How to Stop Two Tight End Double Wing Offenses

By Colby Phillips

The double wing offense is a run-oriented attack popular among middle school and high school coaches. The basic principles of the double wing are foot to foot splits, two tight ends/wing backs, pulling guards, and a fullback closely aligned with the quarterback, creating a power offense that can take advantage of misdirection. Defenses can counter the double wing by loading the line of scrimmage, emphasizing gap responsibility, and containing the pitch play.

Step 1

Load the line of scrimmage with a 5-4 defense. Have your defense line up in a nine man front, with only two defenders in the secondary. Teach your defensive linemen to use a cut or slant technique (stepping with the off-foot, turning his body into the gap, and reading the block) to create a pile up at the line and prevent guards from pulling.

Step 2

Emphasize gap responsibility. The double wing is designed to create multiple gaps for runners, each of which must be plugged by a defender. Use your nose guard to cover the point of attack, shading the A gap (strong side.) By forcing the strong side offensive guard and tackle to try and stop his penetration into the backfield, he can prevent them from pulling. Have your defensive tackles cut the attempted double team of the offensive guard and wingback/tight end.

Step 3

Contain the pitch play. Instruct your linebackers to read the fullback, reacting to his decision to block the defensive end, position himself to take the pitch, or block on a trap or reverse. The linebacker on the motioning side must blitz through the B gap, filling the lane created by the offensive guard's block on the nose guard. The linebacker on the other side of the play should keep containment, looking for the cutback. The cornerback should patrol the C gap, mopping up any ball carriers who are bounced outside.


About the Author

Colby Phillips' writing interests include culture and politics. Phillips received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Oregon and a Master of Arts in philosophy from Boston College.

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