Bruce Eien – Fat Formation

Coach Eien has always given freely of his materials and has long been known as a Single Wing Guru on the west coast of the country. And since his Fat Formation Video Playbook has been one of the most popular blog posts in the history of this website, I decided recently that I should reach out to Coach Eien and ask if he would be willing to write a little more in-depth article about this very simple yet powerful offensive system.  And not only was he willing to write up an article, but he KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK.  Sure you can find most of these concepts spread out around the internet as well as on his Fat Formation Blog, but I havent seen it all consolidated into such a nice concise little article.

Basic FAT Formations

The two basic formations are Single and Double Fat. The main advantage to Single Fat is the same player is always the kick out block.  This allows for a bigger, stronger player to be the lead block and allow for a faster, shiftier player to play in the backfield as a blocker and runner.  The main advantage of Double Fat is it adds a FB game with a lead blocker for the Power and Sweep Plays.

Single Fat

Formation 1 - Single Fat 

Double Fat

Formation 2 - Double Fat 

Basic FAT Running Plays

The base plays are enough for an entire offense.  There is a combination of power, speed, misdirection and play action passing.  The base run plays are Blast, Power, Sweep, Wham (Counter) and Shooter (Wedge). The defense cannot effectively cover all the areas these plays hit.  The main objective in play calling is find where they are weak and exploit that area.


Run Play 1 - Blast


Run Play 2 - Power


Run Play 3 - Sweep


Run Play 4 - Wham


 Run Play 5 - Shooter

Basic FAT Blocking Scheme

Blocking rules for 5 linemen

  • Get off the ball and drive!
  • Block DL first don’t block LB’s.
  • Get as many double teams as possible and drive them into LB’s
  • block inside gap first and help the center with a NG
  • Foot to Foot Splits

If an Offensive Lineman gets off the ball and drives somebody he CANNOT BE WRONG!

The blocking scheme is always the same for the 5 down linemen.  Their main objective is to get off the ball and drive the DL into the LB’s.  A vertical push will make the wall that will allow the backs to run through.

All the different schemes are made by the backs and TE’s.  Most of the time the TE’s will also be part of the double team process with the line giving you 7 blockers getting off the ball.

The main objective for the backs is to secure the kick out blocks and get through the line.  Some teams will cut and cause piles ups and it is imperative for the backs to get through and not clog up the hole.  If the lead blocker can get through then the runner can too.

If you notice on the video one of the lead blockers gets through the hole and blocks absolutely no one!  But the runner gets through and follows him.

Since Coach Eien mentioned a video, I thought I would link his video playbook here.  I am not sure if this is the video he is referring to but it is a great video that I refer to quite often when working on our offense.

[vsw id=”1OyQnF5ZQIA#t=204″ source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]

Here is the basic blocking scheme against most of the base defensive fronts you might see. 


 Run Blocking 44


 Run Blocking 33-53


 Run Blocking 62


 Run Blocking 50 Bear Front

7 Diamond

Run Blocking 7 Diamond 

Basic FAT Pass Play

Smash Concept

 Pass Play - Basic Smash Pass

The Smash concept is an easy read.  Designed to be part of the quick passing game allows this play to be great vs. Zone, Blitz and Man coverage.  The concept starts with a 2 on 1 read on the CB.  We try to get 2 receiver’s to Hi-Low the CB with a low read at 5 yards and a high read at 15 yards.  The simplicity of this read allows the QB to have confidence as he makes his decision on who to throw to.  The CB cannot be right as he cannot cover both WR’s due to the depth constrictions.

Low-Hi Read

The first read is to look short on the Smash Concept.  The QB is told to catch the snap and throw the short route first.  He is to throw this route every time unless the CB makes him throw the deep route.  As most defenses have their CB take the deep coverage this read is an easy pitch and catch.  The defense gives us the short route and we take the easy yards.  This quick hitter has the potential to be a big gainer if the defense does not make the tackle.  This read is a great way to get your athletes in space and let their natural talent take over.  This read is great against Blitz and heavy pass rush as the QB is getting rid of the ball immediately.  

Read It

The Read it is the QB reads what the CB is doing.  If the CB drops he throws the short route.  If the CB covers the short route he throws the deep route.  The Advantages to this read is the QB does not have to worry about disguising defenses as he makes his read after the defense reacts.  This allows the QB to deliver the right pass to the right WR not matter what the defense does.  The dis-advantage to the read is the ball is held longer and the QB has to worry about blitz, the rush and protection breaking down.

High Read

The High Read is used whenever we need a long gain; the defense is not covering the Deep route or man coverage.  This read is a great play for 3rd and long as it will give you the yardage for a first down.  The QB knows he needs more time on this read so he will drop 3 steps and deliver the ball on the WR’s break.  Another time this read is great is against cover 2 where the Safeties are responsible for covering the deep outside zone.  Since the safeties have to be aware of a WR running to their inside they cannot jump the outside where the Smash Concept is going.  This allows the WR to fake inside and open up in the deep outside area.   When the CB comes up in man coverage on the WR this also gives the QB the automatic High read.  The advantages of the High read is the QB is confident and knows where he is going to pass the ball.  The Dis-advantages are like the Read it he has to worry about the Blitz and pass rush. The Wing running the Flat route becomes a secondary check down if the QB cannot throw the High read.


The Smash Concept is a great quick hitter, takes what the defense gives and has the potential to be a long gainer.  The easy read allows the QB to be confident in his decision making process and concentrate on delivering a great throw.  The versatility of only having to make one read with having the diversity of running a lot of plays gives the offense an advantage as the defense has to determine and practice the many scenarios it creates.

Wing Route

The Wing will line up 1 yard out by 1 yard deep from the TE. He runs a Speed Flat Route trying to gain depth as he runs toward the sideline.  He should have an angle as if he would run out of bounds at 7 Yards.  He needs to outrun the defender to the sideline.  He needs to get his head and numbers around quickly and look for the ball immediately from the QB as he is the first read.  The TE should naturally pick the OLB with his release allowing you to outrun him to the sideline.  If the CB jumps you keep running to the sideline as you might outrun him with your horizontal route.  If not the QB will read it and hit the TE deep behind the CB. The QB needs to make this throw ASAP.  This route opens up now and the ball should be delivered now.  The throw needs to be thrown at the back of the Wings head as this angle should put the ball right on the money as the wing turns his head and numbers back to the QB.  This throw needs velocity to get the Wing the ball and let him turn up field for a big gain.  The QB should try practice catching the snap and throwing the ball without the laces as this will speed up the throw.

TE Route

The TE can run a traditional Corner Route that breaks at 10 yards but I prefer a diagonal Corner Route as it puts a bigger strain on the Hi-Low read on the CB.  The TE needs to run at the outside shoulder of the OLB and Cover 2 Safety.  He should try to naturally pick the OLB with his vertical release. When he gets to a depth of 10 yards he runs diagonally to an area 15-20 yards behind the CB.  The TE needs to look for the ball after he makes his break. He must try to maintain the High part of the read on the CB.  If the CB drops Deep and takes away the Corner Route, the TE can adjust his route to a15 yard Out Route.  Another adjustment on a deep CB is to sit in the open area 12-15 yards after making his corner break.  The QB needs to throw the ball with some velocity, high and over the top at a height about 13-15 feet.  This will allow the TE to catch the ball in the seam, over the CB or away from the safety.


The Bomb is a great add on and homerun type play.  The backside TE runs a Middle Post route.  This is a great call on any team that plays Cover 0 or against an over-aggressive FS who flies up in run support or jumps the TE on Smash.

More Ideas on the Smash Passing Concept

The Everything above this point came with the original article written by Coach Eien.  However, I felt it would be helpful to add the following video with Coach Eien explaining how he adjusts his Smash Pass Play based on how they are being defended.  I found it to be very enlightening in regards to how 1 pass play can be ‘tagged’ several different ways to counter the defensive schemes that are being used to defend this pass.

[vsw id=”t08GIGRI2LQ” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]

Submitted by Coach Bruce Eien


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