3 Things To Consider Before You Spread Your Youth Football Offense

By FirstDown PlayBook on Jul 25, 2021

The spread offense has changed the landscape of football over the past fifty years. So has throwing the football. No throwing…no Spread. This is why we think there are at least 3 things to consider before you spread your youth football offense out.

Please understand before we get started here, we coached for thirty years and almost every snap was on offense…and we coached the spread. It is, in our opinion, the best offense in football as long as you don’t abandon your running game.

Having said that, we always had a quarterback who could punish the defense if they did not “spread” it out with us. You may or may not have this if you are coaching 10-11 year olds.

Here are three things to think about if you are a youth football coach and are about to install a spread offense.

1. Short Edges Can Be A Problem

When you start drawing up your run game with a short edge there is normally at least one defender unaccounted for. If the play is a wide play to the other side this can be overcome with a boot fake from your quarterback.

However if you are running any downhill offensive play, it can be a problem. Having two tight ends solves a lot of problems if you are a youth football coach and want to run the ball in the A or B gap.

2. The Defense May Not Buy What You’re Selling

You have to be honest with yourself and ask the hard questions. What are you going to do with your spread offense if the defense only marginally covers your receivers? It could happen if you play against a smart defensive coach.

If your quarterback cannot take advantage of a defense overloading the box to stop the run, you have issues. You will now likely have two unblocked defenders at the point of attack even if you are running your quarterback.

3. Are You Doing & Teaching What Your Players Do Best?

We are all competitive. We get that. However, when you are coaching youth football, you have to always evaluate if what you are teaching is helping develop young players. If you are running a spread offense so four of your players can line up as receivers and just outside release every snap then this is not good for youth football.

If young players are going to learn how to safely play our game, they need to learn to block and tackle. Playing with tight ends and running backs helps promote just that. You can still be competitive, but you win by teaching the fundamentals and techniques better than your opponents.

One of the great things about coaching is that you get to make decisions about scheme. It’s a great thing but it comes with a lot of responsibility. We hope you will take these three things into consideration as you begin installing this season’s youth football offense.

FirstDown PlayBook is the only Digital Football PlayBook that gives you access to over thirty five thousand football plays, schemes and technique help. All plays are designed by coaches and players with NFL experience. FirstDown PlayBook is also the Official Playbook of NAIA Football and NAIA Women’s Flag Football.