ByCoach Martin|Football Plays
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- The Jet Sweep Play for Youth Football Teams
The jet sweep is one of the most versatile plays in all of youth football.
It can be run out of multiple offensive formations and have the same devastating outcome.
The jet sweep is a play designed to attack the outside of the defensive team quickly.
It'll accomplish this by either handing the ball off to a running back who’s already running near full speed from pre-snap motion or by having the quarterback keep the ball and hit the edge right away.
This play also helps a youth offense compensate if they don't have the greatest (or biggest) offensive line.
The fact that the play hits so quickly and attacks the outside eliminates the defensive linemen from the play altogether.
At the same time, this play will get the ball into the hands of your most skilled players very quickly. That’ll allow them the opportunity to run in space to avoid tacklers and find holes that can lead to big gains.
As an added benefit, if your team can master the jet sweep, then you'll be able to easily set up other football plays off of it.
For example, you can bring the back in motion pre-snap, fake the handoff to him and then run play-action passes, or counter runs to the other side of the field.
Perhaps the best part about the jet sweep, though, is that it’s an easy play to teach. This is sometimes an overlooked aspect of plays in youth football.
As younger kids are starting to learn the game, it's important to install plays that they can understand. If they’re not able to grasp how to run the play, then there's next to no chance that it’ll be successful consistently.
Let's take a more in-depth look into what the jet sweep is, the formations that it can be run out of, how to coach youth football players on it, and some example plays.
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The Base Formation
While the jet sweep can be run out of almost any formation, the main youth football alignment that it's run out of is a Double Wing.
In this formation, there’ll be at least one tight end on the line of scrimmage.
A second tight end may be added as well, although a lot of times, a wide receiver will split out wide to one side instead of this second tight end.
The quarterback will line up directly under center.
A running back will line up directly behind the quarterback, about 5-7 yards deep.
The final two players on the field are called Wing Backs.
They’ll line up about a yard deeper than the quarterback and on a diagonal line from the outside shoulder of the tight ends.
Simple adjustments can be made to this Double Wing formation to give the offense a different look.
The quarterback can slide back into shotgun with the running back lined up about two yards to either his left or right.
The wing backs will stay in their same spots, and the wide receiver will make sure he's real wide toward the sideline.
By making a few other adjustments, you can easily run the jet sweep out of the spread formation.
The quarterback and running back will remain in the same positions as they were in the shotgun formation above.
The two wing backs will line up at the same depth as before but move much further outside the end of the line of scrimmage.
The lone wide receiver from the previous formations becomes the X wide receiver.
He'll line up on the line of scrimmage to the far right.
The tight end gets substituted for a Y wide receiver, and he'll line up at the line of scrimmage in between the left offensive tackle and the left wing back.
1. Double Wing Jet Sweep Right
We'll start by looking at the most basic jet sweep out of the most basic offensive formation.
On this play, all but one blocker will move their defenders to the left side of the field, while the run goes to the outside right.
The center and left tight end, tackle, and guard will all block their men to the left.
The right tackle will block the defensive tackle to the left as well.
The right guard, meanwhile, will do a mini-pull behind the right tackle to block the Sam linebacker.
This adds a little bit of confusion to the play.
The wide receiver's job is to block down on the defensive end, shielding him from the outside of the field.
The right wing back is responsible for kicking out the cornerback to the right sideline.
Before the snap, the left wing back will go in motion to the right.
The quarterback will aim to call for the snap when this player is almost right behind him.
When the quarterback receives the snap from the center, he'll turn to his left and hand the ball off immediately to the left wing back.
The ball carrier will aim to run through the hole that’s created in between the right cornerback and the defensive end/Sam.
The running back will simply run forward to the left and fake that he’s taking the handoff.
2. Shotgun QB Keeper Sweep
This play will be run out of the first alternate formation -- the shotgun.
It’ll also integrate a little bit of trickery as well, as the quarterback will fake the handoff to the left wing back and keep the ball himself.
There’ll be no offensive linemen pulling on this play. All the linemen will simply block the defenders in front of them, shielding them off from the right side of the field.
Before the snap, the left wing back will come in motion, just as he did before.
When the quarterback takes the snap from the center, he'll quickly fake the handoff to this wing back and then keep the ball himself.
The running back will serve as the lead blocker on this play, turning upfield just outside the defensive end. His job is to pick up any defender that comes into this area.
The quarterback will aim to run through the hole that's just outside of where the lead blocker is heading. If the blocking is successful, there should be a rather big hole at just that point of attack.
The great part about this play is that the formation itself will spread out the defense -- especially the cornerbacks.
3. Spread Jet Sweep Right
In this play, the wing backs will spread out much wider than before.
There’ll be two wide receivers and no tight ends on the field. The quarterback will be in shotgun, with the running back lined up to his right.
This play will integrate a pulling guard and a crackdown block by the offensive tackle.
The left tackle, left guard, and center will all block to the left. The right tackle will block down on the defensive tackle.
The right guard will pull behind the tackle and pick up the strong safety on the right side of the field.
Meanwhile, the right wing back will crack down and pick up the Sam linebacker, while the running back picks up the right defensive end.
The X wide receiver will block the cornerback opposite him toward the sideline.
The Y wide receiver will be responsible for picking up the free safety downfield.
The offense will be leaving the cornerback on the left side of the field unblocked.
Before the snap, the left wing back will come far in motion.
The quarterback will aim to receive the shotgun snap from the center just as the wing back is approaching him.
He'll then hand the ball off quickly to this wing back, who’ll look to run upfield between where the strong safety and cornerback are lined up.
4. Shotgun Jet Play Action
Now we'll take a look at a passing play that can be built off the jet sweep.
The offense will be in a shotgun formation for this play, and it’ll be a play-action pass where the quarterback fakes a handoff before rolling to his right to throw.
All six offensive linemen (including the tight end to the left) will pass block on this play, creating a pocket.
Before the snap, the left wing back will come in motion to his right.
Again, the quarterback will aim to receive the shotgun snap when the wing back gets close to him.
When he receives the snap, he’ll fake the handoff to the left wing back.
The quarterback will then drop back on a diagonal to his right and step up to throw to one of his receivers.
After the left wing back takes the fake handoff, he'll continue and run a wheel route down the right sideline.
The wide receiver will run a deep post toward the middle of the field.
The right wing back will run a slant toward the middle of the field.
The running back will run a flat route to the right, acting as the safety valve for the quarterback in case no one else is open.
Important Coaching Points:
There are a few important things that you need to teach your players about the jet sweep.
First, the player who goes in motion pre-snap can't move up toward the line of scrimmage until the center snaps the ball.
He can only run side to side.
Second, the quarterback needs to work consistently on the timing of the snap with the center.
He needs to make sure he gets the ball in his hand just as the motion player is approaching him. This is easier when the quarterback is under center, but it’ll be a little tougher in shotgun.
Third, the quarterback must continue his motion after he hands the ball off.
This is an essential part of the jet sweep, as it’ll help set up counter plays, play-action passes, and QB keepers.
After handing the ball off, the quarterback has to fake as if he still has the ball and continue running to either the left or the right side of the field.
Most of the time, the best move is for the quarterback to fake that he has the ball to the opposite side of the field than where the ball carrier is heading.
As a final coaching tip, start by installing the most basic jet sweep play out of the most basic offensive formation before working on any alternate formations or plays.
This will allow your youth players to understand the basics and get them down before making any big changes.
The jet sweep is one of the best plays an offensive coach can teach his youth football team.
It helps younger players take advantage of the fact that they’re often undersized, it gets the ball into your most talented players quickly, and it attacks the defense where it's weakest -- on the outside.
Most importantly, it's a play that can result in big gains without being too difficult for players to understand.
Start by installing the basic jet sweep play, and then you can install variations of it in terms of formation and plays from there.
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How to run the jet sweep in youth football? ›
The jet sweep is a play designed to attack the outside of the defensive team quickly. It'll accomplish this by either handing the ball off to a running back who's already running near full speed from pre-snap motion or by having the quarterback keep the ball and hit the edge right away.What is a jet sweep football play? ›
The Jet Sweep is a perimeter-attacking play that forces the defense to flow hard to pre-snap motion. It's most often used at the high school level where the hashes allow offenses to exploit wide sides of the field with their athletes getting a running head start.How do you run a jet sweep in football? ›
The jet sweep is a play where a receiver or running back comes in motion and takes the handoff from the quarterback as quickly as possible. The play is timed up so that the exchange between the quarterback and the man running the jet sweep happens as quickly as possible so that the defense does not have time to react.How do you teach a jet to sweep? ›
Stretch. Reach and stay on in lock on the on the five technique stretch reach on the on the three ofWhy is it called a jet sweep? ›
The play is run farther outside than an off tackle play. Variants of the sweep involve the quarterback or a wide receiver running with the ball, rather than a running back. When a wide receiver runs with the ball, it is known as a jet sweep.What is the difference between a sweep and a jet sweep? ›
The Jet Sweep is a much different kind of sweep that involves a wide receiver going into a full-speed motion across the formation before the snap. The quarterback times up the snap so that the ball can be handed off immediately to him while he is at near full speed.Why is it called a sweep in football? ›
The ball can also be pitched to the running back while running in either direction. The play gets the name from the sweeping arch the running back makes while running the route of the play. It is a fairly common play in most playbooks, but is most closely associated with the spread offense.How do you run a sweep? ›
How the Running Back Finishes a Football Sweep - YouTubeIs a jet sweep a pass? ›
The vast majority of these jet sweep plays are handoffs from the quarterback to the receiver, though the ball can be shovel passed as well. In the situations in which a shovel pass is used the jet sweep is considered a passing play.How do you defend a jet sweep? ›
Eagle Eye: Defending The Jet Sweep | Philadelphia Eagles - YouTube
What is a 28 sweep in football? ›
This play, called “Gun 28 Buck Sweep,” is run with two wing Running Backs aligned in the slot. The play-side slot has to block down on the “first free man inside” with his outside foot 3.5 yards from the Tackle. However, you can modify his alignment to ensure he can make the block.What is a rocket sweep in football? ›
The Rocket Toss is a modified sweep play that attacks the edge with speed. Designed to reach the edge very quickly, the Rocket Toss is especially useful when the defense overloads the box or blitzes.Who invented the jet sweep play? ›
The play's path to this point was 15 years in the making. It began as a stroke of genius from Division II football coach Bob Stitt in 2003, devised during a Colorado School of Mines practice as a way to shoehorn a chic trend into his shotgun offense.Who invented the sweep in football? ›
The development of what became known as the Packers sweep began with Vince Lombardi. He played football at Fordham University on a football scholarship, and was part of the "Seven Blocks of Granite", a nickname for the team's offensive line. This was the first time Lombardi witnessed the success of the sweep.What is a quick quarterback run called? ›
Definition of quarterback sneak
: a usually quick run with the ball by a quarterback into the middle of the offensive line.
End-around is a type of special run play in football. Whereas in the end around the receiver crosses the backfield after the snap, in the jet sweep, the receiver goes in motion and the quarterback calls for the snap just as the receiver passes him.What is a buck sweep? ›
What is the Buck Sweep? Simply put, a sweep is a run that starts laterally and turns downfield somewhere outside the box, usually near the sideline. Specifically, the Buck Sweep is unique in that outside offensive players block inside defenders and offensive linemen block outside defenders.What is a fly play in football? ›
A go, seam or fly route is a deep route used typically when the receiver has a speed advantage over the defensive back. In the route, the receiver will run as fast as possible in straight line parallel to the sideline, in an attempt to outrun the defender who is covering them.Is a jet sweep a pass? ›
The vast majority of these jet sweep plays are handoffs from the quarterback to the receiver, though the ball can be shovel passed as well. In the situations in which a shovel pass is used the jet sweep is considered a passing play.What is a buck sweep? ›
What is the Buck Sweep? Simply put, a sweep is a run that starts laterally and turns downfield somewhere outside the box, usually near the sideline. Specifically, the Buck Sweep is unique in that outside offensive players block inside defenders and offensive linemen block outside defenders.
How do you call a football motion? ›
Motion calls allow you to move a player into a different position before the snap. Motions are signaled in by tagging the position followed by the motion (e.g. “F Rob,” “Y Orbit,” “H Wiggle”). Players line up as normal, and the QB calls “me me me” to let the OL know he will be calling the snap count.How do you defend a jet sweep? ›
Eagle Eye: Defending The Jet Sweep | Philadelphia Eagles - YouTubeHow do you stop a sweep in football? ›
The best way to stop the Jet Sweep is to have the Force Defender close to the Line of Scrimmage. Where teams get in trouble is when their Force Defender can't make it to the Line of Scrimmage before the Ball Carrier gets there.How do you run a sweep? ›
How the Running Back Finishes a Football Sweep - YouTubeWhat is the difference between pin and pull and buck sweep? ›
Buck Sweep & Pin and Pull RPO's - YouTubeWhat is pin pull block? ›
Pin and Pull Blocking Scheme - The Basics - YouTubeWhat is the Wing T formation? ›
The Wing-T offense is an offense designed to utilize misdirection and short passes to offset the opposition with larger and stronger players. The formation is the classic center, two guards, two tackles and a tight end on the line. The split end is the wide receiver, and the quarterback is under center.Can a QB go in motion? ›
When the ball is snapped, one player who is lined up in the backfield may be in motion, provided that he is moving parallel to or away from the line of scrimmage. No player is permitted to be moving toward the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped. All other players must be stationary in their positions.What is illegal snap? ›
NFL Rulebook. In other words, an illegal snap refers to center not snapping the ball in one continuous motion. The plays that will be called for this penalty will involve the center making a sudden movement prior to snapping the ball.What is a 43 defense in football? ›
A 4-3 defense is a defense that incorporates four (4) down linemen and three (3) linebackers. You will also see two (2) cornerbacks, one strong safety, and one free safety. Generally, the four down linemen consist of two DT's and two DE's.