November 17, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Thomas Rawls (38) runs the ball against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the second quarter at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan Football: Coach's Corner -- Lets Talk Football -- Running Backs In Michigan's Offense

Posted at 5:45am — 12/10/2012

Michigan Football: Coach’s Corner — Lets Talk Football — Running Backs In Michigan’s Offense

I get a lot of questions about playing Running back/Tailback in Michigan’s offense.

Thought I would take a second and share with the board some notes from clinics I have attended and my own experience running a similar offense.

#1. You do not need to be an Olympic Sprinter.

What is of paramount is good quick feet, excellent vision, and a great burst. Anthony Thomas (IMHO) would be fantastic in this offense. Mike Hart was not a speed demon by any means.

#2. Playing without the ball is just as important as with it.

If your tailback cannot block and catch passes, run excellent routes, carry out meaningful fakes you need to find a third down back and put them into the rotation. Tampa Bay’s Dunn was fantastic at this. Caught screens, ran the draw, and could motion or line up in the slot.

#3. Having a two headed monster is not the worse thing in the world.

In fact if done right it can have some benefits. Both backs stay fresher and healthier. Also more players involved the better.

#4. Toughness and running physically is a key.

Getting downhill with shoulders square is a huge priority. I have actually seen quite a few programs who teach slow to the hole and accelerate once your into it. This has two benefits, getting shoulders square and gives a chance for the blocking to form and the running back can see the cutback.

Caveat, (IMO) that is part of Rawls problem, he is not patience enough and gets to the hole a bit early.

#5. Last and not least, ball security trumps everything else.

October 13, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Thomas Rawls (38) runs the ball against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Running backs/Tailbacks who fumble will end up on the bench. Right about now all my Blue Brothers are like, no kidding. Well I have talked with many spread guys and option types and they will tell you that they understand this is high risk offense and will live with some turnovers.

In closing I am not saying if Eric Dickerson or Adrian Peterson is available you ignore them. Speed is never a bad thing. Just that just because a player is not the second coming to Usain Bolt does not mean he cannot play in this offense.

Come to the message board to see the entire post by CoachBT on Running Backs in Michigan’s Offense, agree or disagree.

Just a reminder you must be a member to participate on the Message Board. Here is the link for the registration page for those people interested in becoming a GBMWolverine member of our message board. GBMWolverine Register.

Please comment on our GBMWolverine Message Board about this article and read what others comment.

You can contact us at our e-mail address: GBMWolverine

Follow us on Twitter:
@Mike Fitzpatrick

Written by GBMWolverine Staff — CoachBT

Go Blue — Wear Maize!

Next Wolverines Game Full schedule »
Saturday, Oct 2525 Oct3:30at Michigan State SpartansBuy Tickets

Tags: Big Ten Conference Coach Al Borges Football Go Blue Michigan Wolverines

comments powered by Disqus