How to Run the Wedge Offense in Youth Football
The wedge offense is a productive setup for youth football teams. While not every play a youth offense will run can originate from a wedge offense, there are many plays that are successful. A wedge offense is not typical and therefore teaching it to beginning football players who are not well versed in football basics is not recommended. The lineman’s ability to make a hole for a running back in the wedge offense allows weaker or smaller running backs to make a big difference in the game.
Line your offense up in order across the line of scrimmage. Starting from the quarterback's right, place a weak-side tight end, a left tackle, left guard, the center, right guard, right tackle and then the strong-side tight end. Have one wing man line up diagonally facing the back of each tight end on the second row. The quarterback should stand directly behind the center with a running back three to five steps behind him. The offensive line must remain close to each other.
Snap the ball and hand it off to one of the wing men or the running back. The offensive line will push the defense back until a hole opens downfield. For short yardage needs, the quarterback can keep the ball and follow one of the guards through the hole. The running back must get in the pocket made by the left guard, center and right guard.
Move the entire offensive line forward in a seamless motion. The wedge must move forward quickly or defensive players can run around the perimeter of the wedge and bring the ball holder down.
Break free of the wedge once it begins to slow during a run play. The running back must have a good feel for the tempo of the run. As soon as the wedge begins slowing, find a hole in the defense to run through to advance the ball.
Snap the ball and have the quarterback drop back into the pocket to set up a pass play. One of your tight ends or wing must come open downfield for a successful pass play. The quarterback will scan the field for an open, eligible receiver and pass the ball. The offensive line must keep the defense away from the quarterback long enough for him to find an open receiver.
If the wedge does not hold up, each blocker must pick a defender and block him from tackling the quarterback or running back.