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Friday, June 11, 2021

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Three Plays That Work Well With One Word Tempo

What’s the best way to put a defense on its heels? Operate at a speed which they cannot.

Whether you huddle-up or are no huddle, one word tempo is a tool that allows an offense to operate at warp speed. Really any play could be run in this manner, but there are characteristics to plays that work best.

First, it should be a play that you can run with any personnel group.  If you change personnel and the play is tied to only one grouping, then you cannot strike a defense at any time.

Second, it should be one that does not require much or anything as far as line calls.  The last thing you want is to hurry to the ball and then have to wait for calls to be made.

Finally, it should be something that you feel good running against any defense.  Because you are moving as fast as possible, you need to be able to run it against however the defense lines up, which at times may even be incorrect.  

Receiver Catching Ball

Here are three plays from coaches who have been utilizing the one word tempo successfully and fit the criteria above.

#1 Stick Draw

Stick draw allows you to utilize any personnel.  Even if a TE or fullback needs to align and run the stick, his speed down the field is not crucial to the play being successful because it’s a short route with space created for the catch and run. It’s simple read with the QB as the runner. Jason Lewis, OC at Heidelberg University, explains it here (click on images for video):


#2 Simple Throw WR Screens

Lucas Lueders will utilize his fastball or one word plays as a way to get his offense going.  One of the simplest plays which he shows works even when outnumbered is a receiver screen.  There’s no decision for the QB and it really doesn’t matter what is happening in the box.  He illustrates it with video here:


#3 Downfield Shot with Vert Switch

Bobby Acosta has utilized tempo for years and sees big opportunity in taking a shot from a one word tempo. His example here shows the defense completely confused and the ball going into the end zone.


Being able to take advantage of a defense by operating at the fastest tempo possible is a tool for any kind of offense.  It allows you to jump start your offense if it’s hit an in-game lull, take advantage of a defense after you’ve hit them with a big play, or even convert a critical third down by catching them off guard.

You don’t need many of these, just well executed one words that you can install and use all season long.

Think about how you can use the one word tempo in your offense to move the ball in 2021.

Always be growing!

Coach Grabowski

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