Simplifying Spread Offense Motion - Spread Offense

Simplifying Spread Motion with Relative Positions
 
While developing a spread-type offense, I found myself rather unsatisfied with the motion calls I found while looking into what other coaches were doing.  All the motions I had found in research seemed position and formation specific, not allowing the flexibility I was looking for.  There was another problem, we already had a "normal" type offense, with multiple formations and motions, and needed to unify the two so that the players could essentially learn one set of motions which would describe motions patterns from either package.  The problem was, the motion calls for the base offense were almost always for our "Phoenix" back (a Wingback/Powerback/Flanker/Slot, depending on the formation), and in a spread formation, I wanted to be able to use multiple motions from multiple formations by multiple positions.
 
In the more traditional offense (We'll call it "Thunder" from here on out, because that's what we named it), we had 3 basic motions:
 
Fly In -- Phoenix back motions to hole
Fly Away -- Phoenix back motions across the formation to a wide out position
Fly Out -- Phoenix Back motions toward sideline
 
If we wanted to motion the Fullback or Tailback, we would simply call F-right/left or T-right/left, respectively.  Also, I will mention here, that I eventually decided that we didn't need the "Fly" designation, thereby eliminating a syllable from the play call.
 
So ... a typical play from the Thunder Package would go like this:
 
"800 I - Away - HB Power 7" -- where "800" designates the original PB position, "I" is the backfield formation, "Away" is the motion, and "HB Power 7" is the play call.
 
Now, with the spread, I wanted additional motions, and needed a way to identify which back would do the motioning.  Realizing that, discounting the QB, only 3 possible people can go in motion, I I found that I could use their relative positions on the field to identify which back would motion.  I named these relative positions "Laser, Monkey, and Rocket," -- Left, Middle, and Right.  It didn't matter which position I was motioning, only his relative position to the other eligible motion men in any given formation.
 
With the spread, I utilized some additional motions:
 
Fly Back
Flypro
Drive
Drive Back
 
Drives are both motions and pass routes.
 
With the relative designations of Laser, Monkey, and Rocket, I could now motion any back from any given formation, in any way that was needed.
 
Examples:
 
Rifle Left - Rocket Back - HB Trap 7
 
Cannon Left - Monkey Away - QB Power 5
 
Notice that when the Right Slot has moved over to the left side of the formation in Cannon, he is now the "Monkey" for motion purposes.  These relative designations make it very simple to send motion from any position.  Another example is if we ran the "Flex" formation.  Say we want to use a flex so that we can have a drive route from the wide out, while keeping the slot in place, perhaps to be in a position to crack block, or to allow more space for a fade route.  A "Lucy" call flexes the left side, while a "Ricky" call flexes the right.  Now, the wide out becomes the Laser in the example below:
 
Pistol Left Lucy - Laser Drive - Speed Option Left
 
Also, with the relative motions, I can motion to an "Empty" look with a simple motion call:
 
Cannon Right - Laser Out - Slants Monkey Bubble Slants
 
At first, there was a bit of confusion about the relative positions.  We'd have kids, or even coaches, calling someone the "Laser" back, or the "Rocket" back.  But, in the long run, it was actually a very simple solution to giving the flexibility to motion from any spread formation without locking in a specific formation, position, motion, or play with specific names. 
 
Submitted by:
 
Scott Anthony Seeley
 
 
 

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