X-streme Schemes Vol. 1
IGWT t 2013
Football's Spread Offense

X-treme Schemes vol. 1 is the original version of the spread running game. Vol. 1 is free here. For the next generation of this offensive scheme you need The Renegade Spread Offense. The Renegade Offense combines all the best ideas and plays from X-treme Schemes vol. 1 and vol. 2 into a condensed, easy to learn, easy to coach, and very lethal offense. If you are looking for an offense that can be taught at all levels, that attacks the entire field, and does not require huge linemen the Renegade Spread is your offense. Check out more info on the Renegade Spread by clicking here > Renegade


The X-treme Scheme idea is a combination of three types of offensive schemes that are modified and ran from extreme spread formations. These schemes were born from the need to move the football in unique fashion and to take advantage of the type of players that you have to move the football with.

The plays are presented on a conceptual basis because I know that coaches have their own systems and can adapt any of these plays to their own formations and schemes. As all coaches know, there is always more than one way to skin a cat.

The goal of this playbook is to simply present you with some new ideas. You can take what you want and leave what you do not need. New ideas help to excite players and coaches. They also help in the advancement of our sport.

As mentioned the plays do not have to be run from the extreme sets that they are diagrammed in. I have drawn them this way because I feel that certain spread sets take advantage of the defense in several ways.

They create one on one match ups.
They allow you to take advantage of the speed your team has.
They limit the defense by formation.
They reduce blitzing.
They reduce the number of blocks that need to be made.
They reduce the amount of time that blocks have to be held.
Take from this book what you will. I hope you enjoy it and can get some ideas from it that will help your offensive schemes. X-treme Schemes 2 is the second book in this series. It covers the passing game from these schemes including the "Zoom Option" (which is the pass run option), play action (off the plays in this book), and individual/team routes (including bunch routes as well as isolation routes). You can purchase X-treme Schemes 2 on www.BigN2Football.com

Thank You,

Robert B. Babcock

Editor of BigN2Football.com

Getting Started

I understand that all coaches have different ways of getting the job done with their teams. I am not going to try to change the way anyone coaches. Coaches know their teams far better than anyone on the outside. However, to give you an idea of how this system works I will attempt to give you a brief description of the terminology that I use with this type of offense. I am not saying that it is the best but I think it will help you understand the scheme better as well as how we have simplified it over the years.

Each one of our players has a letter assigned to them with the exception of the offensive linemen. Below is a diagram that shows you the letters.

* The Ends are L and R (left and right)
* The Tailback is a T
* The Fullback is a F
* The Quarterback is a Q
* The Cutterback is a C (would be great if he could pass)
It does not matter where the players line up they will always carry their letter. Even though the fullback does not line up in the fullback position that often we still consider him the F-back. You could substitute any letter for the backs but we use these letters so we can revert back to basic sets anytime we want without confusing the team. Also, by lettering the backs we can call individual routes during games as we see things breaking open.

Assigning letters allows us to put any back in motion as well as flipping the formation and putting an end in motion. On a wristband Tmo would tell the T-back to go in motion no matter where he was lined up. We always motion towards the QB unless we include "away" after the motion which would tell the T-back to motion away from the QB. Fmo would tell the F-back to motion towards the QB. The Cutterback is called this because he will motion more than any other back. For this reason when the play just says Mo it means that the C-back will motion. This shortens a good deal of the plays listed on the wristbands and makes it much easier for the QB to call in the huddle.
We name each formation. Some coaches assign a letter or number for each. We just name them or let the players name them. The formation above is Renegade. Renegade left would have the short slot on the left instead of the right. If there is no direction call on a formation it is always set to the right. If we want to flip the formation to the left we add "left" to the back of the formation when called, signaled, or read off the wristband. This will shorten the call on all formations to the right.

Our backs in general will know where to motion to for certain plays. I have heard some coaches say that this is too complicated but I can assure you that it is not. If they already know to motion towards the QB they only have to know where they need to be when the ball is snapped. Sometimes the QB will tell the back whether he motions through or not. Motion through means he will motion past the QB and to the other side of the field prior to the snap.

Play Numbering System

We do not number back and hole. That is not to say that you could not do it but for us it made the scheme just to complicated and there were too many conflicts with what we did. We use a series system because it created fewer conflicts for us in the long run.

Here are some of our series numbers. The evens go to the right and the odds go to the left but they represent types of plays and not holes.

22-23 Leads
16-17 Options
32-33 QB Leads
48-49 Sweeps
58-59 QB Sweeps
78-79 QB Rollout Passes
The trap plays are the 100 series

131-132 Inside Trap Plays
148-149 Outside Trap Plays
158-159 QB Trap Plays
Any 200 series play is a play action play.

222-223 Play Action Lead Plays
248-249 Play Action Sweep Plays
216-217 Play Action Option Plays
Sometimes we add a letter or word to the end of a play call to let the team know about a different blocking scheme or a slightly different way of running the play. Here are two examples of plays that we might call and what they mean.

JAG Mo 49 Mon Cr

* Jag is the formation
* Mo means we are going to motion the C-Back
* 49 is the sweep to the right
* Mon Cr stands for "monster crack" which means there will be double crackback blocks on the play side.
Ren Tmo 131Q

* Ren stands for the Renegade formation
* Tmo tells the T-Back to go in motion
* 131 is the inside trap play
* Q makes it the QB inside trap instead of the man who motioned


Here are some of the formations for this scheme. I am sure that you could adapt some of these plays into your offense and your own formations. Also, there is nothing that says you have to run these plays or these formations from the shotgun.
Jag: This formation has 6yd splits with the Ends. The F-back is in the right slot and the T-back in the left slot. The C-back (Cutter) is right so he can motion. You will soon see what advantages we are hoping to get from certain formations. However, it is still hard to scout us by formation because we do so many things from each one.
Renegade: This is a very good formation for most of the offense. It has a short slot to the right with the R and the F. On the left you have a trips set. The C is to the left. Here the L is split wide.
Wide: This is a great formation for motion. This formation is good because it spreads the field from one sideline to the other while still giving you decent protection with up to seven blockers up front and eight with motion.
Cobra: Cobra is a very good formation for sweeps to the wing side, counters, power plays, and cross traps. The inverted twins are great when mixed with motion. We use the inverted twins and motion for "Shadow" routes. On shadow routes we would snap the ball when the C-back was even with the split end or the L in the formation drawn.
Trips: Super trips but with a halfback instead of a slot.
Reno: Reno is much like Renegade but with a tight end and a halfback to the right. This formation is very good for the option as well as isolating the C-back for individual routes.
As you can see we have produced formations to accomplish the things that we need to get done. However, we can run so many of our plays from each of these formations that we can mask the real reason we introduced the new formation to begin with.

These formations were dreamed up to support both the running game and the passing game. Sometimes it may not be apparent as to why we run a formation the way we do until you see the passing scheme as well. A decent running game is important at any level of competition and most of these formations have been designed to let the offense get a back one on one with a defender. As mentioned earlier they are also designed to put blockers in positions that give them advantages over the defenders.

Pass protection is crucial to any team that uses the pass even in its most basic form. Some of these formations are designed to get skill position players in positions to not only help with pass protection but also to run delays and screens. Pass protection will be discussed in detail in X-streme Schemes vol. 2.
X-treme Schemes
Spread Running Game
This is the basis for many other plays. Monster Crack tells the playside to get double cracks. The R (right end) is split about 6 yards. If there is a threat to the inside that is within eight yards of the L.O.S. he will crack the defender covering the F (slot). I have drawn both blocking plans for the R. Here he has the option to block the C or the S.

The F-back will crack the DE and must line up outside of him. If the DE refuses to let the F-back line up outside him we will run the ball inside of him and can audible to a play that takes advantage of this.

The C-back needs to be at full speed when the handoff is made. You may think that this takes too much timing to work out but it just does not. This is not to say that the timing is not important. Timing is important to this entire scheme but it is not as hard to obtain as many might think.

Depending on the defensive alignment the blocking scheme is fairly basic. You may have to adjust it to what certain teams run against you but the formation cuts down the number of defensive formations that you might encounter. The spread formation limits the defense by formation, alignment, and reduces blitz options.

The QB will simply handle the snap and hold it out in front of him at handoff level. As the handoff is being made the QB will swivel in the direction of the handoff then run a counter to the opposite side. The swivel makes it harder for the defense to know if the handoff was made or not. On plays where the QB keeps the ball the back making the handoff fake will slap his elbow or chest to simulate the sound of the ball hitting him. After the handoff the QB can fake a drop-back pass, QB trap up the middle, or roll opposite the play. In general I would have him fake either the trap off the backside or the QB roll. These fakes set up future plays.

The most important part of the play is the timing of the snap. The QB must not only make sure the motion man is in position but also needs to focus on the ball as it is being snapped. Here is a diagram of where we try to snap the ball. You may have to adjust it for the speed of your back and the speed of your snap.
We will snap the ball at this point no matter what formation we are running. We do motion the motion man through from time to time but on all handoffs or handoff fakes our snap occurs at this point.

If the QB can not make the handoff, or has miss handled the snap we have him run the QB blast play to the sweep side because the blocking is identical for that play. This way we do not waste a play unless the snap goes over the QB’s head.
Jag Lft Mo 58 Mon Bl (monster blast)

This is the "Blast" play to the motion side. Here the C-back will lead on the CB or the first defensive player that does not get sealed. The ball is snapped in the same position as before. As mentioned before this is also the play that we run if the handoff is missed on 48 and 49 Monster Crack.
Jag Lft Mo 59 Mon Cr (monster crack)

We call this play a Monster Crack because there is no lead blocker on the corner like there is on the Blast play. You may have to adjust your blocking scheme on defensive backs because some teams respond to motion in a different way than others.
Jag lft Mo 59 Mon Cr "P"

This is a variant of the crack where you can pull the tackle to the corner. You can give the linemen an option to pull the tackle or guard depending on which is uncovered. This is also a good way to deal with the motion blitz (a blitz from the motion side). P is the letter designated for our left tackle.

The next variant is a basic play with a unique twist. You can see that we have motioned the T-back to take the handoff but I have also drawn a dummy pull by the Tackle to keep the defense guessing. You can do this with many of these plays on the backside. I just threw this in as an example.

Jag lft Tmo 48Mon Cr "P"

One thing to keep in mind with this play is that the T-back did not have near the distance to cover before the snap that the C-back usually does. The snap must be made quicker.
Jag lft Mo 48Mon Cr "S"

Plays with pulling linemen take pretty quick tackles. In this case the C-back is moving at a high rate of speed when he gets the ball so the tackle needs to get out on the corner as quickly as he can. This also gives the running back an option to cut inside. The fake of the QB is very important. You may want to fake the QB trap onside, backside, or the sweep backside. If the QB makes a good fake to the inside the slot may not have to chip to the onside LB.
S/T (super trips) lft Mo 48Cr

This is the basic sweep with a single crack playside. The QB can fake a QB sweep away (59), a QB trap to the right side (158) to freeze the LB, or a drop back pass. You can pull the playside T here to get more blocking playside but the LB might key his pull. This play is great in conjunction with the "Zoom" Option and "C Zoom Go." A QB so involved with the running game creates problems for the defense when an offense strikes as quick as this one.
S/T (super trips) Mo 59 Cr "P"

This is a good play if the LBs are over pursuing the sweep.
Jag lft Mo 48 Rev (reverse) Mon Cr

Here is the slot reverse off the sweep. This variant takes more work. The handoffs are very quick but also very hard to follow for the defense. Here the C-back motions and takes the handoff from the QB. The C-back must put the ball in position for his handoff to the F-back as soon as he has the ball. The F-back needs to make a good pocket and level the pocket so that the C-back does not have to adjust the height of the ball for the handoff.

This play is actually a "Monster Blast" play because we use the QB to lead on the backside corner. We do not call it a blast because our team associates the word "blast" with the QB sweep. If you do not like the idea of leading your QB on the corner or you would rather bring him inside on a fake QB trap you can pull your center or guard (most likely which ever one is uncovered).

Faking the handoff and the reverse with a QB trap or play-action pass is a good twist to throw at a team late in the season.
S/T lft Mo 48 Rev Cr

This is the same play from a formation that spreads the field even more. If the defense decides to motion blitz (blitz the man covering the motion man) the QB or the T-back will have to pick the blitz up. We do not call this play a "Monster Crack" because we do not have a double crack on the playside.
S/T lft Mo Rev Lp (loop) lft

This play looks very complicated but it really is just a combination of two plays. The 48 reverse play with a "Loop" block. "Loop" means we will pull the Guard to the end man on the L.O.S. Loop left means we will pull the right Guard to the left. The QB will drop back to and pump fake to the T-back who is faking a rail route to the left. This will pull the LB away from the play.
S/T lft Tmo 159

This is one counter to the sweep. You can run it with any motion fake. This is the QB trap and can be run from all of the formations. It can also be run to the same side the fake is made on.

At times you will want to motion your motion man completely to the other side before snapping the ball. This keeps the defense honest and cuts down on motion blitzes. The QB trap is a good play to run with or without motion. The motion makes the QB trap a counter to the sweep.
S/T lft Tmo lft 159

This is a 159 QB trap with "motion away" (from the QB). Depending on how teams respond to motion you may be able to use it to gain an advantage in the running game just like you can in the passing game.
S/T Mo 131

131 is actually designed as a fullback trap. Here I have drawn it to the C-back. We have the QB fake the QB trap to the right or drop him to fake the swing route to the left. In general the QB trap fake is better because it gets the LBs moving and tends to slow down the safety as he moves to cover the motion man.

The motion man (in this case the C-back) slows his motion before the handoff. If he does not he will fly past his trap block. When this play is run in conjunction with the QB trap it looks much like the old cross trap play that has been run for many years from I and the Splitback formation.

The blocking rule for the trapping "G" is to block the first man on the L.O.S. past the center.
S/T Wide Mo 131

This is the same play as the last but with the field spread even more. Defenses may try to pinch the 2techs (DG) if they are in a four-front. If this happens you can have your playside Guard take his Defensive Guard down and have the pulling G pull to the defensive end or tackle just like 148 or 149.
Tri Fmo 158

Here is the counter to 149 and 131. It is the same QB counter to the sweep. You do not have to run motion to run this play. The motion is good because it allows you to fake for the counter but it also pulls a defender back to the formation. You also have to realize that all these plays have play-action passes to make them even harder stop.

On this play you have two receivers faking quick spot passes while the other receivers are faking longer routes. It is good to combine some combination routes with these receivers to get the secondary focused on more than the running game.

These formations also get some players into the secondary that may not be used to being out there.
Tri Mo 149

148 and 149 are traps using the motion man or a halfback. Here again 158, and play action are great counters. You could motion C-back, T-back, or F-back to run this play. This formation is also great to run cluster and bunch routes.
Trips Fmo 148 T

This is a great variant to 149 and the sweep play (48 & 49). The QB will fake to the motion man (here the F-back) then hand the ball to the T-back (lined up at halfback) for the trap. We can add the letter T to the end of the play if we need to. This tells the team the T-back is going to run the trap play. A great pass counter to this play is to make the fakes then fire a pass to the F-back on a rail routes down the left sideline.
Trips Fmo 158

This play takes a little more time to run but attacks a large portion of the defense and from many sides. The QB fakes to the motion man for the sweep then fakes 149 trap to the T-back, and finally runs the QB trap (158).

You will have to adjust the blocking scheme to what the defense is running but you would not have to trap block these plays if you did not want to. You could adjust them for your own base run block schemes.

Our Reno formation gives us a tight end but also adds a defensive man to the mix as well.
Cobra Mo 48 Fly

The "fly" is the basic handoff sweep. It occurs at high speed. From this formation you can slow the defense’s ability to react by faking the T-back trap (148) after the handoff. The QB can fake the QB trap (158) or a drop back pass. This Cobra formation is a very good formation for the passing game and brings a tight end to help block.

The Fly (48 &49) can be run from many sets. You can run it with our without a tight end. There are times when you can run right past the DE and never have to block him. As a suggestion I would say that I would not run the fly without a block on the tight end too often. However, about once a game or so you could run it after you ran the trap to the inside.
Cobra Mo 48 Cr Arc

This is just a different way of blocking the fly. Here we use the F-back (in the wing) to crack or seal the DE to the inside. The TE will rocker step just like a pulling G and pull to the Corner. The ball carrier has the option to stretch it to the sideline or cut up by reading the block of the end.
S/T Tmo Lp (loop) lft Shov

This is another good counter to the sweep (48 Crack). This shovel pass uses a trap block to the left which we call "Loop Left." The QB fakes the handoff, drops two steps, and pitches the ball forward to the F-back. These are some great play action pass plays off this look as well. You can see the C-back sitting down behind the outside back for a pass. If the back clears this pass should be open.
Ren (renegade) Mo 16 Mon Cr

This is a motion to an option play with the "Monster Crack" blocking scheme. The motion man becomes the pitchman. You may have to adjust your motion if people start to key the deeper motion that the option requires. You may want to have the motion man stay at regular depth until the last second before bouncing out for the pitch. He must stay in pitch relation with the QB. On the backside we have the T-back faking a screen. Here is a good opportunity for an assistant (in the press box) to check for a possible play action screen to the backside of this option play. The seal on the DE is very important. Anything outside the DE should be positive yardage. If the safety is playing deep you may want the Split End (R) to block the corner.
S/T Fmo 17 Cr

This is the Crack Option from the Super Trips set. We hope to pitch off the defender covering the left slot (T-back). You do not have to crack down on the DE. At times you may want to arc release the slot to block a DB and pitch off the DE. Here again play action & QB traps counter these plays very well.
S/T Fmo 17 Lp (loop) lft

This is actually a QB trap with our Loop blocking scheme. We fake the option play to the left and running the QB trap to the left. If something goes wrong (blitz or missed assignment) we do not want to waste a play so even though we are countering the option we allow the pitchman to be "hot" that is the QB can run the option if he needs to. This blocking scheme is much like the blocking scheme of the "Freeze Option" that many teams have run from I.
S/T Fmo Lp Rt

Here is the QB counter trap off the option play. This play keeps the backside LB honest and is effective in slowing down the secondary flow to the option and sweep plays. The QB will take a few steps into the option play then break back for the counter.
Putting It All Together

Adding the "Zoom Option" (pass run option), play action, and a spread passing attack to these plays makes the scheme even more lethal. If you have taken some ideas from this playbook I would encourage you to checkout the other playbook that goes with this scheme X-treme Schemes volume 2.

It will not take you long to see how play action passes compliment this scheme. I am sure you have already thought up some good routes off the plays you are interested in. I am currently working on X-treme Schemes Vol 2 which will cover the passing game off these plays.

Drills for the X running game

In preparing to run a spread scheme similar to this one your drills do not need to change much if at all. Fundamentals and techniques are the same wherever football is played. It may be a case where you just have to do more of a certain type of drill and less of another.

* The Shotgun Snap: If you are going to use the shotgun, even a small percentage of the time, your center must be able make that snap in his sleep. Practice your center every chance you get. Practice your second and third string center every chance you get as well.
* Timing: When you first look at this scheme you may think it looks like it would take months of work to get the timing down with all the motion and shotgun snaps. This is really not the case. With that being said I must also add that the timing of the motion and snap are extremely important and should not be taken for granted. Just as repetitions in the option game are important reps in this scheme are paramount to its success. The more reps you get the lower the risk of fumbles and missed snaps.
* Communication with the team: Even with simplified terminology it is not hard for players to get confused especially during a game type situation. After coaching for several years we sometimes take for granted that our players understand what we want because they are shaking their heads in agreement as we talk to them. This is just not always the case. You must make sure that you and your players are speaking the same language. Here, no matter what vocabulary you choose, you must practice your communication in a game type environment. Getting your players to do exactly what you want without letting the other team know what is going on is not always easy.
* Polish: If you want to run several formations and several play combinations your players need to know exactly where to go and exactly what to do when they get there. In general teams that run spread attack type offenses need to spend more time in a "team" type of practice environment.
Here are some ways to polish your plays.

Team Practice-
scrimmage type atmosphere with no hitting below the waist.

Team Practice- Full speed to the ball with no one taken down to the ground.

Play Polish Shields- The offense hustles through plays with a defense that stands in place with hand shields. You can do this with or without full pads.

Play Polish No D- Full speed polish as linemen fire off and go through their steps.

Walk Through- Players walk through blocking schemes against a defense as position coaches talk through each players responsibilities.

Talk Through- The offense will line up in formations. The coach will talk through each position’s responsibilities for the play and hypothetical defenses that might be faced during games. This is good for new plays, audibles, blitz prep, and possible new defensive fronts.

In Closing

I hope that you were able to get some good ideas from this playbook. I want to repeat myself by saying that you could run almost any of these plays from many different sets than the ones displayed in this book. The plays were drawn to extremely spread sets because I wanted to simplify the blocking scheme as much as possible. I feel the best way to do that is to get as many defenders away from the ball as possible.

The defenses displayed in the diagrams are just basic alignments. I realize that all teams will have different alignments and many will develop new ones to try and stop the new super spread sets that teams are running today. If you choose to run any of these plays you will have to adjust the blocking scheme to several possibilities. However, the spread sets also limit the alignment options that the defense has. This is good because you do not have to prepare for as many sets as normal offenses do.

Many coaches choose to fight the spread offense with the blitz. The good thing is that you know this going in and can prepare your team for this early in the season. Knowing that a team will try to blitz you can be an advantage for you as well. As mentioned before the spread formations also reduce the number of possible blitzers for a blitz attack.

Keep in mind that this book has concentrated on the motion running game from various spread sets. You can add much more to the offense with the addition of the play action passing game as well as the "Zoom Option." As I mentioned before the passing game is covered in detail in X-treme Schemes 2 and can be purchased on www.BigN2Football.com .
Postscript: X-streme Schemes vol. 1 and vol. 2 have been evolutionary steps that eventually turned into many new and innovative schemes including The Renegade Offense that has been highly successful at many levels of play.
You can access more information about these innovative schemes by clicking below.

The Renegade Offense

The Zoom and Zip DVD

Renegade Bunch

May God Bless You and Your Team!!!

Robert B. Babcock
IGWT t 2013

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