Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Midline from Splitbacks

Midline. To the option coach, it just may be the "Last of the Mohicans." In fact, the Midline is about the last option play a coach can "get away with" running from under center these days... Without being referred to as a "Dinosaur," that is. Why, the very mention of the word gives Flexbone coaches an almost visible shudder of joy. And while it's not as "sexy" as running outside veer from the shotgun, (I wonder how many times the words "Urban Meyer" were mentioned in job interviews this past spring??) it is certainly can still get the job done with respect to moving the football.

I decided to go on a quest to find the best possible way to run the midline from splitbacks this past off-season. After a film trade a while back, I had noticed that a team down in Georgia, Thomas Co. Central, ran the midline and brought the backside halfback thru to lead for the quarterback. Later, at the Carson-Newman football clinic this past year, I heard Coach Turner (O.C.) mention that the Yellow Jackets staff had convinced him to stop "wasting" the backside HB and bring him thru on the midline like they do. At that point I knew I had to get some more film with this scheme on it.

I posted on several message boards that I was looking to trade film for midline from splitbacks (or something to that effect) and before I knew it I was in contact with Coach Jeff Schlieff from Spring Lake Park High School in Minnesota. Coach Schlieff mentioned he ran the midline and brought his HB thru for the QB keep, and soon I was watching his highlight tape and some midline cuts he had made for me as well. It was exactly what I needed to see, and I can't thank Coach Schlieff enough for taking the time and effort to help us run the midline to it's maximum potential. He is not only a great option coach, but also one of those all-around good guys you meet every so often in this line of work. I wish him and his staff the best of luck for this upcoming season.

Below are several game cuts of Coach Schlieff's SLP Panthers running the midline. You will see what we call a "K" block with the psTE and psOT as well as some base blocking to the split end side as well. After watching this, you may note that the QB keep, with that HB leading him up the field, is almost an isolation play in itself. I hope you enjoy and learn from these clips and perhaps it will help you as well in fine-tuning your midline option.

Cut Three: Midline to TE with base blocking

Cut Five: Midline to TE with base blocking

Cut Seven: Midline to SE

Below is a play diagram... thanks for the props, Coach B in MI!

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Coach Smith

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