Run Behind Your Best Linemen
I live in Virginia now, and around here the Counter Trey has a certain aura about it. It’s the play most closely associated with the Joe Gibbs era Washington teams that had a dominant rushing attack in the 1980s.
This episode of The Football Coaching Podcast continues our deep dive series by looking at the origins of the Counter Trey run play, then breaking down how to run the play and how your defense can stop it.
It all started with solving a problem. At least, for the team that made the play famous (they did not invent it). Washington wanted to run John Riggins behind All Pro Offensive Linemen Russ Grimm and Joe Jacoby.
That meant running left all the time. A little too predictable. The solution was the Counter Trey, where Grimm and Jacoby would pull to the right. Riggins would counter step, and along with a reverse pivot by the Quarterback, it created a little misdirection in the One Back Offense.
Counter Trey Blocking Scheme
In the deep dive series we look at each play from both sides of the ball. For the Counter Trey, the blocking is something we’ve talked about plenty.
Counter Trey uses the same blocking scheme as the traditional Power run play. The major difference is that different players are doing the kicking out and wrapping to the linebacker.
Because of the long distance the tackle has to travel on this play, the timing is critical. The back needs to get right in behind the pulling tackle as he wraps to block the play side linebacker.
Listen to the podcast to get all the nuances of the play. Plus I’ll go into detail on how to defend the Counter Trey. Find out exactly what you need to focus on in your defensive individuals to prepare your team to shut down teams running this play against you.
Where to Go From Here
Do you want to make the Counter Trey a part of your offense? Or are you trying to shut it down against a tough opponent? JDFB Coaching Systems helps you achieve success on both sides of the ball.
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- This article from the Washington Post in 1984 gave a lot of insight on the background of the Counter Trey in the NFL.
- Power Blocking Scheme from Season 7 Episode 13 of The Football Coaching Podcast goes into detail on the same scheme that the Counter Trey uses.
- Blocking Counter Against Odd Fronts from the JDFB Quick Clinic #86
- The Power Series in the One Back Offense, including the concepts used for the Counter, on Season 3 Episode 4 of The Football Coaching Podcast.