Tag Archives: single wing

Menominee’s 49 Short Option Play

This article was originally posted on Direct Snap Football.

In the Beginning

Since the beginning of time…or at least since 1966, Menominee has run the single wing under Ken Hofer. In the late 1960’s, 1970’s and the early to mid-1980’s we were a running team. We threw the ball 6-8 times per game to keep the defense honest. From the mid-1980’s through the present we’ve become more air oriented.


Passing Through the Years
Our passing game has increased not only the amount of times we throw, but the number of pass plays we now have at our disposal. The one thing that has remained constant through the years is the 49 Short Option Pass. This play is our bread-and-butter play along with our power off-tackle play, 48 Blast. Continue reading Menominee’s 49 Short Option Play

Howard Jones Birdcage Shift

This article was originally posted on Direct Snap Football. 

I am taking the opportunity to write about Howard Jones. This great coach is one of my favorite single wing coaches. I will discuss and illustrate his “Birdcage Shift”. His teams shifted into numerous formations from the “Birdcage”.

Jones is one the few to coach teams at 3 different schools to undefeated seasons. In fact, does any one know another coach who did this feat? (Direct Snap note: Gil Dobie did the feat at North Dakota State, Washington and Cornell) Jones’ 1909 Yale team, 1921 and 1922 Iowa teams, and many USC teams went undefeated. Jones’ USC teams were 5-0 in the Rose Bowl. This feat by his teams earned Jones the nickname “King if the Rose Bowl”.

Jones use unique terminology in his single wing system. He called the traditional single wing tailback the “quarterback.” Mark Bliss is a coach who does the same as Jones. I may be mistaken, but I believe Jim Ahern uses this term, too. Jones called the traditional single wing blocking back the “left halfback” or “inside halfback”. Jones called the traditional single wing wingback the “right halfback” or “outside halfback.” Jones called the left guard or inside guard the “running guard”. This is due to the fact that he pulled on nearly every play.

The “Birdcage Shift” allowed Jones’ teams to shift into numerous formations prior to the pause before the snap of the ball. A glaring drawback to shift was the inability to snap the ball on a quick count. This was due to not starting out with seven men on the line of scrimmage. You started out with only four men on the line of scrimmage. There are four other men who are stacked behind the first line of four men. The remaining three men are stacked at the top of the 4-4-3 configured “birdcage”. Continue reading Howard Jones Birdcage Shift

Direct Snap Double Wing Playbook

About 1998 I became very interested in researching the single wing and I was constantly searching the Internet looking for information on the offense. I was on a reference material hunt about this great offense, and having grown up in Menominee, MI, home of Coach Ken Hofer’s single wing, I wanted to learn more. In someways it became an obsession.

After collecting other direct snap books through inter-library loan, trading video tapes, bookmarking websites, I came to the realization that I needed an outlet for my newly acquired knowledge. In the summer of 2000, I threw my application into the local Pop Warner coaching circles in Green Bay, WI. To my surprise I was chosen as a head coach. I was expecting/hoping for an offensive coordinator position at best. I did not have a son playing, he was two years old at the time, nor did I play high school football, but I wanted to give coaching a try. I felt like it was my responsibility to show the Green Bay area that the single wing was alive.

This became more than a hobby of researching the single wing, it became the responsibility of a whole team of young players. I needed to figure out which version of a direct snap offense I wanted to use. After e-mailing back and forth with a few new coaching friends across the country I decided to give the direct snap, double wing with an unbalanced line offense a go. I figured I wanted to spread the work load around, so two wingbacks seemed the way to go. With the help of a coaching colleague and the Tierney and Gray book, The New Doublewing Attack, my 10 play offense was ready to go.


Continue reading Direct Snap Double Wing Playbook