Understanding Urban: Diamond Package Part II “Blur”
By Ken Pryor
(Editor’s Note: Ken Pryor is an offensive coordinator who works with the wide receivers at North Point High School in Waldorf, Md. He has been a long-time contributor to The-Ozone, and has been asked to help us better understand Ohio State’s new offense under Urban Meyer.)
Last week, we decided to break down this new Diamond formation that has quickly become all the rage in both pro and college football. It’s really a recycled formation with a few tweaks, including the zone-read, which is something Urban Meyer and Tom Herman would like to add to the Ohio State offense in 2013.
In this installment of our Understanding Urban series, we will look at another aspect of the Diamond package called the Blur series. “Blur” schemes are centered around post-snap misdirection by the halfback. It creates confusion for the defense in a couple of different ways.
In the first concept, the play side halfback will go across the line of scrimmage on the inside leg of the tackle, providing instant misdirection. The fullback leads through on an isolation block against the play side linebacker, while the back side halfback is the ball-carrier.
Herman and Meyer might also combine the power concept with the counter concept. They could pull the backside guard and tackle, while giving the ball to the backside halfback. The play-side half back still presents the blur.
Front Side Read Schemes
If you have been following our previous pieces in the Understanding Urban series, you should be aware of the Power Read concept and just how popular it has become over the years. The new thought seems to be that power-read is more efficient when running it from a diamond formation.
Generally speaking, power-read schemes present two option concepts — either the QB keeps the ball on the power or gives the ball on the jet sweep. Three backs in the backfield gives the offense the ability to block the front side linebacker on the power scheme and have TWO lead blockers on the jet sweep scheme at the point of attack.
It has had devastating effects on opposing defenses, both at the collegiate and NFL levels. There is a problem, however. Defenses are catching on to the Power Read. They have begun to scrape the play-side linebacker over the top of the outside defensive tackle (five technique) as he makes his move to snuff out jet sweep. This frees up the play-side defensive end to crash hard on the QB.
The backside guard will never be able to make it to the play-side inside linebacker… UNLESS you run it from the diamond formation. The front-side backer will be handled by the backside guard if he wants to sit tight against power. The backside guard would handle him just like he would on power.
If that linebacker wants to run over the top and play the jet sweep, or if the five technique squeezes inside and the backer replaces, he is as good as blocked by the fullback who will smash the first thing outside the C gap. If he fits inside, the backside guard will get him.
A key coaching point in the power-read scheme is to make sure the back running the jet sweep doesn't start up field too soon. He needs to remain four yards wider than the five technique defensive tackle before he makes his turn up field.
For all intents and purposes, he is basically running stretch.
Backside Read Schemes
The most utilized backside-read scheme out of the Diamond Formation is the traditional zone-read scheme. While the offensive line blocks inside zone to the call side, the fullback (back furthest away from the call) screams across to block the backside linebacker.
The fullback must take a path to wrap around the defensive end in order to reach the linebacker. This is critical to the play, as it helps against the defensive end /linebacker exchange. If that defensive end comes up field, the fullback has no choice but to block him. The offensive tackle should be able to climb to the inside backer and the fullback would block the outside linebacker.
As we can see, there are a number of ways Urban Meyer and Tom Herman can utilize the Diamond Formation to keep defenses off balance. Ironically, they will do this by balancing up the defense, forcing them to bring men to the line of scrimmage due to the multi-purpose attack of the Diamond formation.
That balancing act effectively forces the defense to declare a strength, allowing the offense to run the play accordingly. Look for the Ohio State offense to unveil some Diamond schemes this season in order to take full advantage of the abilities of their numerous offensive weapons.
The Diamond Formation Part I
Buckeyes May Put Pistol In the Pocket
Blocking the Outside Zone/Stretch
Blocking Inside Zone
Buckeyes Will Take Counter Measures in Run Game