The Most Dangerous Hit
By Gino Arcaro on Oct 5, 2017

By Guest Coach Gino Arcaro

Here’s Real-Life Lesson #4,775 that I’ve taught football players and assistant coaches for 40 years – you have to be defensive to go on the offensive. I’ve urged players who seek a coaching career, to coach defense first in order to deeply understand offense. When you deeply understand offense, you will deeply understand defense. Don’t stick to one side of the ball. It’s impossible to deeply understand how to attack defenses unless you coordinate a defense. It’s impossible to fully go on the offensive unless you go on the defensive.

Coaching in Football Poverty is different than coaching in Football Wealth. You have to study the game from a different perspective to find a system that makes the most with the least. Coordinating defenses in Football Poverty was my starting point four decades ago. Coordinating defenses with bare minimum resources – human, physical, financial – shaped the entire philosophy and ideology of our SWAT no-huddle offense. One of our Top Ten offensive beliefs was learned by coordinating defenses: the most dangerous hit – the mid-level wide sideline pass.

The most dangerous hit has a dual meaning. If the passing velocity and accuracy are off, it’s a touchdown the other way. But if you’re on, you change the dynamics of the opposing defense. The mid-level sideline pass can be the most dangerous hit for or against you. Who suffers the worst hit depends on the quality and quantity of quarterback reps invested in mid-level sideline passes.

We define a mid-level wide sideline pass as any throw from the back-side hashmark to an area between the wide-side numbers and wide-side sideline. The distance from the between the back-side hashmark and the wide-side sideline is 33.3 yards. The depth of a wide-side sideline pass is between 15-30 yards. A wide-side sideline pass may be attacked by horizontal or vertical pass routes.

Our 40-year research regarding the mid-level wide sideline pass has reached the following conclusions:

  1. The least amount of defensive reps are invested in: (a) defending the intended wide sideline pass, and (b) a completed wide sideline pass. This results in the Undefended Border.
  2. The Undefended Border is the main cause for the success of the wide sideline pass. Film study shows that the area between the numbers and the sideline is often undefended. It’s an area that is open more than it is closed, regardless of coverage.
  3. A completed, wide sideline pass creates limitless post-reception formations, referring to the alignment of receivers and defenders on the frontside and backside of the pass play at the moment of reception. Regardless of coverage, the number of possible post-reception alignments of defenders and receivers is infinite.
  4. Nothing is more important for explosive plays than post-reception alignment. The least amount of defensive reps are invested in pursuing post-reception wide sideline completed passes because the formation possibilities are infinite. It’s impossible to teach, learn, and practice the defensive response from every conceivable post-reception formation.
  5. The toughest defensive response to teach and learn from post-reception alignment is the most important RDM – Rapid Decision-Making – of all…open-field pursuit angles.
  6. Our passing depends on the 90-10 Rule – over 90% of our passes are drop-back passes. Less than 10% are not. Over 90% of all our passes are thrown from the midline. The reason – manipulating defensive focus away from the border. We rarely roll or sprint our QB to the wide-side.
  7. The mid-level wide sideline pass forces the defenses to divide its Area Focus, regardless of coverage.
  8. Hitting the mid-level wide sideline has resulted in the 3rd most yards-after-catch since 1985.

The next part of this series will explain our QB Development curriculum.

My gym, X Fitness, sponsors Blunt Talk Podcast.  The mission of Blunt Talk Podcast is to lift in mind, body, and soul. All 181 episodes are free, permanently archived at:

Blessings & all good things.


Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 NCCP (Nat’l Coaching Certification Program)

Football Head coach – Niagara X-Men Football

Gym Owner – X Fitness Welland Inc.


Gino Arcaro is a widely published author. Currently, he is finishing another book in his non-fiction series: Mystery of Murder: Working with the Dead. All published books are available on on and www.Chapters/, in both soft cover and eBook format. Audio books are being produced and will be available on his website, which features:

  1. Football coaching and non-fiction books: SWAT System: Offense and Defense, SWAT Tackling Video (with accompanying eBook), and 4th & Hell: Season One and Season Two
  2. Business Books: Selling H.E.L.L. in Hell, True Confessions, and eBooks: Soul of Selling,and, Real Business Relationships = Sales
  3. Fat Loss Book: Fat Losing
  4. Workout System: eXplode: The X Fitness System
  5. Motivational Books: Soul of a Lifter, and eBooks: The Pledge, and, The Focus
  6. Children’s Books: Be Fit Don’t Quit,and, The Beauty of a Dream
  7. Policing Textbooks: Arcaro’s Interrogation Case Law