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Friday, July 9, 2021

CoachTube Football Featuring: How a Stoplight Can Make Your Fly Sweep Takeoff with Live IFL Action!


How a Stoplight Can Make Your Fly Sweep Takeoff

He is considered the guru when it comes to the motion sweep and coaches from every level seek his advice on running it.

Receiver Catching Ball

While he didn’t invent the fly sweep (aka Jet sweep), Mark Speckman, assistant head coach/runningbacks UC-Davis, did study and run it enough to be considered the “Godfather” of the Fly Sweep.  

Speckman has coached the sweep at the high school, college, and pro levels. He has been running it since 1979 and shares the background and his overall philosophy “beat you with the sweep or beat you with the sweep” in this video:

Speckman believes that there are six keys to running the sweep that allow him to put together his game plan in using the sweep and complimentary plays to beat a defense and he shares those in this video:


A wealth of knowledge on what makes the play go from under center or gun, Speckman developed a “Stoplight” system for the run that allows it to be successful in various situations.  Most offensive coordinators will go away from the sweep if it gets stopped, but Speckman’s “stoplight system” allows him to keep calling the play.

Green light sweep is a get outside sweep.  The perimeter is being blocked in a way that the sweep should get to the outside.  The sweeper is running to get outside.

Yellow light sweep = read the block of the Tight End on the end man on the line.  This is much like a outside zone version of the play with a tighter aimpoint than the greenlight sweep. The tight end’s goal is to reach the defender and allow the ball to get outside. The TE will run and try to reach but can tip him out and turn it into a kickout.  The sweeper’s coaching points are 

See the butt - cut it up

When in doubt - take it out

Red light is a cut it up sweep. The tight end or blocker assigned to the end man on the line is kicking him out and the sweeper is going up inside that block.  You will see many NFL teams use a variation of this with a TE or flexed TE.  This is like the outside zone cut made upfield by the back.  The play is called when the defense is flowing hard to stop the sweep thus allowing an inside lane.

Speckman illustrates all of his key coaching points as well as analyzing the red, yellow, and green light sweeps in his clinic “Six Keys to Beating the Defense with Fly Sweep.”


Consider how having the sweep as a tool regardless of what the defense is doing makes the the sweep play so much more effective and efficient in your offense as you prepare for next season.


Coach Speckman spent time answering questions about the Fly Sweep on The Coach and Coordinator Podcast. Listen here.

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