Simple Football Plays That Work | Quick Clinic 224

Drawing up complex X’s and O’s on a napkin can be a lot of fun, but the best offenses often rely on very simple football plays that just plain work. Not always sexy, but they get the job done.

The inspiration for this episode was a conversation on our private Chalk Board Forum for JDFB Coaching Systems clients about some simple football plays for a youth football team. Then the topic of the Wedge Play came up. That got my thinking.

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

The Best Simple Football Plays

At JDFB it’s always about the Coach Simple, Play Fast, Win philosophy. If you’re not familiar with that yet, you can learn all about this core principle here.

The basics are this: Keep your coaching simple so that your kids understand what they are being asked to do. That gives your players confidence to execute. Confident players play fast. No paralysis by analysis. Fast kids win more football games.

I’ve worked with a lot of football programs. That Coach Simple philosophy has never failed. I’ve never had a coach come back and say, “we just didn’t have enough in the playbook!”

(it is very common, after the fact, for coaches to admit they tried to do way too much)

But these simple football plays go even beyond that principle. We’re talking the absolute simplest run play, and the simplest passing play you can run in this JDFB Quick Clinic.

In the run game, the clear winner is the Wedge Play. The one that started this whole conversation. In the passing game, it is the simple look pass.

Why Every Playbook Needs Simple Plays

You might have some real fancy stuff in your playbook. Maybe you’re committed to the Run & Shoot passing attack. Or you’ve decided to run Split Back Veer. Neither of those is simple (that’s not a bad thing, if you know how to teach it).

But you’re still going to want some simple plays. I don’t see any good reason why every single team in football shouldn’t run the two simple football plays described in this podcast.

The Wedge Play is in just about every offensive playbook for good reason. It’s how you block the Quarterback Sneak. I have absolutely no idea why anyone would not have this play in your playbook.

There have been times where we’ve literally stolen yardage just running the sneak at a soft spot in the defensive front.

The same goes for the Look pass. I’ve heard this given a few different names, like a quick screen. It’s just a pass to a wide receiver who’s being given too much cushion by the cornerback. Because it is so easy to complete, the Double Wing Offense is the only playbook that might not need to have it.

Both plays have been extremely important in my own play calling with the Pistol Power Offense System. Although they are not fancy, they are extremely easy to install and execute for solid yardage.

Listen to this podcast using the player below or in any podcatcher. And you can submit your questions to the JDFB Quick Clinic for a future episode by either emailing me at or sending me a message on Twitter @footballinfo.