The “O” in Power-O

12 Jul

160711 - Power O (2)

Given the way youth defenses leverage the outside to prevent running plays beyond their contain personnel, we would argue that a well-run Power-O — more than most Sweep or Pitch actions — has the most potential to bust for long yardage.  Consider first the advantages of your basic Power-O play:

— It permits the OL to come off hard and aggressive.
— It uses a gap blocking scheme which lets the OL handle slants, stunts, and blitzes.
— It can be run from any number of formations and personnel groupings.
— And, lastly, the play is downhill which reduces the risk of tackles behind the LOS.

Now consider how to block it perfectly.  The best way to make that happen is to make sure your OL know “who” to block and not so much “how”.  The easiest way to do that is to use the “GOD” rule on the playside.

“Gap” – “On” – “Down” is football’s oldest blocking rule and, given the limited practice time you have with your OL, it is your best choice if you’re using a Pro-type system like an “I” or split-backs.

It’s probably football’s most prolific play.  It may even be football’s oldest play.  And, when blocked up, it is generally football’s most beautiful play.

Power-O is as its name suggests: a power play.  It is in every OC’s playbook and is used in most offensive systems at the youth level.

When the “O” came about though, we’re not sure, as pulling linemen is not new to modern football.  Coaches have been pulling backside linemen since the dawn of football as evidenced in Fielding Yost’s 1905 version of a power play depicted below.

160712 - Power O (Yost Version)

Excerpted from page 193, Fielding Yost’s book, “Football for Players and Spectators”, printed in 1905.  The backside OL here — the LE and LT — are not leading the play but pushing the FB from behind ala the “Bush Push”.  Such were the rules in 1905.

What we are sure about is that — nowadays — the “O” in Power-O is what makes the play go.


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