This is how we attack the Double Wing or Single Wing or any offense that pulls backside linemen and makes a living on the Off Tackle Running Game.
I make no ‘magic bullet’ claims about the 33 being able to shut down the Double Wing. However, I have been able to use this defense twice against overwhelming talent differences where our highly talented adversaries were running the Double Wing.
In both games we were able to neutralize the DW Offense with our 33-Stack. To figure out why and how, you must first think about why the DW is such a successful offense and what traits of the offense are the most important to the success rate of the DW. I believe that the most important traits of the DW are the ‘zero’ splits and the blocking angles.
I won’t go into why those are the most important traits but for my money those are the concepts that allow a DW Offense to really do well against any type of opponent.
The 33-Stack is the perfect defense to use against the DW for the same reasons that make the DW great. Our front 6 also use angles against our opponents by slanting into gaps on every play. Against one of those standard ‘just block somebody’ offenses, this causes confusion and leads to unblocked defenders pressuring the backfield. However, against the DW, we won’t cause much confusion but we won’t try to either. What we will try to do against the DW is to use what we call 42 PINCH. We use this to ‘pinch’ with our 4 down linemen.
The A-gap defenders are taught to slant hard between the Guard and Center. We teach them to stop the Guards from linking up with the Center on WEDGE plays by prying their own bodies in between. We also teach them that if the Guard tries to pull then you should drive him back into the QB and running backs. Because of his alignment on the inside shoulder of the Guard, he can often throw the Guard completely off his track and if the Guard is fast enough to get away then the A-gap defender still has a great shot at sneaking between the Guard & Tackle or at least knocking the Tackle off of his pull path.
The DT & OS combinations on either side will use the Tap-N-Go blitz that they always do. Again our angles of attack help us in this area also. Most TEs are smaller than most DTs (fact in every league I have coached so far). And most of the time a TE would have a tough time blocking that bigger guy if not for his superior angle of attack (down block). So when our OS taps inside and the DT slants hard outside he is taking away the TE’s down blocking angle and they now meet face-to-face (stalemate or maybe even a victory for our DT) right in the middle of the point of attack. With the OT blocking down and moving himself out of our way, this lets our OS come through untouched quite often. When our OS taps outside, we have our DT slant hard in and he is working just like those A-gap defenders, if his man pulls then he should try to run him off track and if his man is down blocking then the 2 of them just smash down inside. The OS slants outside and runs head up into the TE creating a stalemate at the POA again. Or our OS can sidestep the down blocking TE to get some freedom in the hole.
We will also play our secondary in our GUTS alignment until they prove they are able to throw the ball consistently. This will bring our DOGs, CORNERs and our REAPER up closer to the LOS. The tighter alignment for the CORNERs will help us contain any sweep plays they might want to run while still allowing us to use 9 guys against the TOSS and COUNTER game.
You might also want to sketch out some DW plays and how they work against the 42-PINCH GUTS and see what you think. Take a look at what happens backside if they aren’t able to cut down backside pursuit with that TE. Take a look at what happens on TRAP when 2 guys come through free, one behind the other. Take a look at what happens on COUNTER when no one blocks our OS and DOG. We actually had a lot of fun playing against the DW. Perhaps our opponents weren’t coached well enough to win. Perhaps we were just lucky. I don’t know. I do know that I will keep using these techniques until they quit working.