Friday, September 21, 2012

Stick + Draw = "Straw"

Over on, there's a conversation going about the legalities/timing of the Stick/Draw play (another example of a 2-plays-in-1-type of offensive attack). You can join in on the conversation here 

The legalities of the play are in question due to the fact that the O-Line and Running Back are executing "Draw" - a run play, while the WRs are running pass routes - generally the concept "Stick". The idea is to create constraint on the Inside Linebacker, causing him to either a) Cover the "Stick" route; or b) play the run. Chris Brown, author and contributor to, wrote an interesting article about the play here.

Dana Holgerson, former OC at Oklahoma State and now HC at West Virginia, has been running the "Stick/Draw" combo for awhile, as well as many other coaches/programs around the country. Here's a few examples:

Where I believe the questions surrounding the play derive from are the fact that some high school teams are using it and their linemen have been downfield when the QB has thrown the ball. In Texas, the linemen have to be within 3 yards of the neutral zone when the ball crosses the LOS, or it's a penalty for "illegal man downfield."

If you look at the plays above, most of the college teams are really delaying their O-Line. The high school teams that run it, including our team, we block draw differently. Vs. a three man front, most of the time we will fold the Guards and Tackles, therefore providing a split second delay. However, there were times when we were close to the three-yard illegal mark when the ball was thrown. 

I have provided some cutups of our team running "Straw" (our Stick + Draw), and I'll break down whether each could be considered legal or illegal. The main difference between how most people do it and how we do it is that we run it out of Empty, so the QB is the Draw guy. We like it like that because he is our Stud, we don't have to worry about practicing the handoff, and it takes one less person (threat) out of the box. Here's the clips:

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Play 1: Backside WR uncovered = QB hits this "Shot" route quick; He is actually behind the LOS when he catches the ball, so the O-Line downfield doesn't come into play here. They are actually about at the LOS when he catches it anyway. Legal.

Play 2: This should have been a penalty but wasn't called. QB should have tucked and ran immediately, but center was getting blown up. As he scrambles, the O-Line goes downfield to block the LBs. We actually complete this pass for positive yardage, but again, should have been flagged. Illegal. - NOT FLAGGED

Play 3: First off, we got called for a penalty for 5 in the backfield because our Z was not on the line. However, let's look at the linemen as the ball crosses the LOS. The tackles (because of the fold) are really only at about 1 1/2 yards when the ball is caught, much less crossing the LOS. Therefore, this would be considered  Legal. .

Play 4: Same as Play 3. Because of the fold, the tackles are only about a yard downfield when the ball crosses the LOS. Again, it's  Legal. (thought the QB should have run it here, though).

Play 5: The Right Tackle folds quickly and is actually about 2 yards down field when the ball crosses the LOS. This would not be legal in NFHS rules, but is  Legal in Texas.

Play 6: Run. Legal.

Play 7: This play was penalized because our WRs weren't set when the QB snapped the ball (again...They were "encouraged" after this drive to get lined up faster, and we talked to the QB about not snapping it until everyone's set). As far as the pass, the tackles are barely to the LOS when the ball crosses. Legal.

Play 8: Run. Legal.

Play 9: Like Play 2, the QB scramble (should have just ran), and threw a pass to the out route. Unlike Play 2, this time we WERE flagged for "Illegal man downfield." We talked to our QB about if you can't throw the Stick RIGHT NOW, you HAVE to run. Illegal - FLAGGED.

In summation, other than the plays were the QB scrambled (Plays 2 and 9), we were within the rules as far as being downfield when it comes to NCAA rules. However, NFHS rules state that the Linemen must be engaged when in the two-yard zone past the LOS. As this play becomes more popular, you can bet that referees will be more aware of Linemen downfield, especially as opposing coaches who scout us or other teams running this concept make them aware of it.

Feel free to add your questions and comments. You can also e-mail me at:

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome To Coach Bindel's Football Blog

It seems every coach on the internet has a "blog" these days, and I figured it was time for me to get in on the action. I don't know why I got a wild hair up my arse to do it, and it's pretty much a rip-off of some smart coaches, like Coach Brophy, Coach Hoover, and the guy that runs Smart Football, among others.

I am not even in the same league as those guys as far as sharing information/X's and O's insight/humor, but it's the off-season (meaning I can't stop thinking about football...and I'm bored), and many coaches have taught me things that I'd like to share with other coaches. Thus, the blog.

I've worked for some great Head Coaches in my short career thus far: Danny Edelman, Scott Ponder, and currently Jim Garfield. I am thankful to these guys for giving me the opportunity to not only put food on the table for my family, but for taking a chance on a young coach that they didn't know very well.

Coaches have had huge impact on my life and my career. There's too many to name, but three that I've met that have definitely helped shape my career are Lindy Welborn & Mike Page (two of my High School coaches whom I have the honor of coaching with now), and Dan Bowman - quite simply, the smartest/best high school football coach in Texas.

I'll attempt to pass along things those guys have taught me - and I'll include some things I've picked up along the way. As Offensive Coordinator for the Rider Raiders with Tim Radtke & Robby Wood, we thought it would be "crazy" to open the season with some misdirection......

Our first play of the season:

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83-yards. To the Heezy.