Saturday, May 1, 2010

Getting The Ball To Your Playmakers On The Perimeter- Part 3- The Fly Sweep

In the last part of this series, we will look at the fly/jet sweep as a way of getting the ball in the hands of your playmakers. This concept uses the lateral motion rule to it's advantage in getting the ball to a player who already has momentum built up. The fly sweep is a concept that seems to be catching on at all levels, from youth football all the way up to the NFL. It's a simple means of getting the football to the perimeter of the defense to one of your best players. I could spend several posts talking about all the different way to run this play, but it is just my intent to provide you with a basic overview and provide some resources/video to learn more about the play.

When to run the fly sweep:

Like the bubble and tunnel screen, the fly sweep is a simple and sure fire way to get the football to a guy in space that can make something happen. Also, if you're hurting a team with your base run scheme between the tackles, most likely they will adjust to that by doing something such as pinching their DEs to take away the b-gap run game, etc. Running the fly sweep is a great way to take them out of that scenario and loosen up the core of the defense. Obviously, we want at least a stalemate or a man advantage when it comes to blockers vs. defenders on the perimeter.


When the fly sweep was first introduced, it seemed to be strictly an outside zone/reach scheme on the offensive line. However, since it's become popular, many have played with the blocking schemes to fit their offensive philosophy and scheme. For example, Bryon Hamilton at Foothill High School in California runs what he calls the "Shotgun Zone Fly Sweep"; which he created to fit how he wanted to block the fly sweep. It features a combination of both man and zone schemes. Coach Hamilton has based his entire offense around the fly sweep, and you can read more about it here. Below, I've provided some video to show you some different ways in which the fly sweep is blocked.

In the following two clips, Oregon is running what appears to be counter trey and inside zone away from the fly sweep and reading the DE on whether to give to the sweeper or have the QB keep the ball and run the counter or zone.

The University of Charleston, uses what appears to be a reach and overtake scheme towards the fly sweep. For a great drill to teach reach blocking, check out this video from

The following clip is a digital playbook from East Valley High School, created by coach Ayinde Bomani; which shows in detail how they block their fly sweep. They choose to block it using what appears to be outside zone rules.

Further reading/resources on the fly/jet sweep: Jets and Rockets Playbook

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