Over the past four years, we have used some form of our power scheme with the quarterback as a runner. This has served as a play for us both with our starter in the game as well as part of a wildcat package.
Our initial use of it started as part of wildcat package when our starter’s style and skill set was more of a pro-style drop back quarterback. While he was capable as a runner, we saw his primary function as that of a distributer. His job was to get the ball out quickly, and when it was a run, to be selling and setting up play-action.
Our second team quarterback had the skill set of a runner, so we utilized wildcat packages to highlight and emphasize his abilities. We built his package around two different thought processes. First, we knew that because he was also a quarterback, we probably would not see cover zero. If we did, he was more than capable of hurting the defense with his passing ability. The video below emphasizes his ability as a passer. In this particularly game, we used this exact set to run the ball the majority of the time, but in this play we protect and let him hurt the defense as a passer. The safeties filled tentatively after he showed what he could do as a passer, and opened up the run.
The personnel group in the above play has three tight end/H-back type players in the game, thus allowing for more hats in the run game. When the defense plays one or two safeties when the quarterback is the runner, advantages can be gained for the offense. This illustrates our first thought process. We will use big personnel to utilize a downhill run game with the quarterback as the runner.
In the below diagram, the additional hat is used to create an advantage with the power as the blocking scheme.
With two safeties high and a puller from the backside, we can outnumber the defense at the point of attack. Theoretically we should be able to get the safety with one of the fullbacks, but we tell him to always secure level two and let the runner be one-on-one with the safety. Video of this play can be seen below.
Obviously, this type of running game is very effective on the goal line as well. In the video below, We use a tight end and wing to create an extra gap, and the fullback and backside guard pulling into the point of attack to outnumber the defense and punch the ball into the end zone. The power scheme allows us to get a great vertical push created by a combo at the point of attack.
Our next thought process utilizes a misdirection package. We use jet sweep to a speedy receiver to create a threat on the edge and separate the defense. The defense is stressed in having to defend the perimeter for the sweep, and the stretch of the defense creates running lanes for the quarterback power. This video below shows the sweep, for which we utilize a pin and pull scheme, gaining yards on the perimeter.
Once we get defenders running and widening because of the threat of sweep, the quarterback power off of the jet sweep becomes a viable option. The extra hats allow us to quickly get blockers to the edge for the sweep as well as inserting inside at the point of attack on power.
Finally, we stress the defense even more with an empty set. Again, establishing that the quarterback can hurt the defense by throwing can easily be accomplished by throwing screens to the perimeter as shown below.
Because it’s empty, we cannot use our power scheme with blockers. Instead we read the front side end with our “power read.” The power read allows us to leave the end unblocked and gain the extra hat advantage by allowing the quarterback to make his decision to give the sweep or keep power- based on reading the reaction of the defensive end. Other than leaving the the end unblocked, the power blocking scheme remains the same. The end would not be the assignment of any of the interior linemen anyway, so they are unaffected in their approach to blocking the play.
If you have a quarterback or athlete that can be an effective runner after receiving a direct snap, running the power scheme as a power run, misdirection, or read is an effective way to get a hat on a hat and move the ball on the ground. The power scheme was simply our scheme to utilize an extra hat in the run game. Analyze what you do already and how you can incorporate the quarterback as a runner to gain an advantage on the defense.
Read more about the concepts referred to in this article: