1st interior lineman on the opposite side of the center. Wham blocks also always across the formation. The wham attachment can also be used to lock the box for 2nd level reads. However, be careful doing this because the last thing you want is to miss the block on a defensive tackle when trying to throw the ball. In additional, you will need a call to let the BSG know to leave the defensive lineman.
The shoot attachment involves the wing “shooting out” to the flat parallel with the LOS. It is important the wing does not go past the LOS otherwise it is offensive pass interference if your receivers are blocking. The shoot can occur on the same side or across the formation. The way I have diagrammed it below is as an RPO which requires a lock by the BST. If you know the end is slow playing the read and not rushing the mesh point then you don’t have to use a lock, the QB will have enough time to get the ball out. If the QB has the ability the shoot can also be run as a triple option concept, something I will go into more detail in my spread triple option article.
Shoot same side as read:
Here the Dolphins have double wing. One is run a shoot the other is executing a kick block. The shoot route is covered so the QB hands off the ball.
Shoot across the formation:
The pop is a type of pass throw to the wing often attached to run plays. The wing will release vertical just behind the LB who has to fill for the run, the QB will read the LB and throw the pop pass if he fills. Pop can be run as an RPO requiring the BST to lock on to the DE but is best used when you know the DE is not rushing the mesh point. The pop attachment is best used with an Outside Zone blocking scheme because the LB have to flow further to the ball.
Here is an example of OZ with a Pop pass attached used by the Eagles in Superbowl LII
How Do Wing Attachments Impact the Read Option?
Well the wing attachments fall into 3 categories when assessing their impact on the read option. Kick, Iso and Wham are all attachments that enable the box to be locked and therefore the read can be moved to a 2nd level outside defender. Shoot and pop are pass attachments that can be run as inside 2nd level RPOs or as a triple option. Finally, arc is still a 1st level read option but allows the QB to have a little extra protection with a lead blocker in front. Ultimately wing attachments just add a lot more variation to a run play. This is illustrated above where I mainly used an IZ blocking scheme but all the attachments completely change the dynamic of the play.
feature image photo credit:
photo credit: Keith Allison <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/27003603@N00/37976572876″>Dak Prescott</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>