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.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.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — CoachBT
Go Blue — Wear Maize!