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Youth Football Offenses – Which is Better, Single Wing Or Double Wing?
Comparison of double wing and single wing attacks
For youth football, which attack is better, one wing or two wings?
Many of you may not know that I have coached one and two wing attacks with several youth soccer teams. When I say Double Wing, I mean a traditional Double Tight, Fullback in a sniffer attack, not a flexbone. Double Wing has as its basic series throwing power off-tackle, fullback trap, fullback wedge, wing counter, some kind of swing (several options) and play action transition from throwing action.
I ran both offenses
After careful study we decided a long time ago that my then 16-team organization would have the choice between running a Single Wing or a Double Wing. We played in a league of about 70 teams between the ages of 6 and 14. Back in 2004, I did Double Wing clinics for youth coaches in my organization. In 2005, my organization became 100% Single Wing. I personally run Single Wing exclusively for the past 8 seasons. Many coaches who make this choice have coached one or the other or sometimes neither, I have studied and coached both.
The double wing is a good attack
While this article is in no way trying to disparage the Double Wing attack, I just want to share with everyone why we did what we did. I am in the enviable position of having coached both offenses for multiple teams, as well as teaching both systems to over 200 coaches in the youth programs I have run. Again, I’m a fan of all streak based attacks that can hit every point of attack while bringing defenses into contention and both of these attacks do that very well. I will always be a fan of great execution and offenses that allow teams with average talent to succeed and both of these offenses do just that pretty well. This isn’t meant as a knock on the Double Wing, I think it’s a good system and we’ve used it years back for exactly that reason.
Here are a few basic reasons why I prefer a single wing to a double wing:
A Single Wing only requires 1 winger, a Double Wing requires 4. In non-selection football, even with great coaching, I will rarely have 4 effective wingers. If I have a few athletic linemen who can pull, I assume they are two-way players. Do I really want to tire out these double starters by making them pull every time but the wedge? Most basic two-wing games, throws, swings and counters require 2 movers.
The Single Wing clip is MUCH lighter and safer. Too many drives die in youth football because of bad QB/Center trades. In our version of the snap, the “QB” is only 2 yards behind center and very low, the snap doesn’t have to be perfect to be effective, and if there are issues, the QB has a 2 yard cushion to recover from. With a foot-to-foot split, penetration is minimal. It is extremely rare that we have more than 1 bad turnover in an entire season (those with DVDs of full season games can attest to that)/ That is 1 turnover per SEASON, not a game. Indirect snap (QB under center) teams simply cannot make this claim.
The Single Wing does not require heavy footwork for the defender in most exchanges. To give you just one example: in the basic no-offensive play that is a staple of any Double Wing offense, the QB must take the snap under center (which is already riskier than the single wing snap), make sure he clears deep enough to get away from times both the backside guard and the tackle pulling right in front of him, throws the ball making sure to lead the moving wingback, then gets in front of the backside back who runs inside the kickout block of the fullback making sure to make a corner block along the field. The throw itself often involves a drop step and a spin, and in order for the QB to have a chance to get in front of the moving wing, the QB really needs to throw blind while hoping some huge nose guard doesn’t jam the center into his wing.
All of this means that training your QB takes a lot of time in Double Wing and you better have at least 2-3 QBs ready. Do they have to be great athletes? No, but they have to be smart, love contact, be durable and well trained, the attack is intricate and requires precise timing, it’s not very forgiving. Compare that to a Single Wing “QB”, he rarely has to hand the ball off, doesn’t have to worry about getting run over by a pulling lineman, and takes less than 15 seconds to learn. In 2005, we won the National Championship with the 4th string “QB” at the helm. Our first team kid broke his arm in Game 5, the second team guy had a swollen knee, and the third team kid pulled his groin at the pool party right before the big game, slipping on the wet tiles. We won the game on the mercy rule with the fourth team QB starting at right guard, and up until that point he had only carried the ball 10-12 times. I doubt many honest Double Wing coaches will tell you they could do the same to a 4th team QB in that offense.
In Single Wing we can get the ball to any player very easily and with very little time dedicated to it. In Double Wing you have to teach movement, throws and handoffs, etc. In the last 3 seasons every one of my qualifying players has carried the ball and 36 different kids have scored a touchdown. Once we get in front, it’s easy for any player to make a simple straight shot and go through the non-spinning hole. Parents and kids love this about our offense.
The Single Wing has an unparalleled deception. With the Single Wing, you can run every play that the Double Wing has in its offense, but in any case, the play is easier to execute from the Single Wing. But the Double Wing cannot run many of the series that the Single Wing has, including the most deceptive series in all of football, the full spin series.
One-wing plays hit much faster. In the Double Wing, many plays take a long time to develop as an off-tackle, you have to wait for both backside pullers to get there, the WB to get his slow thrower, and the QB to get out to the corner. Unlike the Single Wing off-tackle play that hits at full speed, the “QB” takes the ball on a dead run in a straight path to the hole, something we find necessary when playing very fast and athletic teams.
It is easier to pass from the Single Wing, we are already in a short formation.
The double wing requires even its weakest players, the tight ends (in most cases) to “shoe” block the 2 gaps to the inside, when the tackle and guard leave to pull. There is no such requirement for Single Wing sides, although I don’t think that block is as difficult to pull off as many trainers make it out to be.
Single Wing offers the unparalleled deception of being able to throw the ball to 3 different players on every play. The defense has no idea which of the 3 the ball went to and must account for all 3. There is no other offense that can match that claim or be a bigger headache for a typical youth defense.
Single Wing was more fun for the kids and even for me. I got tired of playing 3-4 plays of each game and fell in love with Full and Half Spinner Series in Single Wing.
In the end, the Single Wing suited our mission better than the Double Wing, it was much easier to train and we had better results with it. That’s why we made a replacement.
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#Youth #Football #Offenses #Single #Wing #Double #Wing